Lawmaker, Missouri Baptist deacon featured speaker at Veterans’ Day ceremonies at state Capitol
Ex-fighter pilot Jack Jackson salutes those who have served
By Allen Palmeri
November 23, 2004
JEFFERSON CITY – State Rep. Jack Jackson, R-Wildwood, used the occasion of a Veterans’ Day program in the state Capitol Rotunda sponsored by the Jefferson City Veterans’ Council to define what a veteran is.
“A veteran has no gender,” said Jackson, who flew the Harrier II jump jet with the Marines in the Vietnam War. “It has no race, no creed, no color, no religion. A veteran is an individual who says I’m going to make the sacrifice to ensure the freedom of this great nation.”
Jackson, who was named Legislator of the Year by the Missouri Department of Veterans of Foreign Wars in June 2003, is a deacon at First Baptist Church, Ellisville. He likes to share his testimony of faith in Jesus Christ through Ephesians 6:10-17, the full armor of God, using his flight gear to illustrate various parts of the armor. On Nov. 11 before the veterans, he talked about a Bible character, the Roman centurion (Luke 7:1-10), comparing him to the military men of today.
“He (the centurion) didn’t go (to Jesus) for himself,” Jackson said. “Do you know why he went? He had a man down (meaning a slave in need of medical attention). He had a man down and said, ‘I need you to fix this guy.’”
Jackson flew more than 600 combat missions and is the recipient of four Distinguished Flying Crosses, 33 air medals and the Legion of Merit. In January he retired as chief test pilot for Boeing Co.
He said that on occasions like his Veterans’ Day talk he is reminded of how God has been so good to him over the years.
“God’s grace is sufficient,” Jackson said. “That’s all He promises, and that’s all I can claim. When I claim that, everything else is fine.”
He called his fellow veterans true American heroes, men and women who have a heart for the freedom in this great nation.
“My friends, Veterans’ Day in this nation is every day that we get up,” Jackson said.