Jaysine Petree

Since its inception, each month LHCP has honored a military service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Every box which is shipped from LHCP is labeled with information about the Honoree. The monthly Honoree’s story is attached to the box so others can read about those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. This month’s Honoree is Army Pfc. Jaysine S. Petree.

Army Pfc. Jaysine S. Petree

Died September 24, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

19, of Yigo, Guam; assigned to 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Fort Richardson, Alaska; died Sept. 24 near COP Carwile, Afghanistan, while traveling between Ghanzi and Bagram Airfield, when her military vehicle was attacked with an improvised explosive device. Also killed was Pfc. William B. Dawson.

Pfc. Jaysine “Jen” P.S. Petree 19, of Yigo, Guam – Teenager Enlisted Despite Opposition of Family and Friends

Jaysine Petree
Jaysine Petree

Today a Yigo family is anxiously awaiting a daughter’s homecoming, even if they will only see her again to say goodbye. Jaysine “Jen” Petree, 19, a private first class in the U.S. Army, was killed Friday by an improvised explosive device, said her father.  “I miss my kid,” Herbert Petree said yesterday morning. “We just want them to get her home, so we can do what’s right for her.”

She’s the most recent military service member from the region to fall in the war in Afghanistan. Petree graduated from the Simon Sanchez High School less than two years ago and joined the military 19 months ago.

Yesterday, Herbert Petree said his daughter joined the military to get funding for college. Her family could have paid that cost easily, but she was the kind of person who “liked to do things by herself.”  “She was a giving person,” Herbert Petree said. “She would give to everybody else before she’d take care of herself. I miss my baby.”  If a blast hadn’t killed the soldier Friday, she would have come home from her deployment in March, her father said.

Pfc. Jaysine “Jen” P.S. Petree
Pfc. Jaysine “Jen” P.S. Petree

March couldn’t come soon enough, and Jaysine Petree was homesick and it showed, said her uncle, James Sucgang, yesterday.  During the deployment, the solider used to call her family almost daily to talk about both big and small — from dangerous missions to stomachaches, he said. Sucgang would often skip the call and ask her parents to wish her love on his behalf.  He should have been treasuring each moment while he could still hear her voice, he said yesterday, standing outside the Yigo mayor’s office, where flags flew at half-staff.  “Every time she called up, we also say, ‘Oh, just tell her hi.’ You know we didn’t really grab the phone and try to talk to her every time,” Sucgang said. “Because we thought she was coming back. We don’t think that this will happen to us.”

Jen finished her mission Sept. 24, 2010 when she succumbed to wounds suffered while traveling between Ghanzi and Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, when her military vehicle was attacked with an improvised explosive device.   Pfc. William B. Dawson was also killed in the attack that wounded two other soldiers.  They were assigned to the 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, U.S. Army, Alaska, Fort Richardson, Alaska.

Sucgang said he had encouraged his niece to go to college before she enlisted in the military, but she insisted on earning money for her tuition herself, through her service.  Sucgang said the family felt responsible for the soldier’s schooling, but she was inspiringly — and sometimes frustratingly — independent.  “It was very noble,” he said. “Everybody discouraged her to join. … We wanted her to join after she got a bachelor’s degree, but she was adamant.”

Petree joined the U.S. Army straight out of high school last year because she wanted to relocate her family to the U.S. mainland.  “It was our goal together that we were going to have a big house in the mainland and bring our family there,” said Jam Petree, the victim’s younger brother.  After moving to Guam from the Philippines in 2002, the siblings promised each other to work together to help their family.  “We just wanted to be successful in life. That was our main goal together,” the brother said.  He flew back to Guam from the Philippines upon learning about his sister’s tragic death.  “My uncle called me because my mom couldn’t speak,” he said. “She was in shock.”

Kellie Castaneto, a close friend and soccer teammate of the fallen soldier, said she also was opposed to Petree’s plans to join the military. Castaneto didn’t want Petree to put herself in danger, but she never really thought her friend could become a casualty of war. But Petree was passionate about enlisting.  “I (didn’t) like it, but this is what made Jaysine happy,” said Castaneto. “But if she wanted to join the military, she knew what she was getting into.”  Castaneto said she last communicated with Petree about a month ago, and although they won’t talk again, fond memories will last.  “It doesn’t matter if she’s gone now, she’s always going to be in our life,” said Castaneto.


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