Dear Strong family,
I have wanted to write something to you for a long time but every time I started and read what I wrote I didn't feel like it captured how I truly felt. But now it has been laid upon my hart that saying nothing is worse then not saying exactly the right thing.
I had the privilege of meeting Jesse at boot camp (1st BN platoon 1062, senior drill instructor Staff Sergeant Chupka OORAH) Jesse made a bigger impression on my life then the Marines ever could. Jesse was just a kid then, like me, but he was already a strong confident warrior for God. I have been raised in the church and considered myself a strong Christian but in that time in my life I would have been easily swayed to the darker culture and life style of the Marines if it had not been for Jesse there to encourage me and be an example of what a Christian man in the Marine Corps looked like. We both had joined reserve units and made plans to visit one another as I was in Maine and he wasn't to far away in Vermont. However, the war happened and deployments for both of us kept getting in the way. It wasn't until I returned home in December of 2006 and attempted to reach out to Jesse that I learned God had called him home. I have to say this was a hard pill to swallow to try and understand why God would take an amazing man like Jesse who clearly had a way to be a powerful impact on peoples lives and spare mine. It took awhile to get over this guilt and realize God has a plan for everything in our lives. I am now a County Sheriffs Patrol Deputy where I live and I try every day to live the example Jesse led and be a witness to others of how God wants us to be to others and for Him. I am also the proud parent of six children (2 adopted and 2 biological and 2 Fosters) My first biological son we named Lincoln Jesse Shaw in memory of my Hero, so needless to say, but Jesse's memory will not be forgotten in the Shaw household.
In closing I pray God comforts you and keeps you safe, I am so sorry for my inability to write this sooner and not having the best way to communicate what a great service you gave to this country by raising Jesse the way you did. My prayer is that I honor his memory and raise my children and live my life the same way.
In God's Love,
(1st battalion 25th Marines Alpha Company)
(1st RTBN platoon 1062)
posted by Daniel Shaw
May 27th, 2018 at 6:15AM
Dear Mr. & Mrs. Strong,
Hello & greetings in God's love. This communication is long over due...more than a decade has passed & i apologize. I'm a Marine Reservist and had the privilege to know your son Jesse & his team at Victorville, California during our pre-deployment work up prior to deploying to Iraq. My unit is B Co 1st Battalion 23rd Marines. Our Battalion was attached to 1st Battalion 7th Marines. Your son Cpl Jesse Strong and team was with us for about 4 hours. You have an amazing son and his enthusiasm to serve our great country was incredible and admirable! He had no fear and may I say, Jesse smiled facing the devil and ready to take him on! I just looked at him and his leadership with admiration. He took great care of the Marines under his leadership. He had amazing enthusiasm working with Weapons Platoon B Co, my unit. Nothing fazed or stressed Jesse during his time with us and he just kept coming back with a great attitude. I thought Jesse was going to be attached with us during the whole deployment because Jesse and his team would be a great asset to the company. He was just happy to serve our great country and do his part! He mentioned his love for Christ and told me how he served in Sunday school...kinda struck me odd...a marine that blows things up(combat engineer) then a sunday school servant...just sayin'. I think he mentioned wanting to be a Pastor some day....im sorry, its been a decade+. Well, i wish Jesse and his team was with B Co 1/23. We've been through a lot. We were the only Reserve Infantry unit during the 2nd fight for Falluja. We had our share of casualties but miraculously, no one was killed in action or died...truly a miracle. Our hearts broke when we heard of your son and his team were killed in Haqlaniyah on Jan 26, 2005. All i could ask is "why Lord"? It was a very sad day. To this day, i still remember Jesse's infectious enthuthiasm like it was yesterday. All i can say is that God has his reason and i know God needed "A few good men" and Jesse was that man! I know your heart aches every day but as Christians, our heart ache is temporary....God comforts the heart broken. I hope this letter brings some comfort. I know how proud you are of Jesse. I just wanted to say how privileged i was to know such a fine christian man & Marine he was and will never forget Sgt Jesse Strong! God bless & God bless America!
SSgt Villanueva, G.O.
posted by Gaudencio O. Villanueva Jr
, SF Bay Area
May 27th, 2016 at 11:24PM
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Strong,
I'm keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers today as I remember Jesse's Home-Going anniversary and the day back in 2007 at Liberty University when the Lord knit us together...you all are ALWAYS in my heart and I cannot wait for the day when I get to meet my faithful brother, Jesse, face to face in the Presence of Our Father!! What a glorious day that will be!
All my love today and always,
~Cecilia Brennan ❤️❤️❤️
posted by Cecilia Brennan
Jan 26th, 2016 at 10:44AM
Dear Strong family,
Your son's name was mentioned with great reverence today at the church we attend here in Pittsburgh...our pastor is Dean Weaver who, as you know, is a relative of yours. It's the words from his sermon today that lead me to look at this page and learn more about your special son Jesse. I love everything you have shared here. I feel as if my husband and I got to know much more about this very special human being whom I know you miss every single day. As Americans who love this country with all of our hearts, we can't thank Jesse enough, and you his family, for his service. We are SO sorry for your loss but are grateful for his love of family, God and his country.
The other part that caught our attention is that you are in Vermont. My husband's family is originally from Craftsbury Common, so somehow our paths, therefore, don't seem so far apart. We can picture your beautiful state and appreciate Jesse's love of "home"
Well, I thank Dean for sharing your story with us today at church. Our hearts break for you. We (and we know you) are grateful that Jesse knew The Lord as he did, so there is no doubt that you will meet again. And when we get there, I would LOVE to meet him too.
Peace be with you,
Carol J. Young
posted by CJ Young
Oct 18th, 2015 at 1:26PM
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Strong,
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. My name is Aldous Mina, I am one of Jesse's dorm mates at LU (We were in dorm 9) for a few years together. He used to cut my hair whenever, I was short with money and he always took time to help me out even, if he had other plans for that day. I love Jesse, dearly, he was the best anyone could ask for in a friend. Thank you for sharing him with us and with this world.
I am currently in Eastern Europe, just a few miles away from Ukraine, and as I reflect on this Memorial Day, I remember Jesse, and his testimony throughout his life and eventual home going. Please feel free to reach out to me if, I can be of service.
With love and respect,
posted by Aldous Mina
, Eastern Europe
May 22nd, 2015 at 10:35AM