Remembering the Fallen: on the 20th of October, 2010, Army Spc. Gerald Jenkins, assigned to 1st Brigade Special Troop Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, died in Maquan, Afghanistan.
He had been on patrol when his unit came under attack, and he was killed in an explosion. He joined the army at seventeen intending to make it his long-term career, having had a hard time persuading his father to let him sign up. His father describes him as an honourable young man who worried more about others than about himself. He told him, “Don’t be a hero. Just come back home.” An officer who met him in Afghanistan told a friend about the encounter: “Jenkins was a combat engineer and a fairly intelligent kid, he had the right attitude to make the most of the tour. There was something special about this kid, he bore a mature optimism that didn't spring so much from naivety, but necessity, because out here, he knew the situation was bad, but he also knew that a year would go by a lot faster with a smile on his face.” One of his friends at home wrote this on a tribute page after his death: “You know, so many of the guys lost themselves the day you left us, you truly were a genuine guy with a good heart. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of the night before you all deployed, talking about all the dumb stuff that was going to happen when y’all got back. Although the guys made it back alive they never left Afghanistan. Watch over these boys because many of them have so much life to live but died that day with you.”
Gerald, from Circleville, Ohio, was 19 years old.