Family of Franklin Fallen Soldier Remembers Their Hero - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Family of Franklin Fallen Soldier Remembers Their Hero

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Jason's father, Jim Edens and Jason's wife, Ashley Edens Jason's father, Jim Edens and Jason's wife, Ashley Edens

FRANKLIN, Tenn. - Jason Edens is the 27th soldier deployed to Afghanistan to die in a month. The Franklin High School Graduate passed away on Friday, two weeks after his injury in Afghanistan. His family just returned from Walter Reed Hospital where they had to make the difficult decision to take Edens off life support.

The 22-year-old enlisted three years ago, but the decision to do so came as a shock to family and friends. He didn't come from a long line of military service, but his wife Ashley Edens said it's something he felt he needed to do.

"He wanted to do something on his own; he didn't want to follow in family footsteps or family business he was like, ‘I make a name for myself,'" said Edens.

So Edens, a Franklin High graduate, dropped out of Eastern Tennessee and enlisted in the army.

"I thought originally he made the wrong decision, but after he went to Basic Training and came out and graduated, I saw that the Army made him a man," said his father, Jim Edens.

That man soon became a devoted husband.

"He was the love of my life, and I was the love of his life. And he always will be, and I always will be to him," said Ashley Edens.

But now she's had to learn how to live without her love. Two weeks ago, Edens received a phone call from the military informing them that Jason Edens was shot in the head while out on patrol in Afghanistan. It was his first deployment overseas, and he was just a few months from returning home to Tennessee.

"They knew the basics. He had been injured, a gunshot wound to the head, the end," recalled Ashley.

But this close knit family held out hope. Edens was, after all, still alive.  But it wasn't until a transport to Walter Reed that their hope dwindled and reality set in.

"It still seems like the worst nightmare of my life. I still wake up in the middle of the night and think, ‘God, I'm glad that nightmare is over with,' and it's not," said Jim Edens.

On Friday, 22-year-old Jason Edens died from his injury. He earned a purple heart, a proud wife and his father's respect. They hope their community and country will also remember Edens service and sacrifice.

"True American hero, Jason was a true American hero. He sacrificed his life for this country," said Jim Edens.

The family said going to Walter Reed was difficult but also inspirational. Jim Edens said if every American would take a tour of that hospital they would know more about the sacrifice young men and women are making every day.

The family does not have any funeral plans yet, but plan to keep arrangements private when they're made.


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