Jas, Mother's Day came and went and it was so hard not to hear from you. You always had something that you were so proud to give me. I still have petals from the pink roses you sent while still in training or all the drawings you loved to make. I carried your military boots in a Mother's Day march in Washington, DC to bring our troops home now. As I walked with other mothers that had made the same journey of grief as myself, I was thankful to of made the trip. When I got home Jena had given me a Mother's Day card that said To the Best Mama Ever, I hope you have fun in Washington, Dc representin for Jas! Maybe that was his Mother's Day gift to you. To make it possible to celebrate Mother's Day with other moms in the same position. I realized then that I did spend time with you on Mother's Day and even though it wasn't in a way that I would prefer, you will never be gone from me. You will always be in my mind and heart.
Since coming home a news reporter wanted to talk to me from the DSM Register about our upside down flag. I must admit that I never really liked the idea of the flag hanging upside down, but it did represent a signal of distress so I agreed to keep it that way. When the reporter showed up, they were all interested in the flag but my agenda was to talk about PTSD and how many soldiers are failed the help they need. I couldn't stand to think about another 12 year old brother standing at his older's brothers grave site with so much sadness in his eyes, mad and devasted all at the same time. So I agreed to the pictures. Little did I know that it would appear on the front page of the Sunday paper. It was a little overwhelming. But since then I have had many veterans coming to the door telling me thanks for what I did. I even got a letter from a Chief Judge of the District Courts of Northern Iowa who applauded what I was doing. So honey, I am thankful for you being a soldier and all the other soldiers who protect our rights and freedoms.
On Memorial Day I volunteered to help place flags on the veterans graves. We put out close to 1000. They didn't have an Iraq marker for you yet, so they gave me a WWI until they get one. I had to giggle, your great-grandfather wasn't even born yet. So many people brought you flowers. I hope you are in a sea of flowers now honey. No worries, no pain, just happy and enjoying the beauty of heaven.
I miss you buddy! I still wait for a phone call, I still long to hear "love you, Mama" and I get teary eyed when I see someone dancing on TV, but I am so grateful that you were my son to leave life-long memories. Love you the mostest, Mama
A Letter to the Editor Published in Chariton Newspaper / Mom
To The Person Who Didn’t Sign Their Letter;
It is nice to know that someone took the time to notice and to speak their opinion. But since you were unwilling to sign your letter, I am left to respond to this matter publicly.So I thank you for this opportunity
By flying our flag upside down in no way shows disrespect for our country.Flying the flag upside down is a sign of distress as stated in the United States Code of Flag Rules and Regulation.But I understand your concern, I too would have been upset not more than a year ago, until I was plunged into the darkness of reality of what is truly happening.
I don’t want you passing judgment upon me or even your sympathy when I am done, just allow me to do what our soldiers have fought so hard for and that is to live freely and to express my opinion.
Most of what you stated as to why you think I fly my flag upside down is irrelevant to what my reasons are except for one…..You say you know a LARGE amount of troops who are currently serving our country who are WILLING, PROUD, and BELIEVE in what they are doing. I can’t say that I know LARGE amount of troops, but I knew one.My son, SPC Jason Cooper, who served with the Army Reserves 308th Quartermaster of Washington, IA in Baghdad at Log Base Seitz for 18 months.Jason was very PROUD to be an American Soldier and he was WILLING to return to Iraq also, up to the very day he died.I still hear him saying, “Mom, I just want to go back, there I had a purpose.” He BELIEVED that he was doing all he could do and he did!But somehow, in four short months after returning home his belief, pride and willingness was eroded away by the invisible wounds of war.On July 14 after weeks of flashbacks and nightmares and having no medical help, (yes, the VA turns them away) he took off his dog tags, walked to the basement of his home and wrapped a rope around his neck.And at my precious son and proud warrior stepped off the chair.He died at the young age of 23 years old.Try explaining to Jason’s 13 year old brother who planned on following Jason’s footsteps what went wrong. Try explaining to the 8th grade Confirmation Class who Jason had just personally thanked for their support during his deployment, what went wrong.And most of all, try seeing the fear in Jason’s Brothers in Arms eyes as their trembling hands pull the American flag from his coffin and neatly fold it and present it to his family.Fearing their own future.
