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February 9, 1974 - December 4, 1995

I sit here out on the patio rain or shine with my first cup of morning coffee. There I watch the wind make the leaves dance at the tip of the breeze and remembrances of people that have drifted in and out of my life pass through my mind.  I lift my face towards the heavens and say thank you.  Thank you for the joy you have given me.

Last night I was thinking about this magical thing called happiness.  And I realized that happiness is not a state of being, but rather brief moments in our lives that we look back on with joy.  Happiness could be compared to the night sky.  The black of the night sky is a canvas on which we paint happy moments in our lives, we call these happy moments stars.  Jason, today your family writes to you thanking you for putting so many stars into our night sky.

Jason you do not come to me in dreams.  I catch glimpses of you in past memories and faded lithographs.  They all combine to form a panorama portrayal of our life together.  Memories bittersweet and longing.   Your dreams, like ours for you, "gone".

We were so proud of the dreams and aspirations that you had.  You chose to educate yourself even though we as parents were more than willing to help you.  Instead you said "No, I want the satisfaction of being able to say I did it myself".  You were a remarkable person.

You received your Associates in Arts Degree and Associates of General Studies from Rio Salidro Community College.  Had you lived you would have received your Bachelor of Arts in April.  You planned to go on for your Master's Degree that fall.  How remarkable to have accomplished all this within three years.  All this while working full time.

Jason you were a person who excelled at his job in the education department of the Air Force.  You were considered by your co-workers to be either "the man with the answer" or "the man who can get the answer".  Your lovable personality often turned customers into friends.   You always made a point to go out of your way for anyone who needed a helping hand.

Jason you had such value for life and were such a productive member of society.  You were someone who made a difference.  Although your life was short-lived the love that you gave to all of us who knew you will last forever.

When you were taken, a part of us went with you.   Probably the best part.  It is the remembrance of the type of person you were that contributes to the sustenance of our family.  Knowing that you are no longer a physical part of our lives brings such deep sadness and despair.  Yet when we reflect on the beauty of your smile and the joy you gave,  for you radiated it,  that gives us pleasure.

As the old proverb states "morn not too long that he is gone but rejoice forever that he was here at all".  In the end after your careers have been established; your families raised; your fortunes made; it is the love that you were able to give that you are truly remembered for.  Jason the joy that you gave your family is like a "light" that is lit within our hearts.  It is illuminated by the remembrance of you.  Thank you , thank you for the joy you gave; for the compassionate person you were; for the integrity in which you chose to live your life.  But most of all thank you for gracing our lives with your presence.  We rejoice at your having been.

                                        ************************************

This family is no stranger to the irony in life having a child born to us on Christmas Day and losing another to violence in New Mexico, December 4, 1995.

Jason Aro Frank was assaulted outside an establishment in Alamogordo, while waiting with a friend for their designated driver.   It was an unprovoked attack.  A senseless random act of violence. The defendant was convicted by a jury of his peers.  He was evaluated by a professional and a recommendation for prison time was made.  Yet the defendant was allowed to walk away without having served any jail time.

The remembrances of Jason linger in the air like the fragrances of lilacs that use to bloom in our yard.  Home, that place in Wyoming where we resided as a family happy and safe.  There we lived as an average, typical middle class family believing in equality and justice for all.

Something has gone wrong within the criminal justice system.  Perhaps the intentions and purposes have become misguided.  I visualize it comparably to a beach.  Those that are involved in it are focused so intently on a single grain of sand that they miss the entire view of the beach.   Somehow an imbalance has been created.  Reminding me of erosion caused amid the grains of sand by the tide drifting in and out on the beach.

Yes the defendant is entitled to his legal rights but that does not mean that the victim's should be denied.  Denied just because he is not visible or audible.  This imbalance in the system leans towards favoring the defendant.  The defendant should not be allowed to manipulate and abusively use the system.  Time and time again we see those responsible for criminal acts not being held accountable or responsible for their actions.  Has "justice" become just an old faded worn out term? Just a word lacking in meaning?  The reality for the victim being simply "one who is sacrificed".  Have we forgotten the lessons learned throughout history?  When accountability and responsibility are denied bedlam ensues.

************************************

Jason's parents continue to live in New Mexico.   His brother Luke attends college in another state.  Jason's widow continues to live in their home in Arizona.  Together they collectively continue to live their "life sentence".  Life without their loved one.  They will receive no "time off" for good behavior.

Jason's last humanitarian act was as an organ donor.  Bringing the gift of hope and life to others.

Respectfully submitted in remembrance,

***********************

The family of Jason Aro Frank

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