There is a very real connection that exists among members of certain organizations. Generally, these organizations seek to build their members up and challenge them to be better than they were before they joined. These connections span time, distance, and even the fact that some members have never met each other. When members do meet, they are immediately brothers.
USMC Captain Jason Back, Virginia Tech ’06, was a member of two such brotherhoods: Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity and the United States Marine Corps. Jason was a brother of the SigEp chapter at Virginia Tech from 2002-2006, where he graduated with honors .Brother Back joined the Marines shortly thereafter and became an infantry officer. He served with distinction through three combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Jason departed this life on November 12, 2015.
At 11 a.m. on December 15, 2015, Jason was interred at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. In attendance at Jason’s ceremony, among hundreds of his family and friends, were several of his SigEp brothers. These brothers never had the opportunity to meet Jason, but that didn’t matter. He was our fraternity brother. He was a Marine. He stood for something great and we lost him entirely too early. There was a deep sense of belonging to the memory of Jason Back that bright December morning. The SigEps in attendance stood by as his casket was lowered into the earth and the haunting notes of Taps rolled out across the green fields of Arlington.
We celebrate the values that Jason exemplified through his actions in life and use his passing as a commitment to re-dedicate ourselves to our Cardinal Principles. Among these principles is brotherly love—the connection that bonds all of us to Brother Jason Back still holds strong. Because of this strength, Jason’s memory will never fade.