So you ask why our flag is flying upside-down.Because our soldiers are in distress and because of that very contract you talked about that they signed, they are not allowed to voice their opinion, so they rely on us to do so. Ask yourself, have you ever heard a soldier complain?And if they do, most people believe it is the government’s responsibility to help them.You asked me to rally behind our troops and that is exactly what I am doing.I have been fighting for our soldiers rights for decent medical care, mental health screenings and monthly follow-ups after returning home and fund raisers for programs to support our troops.I belong to a group of parents (70 families) that have lost their soldier to suicide after retuning home, and we believe it is our responsibility to take care of our soldiers to prevent other families from joining our group.And our efforts are beginning to show.
And just in case you believe you are an American citizen who supports our troops by picking up a bag of beef jerky, a packet of Gatorade and a bag of Starburst, send it off to “Any Soldier” with a patriotic message and feel that you have done your duty.I too felt that was the least we could do.Well let me tell you that the REAL support comes when they are home on American soil.Will you be there to wipe a soldier’s tears when the flashbacks come from having to shoot a young Iraqi boy, will you be there when the VA turns them away because funding has been cut, will you be there when their commander tells them to “suck it up, Soldier” and worst yet will you be there when they have turned to alcohol or drugs to kill the pain and left homeless on the streets?So you see, our country is in distress, we have failed a whole generation of Vietnam vets and are quickly heading to failing another generation of proud veterans who would do anything for that American Flag.But what that American Flag stands for is not willing to do just ANYTHING for them.So when you drive by my house and see my flag flying I challenge you to help me turn it right side up.Show me that you are willing to do what it takes to help those that protect our rights and freedoms.And when I see that no soldier has been left behind, then that will be a day of joy for me to fly her right side up.
Proud Mother of SPC Jason Cooper 04/16/82 – 07/14/05
P.S.To whoever felt they needed to come onto our property and turn our flag, we do not judge you, we just ask that you come talk to us.
WHAT JASON BELIEVED IN / Laura B. (friend)
I support our troops / Laura B. (friend)
JASON YOUR STILL HERE / HEIDI TALBURT (GOOD FRIEND ) JASON, I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERY DAY, YOUR STILL HERE IN MY HEART, YOUR JUST ON A FANTASTIC VOYAGE RIGHT NOW, THE REST OF US WILL CATCH UP TO YOU SOMEDAY.. I MISS YOU SO SO SO MUCH, ITS SO HARD KNOWING I CANT CALL YOU, HEAR YOUR VOICE, SEE YOUR SMILE AND WATCH YOU LAUGH. YOU MEANT A GREAT DEAL TO ME AND EVERYONE.. JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW YOUR LOVED AND VERY MISSED, WE HAD ALOT OF GOOD TIMES, LOVE YA COOPER
I didn't get to spend as much time with Jason as I would have liked to, but I deeply miss him! What I miss most are the talks we had about his car when I had absolutly NO idea wut in the world he was talkin about! I also miss riding with him on his bike! Those were the best times! Jas I'll always miss u and love u! I'll see u soon! Love Always-Ashley
From one troop to another... Thank you!!!! / Kayla Kinlaw (Friend)
Forever in our hearts / Kayla Kinlaw (Friend)
"SOME PEOPLE LEAVE FOOTPRINTS ON OUR HEARTS AND WE ARE NEVER THE SAME" / Kayla Kinlaw (Friend) I BELIEVE WE MEET EVERYONE FOR A REASON. SOME PEOPLE ARE THERE TO TOUCH OUR LIVES IN SOME WAY,MAYBE JUST FOR A BRIEF MOMENT. SOMETIMES JUST TO LEARN A LESSON, OR TO REMIND US OF SOMETHING. WE SHOULD LOOK AT EVERY SITUATION POSSITIVE OR NEGATIVE,AS A GROWING EXPERIENCE! TO ME, ONE OF THE GREAT MYSTERIES OF LIFE IS WHY CERTAIN PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER TO HAVE SUCH AN EFFECT ON US. AND IN SOME WAY..THEY WILL FOREVER HAVE A PLACE IN OUR HEARTS! REGARDLESS OF HOW THE STORY PLAYS OUT, EACH PERSON THAT WE MEET IS A BLESSING. "SOME PEOPLE COME INTO OUR LIVES AND QUICKLY GO,OTHERS STAY FOR AWHILE, LEAVE FOOTPRINTS ON OUR HEARTS ,AND WE ARE NEVER EVER THE SAME!
