James Emory Jackson, 25, of Mountain Home, died in Tucson, Ariz., on Dec. 31, 2008.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, Jan. 8, at 10 a.m, at the River of Life Family Worship, 350 N. 11th East St., in Mountain Home. Burial with military honors by the Mountain Home Air Force Base Honor Guard will follow at Mountain View Cemetery in Mountain Home. Arrangements are under the direction of Rost Funeral Home, McMurtrey Chapel in Mountain Home.
James was born in Boise on Aug. 8, 1983, to John and Teresa Jackson and grew up in Mountain Home. He graduated from Mountain Home High School in 2001. He attended Boise State University and attained his Associates Degree in communications in 2007 while serving in the National Guard. He joined the Idaho Air National Guard in 2002 and "had many adventures in his distinguished military career," his family said, including a tour in Iraq, several months in Ramstein, Germany, with USAFE, and finally being transferred with the Arizona National Guard for a chance to work with the Predator mission.
"James was always an adventurer," his family said. "He was always so much fun and we all wanted to be just like him. He worked hard, he loved to play and he loved with all his heart. He would give you the shirt off his back or whatever you needed and you could always count on James to make you laugh. He was incredibly generous and giving with those he loved and gave without expecting anything in return.
"He was adored by his nieces and nephews and he was always willing to give a piggy back ride, or a skate board ride or a motorcycle ride. He loved to play Star Wars and dress up like Jedi Knights with his nephews and play light sabers. If you knew James, he did this with the utmost sincerity and made them feel like true Jedis," his family said.
"At any gathering we knew the fun would begin when James got there. He could make the any situation hysterical with his quick wit and funny comments. Even Walmart was an adventure with James. He was always willing to be silly without worrying about what other people thought. He loved his mom and dad with abandon and in most of his pictures his arm was around his mom.
"He took joy in building computers with his dad and getting the parts to put them together. You always felt special to have his attention. Everyone loved him like a brother. There are few men in this world like James and he will be deeply missed."
James is survived by: his mother and father, John and Teresa Jackson; his three sisters, Amanda and her husband, Mike Thomas, and their three boys; Christina and her husband, Jerry Gilliam, and their three children, and sister Emma Jackson; his grandmother, Evanna Hamilton, "and too many other family members who love him deeply, to list."