TACOMA, WA, USA U.S. Army SPC, TROOP A, 1ST SQUADRON, 8TH CAVALRY, 2 BCT, FORT HOOD, TX BAGHDAD, IRAQ 05/03/2007
Growing up, Jerome J. Potter liked to sneak onto Fort Lewis and secretly watch up close as the troops trained in the woods. On one such occasion, Potter got too close and there was an explosion. They brought him home and said don’t ever come back unless you’re going to join up, recalled his mother, Holly Burson.
Six years later, he did.
Potter, 24, of Tacoma, Wash., was killed May 3 by a roadside bomb in Baghdad. He was assigned to Fort Hood.
He was very adamant, said his sister Amber. He said ‘I know there’s this chance, but I’m going to do it.’ It was what he really loved and what he wanted to do.
His family said he grew up in Yelm and Olympia, and he attended high school before joining the Job Corps, where he got his GED. He worked a couple years as a forestry firefighter. When he finished his enlistment he aspired to use his G.I. Bill money to become a park ranger.
He was a spectacular kid, his mom said. He had a lot of challenges in his life, a difficult childhood, but he overcame them. He had his whole life mapped out and he was following it to a T.