The JVA Foundation
P.O Box 1473, Fortson GA, 31808
MSG JARED N. VAN AALST
MSG Jared N. Van Aalst was born in Laconia, New Hampshire on September 1, 1975. He graduated from Plymouth Regional High School in Plymouth, New Hampshire in 1993. An avid athlete, MSG Van Aalst was captain of the Plymouth wrestling team and by his senior year was one of the top wrestlers in the 160 pound class for the state.
He enlisted in the United States Army as a signal support systems specialist on Aug. 17, 1995. After completing Basic Training, the Signal Support Systems Specialist Course, and Basic Airborne School, he was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, GA, for the Ranger Indoctrination Program. After completion, he was assigned to HHC, 3rd Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment, also at Fort Benning, where he served as a signal systems specialist. In the summer of 1997, he graduated from Ranger School and returned to 3rd Bn., where he continued his duties for another year before reclassifying into the infantryman military occupational specialty.
MSG Jared Van Aalst Foundation
In August of 1998, MSG Van Aalst attended Sniper School then returned to HHC, 3rd Bn., as a sniper team leader, later transitioning to squad leader in August 1999. After serving for two years as a squad leader, he was selected as an instructor and a shooter in the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning. He served in that position for two years before returning in September 2003 to HHC, 3rd Bn., as a sniper platoon sergeant. Shortly thereafter, he deployed on his first combat rotation to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, then to Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq before moving in 2005 to Co. A, 3rd Bn., to serve as a platoon sergeant. As a platoon sergeant, he deployed twice to Iraq in 2005 and again to Afghanistan in 2006. He returned to HHC, 3rd Bn., as the noncommissioned officer in-charge of the Reconnaissance, Sniper and Technical Surveillance Detachment. He deployed to Afghanistan again in 2006, for his fifth combat deployment.
He died at age 34 in Kunduz province, Afghanistan, in August 2010 of wounds suffered while his unit was conducting combat operations.
His Awards and Decorations include, the Bronze Star Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals, two Joint Service Commendation Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, seven Army Achievement Medals and five Good Conduct Medals, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two bronze service stars, the Iraq Campaign Medal with two bronze service stars and the National Defense Service Medal with bronze service star, among others. He was posthumously awarded a second Bronze Star Medal and a third Purple Heart Medal, as well as the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.
He is survived by his wife, Katie Van Aalst, his daughters Kaylie and Ava, and a posthumous son, Hugh Jared; his parents, Neville and Nancy Van Aalst, and two brothers and two sisters.