Remembering the life of Bennington soldier who passed

Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 6:34 PM CDT
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BENNINGTON, Okla. (KXII) - “He had a smile that lit up a room, and he was always smiling, always. everybody always said, I can’t believe that kid smiled all the time,” father, Michael Pruitt said.

Specialist Jaykob Pruitt knew early on that he wanted to serve his country.

“He joined the national guard before he graduated high school. he had actually been recruited before he actually finished high school,” Mr. Pruitt said.

He says his son was eager to be a part of something larger than himself.

Pruitt graduated Bennington High school on a Thursday and left for basic training the following Monday.

“He did a good job at excelling at weapons systems. and everything the army asked him to do. He gave it 110%, and he did it to the best of his ability and that’s what all of his commanders said about him,” Mr. Pruitt explained.

But on March 4th, Jaykob Pruitt collapsed during his monthly training routine.

His fellow soldiers tried resuscitating him, but after being rushed to the hospital, he later passed.

“We’re going to miss him, for sure. The world is a better place for him, having been in it, for sure. We wish we kept him longer,” Mr. Pruitt said.

Even in his grief, Michael Pruitt offers a message of hope.

“We should all smile and be better to each other, because he really did like to help people, so he would like it if everybody would go help each other... he was a good kid with a big heart. Big heart, and he used it to be better, that’s for sure,” Mr. Pruitt concluded.