KIA July 10, 2010
Operation Enduring Freedom
Assigned to 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.
While on patrol near Walakan, Afghanistan, insurgents attacked SSG Ainsworth’s unit with an improvised explosive device, killing SSG Ainsworth. Also killed was SSGT. Donald R. Edgerton.
From an early age, Jesse loved spending time outside in the woods near his home but his favorite activity was making those around him smile and feel loved. “Jesse was the most amazing person. His greatest gift was his sense of humor. He made people laugh and really just made the world a better place because of it,” his sister, Shane Parsons, said.
Jesse joined the Army in November of 2005, knowing that his ultimate goal was to make a career in the Army. “When he joined the military, he found his direction in life, making Staff Sergeant in 4 ½ years. He was a leader among men and loved his job in the US Army,” Shane said.
After joining the military, Jesse served two deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom before deploying in the assignment that took his life in Afghanistan. SSG Ainsworth was a dedicated soldier who worked to make sure that his men were safe and well prepared. Not only was he a dedicated and hardworking soldiers, but he was also known for his jokester antics.
“He always performed exceptionally. There was no doubt this soldier was destined to be a leader, one of the best guys you could ever know. Not only was he a physical stud, who never seemed to wear down, but he did his job while making everyone else laugh,” 1SGT Robert Preusser, Jesse’s senior officer during his Iraqi deployments, said.
His larger-than-life smile and contagious laugh are missed by his family and friends, but his legacy of love, light-heartedness and dedicated work ethic lives on in the people lucky enough to have met him.
SSG Jesse Ainsworth was 24 from Dayton, Texas
Original portrait was delivered October 7th at the annual AFSP Charity Trial in Donie, Texas to his mother Margie, sisters Shane and Rebecca and family.