PLEASANTON -- A new city garden will be dedicated Saturday, a living reminder of an ordinary hometown boy who gave his life to save his fellow soldiers -- and became a hero in the process.
Army Spc. Jameson Lindskog, 23, received the Silver Star posthumously. He earned it just two years ago, on March 29, 2011, when his unit came under ambush attack from multiple directions while on a mission in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. When three members of the unit were shot, Lindskog, a medic, rushed ahead amid fire to provide care. As he packed wounds, applied pressure dressings and issued care instructions, he too was shot.
"He was rendering first aid when he was mortally wounded," said Doug Miller, a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6298 of Pleasanton, Dublin and San Ramon. "He continued to instruct people on what to do, even though he was unable to continue to act on his own. He told them what to do until he passed."
An Army report on the event stated Lindskog never asked to be evacuated; rather, he asked to stay and help with the other casualties, all the while knowing the severity of his own wound. It was for that final, selfless act that the Army honored him. In addition to his Silver Star and Purple Heart, a battalion aid station in Afghanistan was named in Lindskog's honor. His mother, Donna Walker, is comforted by her son's caring actions and by others' recognition of his service.
"The whole community response, not just Pleasanton but the surrounding towns, was really consoling to us," she said. "We loved Jameson; he was our son -- but it's consoling to realize that other people loved him and appreciated his sacrifice. We feel like we're in a town that loves us."
The memorial garden is at Fire Station One, 3560 Nevada St. in Pleasanton, and will be dedicated at 11 a.m. Saturday. It includes a fountain, shrubs and flowers, a wooden bench and a bronze plaque describing Lindskog's service. All the landscaping materials and labor were donated by local businesses and service clubs. Its location at Fire Station One honors not just Lindskog but all emergency responders, said Walker.
"This isn't just about Jameson," she said. "It's about everyone like him who chooses this as an occupation ... they're a special breed. I'm just really proud that he represents everyone who puts their life in danger for everyone else."
The garden is a fitting tribute to her son, she added.
"I'm really pleased with the final results," she said. "It's quiet and peaceful ... it would suit Jameson perfectly."
What: Memorial Garden dedication in memory of U.S. Army Specialist Jameson Lindskog
When: 11 a.m. Saturday
Where: Fire Station One, 3560 Nevada St., Pleasanton.
Why: Lindskog, a military medic and Pleasanton resident, was killed in Afghanistan in 2011. The garden site recognizes the connection between his role as a combat medic and all first responders who provide medical assistance to their communities.
Cost: The event is free and open to the public.