Soldier's death in Iraq is reviewed

Soldier's death in Iraq is reviewed

There are 31 comments on the TwinCities.com story from Apr 11, 2008, titled Soldier's death in Iraq is reviewed. In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

An outgoing, dedicated father from St. Paul's East Side died Wednesday while serving in Iraq, six months into his second tour of duty there with the Army.

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Steven Elwood

AOL

#1 Apr 12, 2008
They came today.
Two Sergeants left a few hours ago. Sergeant 1st class Andrew Beck is my "Casualty Assistance Officer". I asked Beck how did my son die. He said they found him at 6:30 A.M. 4/9/08 with a gunshot wound to his head. I asked,

"Found him? Was he lost? Was he AWOL? Was he on Duty?" Beck said that he didn't have any more information until after the investigation. I asked Beck, "Who shot him? Was it friendly or enemy fire? MY daughter said that they implied it was self inflicted",(which my daughter could not believe). Beck looked down and said he did not know at this time. I informed Beck that I had spoken to his wife and she told me that she had spoken to Jake a couple of hours prior to them finding him. She told me that he was in good spirits and making plans for when he came home. I also informed Beck, Jake had a myspace web site where he would write down his feelings and concerns, I also told Beck I understand psychology and that Jake would not kill himself without leaving a note to explain why. Beck said I should not listen to any other story until I got the full report from him in a few weeks. He told me Jake's body would be in the United States by 10:30 tonight.


I asked the two sergeants, "We bombed Iraq back to the stone age....We have killed over 4000 American soldiers....One million Iraq civilians..... What for?....What did my son die for?" Both sergeants shook their heads in unison saying, "We don't know", as they shrugged. They had me sign some release forms before I escorted them out.


Soldiers Mom

Des Moines, IA

#2 Apr 12, 2008
I am so very sorry for your loss. My daughter & son in law are on their way. My heart aches everyday just thinking about it. I can't even imagine and hope I don't ever have to, feel your pain. My heart and my prayers are with you and your family. Again, I am so sorry.
Soldiers Mom

Des Moines, IA

#4 Apr 12, 2008
And you know what? Evidently you are not in the country of Iraq right now? You are probably in your office overlooking your quiet neighborhood and just had a nice breakfast with your wife and 3.2 kids. When its your life or theirs, whose would you pick? I know bad things happen in war but we all have done rotten things in our lives and I know you are not above that. Don't talk crap about someone you don't know about. Don't stick a knife into a parents heart or a wifes heart or a mothers heart at this awful time. Walk a mile in the mans boots first.
Cindy Army Mom

Minneapolis, MN

#5 Apr 12, 2008
Mr. Elwood, I am so very sorry for your loss. My heart and prayers are with you and your entire family, especially these children. My heart breaks for you all.
Your son is a Hero! No matter what, he will always be a Hero! He stood up, he made the decision to enlist to give his family a better life and to protect us all. I, for one, will be forever grateful to all our brave men and women that make that choice.
Your loss of Jake is tragic and all military families across this country share in your heartache and pain today. Because, as a mom of a soldier, the loss of every single one of these Heroes, is the loss of one of my "kids".
My prayers are with you!
always believe

AOL

#7 Apr 12, 2008
Dear Elwood family,

Know you are in our hearts. Our prayers go out to you. Know that your son/husband/brother did not die in vain. We can't see the "big picture" or the end of the "story" but know, his presence in Iraq did serve a purpose.
God Bless all of you.
Dwan Fairbanks

Murfreesboro, TN

#8 Apr 12, 2008
My husband Jake is an HONORABLE MAN!! He served twice in Iraq to give you ( LEFTY LACROSSE) the freedom of a free life and the freedom to speak your mind EVEN THOUGH YOUR OPINION IS UNWELCOMED! Jake is and will ALWAYS remain the love of our lives and OUR HERO! I can not wish bad upon you LEFTY LACROSS, but I do and will continue to pray that you find the Lord and that he will help you to see the light! For everyone else, Thank You so much for all of your support and prayers through this time of grief and continue to pray for us and all of our soldiers and hero's and their family's . GOD BLESS YOU ALL!~ Proud Wife of a UNITED STATES SOLDIER AND HERO!!~ DWAN FAIRBANKS
Pastor Jason

