110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Memorial scholarship fundraiser set for Saturday, Feb. 16
By Pat Andrews
posted Feb 4, 2013 - 12:01:20pm
UPDATE FRIDAY, FEB. 15 — It's not too late to make a reservation for the tribute to his daughter, Master Sgt. Tara Jacobs Brown set for tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 16, Jim Jacobs said today. The time schedule has been pushed back slightly, with a social time beginning at 5 p.m. at the Clarion Hotel in DeLand. Call him at 407-232-0411.
PREVIOUSLY REPORTED — About the worst thing that can happen in this life is a parent losing a child. Little but time and honoring that child’s memory can ease the pain.
With the help of friends and family members, Jim Jacobs set up a scholarship in honor of his daughter, Air Force Master Sgt. Tara Jacobs Brown of Deltona, who lost her life in Kabul, Afghanistan, on April 27, 2011.
The Tara Jacobs Brown Scholarship Foundation will assist Volusia County high-school students who want to go to college.
Now, to begin building that scholarship fund, military leaders who served with Brown are deploying to DeLand for a dinner Brown’s father hopes will become an annual event.
The gathering is set for 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Clarion Hotel, at 350 E. International Speedway Blvd. A donation of $50 per person includes dinner, live music and talks by military personnel.
Brown was there on an assignment as a computer trainer, instructing Afghan military technicians in the use of desktop computers and networks.
She had joined the Air Force shortly after graduating from Deltona High School in 1995, and had served for 15 years. Brown found her niche in Air Force computer training.
She left behind a husband, Staff Sgt. Ernest Brown, who serves at the White House.
“Though they had only been married about four months, they knew each other for about 10 years,” Jacobs said.
The couple had made plans to go on a honeymoon cruise the week after Tara Brown was killed. Jacobs, who now lives in the Orlando area, was looking forward to a post-cruise meet-up with the newlyweds when Ernest Brown called him. With a chaplain at his side, Ernest Brown told his father-in-law of Tara Brown’s death.
Jacobs said both he and Ernest Brown are coming through their grief.
“Me and her husband had a conversation about it. She had a great life,” Jacobs said. “You can’t quit God.”
Both men took comfort in the fact that Tara Brown had been doing what she wanted to do, Jacobs said.
Ernest Brown will attend the fundraiser in DeLand.
So will some of the people with whom Tara Jacobs Brown served. They will share their thoughts during the event.
• Col. Bob Trayers, Tara Brown’s squadron commander in Afghanistan. He called Tara Brown an amazing person who was “always there to lend an ear, give some advice, or laugh at a joke,” and who never complained, despite the harsh conditions. “Tara was very proud of her service to her country and not only did it well ... she led the way! This foundation will keep Tara’s memory alive and well and her star shining over all of us and future generations,” Trayers said.
• Retired Lt. Col. Sally Stenton, who called Tara Brown “a woman of substance” who was “smart, dedicated and patriotic,” and who believed in education. “This is why it’s so appropriate that Tara’s legacy be carried on with an educational scholarship,” Stenton added.
• Master Sgt. Sonya L. Couture, who said of Tara Brown, “She spoke often of her sister’s children and her desire to ensure they had every educational opportunity to succeed. Tara’s devotion to the online classes she was taking, along with her encouragement, inspired me to begin working on my education, as well.” Since Tara Brown’s death, Couture has completed two professional military-education courses online, and earned an associate degree.
• Master Sgt. Gisele Boyle, who served with Tara Brown in Alaska and Afghanistan. “We were inseparable,” Boyle said. She could only imagine Tara Brown helping the victims —not being one of them.
• Volusia County Council Member Pat Northey, in whose district Tara Jacobs Brown lived. Northey is married to a Vietnam War veteran.
Jacobs draws comfort from his remaining children: son Jim, who served in the Marines for four years; another daughter, Laguanda, who lives in Maryland and has given Jacobs grandchildren; son Dominic, who lives in New York; and youngest son, Michael, who just completed his first year in the Army and is stationed at Fort Hood, Texas.
For more information about the fundraiser, or to donate to the scholarship fund, call Jacobs at 407-232-0411, send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website www.tarajacobsbrownscholarshipfoundation.webs.com.
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