Jarrod W. Black
  • 26 years old
  • Date of birth: Jan 21, 1977
  • Date of passing: Dec 12, 2003
Let the memory of Jarrod be with us forever
Army Sgt. Jarrod W. Black Died December 12, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom 26, of Peru, Ind.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment based in Fort Riley, Kan.; killed Dec. 12 when his convoy was hit by an improvised explosive device in Ramadi, Iraq. Town pays tribute to soldier killed in Iraq Associated Press PERU, Ind. — Family members and colleagues remembered a soldier killed in Iraq for his charisma and his devastating smile as a small Indiana town paused to honor one of its own who died in a bomb explosion. Days before his death, Sgt. Jarrod W. Black and his wife, Shawna, agreed on the phone on a name for their baby expected in April. Black learned of his wife’s pregnancy just days after he arrived in Iraq in September. “He had a smile that everyone loved,” Shawna said after the Dec. 20 service in this rural community about 65 miles north of Indianapolis. “I can only hope that my daughter has that smile.” Black, 26, was the 18th soldier from Indiana to die since the Iraq war began in March. A member of the Army’s 1st Battalion of the 34th Armored Division, Black was killed Dec. 12 when a bomb exploded near his unit’s convoy traveling west of Baghdad. His younger brother, Pfc. Brandon Black, 24, and a member of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division in Iraq, was subsequently dispatched home early. About 350 of Jarrod’s friends and family packed a church for funeral services. “Touched by the sadness and sorrow of the news of the days, it becomes so personal today. So personal,” the Rev. Steven N. Ailes told the church crowd. Black’s mother also recalled his smile and charm. “He loved his family, and he loved life,” she said. “If the room wasn’t smiling when he came in, they were smiling when he came out.” Amid the grief that has beset this tight-knit city of about 13,000, Ailes underscored the show of community support that has blanketed the Black family. “This is Indiana at its best,” he said. “This is a small town at its best.” Wife Shawna said the constant encouragement has served to blunt her grief. “It takes special people to be a soldier,” she said. “It’s a tough life, it really is.”

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