A U.S. soldier killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan on Saturday, is being remembered as kind and quietly courageous by military and hometown associates.
Though just 25, Sgt. Leandro A.S. Jasso, from Leavenworth, Washington, was on his third tour of duty when he was hit with mortar “while engaging enemy forces in Khash Rod District, Nimruz Province,” the Department of Defense said in a statement on Sunday.
“Sgt. Jasso was a humble professional who placed the mission first, lived the Ranger Creed and will be deeply missed,” said Lt. Col. Rob McChrystal, commander of 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, in a statement quoted by the Army Times. Jasso was a team leader in the batallion, out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The award-winning soldier had first enlisted in August 2012, soon after graduating from Cascade High School in Everett, reported the Seattle Times.
“The loss of Sgt. Jasso is felt by his family and loved ones, by all who served with him and by all on this mission to protect our country and our allies,” said Gen. Austin “Scott” Miller, the top U.S. officer in Afghanistan, in a statement quoted by the Washington Post.
The Post also noted that the operation, in conjunction with Afghan forces against Al-Qaeda, was conducted in a region where the U.S. military doesn’t normally do so.
According to ABC News, Jasso was the second U.S. service member to be killed in Afghanistan this month, and the 10th this year. Jasso’s death comes just a few weeks after that of Maj. Brent R. Taylor, killed in an insider attack in Kabul earlier in November, ABC News reported. A father of seven, Taylor was also the mayor of North Ogden, Utah, his hometown.
Back in Jasso’s 2,000-population hometown he was remembered as quiet, kind and thriving on the discipline and experiences that Army life offered. Cascade High School, his alma mater, is planning to hold a moment of silence on Monday morning, and city leaders are looking at other ways to honor the fallen soldier, said principal Elia Ala’ilima-Daley to the Seattle Times.