Family of Mesa soldier killed while on duty talks to 3TV

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A Mesa soldier was killed while fighting overseas. By Alicia Barron A Mesa soldier was killed while fighting overseas. By Alicia Barron
A Mesa soldier was killed while fighting overseas. By Alicia Barron A Mesa soldier was killed while fighting overseas. By Alicia Barron
A Mesa soldier was killed while fighting overseas. By Alicia Barron A Mesa soldier was killed while fighting overseas. By Alicia Barron
A Mesa soldier was killed while fighting overseas. By Alicia Barron A Mesa soldier was killed while fighting overseas. By Alicia Barron
A Mesa soldier was killed while fighting overseas. By Alicia Barron A Mesa soldier was killed while fighting overseas. By Alicia Barron

MESA - Another Valley soldier has been killed in Afghanistan.

3TV’s Marissa Wingate sat down with his family Wednesday afternoon. Jake Whetton already had plane tickets to come home next month for a two-week break. His 32nd birthday would have been this coming Friday, but he died Friday fighting for our country.  

His family members in Mesa say they hope it will remind people that our freedom is not free.

His brother tells 3TV, "Whew. He was bigger than life. He was larger than life.”

The 31-year-old was an Army Ranger who proudly joined the military after graduating from South Mountain High School.
His mother explains, “He loved his country tremendously and loved serving his country."

The American flag still hangs outside Whetton's family's house. He was killed Friday in Afghanistan when an IED exploded near his vehicle.

His mother tells 3TV, “The door bell rang, it was in the evening and two and guys in dress uniforms came to the door and just seeing them was enough to know."

It was her youngest child's second tour in the Middle East and he had volunteered to go.

His mother says, “He and one of his friends stepped up and said ‘We'll go’. It's what you never want to hear but it's what I expected."

He was the father to an 11-year-old daughter and was engaged to be married. Whetton had a lot to live for but his older brother finds comfort in one thing. “In every fiber of my body I think if you had told him a week ago that going on this mission will result in your death, he would stand up and still be at the front of that list."

That is because his brother says Whetton would not have wanted another soldier to die in his place.