Once again the residents of Dayton and Liberty County showed their support by attending the funeral of Staff Sgt. Jesse Wayne Ainsworth. Sgt. Ainsworth was killed in Afghanistan on his twenty-fifth birthday. The Dayton Community Center was used for the capacity crowd. Outside people once again lined the streets along the motorcade route.
In the service Jesse’s sister, Shane told how at nine years old Jesse was her little doll baby. She also told of Jesse’s love for junk food and especially the McDonalds McRib sandwiches.
Shane ended her comments by saying, “Jesse, you are my heart, my soul, my rock and my hero. I love you, my baby brother, and I can’t wait for the day that I see you again.
“I know you will be waiting for me at the Pearly Gates with a bag of Skittles and a smile.”
U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, said that Jesse was the 34th person in the 2nd Congressional District to be killed in Afghanistan and Iraq since the start of the wars.
“One out of every nine persons wearing a US military uniform today is from Texas and a good percentage of those come from Southeast Texas. These brave men and women spend those dark cold nights and those hot blistering days for their fellow Americans,” said Poe. “Other nations go to war to conquer; America goes to liberate.
“Jesse knew he was going into harm’s way, yet he volunteered for the duty. He was the best of us. Jesse died for something bigger than himself,” said Poe.
Jesse Ainsworth was also presented to posthumous awards. A Bronze Star and the Purple Heart and were presented by Brigadier General Kenneth R. Dahl.
Outside longtime educator and Dayton resident Eliza Guidry said, “the men and women know when they join up, volunteer that anything can happen. I think it’s wonderful that our community has turned out to show the family their support and love for the family and our country.”
Jesse was buried at Houston National Cemetery.