Living Memorial For Jesse Ainsworth

Submitter’s Name: Ainsworth, Shane
The Service Member’s Name: Ainsworth, Jesse
Branch of Service: Army
Rank: Staff Sergeant
Military Job: Infantry
Hometown for Service Member:
Dayton, Texas

There are truly not enough hours in a day to share all the things that we loved about Jesse, but I would like to try to give you an idea of who he was. 

My walk with Jesse was filled with love and adoration. He was born on September 17, 1985 when I was 8 years old. As his older sister, I wanted nothing but happiness for him. He was an absolute mess sometimes, (just ask our sister for those stories!) but you could never stay angry with him for long. His big blue eyes and quick wit made him the favorite of almost everyone he met. Jesse was a loyal friend and cared deeply about his family. 

When Jesse left for boot camp, it was so difficult. He was just this tall, skinny kid who thought he had everything figured out. He was the kind of guy who wasn’t looking for trouble but somehow it would always found him! On his Christmas break from boot camp, this was no different. His shenanigans were at an all time high. The very best thing that happened from that time period was that we were blessed with our beautiful niece, Lexie. We were also blessed with a few extra gray hairs. 

Jesse’s first deployment to Iraq came immediately after the completion of boot camp. In that season of life, we spent countless nights up worrying about him. We would get word of soldiers from his unit being killed in action, but we prayed daily that we would be spared. When he came home after that first tour, you could really see a difference in his personality. He was becoming the man we always knew he would be. Strong, determined, and completely dedicated to his mission in life. 

In the middle of his second deployment, he surprised us once again by getting married to his beautiful wife, Sarah. Not long after, we were blessed with another precious niece, Lanna. 

Jesse reenlisted in 2010. When asked why he was staying in he stated that he could not leave his men behind. It was not the right time and his mission was not complete. He was deployed to Afghanistan in May and immediately was promoted to a Staff Sergeant. We were so proud of him. 

The worst day of our life came just a month later when we got the call that no one ever wants to answer. The loss of Jesse has forever altered our family. There is this huge hole that will never be filled. We are all just a little off now because we are incomplete without him. What hurts the most is all the “what could have been”. He had so much life and so much potential. 

When you talk to the men and woman he served with, one common thread does emerge. They all admired his leadership and they all loved his mischievous personality.One of the things I know I miss the most is hearing his laugh. It was absolutely infectious. 

My family and I belong to a club that we never wanted to join. Our faith tells us that Jesse is at peace and we do our best to honor him by living a good life full of love, laughter, and service to others. 

I will leave you with these words that exemplify my life’s promise to Jesse and his memory. 

“As long as I live, you will live. As long as I live, you will be remembered. As long as I live, you will be loved.”