Beale loses Airman to natural causes in Iraq

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Zachary Wilson
  • 9 RW Public Affairs
A 9th Reconnaissance Wing Airman passed away at Balad Air Base, Iraq, July 17 from non-combat related natural causes. 

Tech. Sgt. Jackie Larsen, 9th RW Legal Office superintendent, was on an Air Expeditionary Force rotation serving with the 447th Air Expeditionary Group at Baghdad International Airport, supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom when she passed away at the Joint Base Balad Hospital. 

Sergeant Larsen, 37, joined the Air Force in 1990 as a Services specialist. Her hometown was Tacoma, Wash., and she was originally from the Philippines. She was stationed at Beale in 2006 as a base paralegal and recently assumed the position of superintendent in June, 2008. 

"Many people knew TSgt Jackie Larsen as a military professional," said Tech. Sgt. Rosalyn Anderson, Sergeant Larsen's colleague. "They would say that she was dedicated, a real 'tough cookie', and a 'no nonsense' kind of NCO. Not many knew her outside of that capacity... the way she would giggle when she was in a silly mood, how protective she was of her family - particularly her mother, nor would many know of her love of deep sea diving and her desire to be an instructor."

The Airmen serving in the Beale Legal Office also remembered how Sergeant Larsen loved animals, all animals and had a particularly strong love for coffee.

"It was 'guesstimated' that the coffee mug she so lovingly carried held approximately 32 oz.," Sergeant Anderson said.

According to her official biography, as the Legal Office Superintendent, she managed both the general law and military justice divisions to include overseeing all aspects of enlisted training within the law center. She served as the principal advisor to the Staff Judge Advocate concerning enlisted matters.

Additionally, Sergeant Larsen's military career took her around the world, from Turkey, and Germany to Iraq. She was also awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal and The Air Force Achievement Medal with one oak-leaf cluster.

"We've been overwhelmed with the outpouring of support from legal professionals across the world who knew and worked with Jackie," said Lt. Col. Peter Teller, 9th RW Staff Judge Advocate and Sergeant's Larsen's supervisor. Sergeant Larsen is remembered as a dedicated NCO to her United States Air Force, a devoted wife and a protective loving daughter to her mom and a true friend to all of us, Colonel Teller said.