Jas I read this and could only think of you... You left your footprints on my heart many years ago and changed my life the day I met you and again after you left us... My life will NEVER be the same. You are missed very much and I will always love you no matter what!!!
The price of FREEDOM....FREEDOM IS NOT FREE / L. B. (friend)
Got the moves! / Andrew Smith (Friend) Coop, I miss ya man. I know your up there lookin down on us now, and I want you to know that I think about you a lot. Every time I see a bike or a street racer I think of you. We had some good talks in the bunker on Gate guard. I am praying for you! Smitty
Never Forgotten / Mark Dyer (Friend) Jason and Family
Jason was a good friend, one who was always there when you needed him no matter what was going on he would drop everything to help in anyway that he could. Jason is gone but will surely never be forgotten
Prayers/ Ellen &. Randy Omvig (new friends ) Thank you for your prayers. You have been in ours also. We shouldn't have to meet this way. We've been to Washington before and have long time friends there. Maybe we'll get to meet someday. I'm sure our boys have already met. Life just doesn't seem very fair sometimes. I'd like to talk some more. With love and care, Ellen
Miss you Jas... / Kayla Kinlaw (Owens) (Friend) Jas through the years we had our good times and our bad times... even though we had alot of bad times I have never forgotten the good times. Like when you wrote I love kayla in the snow on a hill by the house. Or our first Christmas together... or the night you proposed to me, we were both in sweatpants and you put that gorgeous ring on my finger... Or going to every Target and Wal-mart trying to find you the GI Joes wearing DCU's... We had alot of good times and I have always felt that they out weighed the bad. Those times are what get me through everyday. I love you so very much. I sometimes forget your gone when I see your cell number in my phone or your e-mail address when I log on. I will never forget you. You will always have a special place in my heart. You are missed very much Jas.
See you again soon....
Love ya always,
Remember the Time..... / Sanders I remember the time you talked me into joining the army...... what the hell was we thinking??? LOL Im kidding.... I remember the time we had the silver subie and we always was spittin game to girls on the cb radio you had installed.... I remember the time you had all of the girl drama.... I remember the time when we was VIP in the club and ran the thong contests.... I remember the time you did the "FIRE IN THE HOLE" at valley west mall (I have pix to prove it).... I remember alot of times but the one time I will never want to forget is the time yet to come..... till we meet again my friend.
A poem to my brother / Jena Cooper (Sister) Missing You
Do you look down at me in the night
Do you see my candle burning so big and so bright
The candle I burn that reminds me of you
The candle I hope that you would burn too.
Not a day goes by where I don't think of you
hoping that you'd come back so the days won't be blue.
I feel no one understands me, apart from you.
I go to your grave expecting a response
to the pointless questions I can't get across.
Though sometimes In my mind I forget that you're dead
but I'll make sure you keep living in my head
I love you so much it makes me so sad
that we can’t say it back to each other.
But to me you'll always be my brother.
Posted on Dragsource Thanks Anthony / Terri Jones (Mom) My name is Anthony Fong from the street crew Streamline Design.
I just thought everyone should know that we recenlty lost one of our own team members a few days ago. Everyone probably knows him as the guy with the clean white WRX, white Tahoe with 22's or his limited R1. But the ones of us fortunate to be close to him, knew him as Jason a person with a sense of style and someone who was very easy to get along with, a leader and always loved a good club night or pulling some G's doing flat spinnnns in his WRX. As his rides show he also had a passion for anything fast and that screamed look at me without even saying a word. He also served his country with honor for a long period of time and for that he gets great respect from others and myself for that reason and others.
So if everyone after reading this could just send him a prayer, blessing or just a few words in memory of Jason that would be great.
In conclusion on behalf of Streamlne Design and friends we thank all of you for your words and support.
Posted by Uglycar: ill miss watching him skitch past me on his bike. Why do bad things and good people have to come together like this??
Posted by Irresistbleracer19: He was a great guy....He was an awesome guy and real easy to get along with. Funny, great sense of humor everything. It's just sad to see a friend of mine and everybody else's gone.
R.I.P Jason We love you!
R.I.P Jason Cooper We love you!
Posted by evotuner: Our prayers are with his family and friends. R.I.P. to a die hard car nut.
The WAR on PTSD MUST BE WON! JOIN THE FIGHT..>ALL AMERICANS AND ALLIES MUST SPEAK OUT NOW! / Julie Westly (aunt of PTSD Soldier LOST after Iraqi War also ) Dearest Terri and family,
We know only too well the indescribable PAIN and suffering your family is going through.
