Aaron Seesan at a Glance
Copyright 2020 MTS
Winter photo of the entrance to the Aaron Seesan Memory Garden
Located within Lincoln Park in Massillon, Ohio.
Aaron Nicholas Seesan came into this world on March 6, 1981 at 4:14 pm. Although he would
spend his childhood in Massillon, Ohio, he was born in Aultman Hospital in Canton, Ohio.
Aaron exhibited a love for anything military at an early age. His mom always said that he went
from dinosaurs in the sandbox to soldiers and building military complexes in the sand overnight.
His battle scenes were so complex that his sisters would complain that he was taking up the whole
sandbox with his battles. Consequently, a bigger sand box was needed and dad routinely divided
it up into four quadrants so all the younger siblings had their space
After kindergarten and three grades of elementary school at St. Mary’s in Massillon, a year of
home schooling for the fourth grade and grades five through eight at Canton County Day School,
he finally reached Massillon Washington High School where he was eager to don a Massillon Tiger
Aaron did well academically in high school and involved himself in several challenging extra-
curricular activities in addition to four years on the Massillon Tiger football team. He was a
delegate to Buckeye Boys State in 2004. He was a member of the speech team, the Academic
Challenge team, drama club, and threw the shot put on the Tiger track team. He was the only
student to pass all five twelfth grade proficiency tests with honors. He graduated from Massillon
Washington High School in 1999 with an honors diploma.
Scouting was Aaron’s love and together with his brother Michael, they participated in many
scouting activities, and camping trips together. Aaron earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 1998. His
project included the refurbishing of the gardens in Lincoln Park in Massillon which had been
abandoned for several years. This park is today dedicated in honor or Aaron and is a part of the
Massillon City Park System, named the Aaron Seesan Memory Garden.
Aaron was nominated to three United States Academies by Congressman Ralph Regula. He
received acceptance to the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York and
was one of 201 students who graduated with the class of 2003. He earned a Bachelor of Science
degree in Marine Systems Engineering. While at the academy, he was the recipient of several
awards including a silver star and a gold star for academic achievement, outstanding performance
on his sea project, and most valuable member of the academy’s rifle team (four year member). In
his senior year he served as the academy’s Honor Board Chair, which is one of the academy’s
highest honors, received the Martha E. Sammond Memorial Award for leadership in ethics,
received the Academy Achievement Ribbon, which is the academy’s highest award for service,
was included in the 2003 edition of “Who’s Who Among Students in America’s Universities and
Colleges,” and was named as one of the nation’s outstanding campus leaders.
Upon graduation from the Merchant Marine Academy, Aaron was commissioned as a Second
Lieutenant with the United States Army. He reported to Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, where he
completed combat engineering training, “Sapper” leadership training and later attained his
Airborne Wings. He was then assigned to Company A, 73
Engineering Battalion, “Stryker
Brigade” reporting out of Ft. Lewis, Washington.
Aaron was sent to duty in Iraq in February 2005. He volunteered to take the place of another
officer who was called to Iraq as the other officer had a family. Aaron led a Stryker Brigade as part
of Task Force Olympia that searched for IED along the roadside. Aaron received his promotion to
First Lieutenant while in Iraq.
After returning from a long and dangerous mission in one of the deadliest provinces in Iraq, Aaron
was asked to lead one more mission in Mosul. Sadly, Aaron’s vehicle was struck by an IED and
he received burn injuries over 80% of his body. Still conscious, he instructed the men of his group
to care for the other soldiers before him. Aaron was flown to the Landstuhl Regional Medical
Center in Landstuhl, Germany, where he passed away from his injuries on May 22, 2005.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Massillon, Ohio on May 31,
2005. His final resting place is St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Massillon.
His memory will not be forgotten. In addition to the Memory Garden in Massillon, Aaron’s name
and picture graces memorials and monuments from New York City to Schofield Barracks on Oahu
in Hawaii. A beautiful black granite bench and memorial sits on the grounds of the Merchant
Marine Academy. His name is etched on a bronze memorial plaque at the arbor at the academy.
His name is entered into the memorial book in the chapel on the grounds of the academy. The
academy dedicated the newly constructed Honor Board Room in memory of Aaron. A memorial
was dedicated to all of the engineers and “Sappers” who trained at Ft. Leonard Wood in Missouri.
A memorial dedicated to the fallen Strykers has been erected at Ft. Lewis. Another memorial to the
fallen Strykers has been erected at Schofield Military Barracks on Oahu.
For a man who cherished humility and shunned the limelight, his name will forever live on.
Aaron is sadly missed. “Essayons!”