Saturday, June 02, 2007

Army Specialist Jacob M. Lowell

Remember Our Heroes

Army Specialist Jacob M. Lowell, 22, of New Lenox, Ill.

Spc. Lowell was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Air Assault), 173rd Airborne Brigade, Camp Ederle, Italy; died June 2, 2007 near Gowardesh, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his unit came in contact with enemy forces using a rocket propelled grenade and small arms fire.

South suburban Chicago soldier dies in Afghanistan
By The Associated Press

CHICAGO — A 22-year-old south suburban soldier has been killed in Afghanistan, his family said.

Army Pfc. Jacob Michael Lowell, of New Lenox, died Saturday, his family said in a statement issued Monday by Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn’s office.

Lowell had been assigned to the 173rd Airborne in Vicenza, Italy. His family said he was serving his first overseas tour and had been in Afghanistan for two weeks.

Lowell was a 2003 graduate of Lincoln-Way Central High School in New Lenox where he played football.

His family said he enlisted in the Army in October 2005 because he wanted to serve his country.

“He was a great son. We are very proud of him,” his father, Raymond Lowell, said in a statement. “He did what he wanted to. He gave 100 percent to anything he did.”

Funeral arrangements were pending, his family said.

There's a photo of him at a high school football game on an autumn night just a few years ago. Wearing No. 54 for Lincoln-Way Central, he's flanked by his parents. His father, a plumber by trade, sports a Lincoln-Way jacket. His mother is clutching a flower and smiling from ear to ear. It's a night when the problems of the world must have seemed distant -- if thought of at all -- to those at that game.

Now, in the spring of 2007, the problems of the world have visited the home of the family of that player who wore No. 54. Jacob Lowell was trying to do something about those problems. About 18 months ago, he enlisted in the Army. "He just heard the call to serve his country," a friend said.

And for his country last week, Army Pfc. Jacob Lowell, of New Lenox, gave the ultimate sacrifice. During his first patrol on his first tour in Afghanistan with the 173rd Airborne Brigade, Lowell was working as a gunner when his Humvee was ambushed. He was shot in the leg, but that didn't stop him from firing his weapon in an attempt to protect the rest of his unit, his family said. But an enemy bullet struck him in the chest and killed him. He was 22.

A life with so much promise ended that quickly. But the way it ended -- as indelibly tragic as it was -- showed Jacob Lowell as everyone knew him: a brave young man doing his utmost to help others. A hero.

That's how he was remembered when the awful news spread through the Lincoln-Way community earlier this week.

"Jake had your back," a high school teammate remembered.

"Jake saved a lot of lives," his aunt said about the final moments of his life. "He was always one to think of everyone else first instead of himself."

And it was obvious he also thought quite a bit about his country. The eagle-and-flag tattoo he received while still in high school was proof of that -- as, of course, was his enlistment. And when he had a job to do, acquaintances said, he gave his best.

"Once he had his heart set on doing something, his work ethic and leadership skills kicked in," Lincoln-Way Central athletic director Ted Robbins said. "He gave 100 percent all the time."

Those words of tribute also speak volumes about Bernadine and Raymond Lowell, who instilled those noble traits in their son. Our community mourns with them, and with Jake's two older siblings, Jennifer and Joe, and with other relatives and friends.

In his memory, we should take a lesson from the way Jake lived his life and try to solve the many problems of the world. We should always give 100 percent. We should always care about people. And we should provide help when it's needed, no matter what it takes.

Army Specialist Jacob M. Lowell was killed in action on 6/2/07.


Jakes friend RIP buddy said...

God bless you Jake and I hope that your young soul rests in peace. Steak I hope that we can meet eachother in heaven again one day. Buddy I love and miss you. Not one day goes by that I have not thought of you. I love and miss you so much! I have shed so many tears due to your death. I thank you for the sacrifice that you have made and I have an unmeasurable amount of respect and gratitude for you. Jake you have inspired me to serve our country. I am a future Marine. Thank you Jake I love and miss you. I will see you again in heaven one day. Mike misses you a lot too! And so do so many others. I visited your grave this winter. Its looking nice bud. I love you. Good night and sweet dreams dont let the camel spiders bite :) Love you Jake. Forever and ever.

SGT Joshua G. Long said...

To Jake's family I am sorry for your loss. I was with jake at bragg to Italy and Afghanistan. He was my first friend I lost I miss you Brother "SKY SOLDIERS"..