Thursday, October 20, 2005
Godspeed Airman First Class Elizabeth Jacobson "Elizabeth’s father asked me to spread one message, do not let the cowards win. Do not let her die in vain. I ask all our leadership to get this word out to our forces." - CMSGT Baliko Airman First Class Elizabeth Nicole Jacobson, originally from Riveria Beach, Florida, was killed on September 28th while providing security for a convoy near Camp Bucca, Iraq. She was twenty-one years old. Here is a bit about her from Captain Kevin Tuttle who was the laison to the family during the funeral last week in Ft. Lauderdale: ...David Jacobson, Airman Jacobson’s father, told us stories about Elizabeth. He spoke of her love of the Air Force and her security forces duties; her desire to be a chief master sergeant someday; and the way she always volunteered to do the jobs no one else wanted. The fateful convoy mission was one such duty she had tried to get for a long time, rather than be in the guard tower where it was relatively safe. The part that was so surprising to me was the outpouring of support her family bestowed on the military members, for the jobs we all have to do to protect this nation. There were no sentiments of bitterness or anger toward the military... Retired Master Sergeant Theresa O. sends this great tribute to A1C Elizabeth Jacobsen: GOODFELLOW REMEMBERS A FALLEN HERO 17TH SECURITY FORCES SQUADRON SUPERINTENDENT Wednesday, 28 September 2005, on a dusty road just north of the Kuwait-Iraq border, Airman First class Elizabeth Nicole Jacobson was providing security for a supply convoy as a gun truck crew served weapons operator. The convoy was on a routine supply mission and traveling to Camp Bucca, Iraq. Somewhere along that road, terrorists set off an improvised explosive device as the vehicle Airman Jacobson was riding in passed. A tremendous explosion erupted; Airman Jacobson and the US Army driver in the vehicle were instantaneously killed. The US Army person in the gunner’s turret was critically wounded, and no further information is available at this time on his condition. Airman Jacobson’s sacrifice for her country made her the first security forces member to die in combat since 20 May 1975, when 23 defenders were lost in a helicopter crash in Thailand supporting combat operations to recapture the USS Mayaquez. Airman Jacobson arrived at Goodfellow AFB on 9 December 2003. From the very first day in the unit, people came to know her commented on her never ending smile and positive attitude. I would later find out that her favorite quote was “I also believe in love and here is my quote. We’re on this Earth for a little while, so live life to the fullest and carry a smile.” Elizabeth touched many lives in the short 21 years she was with us on this earth, and lived life to the fullest every day. She was a true role model and mentor for all people who serve in uniform. She was the picture of the Air Force core values, and the words “can’t”, “won’t”, or “impossible” did not exist to her. As with all security forces units, the 17th SFS is undermanned. With forty percent of our unit deployed fighting the global war on terrorism, we have been in and out of extended (12 hours) shifts since my arrival in July 2004. She found herself on the gate more than she would really admit she wanted to be. First working on the midnight shift, then transferring to days, I would see her a lot as I entered and left the installation. She was always smiling, happy and full of energy, no matter what the time of day or night, no matter what the weather. Many people at Goodfellow have approached me over the last two weeks and offered their sincere sorrow for her passing. Elizabeth always found the good in everything, no matter what the circumstances. In February 2005, the AEF Center sent a tasking order to AETC/SF asking for a 13-person squad for duty at Camp Bucca. AETC/SF tasked Goodfellow to provide this team and the senior leadership of the unit met to determine the best possible candidates in that AEF bucket to fulfill this mission. We did not have to look too hard for one. Elizabeth approached the unit leadership and stated it was her time. Elizabeth was very excited to be one of the thirteen and, as I entered the gate one day before the team left for pre-deployment training, stopped me and stated, “Thank you for your confidence in me, for putting me in for an SF annual award. I will not let you down. I will kick butt on this deployment, make senior airman below the zone, and one day sit in your office.” The senior noncommissioned officers of my unit met about two months before that to determine who we would recommend be nominated for SF annual awards. Elizabeth was the unanimous choice for the Julie Y. Cross Federal Women in Law Enforcement Award. Unfortunately, this award no longer a part of the SF annual award process. I have researched the criteria for the award and she will still be submitted through either civilian or DP channels.