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A Ruck to Remember

U.S. Air Force members participate in the Jacobson Ruck March on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, September 26, 2019. This ruck is done in remembrance of Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Jacobson, 17th Security Forces Squadron defender, who was killed in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ethan Sherwood/Released)

U.S. Air Force members participate in the Jacobson Ruck March on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, September 26, 2019. This ruck is done in remembrance of Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Jacobson, 17th Security Forces Squadron defender, who was killed in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ethan Sherwood/Released)

Military personnel stand in front of the 17th Security Forces Squadron after completing the Jacobson Ruck March on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, September 26, 2019. Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Jacobson, 17th SFS defender, was the first female Airman killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom and the first SF member killed in conflict since the Vietnam War. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ethan Sherwood/Released)

Military personnel stand in front of the 17th Security Forces Squadron after completing the Jacobson Ruck March on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, September 26, 2019. Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Jacobson, 17th SFS defender, was the first female Airman killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom and the first SF member killed in conflict since the Vietnam War. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ethan Sherwood/Released)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

The 17th Security Forces Squadron here held a ruck in memory of a fallen member of the 17th SFS September, 26.

Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Jacobson was a member of the 17th SFS from 2003-2005. In 2005 she was deployed as part of the 586th Expeditionary SFS stationed at Camp Bucca, Iraq where she died September 28th, 2005. She was the first female Airman killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom and the first Air Force SF member killed in conflict since the Vietnam War.

“Today we’re doing a ruck in memorial of Airman Jacobson,” said Chief Master Sgt. Ted Fest, 17th Security Forces Manager. “The ruck symbolizes the weight of those that we’ve left behind, those that paid that ultimate sacrifice.”

Fest has a personal attachment to the ruck due to his history with Jacobson.

“I participated because she is one of our family,” said Fest. Jacobson’s team relieved Fest and his team in Iraq. “She was my way home after my combat tour, unfortunately she did not get that opportunity to come home alive from her combat tour.”

Approximately 30 members from the base rucked four miles around the perimeter of the base with weighted ruck sacks to make it more than a simple walk.

“I think a ruck is a great way to humble yourself,” said 17th SFS Defender Airman 1st Class Emmanuel Parrott. “It beats you down, it beats you down a lot.”

The ruck was about realizing the burden that each member has and how to bear that load together.

 “It’s not so much about the ruck, but all of us getting together as a family unit within the squadron to remember one of our own,” said Fest. “The ruck is just something we do to add a little bit of emphasis upon the burden that we all take with the oath of service. That we may be called upon, like she was, to pay that ultimate sacrifice.”

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