Thursday, March 26, 2015

Schuylkill United Way Announces Capt. Jason B. Jones Memorial Day of Caring

The Schuylkill United Way (SUW) Annual Day of Caring event will be renamed the Capt. Jason B. Jones Memorial Day of Caring. The SUW Staff and Board of Directors is humbled at the privilege of honoring a man who put his service to his community and country above all else. The 1st Annual Capt. Jason B. Jones Memorial Day of Caring will occur on Friday, May 8th 2015. A formal welcome and dedication will occur at 8:30am on May 8th at the Salvation Army in Pottsville.

Volunteer projects will begin at locations across Schuylkill County after the welcome commences. As the community volunteers in the name of Capt. Jones, the Gold Star Mothers and families who have lost sons and daughters at war will also be remembered. The SUW Staff and Board of Directors kindly asks that all Gold Star Mothers and families interested in volunteering or attending the formal welcome please contact Michelle Halabura at the SUW office so we may provide the utmost level of recognition on Friday, May 8th.

The SUW’s Day of Caring was created to match volunteers to service projects at our 15 Partner Agency organizations who facilitate health and human services for free or little cost to the residents of Schuylkill County. The volunteers spend hours at the nonprofit sites, working on both indoor and outdoor projects. Projects vary from gardening to kitchen installations, depending on volunteer interest and skill set. In 2014, the 6th annual event had nearly 200 volunteers that took part in 21 service projects at sites across Schuylkill County.

The decision to dedicate the Day of Caring after Capt. Jason B. Jones was voted on unanimously by the SUW Board of Directors in February 2015. The Jones family has supported the SUW unwaveringly for decades, even championing the community fund raising organization as the “United Fund” before it became known as the “Schuylkill United Way” in 1971.

“We wanted the blessing of the Jones family, and we wanted this to be a local volunteer event to honor Jason through community involvement. The Day of Caring is very simply about lending a hand. We know from Jason’s legacy that a beautiful life can be built through consistent acts of kindness. We welcome all who wish to give back through the Capt.

Jason B. Jones Memorial Day of Caring.” – Kelly Malone, SUW Executive Director

Capt. Jones is a graduate of Blue Mountain High School. He graduated from the United States Military Academy with a degree in nuclear engineering. After graduating from West Point, Capt. Jones chose to branch into the Infantry Division with the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. His first deployment was to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he served as a Platoon Leader for 2nd Battalion of Charlie Company Parachute Infantry Regiment. After completing a one-year deployment he returned to Fort Bragg where he served as Company Executive Officer and Battalion Air Operations Officer. In 2011 Capt. Jones fulfilled a life-long dream when he was selected to participate in the Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course. He completed the Special Forces Qualification Course in May 2013 and was assigned as team leader of a 12-man team in 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group.

Capt. Jones and his wife, Dr. Amy Weniger, were married at West Point on June 15, 2013. Along with his wife, Capt. Jason B. Jones is survived by his parents, Joseph H. Jones, Jr. and Suzanne Jones of Orwigsburg, and sister, Dr. Elizabeth Jones of Philadelphia.

Capt. Jones deployed to Afghanistan in April 2014 as the commander of a 12-man Special Forces A-Team with the Army Special Forces, also known as the Green Berets. Capt. Jones died in Afghanistan June 2, 2014 at the age of 29. Capt.

Jones’ awards and decorations include: Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal and

National Defense Service Medal. He was also awarded the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one campaign star, Iraq

Campaign Medal with two campaign stars, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Parachutist Badge, Ranger Tab, Expert Infantry Badge, Combat Infantryman Badge, and the Special Forces Tab.

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