We lost our Josh, an Iraqi War Veteran, just 7 weeks ago to PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
His story and memorial site...along with the research/studies and information articles to back up the REALITY and EPIDEMIC MAGNITUDE of this disorder to our Vets is also there.
We invite you and all of your friends and loved ones to join this battle to END PTSD with our Vets! WE CAN AND WILL FIGHT THIS WAR AND WIN!
I believe our Josh and your Jason are comrades in heaven...that they somehow led to our finding each other...and they want us to unite in this battle knowing their families CAN AND WILL get the job done the right way.
ONE IN SIX of our Vets are returing from Iraq with this disorder!
Statistics PROVE PTSD WILL EFFECT each and EVERY person in the U.S.A. and beyond in their lifetime...if not their family, then in a family they KNOW.
Our Government is silently pushing it under the rug to SAVE MONEY! When the TRUTH IS, if they would DEAL WITH IT NOW, it would save them BILLIONS then to have to deal with the long term total diablement of those dealing with PTSD who don't end up killing themselves to end the voices and faces of the demons!
PTSD IS TREATABLE, these Vets NEED NOT LIVE THEIR LIVES AS MILITARY CASUALTIES! THEY CAN LIVE PRODUCTIVE NORMAL LIVES AGAIN...but NOT UNLESS WE MAKE SOME NOISE SO THEY GET THE HELP OUR GOVERNMENT PROMISED THEM WHEN THEY SIGNED UP!
Jason's family, please let us know how we can help YOU now? We are here for you, you'll never be alone again in your pain or the understanding of it...NEVER.
A Letter to Jas / Terri Jones (Mom) Dear Son, I know you are free from your pain now, you have told me more than once. I am sorry if I still cry, but you are so greatly missed. I miss your big goofy smile when you wanted to annoy me with "Frankie". I miss watching you practice your martial arts moves. (But I don't miss, when you wanted me to be your sparring partner =) I miss just talking to you about your next idea of yours, or watching you draw. I miss how you could just float on air when the music was turned up loud I still don't know how you received those gifts, you know I was as clumsy as they come. I was so proud to watch you stand at attention in your uniform or pull hockey stops on roller blades, now that was talent... son. I know you are free from your pain now, you have told me a million times, I am sorry if I still cry.
But I give thanks for those left behind. Mick has your giggle and I thank God for leaving that behind with us. Jena misses you dearly and we talk the night away about you. Jacari has been said to look like you and we know you make him giggle when there seems to be no reason. Sanders freaks us out when he calls, "hey, this is Jason", sounding just like you. He's watching over your little brother and sister. Brandon fights in your name and I know you protect him. He will need you when his baby is born. Ashleigh brought me pictures of you that I wouldn't trade a million dollars for. Austin wants your artwork re-created for shirts, guide our hands, Jas. Morty, Guernsey, Smith, and all your Brothers in Arms will never forget you. Kayla holds memories of you that she will never let go. Jason, you had so many wonderful friends and I thank you for that. I don't know if I could do this alone. My family has grown by many.
Jas, we all loved you so much and I hope you feel that love in heaven as you pull your final "Guard Duty" over us. There will never be another "Jas" and we were all blessed to of had the time of our lives with you. You may be gone, but you will never, never be forgotten. And one more thing, I know you are free from your pain, you've told me again and again and I am sorry if I still cry, but if you look in my heart you will see all the happiness I have from the memories of you, son! I love you the mostest, Jas Love, Mama
Thank you all for coming to visit. I want to let all of you know that a memorial for Jason is in the works. It will be July 15 starting with a ride from Des Moines to the Chariton Cemetary with Jason's car club buddies, with his best friend, Sanders leading the way in Jason's Suburu STI, followed by Jason's motorcyle stunt group. Anyone is welcomed to join in on the ride. After a Memorial at the cemetary we will then go to the Chariton square and have a car show and motorcyle show. We will then move to the Chariton Airport and watch them race their cars and also a motorcyle stunt show. Later in the evening we hope to have food and live music and everyone is welcomed to pitch a tent on my property. We will also have information on Suicide Awareness and Prevention. Watch for the flyers posted in DSM at Motorider and Skate South. If anyone would like to help with donations, please contact me thru my email. Hope to see all of you there!