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Facility at Texas base named for late reservist from Bay City

BAY CITY--Even after almost five years, a lot of people in Bay City and the surrounding community haven't forgotten Jaime Jaenke. Now, those at a Texas military base aren't likely to forget the late Naval Reservist, either.

The Navy Petty Officer Second Class was killed June 5, 2006, while serving in Iraq when the Humvee in which she was riding was hit by a roadside bomb in the Al Anbar province. The 29-year-old was the first female Naval corpsman ever to be killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom and the first from Iowa, where she and her family had moved in 2003 after spending 20 years in Pierce County.

Among those left to mourn were her daughter, Kayla (now 13-years-old and a sea cadet) and mother, Susan, who today has custody of the girl. Around Christmas last year, they received a call at their Iowa Falls, Ia., area home from a Captain Westbrook, following up on a letter sent by the Navy and notifying them of a posthumous honor for the sailor, Susan Jaenke said Wednesday.

"I was thinking they were naming just a hallway after her," she said upon learning from the captain her daughter's name and photo were to be on permanent display at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Tex.

Read more in the print version of the Herald May 11.

Bill Kirk

Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.

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