NFR With a saddened heart I make this post

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Jerry Daschofsky, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

    I debated on posting this up here. Kept it private, only a few knew. Then since it went nationwide (and widespread on Facebook), I opted to share this. It's taken a tole on myself and my family. But I didn't want his sacrifice to be unknown.

    Jay Strickland.jpg

    Last weekend was the 4th Annual NW PHWFF 2 Fly event. Saturday is the big day of the event. We launch the boats, then I have the day to do prep for dinner and and relax a bit. Unfortunately, the day was rocked at 130pm. We got the news that my Brother in Law, SPC Joshua "Jay" Strickland, was KIA in a Green on Blue attack in Afghanistan. He was only a week from leaving the FOB, and about 2-3 weeks from coming home. A maneuver he volunteered for, he wasn't supposed to be out there that day. The news floored us. It took all I could to stay focused on Saturday to finish the 2 Fly. My wife and kids were all there in Ellensburg with me. It's been a very tough week. He's come home, and is about to be laid to rest with other warriors in our National Cemetary in Maple Valley.


    At this point, I've been running on very little sleep, and way too many emotions. I've grieved, and still grieve. He was much younger then I, old enough to be my son (though he was my brother in law). We finally got very close during this deployment. We talked non stop, for hours at night (when I should've been sleeping). We spoke fishing, shooting, and life. I took him under my wings, and became a mentor to him. Trying to help him come through some tough spots he encountered along the way. Before he left, he celebrated his 23 birthday. I gave him a card with a custom gift certificate giving him a full weekend fishing. All he had to do was show up and I'd cater him. I grieve over that certificate being unclaimed. My last message from him was that Thursday evening when I was up for initial setup of the 2 Fly. He was excited the silvers were coming in hot and heavy. I regret not loading up my messenger to read and answer it. Yes, I know I couldn't have known, but it doesn't change the fact that I missed speaking to him one last time. He was a goof, a smartass, a typical boasting fisherman. He reminded me a lot of myself at that age, probably why I tried to set his ship on a proper coarse. He was the little brother I never had. I was looking forward to see if my advice would kick in. Seeing how well we fished together. Keep mentoring him. Like anything in life, nothing is guaranteed.

    He came home on Monday. He was welcomed home by my Sister in Law Heather, Jay's twin brother Andrew, and his brother Caleb (a Marine who will escort him back to the NW from Dover).
    Jay Home Angel Flight.jpg
    Jay Angel Flight.jpg

    I spent today fishing the Nisqually. Caught a few salmon tossing the spey on a fast rising river. From advice of a good friend of mine, I said his name as I released each fish. First being on the water, and releasing my sorrows, lifted my spirits. Pain is still there, but healing has begun.

    Rest in Peace soldier. You've served your time. I'll miss you Jay.

    Added note September 29th.

    I've had several messages and emails concerning donations to the family. First, Jay was carrying the extra insurance most people in the military with kids carry. Plus, the standard life insurance. She and the kids, as of right now, are fine financially. They've already received the initial check. I know they'd rather have him then the money, but it is what it is. So thank you for all the concern. What the family needs now are your prayers, thoughts, and time to heal. Thank you.
  2. Danielocean

    Danielocean Steelhead Virgin


    Please accept our condolences from my family to yours. Thank you for posting this as we all need to be reminded of how lucky we are to have brave men, and women represent this country and be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for freedom as your brother in law did. May he rest in peace. I am heart broken for you, and your family. Please let me know if there is anything you need.
  3. Jason Decker

    Jason Decker Active Member

    Jerry, I am very, very sorry to hear about your loss. Thank you for sharing. I'm praying for your family and hope that you find the strength and graced needed for such a tough situation. I also wanted to say THANK YOU to your Bro-in-law for protecting our freedom and THANK YOU to you and your family for your sacrifice. I hope this brings you all closer together.

  4. Theron

    Theron Active Member


    I am sorry for your loss. My condolences to you and your family. Wishing your brother-in-law a safe journey home.
  5. Patrick Allen

    Patrick Allen Active Member

    Jerry, so sorry for you and your families loss. I hope you find the strength to stay strong in this difficult time. My thoughts are with you.

  6. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Jerry, my thoughts and prayers are with with you and your family. Take some comfort in knowing that the relationship you created with Joshua will provide a lifetime of great memories that will, over time, replace the sorrow you feel now.
  7. flybill

    flybill Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!

    So sad for you and your family Jerry! I will keep you guys in my thoughts and prayers. Get out there and fish and remember him. And thank you to him and all his brothers and sisters that protect us and serve! Hang in there and let us know if we can help in anyway.. Bill
  8. Rick LaRiviere

    Rick LaRiviere Active Member

    Deepest sympathies to you and all of Jay's family.
  9. Rob Allen

    Rob Allen Active Member

    Very Sorry Jerry. will pray for you and your family.
  10. whalenblue

    whalenblue Member

    Please know that there is a big cover of prayer on you and your extended family.
  11. Skysoldier

    Skysoldier Trout Hunter

    Jerry there is nothing we can say right now that will truly help, just remember the good times you have had together and know that you and your family are in our prayers.
  12. Jeff Dodd

    Jeff Dodd Active Member

    This is sad to read and my thoughts are with you and Joshua's family and friends.

    Thank you for all the work you do on behalf of the injured veterans.
  13. Bruce Baker

    Bruce Baker Active Member

    Nothing I can say can help take the pain away. I am so sorry for your loss Jerry.
  14. enlightened

    enlightened Active Member

    Thinking of you and your family.
  15. Thanks for posting, Jerry. We all grieve a bit when one of our WFF 'family' loses someone close to them.
    Best wishes,
  16. Olive bugger

    Olive bugger Active Member

    So very sorry for your family's loss. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.
  17. Kenneth Yong

    Kenneth Yong Member

    Jerry, my condolences to you and Joshua's family. Rest assured of my prayers.

  18. skyrise

    skyrise Active Member

    I will add you & your family to my prayers. Thanks to the Lord above for Joshua's service. May His Comfort and Grace touch your family.
  19. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    My condolences to you and your family, Jerry. Your post sure puts a human face on what might otherwise have just remained a statistic to us. RIP Joshua, Thanks for your sacrifice.
    Keep fishing and releasing your sorrow with every fish.
  20. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

    Deepest condolences. We live on through the memories of our family and friends.