Soldier's memory to be honored at equine facility

By BEN BAUGH | Aiken Standard, S.C. | Published: March 9, 2014

Jason P. Eisenmann was a decorated U.S. Marine.

He was 0311, a grunt, an infantryman, a member of the LAR BN 2nd Marine Division, at Camp Le Jeune, N.C., serving three tours in Iraq. However, he was also a son, engaged to be married, a man with a great sense of humor, well-respected by his peers for his leadership and discipline and a friend to those who were lucky enough to know him.

Eisenmann was remembered on Wednesday at the Aiken Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America meeting at Newberry Hall. A tribute given by his father Peter Eisenmann paid homage to his son, who lost his life to suicide on April 14, 2013.

Eisenmann, like many veterans, came back from the war, but never stopped struggling with the challenges of an internal battle.

“He was a victim of PTSD,” said his father. “Life was not easy for Jason.”

The quality of Jason's life did improve, largely in part to his fiancee Amber Cumbee, and the two were to be married Aug. 17, 2013. But everything changed on April 14, 2013, when Jason died.

Peter Eisenmann became involved with the Saratoga WarHorse Foundation's Aiken satellite facility after receiving a phone call from Anne Campbell.

“This program is profound, measurable and an ongoing life change to others similarly affected by PTSD like my son,” said Eisenmann. “To this end, a life might be saved, changed or restored.”

An altruistic gesture made by Equine Rescue of Aiken's Jim Rhodes, Saratoga WarHorse's satellite facility will honor Jason's memory by dedicating a horse that will be used as part of the program. There will also be a plaque at the barn, sharing Jason's story.

But Jason's memory will also live on in another way, as there will be a Jason P. Eisenmann Memorial Sponsorship for the Aiken Saratoga WarHorse program. Funding has been received for the first full sponsorship for a veteran in Jason's honor.

When Peter Eisenmann watched the documentary on Saratoga WarHorse, it left some burning questions that will never be answered.

“I couldn't help asking myself, 'Could Saratoga WarHorse saved Jason's life?' I, we, we'll never know. But it would have been great if he would have had the chance. Now I want to make that chance happen for others.”


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