SrA Nathan, while deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, was in the turret gunner position, riding in the 3rd vehicle of a four-vehicle convoy. His convoy was heading back to COB Speicher after completing training at an Iraqi police station in Tikrit when suddenly an improvised explosive device detonated, killing SrA Nathan instantly.
While deployed, Airman Nathan was assigned to Detachment 6 of the 732nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron. At the time of the incident, Airman Nathan was with his squad in support of an Iraq Police Transition Team mission when an IED detonated and struck his vehicle.
After a brief assignment to Fort Lewis, Washington, for training, Nathan was attached to the 732nd Expeditionary Group, 332nd Air Expedition in Iraq in February. His mission was to train and protect Iraqi police officers in Tikrit.
He is survived by his mother Phyllis Nathan and father Joe Anthony Nathan Sr.
Before Iraq, he was awarded Security Forces Airman of the Year at Lakenheath, according to his mother Phyllis Nathan.
Nathan comes from a family that has served both in the Air Force and the Army. His father retired after 22 years in the Army.
RAF Lakenheath memorialized one of their gates in the name of SrA Jason Nathan.
The memorial reads:
This gate is memorialized in the name of Senior Airman Jason D. Nathan who was assigned to the 48th Security Forces Squadron, 48th Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath, England. SrA Nathan was mortally wounded my an improvise explosive device on 23 June 2007 while on a combat patrol in Tikrit, Iraq in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. He gave his life providing courageous support to his squad while protecting the people of Iraq in their pursuit of freedom from oppression and terror. SrA Nathan's heroic actions and unselfish dedication upheld the highest traditions of the Security Forces career field and the United States Air Force.
He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart.