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War in Afghanistan may be ending, but the sacrifice loved ones made remains for Gold Star families

Jason Hovater was killed in action on July 13, 2008.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — An East Tennessee family is reminding people, even though the war in Afghanistan may be over, the consequences still continue.

Jason Hovater was killed in Action on July 13, 2008 in the Battle of Wanat-- considered one of the deadliest battles in the entire war. 

"This country wouldn't be this country if it wasn't for people like Jason," said Kathy Hovater, Jason's mom.

U.S. troops were outnumbered by the Taliban two to one, according to a U.S. military review.

Thirteen years after his death, the Hovaters remember their son, who was a gifted musician.

"I said, Jason, do you want to set creation free behind the gun or behind the [piano] keys?" Hovater said. "And he chose the Army."

During his time serving, Hovater was known for making his fellow troops laugh. 

"He brought a great light into a dark place," Hovater said.

The Hovaters were notified of Jason's death in the middle of the night.

"When this happened, [Jason's dad] threw up, and he just cried out to God," Hovater said.

After three days, the Hovaters said their outlook changed. 

"Our covenant is righteousness, peace and joy. And on that third day, that's exactly what we were experiencing," said Hovater. 

Still, Jason's sister said from time to time, she feels the loss.

"It is kind of like you have lost your arm or something like that, and you learn how to live life without your arm," said Jessica Davis. "Still today, tears will just come. And it's still a very hard thing, but you learn how to deal with it."

His nephews still put his 'dog tags' on every morning, as a reminder of their uncle who made the ultimate sacrifice.