Capt. Jerry Prem Raj: A soldier first, a husband later


Byjerryl Ila Garg

Kargil War Heroes – Part 12

Kargil war was a sad chapter in India’s book. It resulted in a massive chaos, bloodshed, and loss of precious lives. Our brave soldiers risked their lives and put the nation before self – something they are taught during their training days.

Among the martyrs, Capt. Jerry Prem Raj was awarded Vir Chakra, the third highest military honour for his valour. He was a brave son of India.

Born in Venganoor, Trivandrum, Kerala, Capt. Jerry Prem Raj was commissioned into the 158 Medium Regiment (SP) on 5 September 1997. He was a sincere and upright officer with an eye for detail and a pleasant disposition. His father, Mr. Retna Raj worked in the Department of Technical Education, Kerala and his mother, Mrs. Chella Thayee worked in the Health Department of the government of Kerala. His brother, Rejinald Pavithran, is a retired officer of the Indian Air force.

Capt. Jerry Premraj had been married barely a month and was on his hone24jul_tvmymoon when the duty called him and he had to cut short his vacation and re-join the unit in Mushkoh Valley in July 1999 for Operation Vijay. His task was to attack Twin Bumps located in Point 4875 area, Gun Hill, Drass sector. During the assault, in the wee hours of 7th July 1999, Captain Jerry Prem Raj was the Forward Observation Post Officer with 2 Naga ( A unit of Indian Army).

He searched all the enemy positions and then directed accurate artillery fire onto them which had a devastating effect on the enemy. Subsequently, he was shot and badly wounded in the enemy sniper fire. Despite injuries, he remained undeterred and continued to attack the enemy positions. Amidst the heavy fire, he displayed unparalleled grit and courage and inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy.

By then, Captain Jerry Prem Raj was severely injured. His efforts in the battle proved his mettle. He was a true war hero. He died later on, the same day. His body was cremated in his native Thiruvananthapuram. His wife gradually moved on from the truncated marriage. His memory became an occasional, but uncontrollable sob in his modest home in Venganoor.

jerry_premrajObviously people might forget, but the pain of the families of these martyrs remains the same. Let us not forget these valiant soldiers in our prayers.

More in this segment:

Kargil War Heroes – Part 1
Kargil War Heroes – Part 2
Kargil War Heroes – Part 3
Kargil War Heroes – Part 4
Kargil War Heroes – Part 5
Kargil War Heroes – Part 6
Kargil War Heroes – Part 7
Kargil War Heroes – Part 8
Kargil War Heroes – Part 9
Kargil War Heroes – Part 10
Kargil War Heroes – Part 11
Kargil War Heroes – Part 13
Kargil War Heroes – Part 14
Kargil War Heroes – Part 15