Jason M Bogar

Jason M Bogar

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U.S. Army

While serving overseas with the Washington National Guard and active-duty Army, Corporal Jason Bogar, of Seattle, displayed a passion for both military service and photography.

Bogar served first in Iraq, then volunteered for two tours in Afghanistan. In both countries he often trained his camera on fellow soldiers as well as children. Bogar died July 13 during a fierce battle that also claimed the lives of eight other soldiers with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team. He was 25.

Hundreds of people attended Bogar’s memorial service Friday at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle. There, his father, Michael Bogar, remembered Jason as a tenderhearted man who had “no use for self-indulgence,” and saw his last military deployment in Afghanistan as a way help children there.

Those attending the service included Washington National Guard soldiers who served with Bogar in Iraq in 2004, and who are now at a Yakima training ground as they prepare for a return trip to Iraq this fall with the 161st Battalion of the 81st Combat Brigade Team.

Also present was Sergeant Brian Hissong, a team leader with the Airborne Brigade unit that fought in Wanat. Hissong recalled teasing Bogar for his tendency to pick up his camera even as a firefight was under way. Hissong said would never forget his friend and comrade.

During the service, Bogar was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, given for heroism in combat, and other medals, including the Purple Heart.

After the service, mourners gathered for a reception, where, on a big screen at the front of the hall, Bogar’s family played a video montage of his photography.

The first series of slides included a tribute Bogar photographed and edited to honor another fallen soldier. His family used that sequence to honor Bogar’s sacrifice.

Others slides offered glimpses of Bogar’s life in Iraq and Afghanistan and of the children he met along the way.

Excerpt of Jason Bogar’s last letter to his family:

“I’ve always used the analogy if your told the color blue is green your whole life and someone tells you it’s actually blue they can give you all the facts in the world to prove it’s blue but at the end of the day it’s still green to you. The enemy we’re faced with is most of the time beyond words and it comes down to a sad but inevitable conclusion. We have to have young men that are willing to die to act on them and kill them before they can carry out any plans they have to kill innocent people because that is what they believe Allah wants, from distorted teachings of the Koran.

Know that you all are the reason I am here and to give my life for that is nothing to me. My love for every-one of you is what drives me and brings me comfort under stressful situations.

Carise let your child know of me and that even though I was never able to see he/she grow I love them more than they could imagine. “

Jason’s portrait is also located on Poster 5


One Response to “Jason M Bogar”
  1. Michael Spring says:

    I knew Jason as a teen and into my early twenties. Jason was my friend. We hung out almost every day, and whenever he would return from his term he would always call me and say “I’m at the casssssino! I’m up! Come get me before I go down!” First time I went to a casino.. Jason had heart like no other friend I have had. He was constantly torn between what was right and wrong with the war, and with the struggles of becoming a young man. We constantly spoke about spirituality & the real world. I worried about him a lot. I don’t believe in violence, but I do believe in preserving human rights, and defending those that cannot defend themselves. I admired that about him. He had passion to do the right thing. He was human and I backed him as a brother on our ventures around a place that wasn’t the greatest to start adulthood (Sea-Tac). Jason was so much fun to be around! “Shmellllo!.” LOL.. only we would understand what that meant, and we used to say our little saying and laugh so loud! I loved seeing him happy, and in good spirits. He was one of the best friends I ever had. He gave when I had little to my name. I miss him more than ever today, in just learning about how he passed away. Never been so proud of anyone I have ever known. Reading his articles of valor and heroism brings a smile, a tear, and a sigh of relief that he has more than earned his spot in heaven. I will never forget you Jason, you have always been in my prayers, and I know someday we will meet again with open arms. I might have to ask “hey…stop Bogar’n that!” I love you brother. You are missed!!!

    -You’re friend & brother. Michael Spring.

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