Captain Jacob J. Wiebe was born on 19 June 1969 in Jacksonville, Florida, and died on 22 August 2001 when the F/A-18 he was piloting crashed near Yuma, Arizona. Memorial services were held in Jacksonville, Florida, Fayetteville, Arkansas, and at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina, where Jake was stationed with VMFA-115; the "Silver Eagles." A graveside service was held in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.
After spending a year at the University of Arkansas, Jake joined the warriors of 4th Company, where he quickly established himself as a leader and friend to all. His easy-going demeanor and can-do attitude made him one of those people who everyone knew. Jake was in 36th Company his final two years at the Academy. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant upon graduation, and was assigned to "A" Company (01-94) The Basic School. From there he attended Primary flight training in Pensacola and Intermediate and Advanced training in Meridian, MS. He received his "Wings of Gold" in 1997, after which he was assigned to NAS Cecil Field, FL for Fleet Replacement training in the F/A-18 Hornet. He served his final billet as the operations officer of VMFA-115, where he earned the Navy Commendation Medal for the stellar job he had done.
Jake is survived by his mother Judy Barrett of Middleberg, FL; his father Albert J. Wiebe of Paradise, UT; his brother Matthew Wiebe of Fayetteville, AR; his grandmother Marian Cassidy of Jacksonville, FL; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews who were all proud of his accomplishments and anxious to hear more about the wonderful person he was. Jake’s cousin Thomas has established a website in his memory, and all of his classmates and friends are invited to tell their "Jacob Stories" at http://www.jacobjwiebe.com. The family requests that contributions be made in his memory to St. Jude’s Childrens Research Center, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
Jake was a friend in the truest sense. He was our "security blanket"--the one person who made the dangers of our profession easier to endure, as we knew he would take care of our families in the event of our passing. His life was rich with experiences, family, and friends, as evident by the numerous photo albums he painstakingly maintained, which chronicled his life and loves. After his death, Jake’s brother Matthew found the following quote hand-written and placed inside one of these albums; "We won’t always know whose lives we touched and made better for our having cared, because actions can sometimes have unseen ramifications. What’s important is that you do care and you act." This, above all else, is how Jake lived his life. He touched everyone he met and made a difference. We could all hope to be so blessed. Semper fidelis, friend. We miss you here.
Capt Brian R Blalock, USMC