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Jay Fondren is a recent hero. When my wife Christina was an auditor for the Department of Veterans she met Jay in a Veteran’s Regional Office in Waco, Texas. She was conducting interviews to determine the timeliness of transition between the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs for combat wounded veterans.


Jay had recently recovered from injuries he received in Iraq when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device. Jay lost one leg just above the knee, the other just below the hip, and his thumb. Not to mention internal injuries too. While Jay was a little boy, his grandfather W. J. Fondren taught him to salute and march.


This was great fun, for that grandfather was a retired Master Sergeant from the Army Air Force. Jay and his sisters would march around the grandparent’s house wearing his army caps, marching and saluting.


Jay joined the army in January 2000. He did his Basic Training at Ft. Sill, Ok. He served with the 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery, 1st Calvary Division, out of Ft. Hood. Jay was injured the day before Thanksgiving, 2004.


His body has changed, his spirit has not. He is still loving and thoughtful, alert and witty, brave and loyal, positive and faithful. Jay is working hard and looking forward to rehab and a bright future.



Jay has a new mission in life…to be an advocate and educator for veterans. To walk along side of someone as they rejoin their families and friends after being a witness to the horrific events that take place in war.


This literally starts with baby steps as he learns to walk again with artificial legs. Jay has a passion that without the peace and comfort of Jesus Christ he would not be able to be a father to his two small children or a husband to his wife.


Jay faithfully follows the Lord. While we learn much from his example of bravery and courage in battle, we can learn even more from his commitment for the future. Jay is hero not only for what he has done, but even more, because of what he is doing.


For his bravery in combat Jay received the Bronze Star along with the Purple Heart for combat injuries. For his continued bravery in life, Jay has earned the respect and admiration of many.


Even though Jay is wounded and to look at him is a constant reminder of the wounds which were inflicted upon him in battle, Jay is a wounded warrior. Jay is still a peacemaker in this world. There is much that we can learn from his example and bravery to continue to be a peacemaker in a world which is filled with strife at seemingly every turn.

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