Rucking to remember A1C Jacobson
By Staff Sgt. Joshua Edwards, 17th Training Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 01, 2018
GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The 17th Security Forces Squadron hosted a 6.2-mile ruck march that started at the parade field and continued along the perimeter of the base Sept. 28.
Airmen and Soldiers came out to the event to honor Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Jacobson, a security forces member assigned to Goodfellow who was killed in the line of duty.
“Elizabeth was the first person I met when I came here in 2004,” said Senior Master Sgt. Russell Weatherby, 721st Security Forces Squadron reservist. “She had a heart as big as Texas. She had drive and determination. She gave everything she had, until the day she was taken.”
On Sept. 28, 2005, Jacobson was on patrol near the Iraqi town of Safwan. Her vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device, killing her and U.S. Army Sgt. Steve Mornin. She was the first security forces Airman, and first female Airman, to die in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“I was her teammate, and I saw her the day before she was killed in action,” said Weatherby. “I recovered her vehicle and I recovered her gear. That has left a mark on me. My mission in life, regardless if it is Air Force or it’s in the civilian world, is to make sure people don’t forget who Elizabeth Nicole Jacobson was and what she means.”
Prior to the march, Chief Master Sgt. Lavor Kirkpatrick, 17th Training Wing command chief, provided a speech about Jacobson.
“We’ve had people say lot of things about Airman Jacobson, about her life and what she did,” said Kirkpatrick. “I want to leave you with her own words, because she lived this to the fullest. Her favorite quote was, ‘We’re on Earth for a little while, so live life to the fullest and carry a smile.’ I love that, because I’ve witnessed her do that, and I know that is what she is all about.”
Both Kirkpatrick and Weatherby knew Jacobson and participated in the march wearing rucksacks that weighed 21 pounds, a pound for every year she was alive.
“The weight is irrelevant,” said Weatherby. “It is the march itself that has the most meaning. It’s what we are doing for her that matters.”
Security forces hosts this event every year in her honor. The base also memorialized her name on the south gate where she used to stand guard and defend the base.