Passing of Rich Link’s son, Jason


I have some sad news Rich Link (1st CO) asked I share with you.  His son, Jason, recently passed away.  As you will see from the obituary below, Jason was one of our nation’s finest, volunteering for two combat tours in Iraq. A memorial service will be held in Lexington Park, MD, on January 11, 2020, and in lieu of flowers, information on donations to Warfighter Advance is provided below. Please keep Rich and his family in your thoughts and prayers.


Jason Matthew Link, 32, passed away due natural causes at his home in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday, December 14, 2019.  The son of John R. and Barbara A. (Renner) Link of Callaway, MD, he was born in Philadelphia, PA, and proudly grew up in a large Navy family.  Jason was the younger brother to three siblings (Emily Litten, Rachel Dillon, and Adam Link), and the older brother to one (Sarah Schaefer). Growing up he lived in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, Maine, Bermuda, Massachusetts, and Maryland.  

A 2005 graduate of Leonardtown High School, Jason later enlisted in the US Army and served in the infantry where he obtained the rank of Sergeant, and became known as “Big Sarge” to those he served with.  Jason proudly served two tours in Iraq, totaling more than 27 months in combat zones.  While serving in the Army, Jason was a fearless, vigilant, and selfless Squad Leader, 240-Gunner, and Stryker Vehicle Commander.  Jason became known for placing himself in some of the most dangerous positions while engaging the enemy in order to protect those he served with, often serving in the lead breech position in order sacrifice himself if needed to keep his men alive.  His selfless nature and love for his brothers and sisters in arms continued after his military service until his untimely passing.  

Jason was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and assessed as 100% disabled.  His true passion was supporting his fellow soldiers who also suffered from problems associated with combat service. He was widely known within the community as a trusted resource to talk to intimes of crisis, and always made himself available to others whenever they needed someone to be there for them.  His actions in this capacity helped numerous veterans survive their time of need and his assistance will not be forgotten.  He moved to El Paso, TX, in 2018, the location of his first duty station, to be close to his brothers and sisters in uniform and with whom he served in combat.

In addition to being survived by his parents and siblings (Emily A. Litten (George) of Charlestown, WV, Rachel M. Dillon (Jeffrey) of Lexington Park, MD, J. Adam Link (Jessica) of Newport News, VA, and Sarah Schaefer (Michael) of Great Mills, MD), he also leaves behind nine nieces and nephews (Kaelyn, Cameron, Keaton, Audrey, Taylor, Corey, Claire, George, and Daxton), his girlfriend Nicole Barrows and her daughters (Anaiyah and Kyleigh), hundreds of friends across the world, and numerous lives positively impacted, all of whom he loved deeply.  

A memorial service will be held at 10:00 AM on Jan 11, 2020, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 46707 S. Shangri-la Drive, Lexington Park, MD, 20653. A luncheon will follow at 5 South, 21030 Point Lookout Road, Callaway, MD 20620. All are welcome.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Warfighter Advance in Jason’s name.  Checks can be mailed: PO Box 222, Patuxent River, MD 20670, or sent electronically to then click on “DONATE”.


Fair winds…


Glen Woods

President, USNA Class of 1978