ANSBACH, Germany – Soldiers, family members, civilians and local nationals from the Ansbach military community gathered together at the Katterbach Kaserne Chapel to honor the memory of a fallen soldier Nov. 26.
Spc. Jason C. Shelton, a military policeman with the 527th Military Police Company, 709th MP Battalion, 18th MP Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment Command died in the Katterbach housing area Oct. 27.
More than 200 people, including his wife, Heather, his parents Carson Shelton and Audry Crum, and other friends and relatives, gathered at the chapel to pay tribute to the memory and life of the Marshall, N.C., native.
“This ceremony provides us a time of reflection, a moment to dwell on the enormity of our loss, and the chance to publicly immortalize and acknowledge the contributions of Spc. Shelton and his family,” Lt. Col. Steven Yamashita, commander of the 709th MP Bn., said during the memorial. “This loss, while surrounded by sadness, is also surrounded by pride, gratefulness and a sense of honor that only a few will ever appreciate or understand.”
During the ceremony, fellow soldiers continuously emphasized that Shelton embodied what it means to be a soldier and a military policeman – qualities observed by seniors and peers alike.
“As a new commander, you spend the first few weeks observing the company, assessing the soldiers and talking to the company leadership,” said Capt. Tide Gile, commander of the 527th MP Company. “During that time it became clear that then Pfc. Shelton was the type of soldier every new commander would want.”
“His motivation and dedication made him an integral part of the 527th family and the Ansbach community,” added Gile. “Soldiers and leadership within the company knew they could go to him for anything and he would be there for them.”
The memory of Shelton and his character will remain with the soldiers of the 527th MP Company, especially those he was closest to.
“We were and always will be best friends,” said Pfc. Luis Pulido, a military policeman with the 527th MP Company and a close friend of Shelton’s. “Jason always took care of me and everyone else around him.”
“Truth be said, Jason would do anything for anyone and he was always here for me and the rest of the platoon,” added Pulido. “He was more than just a friend, he was a brother; and I would have done anything for him like I know he would have done for me or anyone in the platoon.”
Shelton was laid to rest Nov. 8 in his family’s cemetery near the North Carolina – Tennessee border with full military honors.
His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon and the German Armed Forces Badge for Marksmanship.