Oregon State Senate mulls roadside memorial for Cpl. Jeremy Loveless

CONTRIBUTED - An undated photo shows Cpl. Jeremy M. Loveless while serving in the U.S. armed forces. When Jeremy Loveless was a senior at Gresham High School, his dad sat him down for "the talk."

What were his goals, his career plans, Mike Loveless wondered. What did he want to do with his life?

"Dad, I don't know what I want to be, but I know I am here to help people," Jeremy responded.

Cpl. Jeremy M. Loveless lost his life on Wednesday, May 31, 2006, struck by small arms fire while riding in the turret of an eight-wheeled Stryker combat vehicle on patrol in Mosul, Iraq. He was 25.

In April, the Oregon Senate came together to honor Loveless, enshrining his ultimate sacrifice in law.

"I don't know why I'm getting so emotional," said Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson, D-Gresham. "I didn't know Corporal Jeremy Loveless, but he graduated five years after my son did."

Southeast Fifth Avenue in Estacada, which leads to the local fire station where Loveless frequently volunteered, has already been rededicated in his memory. Another roadside memorial is planned in Rhododendron, where Loveless worked at a rope and zip line camp.

He signed a one-year contract with the Army in order to pay for an education to become a first responder.

Trained as a medic at Fort Sill, Okla., and at Fort Sam Houston in Texas in 2004, Loveless served with the Army's 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team. He was assigned to more than 10 separate platoons and was known for his adroit abilities and can-do attitude.

On Thursday, April 6, Michael Loveless shared more memories of his son, who was born on June 27, 1980.

He recalled the visit to Fort Wainwright, Alaska, to meet the men who had served alongside Jeremy.

"I had not yet come to terms with my own grief, but had never considered the grief of his Army family," he testified. "I cannot explain how moved I was by this unrestrained, heartfelt display of emotion and legitimate tears."

Here are three more stories from Loveless' service:

• In the Army, Jeremy used his own money to buy medical texts online, until a staff sergeant found the books in his quarters and ordered him to stop.

"Tell me what you need," Sgt. Michael Walker said, and I'll make sure the Army pays for it. On several occasions, Loveless was re-assigned to Fort Lewis in Washington in order to receive advanced training.

• Combat protocol requires medics to adopt a "first in, last out" position inside Stryker vehicles, so regular soldiers can exit faster. Loveless had to be told to wait his turn several times.

"He just wanted to charge out the moment the ramp was down," a platoon leader told Michael Loveless.

• To his comrades, Loveless' nickname was "Doc," a serious title that had to be earned. Jeremy's name was later considered for the new combat medic training center at Fort Wainwright, which is highly uncommon for an enlisted man.

Jeremy Loveless is survived by his father, Michael, and mother, Connie, and two brothers, Nicholas and Brandon Loveless. He left behind a wife, Melissa Loveless, and daughter, Chloe Loveless.

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