Named in honor

Editor’s note: This letter and accompanying photos were left anonymously at Jesse Strong’s memorial. The items were recovered by Liberty University Police Department last year. Strong was a Liberty graduate from Vermont and a Marine who was killed in Iraq in 2005.

Namesake — Daniel and Amanda Brown decided to name their son John Daniel Jesse Brown in honor of Jesse Strong, the first Liberty graduate killed in Iraq.

This is a picture of the son of John Daniel Brown and Amanda Grace Brown.

Daniel met Jesse in 1999, when they were both freshmen at Liberty. They lived together on Dorm 9 for two years and maintained a friendship after Daniel moved off-campus.

Amanda became friends with Jesse during the time that he spent with Daniel over holidays. Jesse would come to the Brown house for Thanksgiving, and the Browns were glad that they could give Jesse a place to go for the holidays.

Daniel and Amanda saw Jesse for the last time on the evening of July 4, 2005. They had a good time of friendship, spending some time re-visiting old times on Dorm 9 and looking ahead to the future. Both Daniel and Amanda felt confident as they parted ways that Jesse was going to serve his country under the divine hand of God.

When news came that Jesse had been killed in action, both Daniel and Amanda were shocked and deeply saddened. They knew, however, what Jesse believed and were aware that, despite the loss that they felt, Jesse had been called home, and they would see him again. They still felt, however, a need to honor the memory of Jesse and what he stood for.


When Amanda learned she was pregnant in the fall of 2007, Daniel had an idea, and when they found out it would be a boy, they sat down to talk about names. Both agreed that there was only one name that they wanted to give their son, both to honor the memory of their friend and what he stood for, and to give their son a man of God to have as a namesake.

On May 5, 2008, John Daniel Jesse Brown was born. Every year on Jesse’s birthday, Daniel tells him about his friend Jesse, the man that Jesse was and the man that Daniel wants his son to become.


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