Anderson County (WVLT) - An East Tennessee soldier's wife is left with only memories after her best friend was killed.
Twenty-four-year-old Specialist Jason Hovater of Anderson County died Sunday in the mountains in Afghanistan. Now his wife plans to live her life to the fullest in honor of him, and she wants all of you to know what a wonderful person he was.
Their friendship began at church 10 years ago when they were 14 years old.
"We were inseparable," Jenna Hovater said.
Jason Hovater made an unimaginable impression on Jenna who became his wife in 2006. To her, he was gorgeous, hilarious and musically talented often performing in church. She remembers their first date when Jason took Jenna to Willis Music Store and sat her down at the grand piano.
"He had memorized our song, and he just sat right there in the middle of the store and sang it like it was just him and I," Hovater said.
Jason went to boot camp in Fort Benning, Georgia, then he was stationed in Italy where she visited him on spring break. Hovater was part of the 173rd Airborne Brigade.
"Jason was a good soldier and he was proud of his job," Jenna said.
Specialist Hovater deployed to the mountains of Afghanistan 15 months ago. That's where he lost his life Sunday morning during his final mission. Just one week before coming home. Jenna received the news sunday night as she was getting her things ready to go backpacking through europe with jason.
"Ireland, Scotland...dreams we'd started as kids we were really going to have our chance to fulfill them," Hovater said.
But even though Jason's gone, Jenna says his soul is still in everything she sees.
"I was driving home last night, and I saw the prettiest sunset. I think 'thank you, Jason.' I think that's him in that," Hovater said.
Now she feels it's her duty to let everyone know how wonderful he was, a loving son, brother, and husband-- and now she plans to live her life with the same spark and passion Jason had.
"Jason is without a doubt a hero," Hovater said.
Funeral arrangements for Jason Hovater have not yet been announced.