Posted A New Story About Jody


Hi All,

I've decided to post an unfinished version of the story that I said I would publish back in September. I wasn't able to finish it yet because it was just too hard to think back to those times so I was giving it a break, intending to finish and publish it later.

Recent events have put a worldwide spotlight on the epidemic of tragic deaths at Fort Hood and that in turn has lead to a lot of people trying to find out more about the person that Jody was. Because of that I've decided to just put the story up in it's unfinished state because it shows an important part of his life. It was a very sad time for him because of the things that were happening at home but also happy because of the love and care that his grandmother showed him. The run on sentences and brackets are not what I had hoped to publish on his memorial site but the facts are there and that's what counts.

Click here to read the story about Jody.



Changed Guestbook Link

Changed the Guestbook url to combat spammers. Guestbook is now at:



New Site About Jody


Hi Everyone,

I'd like to announce a new website about Jody up at:

What's different?

We've drawn on ideas from the memorial blog and made it into a more well rounded website. One of the problems with the blog format was that it was difficult for people to navigate and see all the content. So at this new site there are dedicated sections like a gallery for pictures/videos/cards and a page for stories. The blog will still be there but it'll now be a place where updates and edits are announced so that it's easy to keep up with new things that are posted.

I'd like to give major credit to Jennifer for the concept and construction of this website. No doubt it's a monumental task to have to build any site from scratch. But she also had extra challenges like transitioning content from the blog, making it accessible to people from parts of the world with vastly different (and conflicting) web access, and above all making sure that the site expresses who Jody was as a person. It's amazing and I couldn't be more proud of how it turned out. And after watching all the work that went into it I have to say that I have serious respect for people who design websites :).

The Guestbook

I think the most interesting part about this new site is the guestbook. Yes it's a place for visitors to the site to leave messages or comments...but it also goes beyond that and draws on things people have written in other places about Jody. It's a collaborative effort and I think over time it will tell a unique (and unpredictable) kind of story. It's just starting out right now so feel free to add something yourself, it's open to anyone at any time:

September Story

Lastly, September is here and this is a heartbreaking month for anyone that knew Jody or even for those that just knew of his story. Twenty-two is too young for anyone to die and it's easy to get overwhelmed thinking about all the things he won't get to do. It's only natural to think about absence when someone dies, but what about their life?

We all knew Jody in different ways and have different stories to tell about him. I want to tell you about one part of his life that most people don't know about but was an important part of who he was. It's not finished right now but I'll be posting it in the next few days on the Stories page. Anyway until then please take a look at the new site, hope you like it!



The story about Jody mentioned in this post is now up at his memorial:


Jody Wirawan Memorial Birthday Card

A card commemorating the birth of Jody Michael Wirawan. Jody was born on February 26th, 1986 at a naval hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia. The picture on the front of the card is from Jody's first birthday party in Depok, Indonesia. The inside has pictures from his childhood and high school graduation. And the back has Alaska's state flower, the Forget Me Not.

Front and back of memorial birthday card for Jody Wirawan.

Inside of memorial birthday card for Jody Wirawan.

Click on pictures for larger view.


Jody Wirawan Memorial Video

A video about the life of Jody Wirawan (1986 - 2008):


Eulogy For Jody Wirawan

Jody Wirawan after graduation.

This is a eulogy for Jody Wirawan read by one of his sisters at his memorial:

I'd like to start off by saying thank you all for being here today. I'm not sure how to express how happy I am to be surrounded by so many people who have come to honor and celebrate Jody's life. I know that you and I might not know each other and we might not have even met before this afternoon. But you're here because you care about Jody and so to me that makes us family.

It's become clear to me that words can't adequately describe the meaning and value of Jody's short life. And when I think about everything he had to go through over the years it makes me want to be bitter at the injustice of it. But that's not how Jody lived his life. He faced so much adversity but he still chose not to be bitter. He chose to have a good heart and I want to honor that.

Jody Michael Wirawan was born on Wednesday, February 26th 1986 in Jakarta, Indonesia. At the time our parents were still together but their marriage was falling apart. They fought almost every night. And even though they had just had an adorably handsome baby boy, neither of them could keep it together long enough to give Jody the attention that he needed.

Not long after Jody was born our parent's marriage ended and Jody, Mom and I moved to the U.S. We lived in Michigan and Texas before coming to Alaska, the place he called home.

Growing up I couldn't have asked for a better little brother. I tried to teach him the important things in life: you know, like how to rollerblade and play baseball. Jody wasn't real crazy about those things but he'd do them anyway because he knew that I liked them. His favorite thing was to play video games on the new Nintendo that Dad had just sent him. Jody would spend hours playing Mario Brothers and perfecting each level. A lot of times I'd play too and we would each take turns using the one controller. Even though I'd be more cautious than he would and take a lot more time, he was always patient and would wait his turn without complaining. Those were some of the best times in my life and I spent them with my little brother.

He never lost that sense of compassion as he got older. As the years went on he was faced with more and more impossible situations but he continued to make the choice to be a good person. There were a lot of times in his life when food was scarce and he went hungry. But instead of becoming bitter about it he became someone who was more likely to share food with others. The last time I ever saw Jody he stayed at our house for a week, and the day before he left he came home with a bunch of grocery bags packed with food. He quietly went into the kitchen and stocked up our cupboards as a way of saying thank you for having him over. That was Jody.

When I talk to people about my brother the one thing everyone seems to remember most is the way he know what I'm talking about all puffed out and proud of himself. And he should be. When I found out that Jody had joined the Army I was really worried at first. But after talking to him about his job and how proud he was of what he was doing I couldn't help but smile. He told me that he'd visited Ground Zero and the Pentagon and had been moved by the experience. This was one of the things that made him want to join the Army. I told him that I was proud of him, and I still am.

Jody had wanted to have a big family. A few months ago we were having dinner and he asked me how many kids I was planning on having. I said probably just two and then asked him if he ever thought about having kids. He puffed up his chest in that way that he does and proudly told me that he was planning on having six kids.

I was really surprised and said well, that was a lot to take on and maybe he might want to try having 'em one at a time and see how it goes. He laughed but his mind was made up. He'd been thinking about it for a long time and wanted to have exactly six. When I asked him why, he said that he knew somebody who was a father to six kids and that it had inspired him. I thought it was amazing that he'd want to have any kids at all considering everything he'd been through in his own childhood. But that was Jody.

He knew that a person wasn't defined by the cards they were dealt in life, but by how they chose to live it. I was never so proud of him as when he said he wanted to have a big family and to give them a good life. I wish he would have had a chance to make his dream happen. Twenty-two is too young for anyone to die, but especially for someone who had survived so much and had wanted to do such good in the world.

Jody was the best brother I could have ever asked for. He was a good friend and a patient listener. I'll miss his sense of humor and how he could always crack a cheesy smile at just the right time to make you laugh. I'll miss playing video games and watching movies together. I'll miss picking up the phone and hearing "Heeey Anita, what's new with you?" But most of all I'll miss hearing him say "I love you Sis."

I love you too Jody.