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Aaron Jackson Story

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This is veteran Aaron Jackson's story written by Hannah Opacich, student reporter for the War: Through Their Eyes, Vol. 3, Warriors & Students multimedia project.

Major: Criminal Justice and Physical Education, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Military Rank: Specialist  E-4, the 3br 1/23 Infantry Tomahawks Company, United States Army
Tour: September 2009-August 2010, Iraq

Hard Life and Huggy Bear

by Hannah Opacich
Student Reporter

Aaron Jackson, a freshman at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, is a big guy.  Standing at 6 foot 2 and about 340 pounds, he should be intimidating, in theory. But he’s far from it. His friends dubbed him “Huggy Bear.” He can make anyone feel at ease with his easygoing demeanor and laidback attitude. He cracks jokes and is refreshingly goofy. What few know about Jackson, however, is that underneath the silly exterior and breezy attitude is man who has encountered more hardships, at 24, than many will face in their lifetimes.

It wasn’t so long ago that his life was full of possibilities when he graduated high school in June of 2007. He had a football scholarship, a full ride to a college out of state, away from Wisconsin and his childhood struggles. Little did he know that only two months later, his life would take a sharp turn away from his football dreams and onto a battlefield in the Middle East.

To read the entire story, please download this PDF


In this audio podcast, Aaron Jackson talks about first deciding to join the war. 

In this audio podcast, Aaron Jackson shares his experiences fighting in the All-Army Combative Tournament. 
In this audio podcast, Aaron Jackson talks about his love for writing poetry. 
Podcasts produced by student reporter Hannah Opacich. 

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