WEATHERFORD, TX, USA U.S. Army SGT, 103D ENGINEER COMPANY, 94TH ENGINEER BN, FORT LEONARD WOOD, MO MOSUL, IRAQ 12/04/2008
U.S. Army Sergeant John Jared “JJ” Savage died just four days before he was to depart Iraq and prepare to return to the United States. A witness said U.S. Army Sergeant John Jared “JJ” Savage, 26, was 50 feet from his base in Mosul, Iraq, when his armored vehicle was broadsided by an SUV that exploded.
His father, John Savage, of Peaster, said his son was expecting to come home and start an automotive business with him when he returned. He said he had two years left in the military and was planning to put in a transfer from Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri to Fort Hood, to be closer to his family in Texas.
He had been stationed in Iraq with his unit, 103rd Engineer Company, 94th Engineer Company, 111th Battalion, at Fort Spiecher, for more than a year on his second tour of “Operation Iraqi Freedom” when he died. He joined the military about six years ago. The father said JJ had dreamed of being a soldier and serving his country.
“He had camouflage outfits he would dress up in and play Army when he was little,” Savage Sr. said.
He added JJ cherished a compass and flashlight belonging to his grandfather, John Savage, who retired after 20 years as a master sergeant in the Army.
“It’s hard to even think of what to say,” the father said. “It’s such a tragic loss.”
In the last communications he had with his son, Savage said his son spoke of a father-son trip he looked forward to when he returned. He told his father he was coming home sooner than anticipated. His original tour was to end by February, but had been rescheduled for this week.
Savage’s last words to his father were spoken in November, “I love you very much, daddy.” John Savage said the last thing he told JJ was, “I love you too, son.”
Carole Savage, JJ’s step-mother, said she loved the way he looked up to his father.
“His family was his number one priority,” John Savage said.
Sergeant Savage leaves behind his parents, John and Carole Savage, of Peaster, and Jaclyn Park, of Mineral Wells; grandparents, Maythea and Lee Munson, of Washington; and five siblings, Gerald Savage, Carrie Phillips, Carin Schaab, Philip Gorin, James Gorin, Joenell West and Jamie Barker.