Morgen Jacobs (2004/10/07)
For Morgen it was all about country and fighting for freedom.
Morgen Jacobs was born on May 14, 1984, in Santa Cruz, California, to Cindy and Michael Cummings. Shortly after Morgen's birth, his parents divorced and his mother remarried Todd Jacobs, who adopted him. A sister, Austin, joined him in the family. Jacobs attended elementary school at Capitola and Santa Cruz Garden schools before entering New Brighton Middle School. Later he enrolled in Soquel High School. As a growing boy he was often found working on model airplanes or building with Legos. In high school Morgen was a popular youth who enjoyed reggae music, mountain biking, softball, golf and skimboarding. After graduating from Soquel High, he planned on enrolling in nearby Cabrillo College. When the terrorist flights into the World Trade Towers occurred on 9/11, Morgen declared his intent to join the army, "to go over to protect America and fight for freedom."
Jacobs enlisted in the US Army in the fall of 2002 and was sent to Fort Benning, Georgia, for basic and advanced individual training. At the completion of his training, he was sent to Schweinfurt, Germany, to join Company B, 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment of the 1st Infantry Division.
In January 2004 his unit was deployed to Iraq and assigned to the Bayji area ninety miles south of Baghdad. Staff Sergeant Shane Biehl recalled the fateful day on which Morgen was killed.
“I was with Jacobs throughout the Iraq deployment. I was in the vehicle behind him when he was killed. I saw the explosion engulf his vehicle. I then jumped out of my vehicle and ran up to help, but we were engaged by AK-47 fire. I then shot and killed (later on we found out) the man who detonated the IEA that killed SPC Jacobs. I helped in pulling Jacobs out of the vehicle. It was the worst day of my life. I always think about that day. “
After being wounded by the explosion of his patrol vehicle at Aaliyah, Iraq, on October 6, 2004, Specialist Fourth Class Jacobs was taken to Tikrit, Iraq where he died the next day. His body was returned to Santa Cruz and following a full military funeral, was buried in Santa Cruz Memorial Park.
(Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Remembering the Service Members Who Died in the Service of their Country, http://www.fallenheroesmemorial.com/oif/profiles/jacobsmorgenn.html, [16 September 2008]); Chicago Times, Soldiers Story, http://legacy.suntimes.com/ChicagoSunTimes/Soldier/Story.aspx?PersonID=3098099, [16 September 2008]; SCSn October 13, 2004 1, SCSn October 24, 2004 1:1)