Family of fallen soldier finds comfort from community on Memorial Day

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – On Memorial Day we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.             

Memorial Day parades were held across our area, including one that went straight through Downtown Rochester. Leading that parade, were the parents of Army Pfc. Jason Hasenauer, a Hilton man, who was killed in Afghanistan when his Humvee rolled over.  

Hasenauer was a paratrooper who was just 21 years old when he died in Afghanistan in 2005. He never got to meet his daughter, who had been born just three weeks before his death. That daughter is now 17 years old and Jason’s parents tell me they are thankful that a piece of him carries on in her. But, it doesn’t make days like Monday any easier.

Jason’s mom is a member of the Gold Star Mothers, his father, a veteran himself. They led the parade through downtown Rochester on Monday and when they passed by, parade-goers took notice, many of them standing up in solace, trying to convey their gratitude to a man who made the ultimate sacrifice and the family he left behind. 

“Rochester is the greatest community to be in if you’re a military family, there’s a lot of support here,” said Rita Hasenauer.

“May is a rough month, September is a rough month, that’s his birthday and ya know Veterans Day, but you know, we keep busy in the community.  My husband Dan is involved in a lot of military organizations, all three of our other boys joined the military, we still have two in the Air Force.”

The other sons, joined the military after they lost their brother in Afghanistan, determined still to serve this country and protect our freedoms.