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Keirsten Hess dedicates her life to serving those who served
As several white-haired veterans file into the dining room, Keirsten Hess [now Keirsten Lyons] kneels to greet each one, crouching down beside their wheelchairs to offer hugs and whisper warm welcomes into their ears. ...
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As the regional director of the Services to Armed Forces program with the American Red Cross, Hess coordinates a number of support, outreach and social projects to assist military veterans, active-duty servicemen and women, and their families. ...

Hess, a 42-year-old mother of two, has strong connections with the military community. She spent half her life as a military spouse, living on and off bases. Her oldest son and daughter-in-law, Jake and Bridget Hess, also recently shipped out to Afghanistan with the Marines. Inlander

Keirsten's son Jake joined the Marines in 2010

Jake Hess Facebook Page
The IGTNT title (I Got The News Today) is a reference to the moment when a loved one of an active duty service member receives that tragic news.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Sgt. Jacob M. Hess, 22, of Spokane, Wash., died Jan. 1, 2014, while supporting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.  

Hess was assigned to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 26, Marine Aircraft Group 26, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
The incident is currently under investigation.  

For more information, media may contact the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Public Affairs Office during duty hours at 252-466-5895 and after duty hours at 252-288-8375. DoD News Release

Well I just found out RIP brother Jake Hess you were the best man I have ever known you'll be missed semper fi — Marc Mandel Facebook
A good marine passed away last night. Upon the new year lost a brother outside of the wire. I will miss Jake Hess. He was and ever will be the perfect example, and beloved friend. — Christain Nicolass Reza Facebook
You are one of the finest Marines I will ever have the pleasure of knowing and you will always be a brother to me.... Thanks for always being there and helping me out when I needed it the most and for the all the advice. ... Il never forget you brother. Guard those streets and keep heaven safe. Until we meet again... — Lawrence Maximilian LoGaglio Facebook
Mica Lamb, who coached Hess when he played on North Central’s soccer team, said Hess was “full of life.”

“Although Jake only played one season at North Central, he had a great impact on me and his teammates,” Lamb said. “His effort and inspiration led to a great turnaround in the culture of the program. Jake was the hardest worker I encountered in my tenure there. He was extremely well-liked by his teammates.”

Hess, who went by Jake, grew up in a military family and moved several times but spent about seven years of his youth in Okinawa. Just before his senior year, his family moved to Spokane.

Lamb said Hess spoke fondly of his time in Okinawa. He remembered how Hess’ mother, Keirsten Lyons, prepared his favorite Japanese delicacies at a team dinner she hosted. Lyons is the director of the Inland Northwest Red Cross’ regional service to the Armed Forces. Stars and Stripes

I remember sitting on my deck with you and rob playing risk and you guys made me listen to some 30 minute bagpipe song during our 3 hour risk game. You were a good man and a good friend. Miss you Jake Hess. Get the game started and I will see you up there. RIP. — Jevon Steeves Facebook
Jake Hess may you live forever in peace now, I will always remember our times playing hockey together and going through the DEP together. you were a great friend, a great player, and best a great person. my prayers go out to his wife and family. RIP brother — Matt Gray Facebook
I'll see you on the other side brother.... I love you like a brother. Rest in peace. You were the best man I've known — Kei Han Facebook
Rest easy Jake Hess always chill, always down to earth, and always a friend!!! — Bucky Shaw Facebook
RIP Jake. Love and miss you brother.  — Logan Thomas Lts Shrader Facebook
“Spokane is saddened today by the loss of Marine Sgt. Jacob M. Hess of Spokane who died while serving his country in Afghanistan,” said Spokane Mayor David Condon. “We are grateful for the brave and selfless sacrifice Sgt. Hess made for our freedom and offer our deepest condolences to his family.”

Teammates and coaches of the former standout soccer player were saddened by the news.  “He was definitely one of a kind and it showed, you know, everyone in the league recognized him,” said Nathan Pelton.  “It had a lot to do with the way he treated people and the friendships. I mean, he wasn’t as much of a vocal guy, but he just had a way with everyone.  You know everyone liked him, no one hated him, everyone respected him and he was just a great guy.”

Another brother from bootcamp gone too soon. Guard those gates Jake Hess — C.J. Helweg Facebook
RIP bratha we had great times and i am a better person to have known you. — David Jarvis Facebook
RIP jake Hess. The greatest athlete I've ever met. And one of the most genuine guys in the world. You're a true hero, buddy. — Andy Orta Facebook
R.I.P Jake Hess your in a better place now man prayers out to your fam and friends and wife thank you for serving this country — Cody Lanham Facebook
The body of the 22-year-old Marine from Spokane who died New Year’s Day in Afghanistan is scheduled to arrive Friday night at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Del., a Marine spokesman said. ...

He is survived by his wife, Bridget Hess; his mother, Keirsten Lyons of Spokane; his father, Mike Hess of California; and his brother Cameron Hess, a recent graduate of North Central High School. The Spokesman-Review

I Got the News Today is a diary series intended to honor, respect and remind. Diaries about the fallen usually appear two days after their names are officially released, which allows time for the IGTNT team to find and tell their stories. All of the U.S. fatalities can be seen here and here. They all had loved ones, families and friends. The DoD news releases are here.

Click the IGTNT tag to see the series, which was begun in April 2004 and is maintained by Sandy on Signal, Monkeybiz, Noweasels, Blue Jersey Mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, SisTwo, Spam Nunn, True Blue Majority, CalNM, Wide Awake in Kentucky, Maggie Jean, Jax Dem, The Fat Lady Sings, Ekaterin, Joy of Fishes and i dunno.

Please bear in mind that these diaries are read by friends and family of the service members chronicled here. May all of our remembrances be full of compassion rather than politics.

Joy of Fishes is hosting the comments section for tonight's memorial diary.

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