Master Sergeant Jared N. Van Aalst was born in Laconia, New Hampshire on September 1, 1975. He graduated from Plymouth Regional High School in Plymouth, New Hampshire in 1993. An avid athlete, MSG Van Aalst was captain of the Plymouth wrestling team and by his senior year was one of the top wrestlers in the 160 pound class for the state.

He enlisted in the United States Army in August, 1995. After completing Basic Training, the Signal Support Systems Specialist Course, and Basic Airborne School, Jared was assigned to 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, GA, for the Ranger Indoctrination Program and ultimately graduated from Ranger School in the summer of 1997.

In August, 1998, MSG Van Aalst attended Sniper School. After serving for two years as a squad leader, he was selected as an instructor and a shooter in the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning. He deployed to Afghanistan for the first time in 2003 and then to Iraq. After his promotion to platoon sergeant, he was deployed twice to Iraq in 2005 and to Afghanistan in 2006.

Master Sergeant Jared Van Aalst died on August 4, 2010 from wounds sustained while his unit was conducting combat operations. He was on his sixth deployment. 

His Awards and Decorations include, the Bronze Star Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals, two Joint Service Commendation Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, seven Army Achievement Medals and five Good Conduct Medals, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two bronze service stars, the Iraq Campaign Medal with two bronze service stars and the National Defense Service Medal with bronze service star, among others. He was posthumously awarded a second Bronze Star Medal and a third Purple Heart Medal, as well as the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.

He is survived by his wife, Katie, and two daughters and a son, his parents, and two brothers and two sisters.

In August, 2013, Jared’s wife, Katie, participated in the Survivor Summit Expedition in honor of her husband.

Inspired by Jared's Story?

Honor This Fallen Hero With Acts Of Service

Get Involved With TMF
TMF Stats:
001 78,000+ Veterans + Survivors Empowered
002 300,000+ Spartan Members
003 650,000+ Youth Living "If Not Me, Then Who..." Movement