Exceptional female service members

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Samantha Holmes
  • 62nd Force Support Squadron
Air Force Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Jacobson and Army Specialist Monica Brown are two female military members you may or may not remember. Their stories are vastly different, but it is their bravery and determination that connects them to all women who aspire to be just as impacting to our nation's freedom together.

Airman Jacobson was assigned to the 17th Security Forces Squadron at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas. She became the first female Airman to lose her life in Iraq on September 28, 2005. Elizabeth's death was a result of her vehicle making contact with an improvised explosive device.

"She was an outstanding Airman who embraced life and took on all the challenges and responsibilities with extraordinary commitment to her country, her comrades and her family," said Col. Scott Bethel, 17th Training Wing commander.

The 21-year-old from Riviera Beach, Fla., received a bronze star for bravery under fire, an achievement medal and a purple heart given to her parents.

Specialist Brown was assigned to the 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team in Afghanistan. The 19-year-old from Texas became the second woman since World War II to receive the Silver Star for saving the lives of fellow soldiers after a roadside bomb caused havoc through a convoy of humvees in eastern Paktia in April 2007.

Instead of taking cover, Specialist Brown grabbed her medic bag and ran through gun fire to aid her injured comrades.

Personally knowing all five wounded soldiers, it became more urgent for Specialist Brown to get them all to a safer location. She and some others managed to move the wounded some 500 yards away to treat them on-site before putting them on a helicopter to be evacuated.

The military said Specialist Brown's "bravery, unselfish actions and medical aid rendered under fire saved the lives of her comrades and represents the finest traditions of heroism in combat."

Airman 1st Class Jacobson and Specialist Brown are just small examples of how strong and essential young female members are in our military's success. They are to be admired and honored for their exceptional service.