SIOUX FALLS, SD, USA U.S. Army SSG, CO C, 4TH SQUADRON, 2D STRYKER CAV REGT, VILSECK, GERMANY BAGHDAD, IRAQ 07/15/2008
Army Staff Sergeant (SSG) Jeremy Dale Vrooman was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on February 27, 1980, and enlisted in the Army on December 28, 1999, following in the footsteps of his older brother Justin, a helicopter pilot in the Army. Jeremy took basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and was then assigned to Fort Carson, Colorado, where he served his first tour of duty in Iraq in 2003. After serving his first deployment to Iraq, he was eager to return to southwest Asia, wanting to join in making a difference there. En route to his eventual return, he was stationed in Germany, with his family accompanying him. Five years after his first deployment to Iraq, on June 12, 2008, he returned to Iraq. He was killed in action almost exactly a month later, at the age of 28.
Jeremy was a family man who proudly served his country. He was married to the former Latrecia Stonum of Texas. They had a son, Jeremy Xavier, a daughter, Jade Skyy, and a much-loved dog Jack. Xavier was 5 at the time of his father’s death, and Jade was 1. They were living in Germany, their father’s home Army base.
Jeremy’s parents include his father Bruce Vrooman and stepmother Sue Vrooman, of Superior Wisconsin; and his mother Laurie Donahue and his stepfather Wayne Donahue of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Lori Donahue recalled her son’s laughter, infectious smile, and favorite hobbies: Jeremy loved playing with his children, military vehicle models, and fishing. Bruce Vrooman reflected that his son Jeremy was what every man should aspire to be, what every husband should aspire to be, and what every father should hope to be-and that the military environment helped shape him into that caliber of person.
Jeremy was usually the first man from his troop through the door and on July 15, 2008, while working with his squad to clear buildings in Kn’an, they entered a booby-trapped building and he was seriously injured. He died later at a Baghdad hospital. He was buried with full military honors on July 25, 2008, in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, in his wife Latrecia’s native state of Texas. But before that official ceremony, Jeremy’s family and friends remembered him in true cavalry tradition — and that meant displaying his Stetson instead of a Kevlar helmet at his memorial ceremony.