Marine Cpl. Jacob H. Turbett
Died February 13, 2010 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom
21, of Canton, Mich.; assigned to 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Feb. 13 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
(Taken from www.hometownlife.com of Feb. 22, 2010) Lucy Smithers didn’t know Marine Cpl. Jacob Turbett, hadn’t ever met him or anyone who knew him and knew nothing about Monday’s show of support for the fallen Marine until reading the local
paper Sunday night.
Yet there was Smithers, with her friend and fellow Westland resident Gerry Spino, holding an American flag while standing on Ford Road in a driving snowstorm and paying her respects to the 2007 Canton High School graduate killed in Afghanistan.
“It’s about patriotism,” said Smithers, who said the weather never discouraged her from participating. “He gave his life for our country. This was the least I
could do for him.”
Smithers and Spino were among hundreds of supporters who lined the roadways along Canton Center and Ford Road Monday morning as Turbett’s body was escorted from Willow Run Airport, where it had been brought from Dover Air Force Base, Del.,
on its roundabout journey to his final resting place.
Visitation for Turbett will be noon-9 p.m. today and 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday. Services are set for 1 p.m. Tuesday at the L.J. Griffin Funeral Home, 42600
Ford Road. Turbett will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., March 9.
A combat engineer, Turbett was felled by a single gunshot wound Feb. 13. For the hundreds who lined the road Monday, it was their best chance to pay respects to a young man who gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country.
Canton’s veterans groups made their way to Willow Run in the snow to accompany Turbett on his final trip home. The procession was escorted by both Van Buren and Canton Township Police.
The veterans’ color guard felt a particular need to take part in honoring the young man.
“He’s a veteran, and this is our way of honoring his service and his sacrifice,” said Army Cpl. Bob Lamoreux, who served in the infantry in Vietnam in 1968. “It’s especially important for Vietnam vets, because it’s a way of honoring him the way we were never honored.”
Citing the veterans’ adopted motto, “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another,” a rally against the way Vietnam veterans feel they were treated when they came home, Lamoreux said the turnout for Turbett was especially satisfying
considering the weather.
“I thought it was tremendous,” Lamoreux said. “It shows (Canton) supports our veterans. You don’t have to support the war, but you do have to support the soldiers.”
The crowd wasn’t all veterans, though. Friends and family also turned out. Jordan Stambaugh, who met Turbett during her freshman year and said she was in Turbett’s wedding party, remembered Turbett as “a great guy.”
“I wanted to show my respect,” said Stambaugh, a Canton resident. “He was an amazing guy and a great, great friend.”
The show of support – the scores of people lining the street, most of them waving an American flag, was overwhelming to Turbett’s family, many of whom have served their country, including his sister, Jamie, who is in Navy boot camp now.
Sheila Turbett, Jacob’s mother and a resident of Redford Township, said the support was greatly appreciated and, under different circumstances, would have included Jacob himself.
“We couldn’t stop crying,” Sheila Turbett said of the trip from Willow Run to Canton. “Jake would have liked knowing there was that much support for the military. He’d have been out there with them if it had been someone else.”
Turbett is survived by his wife, Crystal - on his Myspace page, he called her “the best thing that ever happened to me” - whom he married in July 2008; his mother, Sheila; his father, Richard ; sister Jaime Turbett; stepbrother, Joseph Marsh;. grandparents, aunts and uncles.