|HOME | PRESS | SPONSORSHIP | JOIN OUR TEAM ||
JaNAE FRANCIS, Standard-Examiner staff
WEST HAVEN, Utah --April 30, 2009
A 6-year-old Plain City boy was skipping out of the lunchroom Wednesday at Kanesville Elementary School after an assembly to honor him.
When family members told him he needed him to go back to talk with top military brass and television reporters, Jase Spargur said, "Oh, darn, I have to miss school."
Moments earlier, all Jase's fellow students had skipped class to see him be called a hero by the highest-ranking member of the Utah National Guard.
"We're all in the presence this morning of a pretty remarkable young man," Maj. Gen. Brian Tarbet, adjutant general of the Utah National Guard, told the assembled students.
Tarbet awarded Jase his father's posthumously received Silver Star Medal -- the third-highest military recognition given in the United States.
Jase's father, Army 1st Lt. Jonathan P. Brostrom, 24, of Hawaii, was killed July 13 in Afghanistan.
The active-duty soldier -- assigned to the 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, based in Vicenza, Italy -- died returning to a firefight trying to save his fellow soldiers.
In an interview, Tarbet said it is his honor to do these types of ceremonies.
"These families are the unsung heroes. Uniformed people get the recognition. These families don't," he said.
"I have seen them struggle and go through so much."
Tarbet commended the community and military personnel for helping Jase adjust to life without his dad.
"He's going to do just fine, and he's got big shoes to fill," he said.
Arrangements for the public ceremony were made by Utah National Guard Maj. Alexander Faletti, of the 141st Military Intelligence Battalion.
Faletti thought it important to recognize Jase's sacrifice before his peers.
"I have six kids of my own under 10, and I think it's appropriate for children of this age to understand the back side of the war," Faletti said.
Jase's teacher, Sherlene Brenchley, said the public ceremony and notoriety her student was receiving is "very, very" good for him, noting the toll his father's death has had on her student.
"He's been in charge of telling things at show and tell about it, kind of helping them understand what he's going through," she said.
Jase's mother, Lindsey Spargur, said Faletti had gone "above and beyond" his duty to help her and her son since she learned of Brostrom's death.
She said she was given the choice of a public or private ceremony and chose the school event.
"What I said from day one, I hope people remember Jon," she said.
Tarbet told students about more than six decades of military service by Jase's family.
Lindsey Spargur served in the University of Hawaii ROTC with her son's father.
Her sister, DeAnne Allshouse, of Roy, served in the Air Force for eight years. Allshouse's husband, Jim, is an active-duty member of the Air Force and has served for 15 years.
Spargur's father, retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt. David Spargur, served for 30 years. Jase's other grandfather, retired Army Col. David Brostrom, also served for 30 years.
"This is a remarkable family," Tarbet said.
"They have given much to this country, and last July, they gave even more."
Courtesy of standard.net/live.
Please visit www.standard.net/live for more news.