Somber service for Pleasanton soldier killed in Afghanistan
City grieves for its first fatality since war began
Family, friends and uniformed men and women paid their final respects Tuesday to Army Specialist Jameson Lynn Lindskog, whose body arrived aboard a chartered military plane at the Livermore Airport.
Lindskog, an Army medic was killed when enemy forces attacked his unit in Afghanistan's Konar Province one week ago yesterday. He was one of six "Screaming Eagle" soldiers killed by small arms fire that day, all of whom were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
He was the son of Donna Walker of Pleasanton and Curtis Lindskog of Livermore. Donna Walker and her husband Matt were at home when an Army chaplain and staff sergeant rang the doorbell to convey the tragic news.
"We send our condolences out to the families of the other five soldiers, as well as the families of all soldiers who have fallen before these brave young men," Donna Walker said in a message posted on Pleasanton Weekly's Town Square.
His family had asked that only those specifically invited be on the airport tarmac for the somber 30-minute ceremony, and the media and public honored that request, staying behind the airport fence next to the terminal building.
A public memorial service will be held Saturday, April 30, at the Veterans Memorial Building in Pleasanton, with the time of the service to be announced later.
When the military plane arrived at the Livermore terminal about 11 a.m. Tuesday, a military escort lifted the soldier's flag-draped coffin onto a wheeled gurney. At that time, Lindskog's grieving mother and father and their families were invited to pay their respects privately at the coffin.
There were few dry eyes among the 75 or so at the ceremony, many holding flags. They included honor guards and other units of the Pleasanton and Livermore American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts, police and firefighters, Blue Star Moms, Pleasanton Military Families and a motorcycle escort. For 10 minutes, except for one small plane taking off, the airport, under sunny skies, was completely quiet.
Then the military escort moved the coffin into a waiting hearse for the ride to Callaghan Mortuary in Livermore. Family members said that following cremation, Lindskog's remains would be spread across the ocean waters as the young soldier had requested when he joined the Army.
Born in 1987, he would have turned 24 years old on May 24, and was scheduled to be deployed back to the U.S. in a few weeks and due to be discharged next year.
"Jameson was an outstanding adult who had a bright future ahead of him," his father Curtis said. "He was home right after the Christmas holidays and I drove him back to the Oakland Airport on Jan. 14. That's where I said my last goodbye."
Specialist Lindskog attended Pleasanton Middle School and his freshman year at Amador Valley High School. In 2003, he transferred to Orion Academy near Moraga, where he graduated in 2005. From there, he enrolled in the National Holistic Institute in Emeryville where he became a licensed massage therapist. He enlisted in the Army and was a medical technician assigned to the 101st Airborne unit out of Fort Campbell, Ky., at the time of his death.
Besides his mother and father, he is survived by his half-brother, Kenny Nekotani; his half-sister, Candace Khattab; and his stepfather, Matthew Walker, of Pleasanton.
He received the Army Commendation Medal; Army Achievement Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon; and the NATO Medal.
His family has asked, in lieu of flowers, cards or other similar tributes, that people direct donations to "In Memory of Jameson Lindskog" and address them to Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6298, P.O. Box 601, Pleasanton, CA 94566. The donations will be used to benefit those members of the Army who are currently serving and for the benefit of current veterans who are transitioning at the end of their service.
In tribute to Specialist Jameson Lynn Lindskog, the city of Pleasanton lowered flags to half-staff for three days. Lindskog is the first Pleasanton man killed while serving in Afghanistan.