Friends of the first Iowa woman soldier to be killed in the war in Iraq are working to keep her dream alive. Twenty-nine-year-old Petty Officer Second Class Jamie Jaenke of Iowa Falls was killed in Iraq in early June when a roadside bomb struck her Humvee.
Jamie’s mom Susan says before going off to war, Jamie started building her very own stable business called Siloam Springs Stables. Friends are now completing the stables. “It was gonna be a surprise for her and now it’s a tribute for her,” she says.
Chief Allen Pettidt with the U.S. Navy says they’ve gotten members of the military from all over step up to help finish the stable. He says, “Hopefully it sends a message that we are all family and we’re here to help and they’re not by themselves in their grief.”
Jaimie’s mom says the family has felt a lot of grief the past three months, and she explains what it has been like. Susan says, “Pure hell…just pure hell.” But she says they finally feel joy, knowing their daughter is looking down on all this hard work with a smile. She says, “We decided that it’s gonna carry on, that we’re gonna carry on and things are gonna move.”
Jamie Jaenke is being remembered in another way too, Jaenke’s name and that of her older brother are listed on the new war memorial in Iowa Falls dedicated to its residents who are serving or have served in the military.