Minneapolis, MN

#9 Apr 12, 2008
My heartfelt condolences to the family. Although my time with him was brief, I could tell that Jake was a role-model to the kids at youth group here, and he will be deeply missed. May God offer comfort at this difficult time.
saint paul

Minneapolis, MN

#10 Apr 12, 2008
I knew jake, he was a good kid. He died for his country, he died for us. You may not think so but in the end when this war is over we will know, he is a hero. He died honorably, no matter what the investigation concludes. I think he did the most honorable, and selfless thing a human being can do. This is to his family, your son died for us, for all of us. I am deeply sorry for your loss. The east side lost and extremely amazing individual, one that i will always remember. Please remember why he died and what he was trying to accomplish, he shared the vision, even if you dont see it right now, he saw it. He thought it was worth it
st paul mom

AOL

#11 Apr 12, 2008
I met Jake when he was in the ninth grade and became one of my daughter's best friends. He needed a ride home and seeing as we lived close to him, he rode with us. Jake was talking about a hot girl he met and how she made him feel. Seeing as I just met him, I said do you talk like that in front of your mother? He hung his head and said 'no, sorry'. My daughter laughed and said I was just kidding. Through the years of their friendship, I realized what a decent and kind person Jake was. He was no saint. He went through his troubles, but the one thing I do know is that he had a deep and abiding faith in God. When my daughter questioned her faith she went to Jake for help and consolation. He was there for her. He spent his summers as a counseler at a christian based camp. He could have been running the streets like other teenagers, but he didn't. Being a counseler was important to him. That's Jake. Being there for those who needed him. Jake accepted people at face value and didn't judge. So those of you that think you know him and make those terrible remarks, can you honestly say you've done everything to be the best you can be? Jake could. I thank God everyday for Jake being in my daughter's life. She's a better person for knowing him.
Carrie

Saint Paul, MN

#13 Apr 12, 2008
Wow, in most circumstances I would advocate that we should be able to say what we want on these forums.

However, I must agree that posting about the war and our involvement is an inapproriate reaction to someone who has just lost their son. Even if you disagree with the war, you should still support the people who are over there fighting.
huntergrl

Minneapolis, MN

#14 Apr 12, 2008
Jake was an amazing person. Always full of life and smiles. I will miss him dearly. He was always a good friend all throughout high school and those church retreats. Im proud to say that I knew Jake and what a wonderful he was. My condolences to Dwan and the kids.
Soldiers Mom

Des Moines, IA

#15 Apr 12, 2008
Thank you all for see the Lefty guy for what he really is. My daughter and son in law are on their way to Iraq for the next year. I pray every day that they return home safely. I am so proud of both of them because they love their country so. I hold our soldiers in such high regard. Could you, lefty looser, hang with our brave soldiers for even 1 hour? I doubt it. Instead you must run your mouth and disrespect folks you don't even know from the keyboard of your computer where nobody can see you. Take a look in the mirror. I bet you don't like what you see!
GodBless

Eden Prairie, MN

#16 Apr 12, 2008
My heart goes out to the family of Jake. I didn't know him at all, but I'm sure he was a great person. We can all sit around and critize the war in Iraq to our hearts intent, BUT it was NOT our (WE Americans) to go to war. It was BUSH. I think Bush had his heart in the right place, regarding starting this war, but should have pulled out along time ago.(Just my opinion) However I do not think it is right to say Jake is not a hero. I'm sure all the guys and gals in Iraq are just doing what they are told, and I do think that there is some good coming from this war. The soldiers have been able to help some of these people there. God Bless you Jake, and your family too!
Grieving Aunt of Greg

