Remembering Jason Plite

By: Beth Shayne Email
By: Beth Shayne Email

Four years ago, March 23, when Jason Plite died in a helicopter accident in Afghanistan, he was the only Michigan serviceman who'd died in the war on terror.

Today, there are 130.

"Everytime I hear, my heart stops and I ache for the family whose going to get the news," Plight's mom, Dawn Peterson says. "Somedays it feels like just yesterday, somedays it feels like a lifetime."

Jason Plite was a pararescueman whose missions--including the one that killed them--were about saving lives. He drew on his boyhood passions--swimming and art.

"It was a born talent," Peterson says.

Today those passions are the reason for several scholarships in his name.
An annual dinner Friday night raises money for them, and also honors this year's recipients.

"He seems like a great person, and someone I could look up to," Stephanie Mapes, who won one $1,000 scholarship, said of Plight.

All three are Grand Ledge High graduates--artists and swimmers.

They are part of Jason Plite's legacy.

Four years now means four sets of winners.

As the war wears on--that's the number Jason Plite's family takes joy in watching grow.

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