Air Force A1C Elizabeth Nicole Jacobson

Airman Jacobson was deployed to a forward-deployed location supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom and was killed in the line of duty Sept. 28, 2005. (U.S. Air Force photo)

21, of Riviera Beach, Florida; Jacobson died near Camp Bucca, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near her convoy vehicle. She was assigned to the 17th Security Forces Squadron, Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas. Died on September 28, 2005.

Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Nicole Jacobson was born March 26, 1984. She attended Palm Beach Gardens and Gold Coast high schools while living with her grandparents in Florida. She left to live with her mother in Madera, California but later returned to Riviera Beach looking for work. “Elizabeth made everything fun” said a former boyfriend. “She was always laughing.” Elizabeth also belonged to the Fresno Playhouse and won a writing contest on Poetry.com before enlisting.

Airman Jacobson enlisted in the Air Force on December 9, 2003. After completing Security Forces technical school, she was assigned to the 17th Security Forces Squadron at Goodfellow Air Force Base where she performed duties as an installation entry controller and patrolman. She was later deployed to Iraq. While providing convoy security support on Wednesday September 28, 2005 in Safwan Iraq, Elizabeth became the first Security Forces Airman to die in Operation Iraqi Freedom. She is also the first female Airman killed in the line of duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Air Force has established the Elizabeth N. Jacobson Award for Expeditionary Excellence which is given for outstanding performance during a deployment.

“A1C Jacobson was a great troop…always sought the hardest challenges and never gave up. She worked very hard to get on the convoy section and had only been working it for a couple of weeks when the incident occurred. She was a bright and intelligent young lady. Elizabeth was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star and an Achievement Medal. She is survived by her father, David Jacobson; mother Marianne Earheart; three sisters; a brother; grandfather Allan Jacobson; grandparents Cos Cosimano and Sondra Millman-Cosimano; and great-grandfather Veto Cosimano.

September marks the 4th anniversary of the loss of a great American, Airman, and Defender. On Sept. 28, 2005, 21 year old Airman First Class Elizabeth Nicole Jacobson paid the ultimate sacrifice, becoming the first Security Forces Airman and first female Airman to die in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Airman Jacobson was a well known and loved member of Team Goodfellow. Her bright, smiling face started the day as hundreds of people were greeted by her at the South Gate. She was known as a person that always stepped up to any challenge and helped anyone in need. When the call for volunteers to deploy came, she was the first to raise her hand.

Just three months into her deployment to Camp Bucca, Airman Jacobson earned a position as a member of the off-base convoy support team. This team was comprised of only the best; those that displayed the utmost courage, skills and core values. While providing convoy security in Safwan, Iraq, an improvised explosive device exploded near the vehicle, killing her and the driver instantly.

Born March 26, 1984, Airman Jacobson enlisted in the Air Force on Dec. 9, 2003. After completing Security Forces technical school, she was assigned to the 17th Security Forces Squadron here at Goodfellow AFB where she performed duties as an installation entry controller and patrolman. There have been many memorials named in her honor.

Here are just a few:
· In 2006, in a short, but poignant ceremony, a large memorial rock, donated by the United States Air Force Security Police Association was unveiled with a plaque featuring Jacobson’s likeness etched on it. The memorial is ever present in front of the Security Forces squadron as a constant reminder of her sacrifices.
· The Physical Apprehension and Restraint Training facility at Lackland AFB is named after her. More than 6,000 new Security Forces Airmen receive their initial and follow on training in this facility each year.
· The Air Force has established the Elizabeth N. Jacobson Award for Expeditionary Excellence which is given to an Airmen for outstanding performance during a deployment. In 2008, one of our own, Senior Airman Nathan Escobar earned the award for his heroic efforts while deployed.
· A street on Ali Al Salem Air Base running from entry control point Echo 4 to the Republic of Korea Air Force compound was renamed Jacobson Avenue in her honor.
· The Goodfellow south gate was named in her honor. As thousands of people pass through the Jacobson Gate each day, a plaque on the front of the guard facility remind us of her sacrifice.

While the memory of Airman First Class Elizabeth Nicole Jacobson will forever live on through these amazing memorials, thousands of patriots like her continue to serve our great country in dangerous situations every day. Goodfellow alone has 138 warriors deployed all over the world today.

I urge you to reflect each time you come through the Jacobson Gate on those like Airman Jacobson who are sacrificing so much for our freedom. Go one step further and think of the families of those that are deployed. Take a few minutes to call them and show them that we are not just saying words when we say, we are “Team Goodfellow”.