Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Army Spc. Jacob J. Fairbanks

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Jacob J. Fairbanks, 22, of St. Paul, Minn.

Spc. Fairbanks was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.; died April 9, 2008 in Baghdad of injuries sustained in a non-combat-related incident.

Minnesota soldier killed in Iraq
The Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — An Army specialist from St. Paul died of injuries suffered in Iraq, the Defense Department reported Friday. He is the 73rd person with strong Minnesota ties to die in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Spc. Jacob J. Fairbanks, 22, of St. Paul, died Wednesday in Baghdad of injuries the military described as non-combat-related.

Fairbanks was a member of the 1st Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment in the 101st Airborne out of Fort Campbell, Ky. He had joined the Army in 2004 and was about six months into his second tour in Iraq.

Fairbanks’ family issued a statement that described Fairbanks as a “proud member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe.” It said he was a 2004 graduate of St. Paul Johnson Senior High School, where he was active in Junior ROTC, wrestling and tennis.

Fairbanks is survived by his wife, Dwan, of St. Paul; daughter Kayla, 1; stepchildren Alexander, 11; Katelin, 9; and David, 5; and his parents.

• • • • •

Army Spc. Jacob J. Fairbanks remembered
The Associated Press

Mike Wallman recalled becoming a new pastor and walking into a rowdy youth group meeting where Jacob J. Fairbanks, then in high school, was present.

Fairbanks called out to the group: “Listen up,” the pastor recalled Fairbanks telling the kids. “This is our new pastor. Listen to him, and show him the respect he deserves.”

The group quieted down instantly.

Fairbanks “could command respect,” Wallman said.

Fairbanks, 22, of St. Paul, Minn., died April 9 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was a 2004 high school graduate and was assigned to Fort Campbell.

Two of his best friends, 22-year-old Caleb Champeau and 21-year-old Robby Dodge, painted a picture of Fairbanks as a resourceful guy with a need to help others.

“He was the kind of guy who’d give you the shirt off his back which happened quite a bit,” Champeau said. “He was selfless.”

Dodge said Fairbanks “made it a priority to solve issues for friends.”

Fairbanks, a wrestler and tennis player who was voted “most outgoing” by his classmates, is survived by his wife, Dwan, daughter Kayla, 1 and stepchildren Alexander, 11 Katelin, 9 and David, 5.

Army Spc. Jacob J. Fairbanks died of non-combat related injuries on 4/9/08.

No comments: