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"Optimism (light) is the power that ultimately defeats fear (darkness)."

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Deep Respect, Deep Sorrow, Deep Feelings

*-*-*-- UPDATE --*-*-*

On October 7th, 2005, Air Force Link provided a great piece in regards to A1C Jacobson's memorial. I've included the pieces that spoke the most to me, here. Please visit the Air Force Link article to see the entire story, and accompanying photo.

“She was my troop, my friend and a person only few have been lucky enough to know,” said Staff Sgt. Katrina Hunt, of the 386th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron.

“Of course, we don’t have any of those answers. But because we have the questions, we clearly have a responsibility to stand in the breach for her,” he said. “We are not just the beneficiaries of her bravery; we are the stewards of her sacrifice.”

“I spoke to her dad the day after. We both grieved and then he told me how she was excited to be (deployed) and working on convoys,” he said.

As the ceremony continued, a small flight of her security forces comrades stood at parade rest until all the remarks were complete. Then NCO in charge of the flight called them to attention and began a roll call. Each name was called and each Airman responded with “here,” until Airman Jacobson’s name was called out.

Airman Jacobson,” the Sergeant said.

No reply.

Airman 1st Class Jacobson,” he said again.

No reply.

A1C Elizabeth Jacobson,” he said finally.

No reply.

Then as bag pipes softly played “Amazing Grace” over the chapel speakers, a solitary security forces Airman slowly carried a folded flag forward and placed it in a memorial display near the inverted M-16, helmet and boots.

Through the open chapel doors, the voice of a firing squad team leader gave commands. Following each series of commands, the crack of synchronized rifles firing single shots echoed through the doors. Then, from a distance, a single bugler played “Taps.”

The final ceremonial tribute came from a letter Airman Jacobson had written for family and friends which was read aloud by Sergeant Hunt. The short letter ended with, “I also believe in love and here is my quote. We’re only on Earth for a little while, so live life to the fullest and carry a smile.”

=== ORIGINAL POST -- 4 October, 2005 ===
Yesterday I posted regarding the passing of Rhein Main AFB. Rhein Main closed September 30th, 2005. And now, it seems that there was more afoot than just a base being closed on that ill fated day - death has darkened the doorstep of the U.S. Air Force.

We have lost an airman, an airman in arms protecting others, an airman that shall not be forgotten.

Air Force Link provides specifics regarding the tragic death of one member of the U.S. Air Force Security Forces. A1C Elizabeth Jacobson was killed while protecting her convoy - yes her convoy. I submit that anyone placing their life in harms way, in a security role (protecting a convoy), has ownership and stewardship privilege. When that stewardship has been snatched away, by force or treason, the debt those under protection incur is enormous. This is not guilt, I say, but debt of gratitude. I was not under her stewardship, but I offer my gratitude for her protecting my family and I from a very long distance.

My first true interaction with the SPs, ironically, took place at of all bases Rhein Main AFB. I maintained my marksman ribbon for some time, and was asked to assist the Security Police as an augmentee. Now, you SPs out there know how scary it can be to give a "toolbox jockey" a fully loaded M-16! But, you guys also gave me a TRUCK! After my first day, no less ... sheesh, I'm still not sure why? I mean, when I jumped on the back of the bus, rifle (secure, I assure you), rounds, an 'FMS' cap (the avionics shop was in FMS on Rhein Main, not AMS), reflector lens sun glasses, and an easy going attitude, I felt a cold shudder resound throughout that bus!

OK, no one was scared, I'm exaggerating a bit here!

After a few days on the flightline, blocking a C-130 that jumped the red line, jacking up a maintenance truck FULL of guys from my shop, and working with dedicated teams of SPs, I can say that my respect for the flightline and its safety grew one hundred fold. I knew it was hard work, and I respected what SPs and the Security Teams on the perimeter were doing. But until I lived it, even a little, I really did not know the depth.

In war, Defensor Fortis is placed in harms way more often. Therefore, I am saddened today by the death of A1C Jacobson. Even though I do not know her, I knew SPs only by working the flightline, and I have been away from the flightline for many, many, years. My prayers go out to Airman First Class Elizabeth Jacobson, her family, her friends, her fellow airmen still in harms way, and all the past and present U.S. Air Force Security Teams.

Thanks to SlagleRock for getting me fired up. If you too have a blog, please link back to SlagleRock's piece - let's get some prayers and warmth going to A1C Jacobson's family and friends!

Stay Tuned to ...


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