Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Jacob Andrew Macias, United States Navy Veteran

 Jacob Macias, J-Mac to his family and friends, was born in Victoria, Texas on September 10, 1989.  He passed away on December 30, 2012, at the age of 23, ending his battle with leukemia.

Jacob was a "military brat", with his parents both soldiers.  They lived in Europe, Hawaii and the continental United States.  Jacob graduated from Killeen, Texas High School in 2007 where he played football and wrestled.  He attended Central Texas College, but soon realized he needed to see more of the world and joined the United States Navy.  But, his leukemia ended that career.  Soon after Jacob joined the Navy, his father SSG German Estrada passed away, and was buried at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in 2008.

Jacob was an avid sports fan of the San Francisco Niners, the Texas Longhorns and Houston Astros.  He loved to shoot pool, write poems and draw.  He enjoyed hanging out with his brother, numerous friends and "bros". 

During Jacob's last year he worked hard from his hospital bed and attended bone marrow and blood drives in hopes of finding a donor and to increase awareness of the challenges and heart ache that leukemia can bring regardless of gender, race or age.  His heart was broken for the children, teenagers and people of his own age and had decided to start a foundation , "Jacob's Journey" in hope of bringing happiness to them.

On January 7, 2013, an interment service was held for Jacob at the Central Texas State Cemetery, just south of Killeen, Texas.  When the family arrived for the service, they were welcomed by fifty American flags lining the roadway and the Patriot Guard Riders.

After the flag draped casket was moved from the hearse to the committal shelter, the Riders formed a line of flags along the front of the shelter.

After the casket was at rest, the Navy bugler played taps, while all in attendance stood at attention.  The Navy Honor Detail then folded the American flag that covered the casket into the traditional triangle and ceremoniously passed it to a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the United States Army, who presented it to Jacob's mother on behalf of a grateful nation for Jacob's service to his country.

Five of the pall bearers were wearing sports apparel from professional football teams, as were many of the family and friends.  Also, neatly pinned to many lapels were burnt orange ribbons.

Jacob Andrew Macias was laid to rest in the cemetery space next to his father, which had been reserved for his mother.  Some day she will join Jacob in that space.

Left to cherish the many memories of his short life, are his mother, Sergeant First Class, Ret. Barbara Estrada, one brother, three of his grandparents, numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, step family members and numerous other dear family and friends.  Jacob's biological father, Guadalupe Macias, had preceded him in death.

With thanks to the Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home for biographical information and additional photographs.

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