Family of Oklahoman Killed at Fort Hood Mourns

Friday, November 6th 2009, 10:16 pm
By: News 9

By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9

FREDERICK, Oklahoma -- The family of the soldier from Oklahoma who was killed in Thursday's shooting at Fort Hood is mourning their loved one, and the community where he grew up is remembering him as a hero..

In Frederick, The Tillman County War Memorial sits under flags flying high. Just a block away, a family is slumped in grief as they learned their son, Army Specialist Jason Dean Hunt, was among those killed at Fort Hood.

"With just 12 you know, I didn't think he'd be one of those 12," said Leila Hunt Willingham, Jason's sister.

When the family first heard of the shooting, they said they held out hope that their loved one was OK. But around midnight, they found out Hunt had died.

"He's always been a hero even before this, and I think he's even more so because he wasn't overseas killed in combat. I think he jumped in front of a bullet for somebody," Willingham said.

As the family grieves in Frederick, at Tipton High School, where Jason graduated in 2005, people were calling the school asking if the person killed at Fort Hood was the person they knew as J. D.

"He was a kid that they all liked. He was funny, very quiet but just very caring, kind, loving person. It's hard with a kid this young and have something this tragic happen," said Kathy Gray, family friend.

While the flags fly half staffed at Tipton High School, military officials met with the family to make final arrangements for Jason body. And as the grieving process continues the family wants to know why someone would take the life of their very own.

"He also said he would die for a stranger, and he said he would jump in front of a bullet for one of my fellow soldiers, and he did say that to me in person. That's the kind of person he is," Willingham said.

In honor of Specialist Jason Hunt, there was a moment of silence before the Tipton football game against Thackerville. Students also wore ribbons in Jason's memory.