SPC Marlon P. Jackson
Hometown: Jersey City, New Jersey
Age: 25 years old
Died: November 11, 2003
Unit: A Company, 94th Engineer Battalion (Combat, Heavy), 130th Engineer Brigade.
Birth: Aug. 15, 1978, Clarendon, Jamaica. Death: Nov. 11, 2003, Iraq.
Army Spc. Jackson was assigned to A Company, 94th Engineer Battalion (Combat) (Heavy), 130th Engineer Brigade, Vilseck, Germany. Jackson died of injuries sustained in Tampa when an improvised explosive device exploded on the road. Marlon was adopted by Dr Leighton Jackson, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Law, UWI (Barbados), and Dr Lois LaGrenade, a medical epidemiologist at the Food and Drug Administration in Maryland, USA when he was 10 years old. He attended high school in Kingston but left Jamaica with his adoptive parents for the United States in the mid 1990's. He was a serious student, described as kind and gentle by those who knew him. He graduated Hudson Catholic High School in 1997, enrolled at Hudson County Community College and then enlisted in the Army in 1999. Marlon wanted to be an engineer, or, as he had been saying lately, maybe he wanted to stay in the Army beyond his current deployment in Iraq and advance through the ranks to become a career military man. From Iraq, he asked family to send music magazines and sports clippings. And he never forgot to say thank you. Marlon was a quiet young man of simple pleasures: basketball, Chinese food and Caribbean music. When he would be home from the Army on leave, he would head to the nearest Chinese food restaurant where he would get roast pork and broccoli every time. He was also a sharp dresser, preferring conservative clothing over the baggy pants in fashion among many of his friends. He loved basketball and reggae, music that reminded him of his native Jamaica. A ceremony to mark his life was held at the University Chapel, Mona Campus, Kingston, Jamaica. After a somber service, his peers carried his casket - draped with the United States flag - to the manicured grounds behind the church. There, the ritual of saluting a fallen hero was carried out before a scheduled cremation. There were the loud rifle retorts that made up the 21-gun salute and the sound of a bugler playing Taps as dignitaries, family, friends and well-wishers paid their last respects. Marlon was buried with full military honors and was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star, which were officially presented to his adopted parents who sat in the front pew.
Specifically: Grounds of University Chapel, Mona Campus, Kingston, Jamaica