Colonel Jack Jacobs honored at Dyess event

Col. Jack Jacobs already had a number of prestigious honors, including three Bronze Stars, two Silver Stars, two Purple Hearts and the Medal of Honor.


On Tuesday, the birthday of Jimmie Dyess, Jacobs also was honored with the Distinguished American Award at the first Jimmie Dyess Symposium at the Augusta Museum of History.

"Quite frankly, there needed to be more people perpetuating Jimmie Dyess," said Bill Lesshafft, a Dyess fan who came up with the idea for the new award.

Augusta's Dyess was the only person to be awarded both the Medal of Honor and the Carnegie Medal. He died at 35.

"This community has a history of producing leaders, youthful leaders, who have gone on to have an impact around the world," Mayor Deke Copenhaver said at the symposium.

Jacobs accepted the award Tuesday evening in front of a crowd of more than 100 people, while standing next to Dyess' only daughter, Connor Dyess Smith.

Jacobs, one of only 86 living Medal of Honor recipients, entertained the crowds with humorous stories about his short stature and encounters along life's road, while also addressing the situation in Pakistan, politics and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The colonel told the audience he was concerned about people's views of the military today and stressed to young people the importance of service.

"Today, you have to knock on 200 doors before you find a single solitary household from which someone has served in uniform," he said. "This is distressing ... because of the notion that military service is for someone else."

Jacobs' father passed on the values of service and sacrifice after he served in the military.

"Once we're gone, the only people who are going to be able to do it are the people who we've convinced that service and sacrifice is something that made this country great and will keep this country alive," he said.

Every year on Dyess' birthday, Jan. 11, the symposium will honor others who, like Dyess and Jacobs, have served the country with courage and distinction.

Jacobs received a crystal award. A larger crystal award will be on display in the museum to honor all distinguished Americans.