If you're traveling on Highway 183 to Lockhart, you may see two new road signs. The signs are commemorating a Lockhart man who died while serving for the military in Iraq.
The two signs on 183 are near Highway 71 in Austin, and the other is in Lockhart. That portion of the road is now known as the Corporal Jason K. LaFleur Memorial Highway. Jason’s mother Kei LaFleur helped get the highway dedicated to hers on “It's a way of keeping his memory alive and maybe teaching someone else about him. I think he's a great example of what an ordinary kid can do something really special and above himself,” she said.
Kei hopes for the many people driving on Jason's highway, they will see his name, and learn of the man who paid the ultimate price for our country. “There's so much about a young person that all you see is the day they were born and the day they died, and you see the dash in between but there's so much about them but you don't get to know who that person is,” she said.
Jason was raised in Lockhart and joined the Army when he was 26-years-old and was deployed to Iraq in 2006. “I didn’t try to talk him out of it. I just said you know what's going to happen, you kind of have an idea of where you're going to go, and what you're going to do, and he said ‘I know, but I am willing.’”
While in Iraq, Jason's platoon was responding to a call of another troop in an IED ambush, they helped with the rescue of a Humvee and the soldiers inside. They went to a security check point where a remotely activated IED exploded killing three soldiers, Jason was one of them. “You never expect that that will happen, you think that he will make it through and I just always thought he could because he was so strong and capable and he was smart,” Kei said,
Kei said she spends her time now helping keep the legacy of her son alive. She said seeing the signs with her son's name is very emotional for her. “When you're child dies, and dies in service, when these the sign goes up it's a wonderful thing, but it's also another, he's gone...and the reason they did it is because he's gone, so it's a double edged sword, but is much more an honor for him and if someone else learns about him, it's worth it, it's worth it.
Kei said Jason loved playing soccer and it was his favorite sport. He also has a soccer complex named after him in Lockhart.