Minneapolis, MN

#19 Apr 12, 2008
Dwan Fairbanks wrote:
My husband Jake is an HONORABLE MAN!! He served twice in Iraq to give you ( LEFTY LACROSSE) the freedom of a free life and the freedom to speak your mind EVEN THOUGH YOUR OPINION IS UNWELCOMED! Jake is and will ALWAYS remain the love of our lives and OUR HERO! I can not wish bad upon you LEFTY LACROSS, but I do and will continue to pray that you find the Lord and that he will help you to see the light! For everyone else, Thank You so much for all of your support and prayers through this time of grief and continue to pray for us and all of our soldiers and hero's and their family's . GOD BLESS YOU ALL!~ Proud Wife of a UNITED STATES SOLDIER AND HERO!!~ DWAN FAIRBANKS
Dwan... As hard as it may be, try to ignore that "person" who calls himself Lefty Lacrosse. He posted the same terrible garbage about my nephew, Spc Gregory Rundell when his story was in the news. At first I wanted to reply but decided I know what kind of person Greg is and nothing he says wil lchange that. I would rather use my prayers and energy remembering what a wonderful person we love and lost. And now I will add you and your family to my prayers. I hurt for you and cry for your loss. God bless Jake, a TRUE HERO! And God bless you and your family.
ABC

United States

#20 Apr 13, 2008
I HAD THE PRIVELIDGE TO WORK AND LIVE WITH JACOB FOR A 1 1/2 AND IT WAS GREAT I WAS HIS SHOULDER MOST OF THE TIME AND WOULD HEAR HIM SAY AND EXPRESS HOW HE WAS FEELING, AND SHARING HOW STUFF BACK AT HOME WAS, BASICALLY I WAS THERE FOR HIM AND TRY TO HELP HIM AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, BUT DONT LET THIS COMMENT BRING YOU TEARS, INFACT IT SHOULD BRING YOU JOY OF HOW I AND OUR FELLOW COMRADES WILL HAVE HIM IN OUR HEART. I LOVE THAT KID AND I NOW THAT NOW HE WILL NOT BE HURT IN ANY POSSIBLE WAY ANYMORE, AND LET REMEMBER THIS THAT HE WAS A AWSOME SOLDIER ASWELL AS A FATHER, SO MOM FAIRBANKS, AND DAD FAIRBANKS I WILL BE VISITING YOU AND SHARE THE WONDERFULL MOMENTS I HAD WITH YOUR SON.
Soldiers Mom

Des Moines, IA

#22 Apr 13, 2008
I just want to say to everyone posting here- please tell your sons and daughters and husbands and wife and aunts & uncles and grandmas and grandpas how really special they are to you and truly how you feel about them while they are alive. You just never know when time is up. I wish I would have known Jacob. He sounded like a sweet man. My love and prayers are with the family members always.
Press Exposed

Saint Paul, MN

#23 Apr 13, 2008
"Lefty LaCrosse" is a paid employee of the Pioneer Press who lives in Woodbury. He posts here to drive up "web traffic" and increase advertising revenues.
Michael

Plymouth, MN

#25 Apr 13, 2008
Please accept my condolences and my deepest gratitude for Specialist Fairbanks' services to his country. We are all diminished by his loss, even those of us here in St Paul who did not have the honor of knowing him. The whole country has suffered a loss. Best wishes for healing and memory.
nari

Minneapolis, MN

#28 Apr 14, 2008
I'm going to miss him. After high school, I kind of fell out of touch... I notice they mention that he was in ROTC and wrestling and such, but not other things he was active in, like theatre and speech. We did a dramatic duo piece together, and he was good at expressing the emotions of his character, who was just like him - full of energy and life. Now I'm feeling more like the one I played; depressed over an unexpected death. I wish I could've seen him again before this happened.
Cybear

Saint Paul, MN

#30 Apr 14, 2008
Lefty LaCrosse << It sounds to me like the son inherited some of his dad's rationality and decency. >>

It sounds to me like you are exploiting a family's grief.

<< Knowing that all you've done is help destroy a country never causing the U.S. any harm while murdering, torturing, raping and abusing its innocent people is not something an honorable man lives with easily. >>

This does not square with ANY of the many young men whom I have talked with about their war experiences.

<< Judging by some posting here who praise "heroes, ultimate sacrifices" etc, it's going to take some time before the real shame of what has been done in their name catches up with them. >>

They, and we Americans, have nothing to be ashamed of. You, however, should be ashamed of tarring their achievements, even if you disagree with the war.

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