100th SFS Airman represents USAFE in AF marathon

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Jacob Yarbrough, 100th Security Forces Squadron response force member, receives a telephone call from a patrolman Sept. 23, 2016, on RAF Mildenhall, England. Yarbrough works the nightshift defending the base and keeping its population safe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Gina Randall)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Jacob Yarbrough, 100th Security Forces Squadron response force member, receives a telephone call from a patrolman Sept. 23, 2016, on RAF Mildenhall, England. Yarbrough works the nightshift defending the base and keeping its population safe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Gina Randall)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Jacob Yarbrough, 100th Security Forces Squadron response force member, keeps watch at the gate Sept. 23, 2016, on RAF Mildenhall, England. Yarbrough and 100th SFS Airmen keep the base secure by defending the gates day and night. (U.S. Air Force photo by Gina Randall)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Jacob Yarbrough, 100th Security Forces Squadron response force member, keeps watch at the gate Sept. 23, 2016, on RAF Mildenhall, England. Yarbrough and 100th SFS Airmen keep the base secure by defending the gates day and night. (U.S. Air Force photo by Gina Randall)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Jacob Yarbrough, 100th Security Forces Squadron response force member, takes part in a run Sept. 2013, at Pacific Lutheran University in Washington. Yarbrough keeps “fit to fight” by taking part in marathons and training during his downtime. (Courtesy photo)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Jacob Yarbrough, 100th Security Forces Squadron response force member, takes part in a run Sept. 2013, at Pacific Lutheran University in Washington. Yarbrough keeps “fit to fight” by taking part in marathons and training during his downtime. (Courtesy photo)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Jacob Yarbrough, right, 100th Security Forces Squadron response force member, takes part in a run Aug. 2015, during the South Kitsap High School 5K fundraiser in Washington. Yarbrough took up running during high school after a wrestling injury. (Courtesy photo)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Jacob Yarbrough, right, 100th Security Forces Squadron response force member, takes part in a run Aug. 2015, during the South Kitsap High School 5K fundraiser in Washington. Yarbrough took up running during high school after a wrestling injury. (Courtesy photo)

RAF MILDENHALL, England -- It’s been a long night defending the gate on base. As the sun comes up, the dayshift workers start their day as nightshift workers head home to get some well-earned rest. But come rain or shine, one
Airman changes into his PT gear, picks up his water and heads to the perimeter track to start his training. What keeps him going is the thought of the people he’s helping.

Airman 1st Class Jacob Yarbrough, 100th Security Forces Squadron response force member was selected to run in the Air Force marathon to represent U.S. Air Forces in Europe, running for the Air Force Enlisted Village.

“They provide housing for the spouses of retired Airmen who have passed away, or fallen Airmen,” said Yarbrough. “They do great work, which I was really excited to support and was something I could get behind. I raised almost $3,000 for that charity and was so glad I could help such a great cause.”

High school is where his involvement in fitness began.

“Running was actually never something I wanted to do — it kind of fell into my lap when I had a wrestling injury which prevented me from doing any contact sports. So to stay fit I went out with the track team in high school. Then my coach told me I couldn’t leave,” he laughed. “So I kept coming back every year for track and cross country.”

Years later running now helps him head back home to the States to help those in need.

“The marathon was in Ohio on Sept. 17, 2016,” Yarbrough explained. “I saw it advertised in the RAF Mildenhall daily announcements and just put my name in with my marathon times. I was selected based off my times and was so proud to be able to help.”

His training at home helped him achieve success for the race. He placed 401st out of 2,046 competitors with a gun time (gun timing starts the race clock for everyone at the initial pistol shot) of 4:24:20.

His love of fitness not only benefits families who have lost a loved one, but also benefits him as an Airman.

“Fitness is a big part of the Air Force,” Yarbrough said. “If you can run — and keep running — you’re probably never going to fail the fitness test — achieving the minimum standards come naturally after that. And being in security forces, having that strength and endurance to be able to run is so important. If I’m in gear and I need to pursue somebody, that training in itself will pay off right there when you need that extra burst of energy to keep going and make the arrest.”

His leadership are proud of what their Airman brings to the fight.

“He’s always fit to fight at all times,” said Tech. Sgt. Joshua Covill, 100th SFS flight chief. “If a suspect ever took off running, he won’t outrun Yarbrough — he’s the fastest cop on base.”

As with many accomplishments in life, it takes hard work and dedication to achieve success.

“I work nights so I get off my 12-hour-shift and go training in the morning,” Yarbrough said. “Then on my off days I can train a little bit harder. I fit it in where I can. I run the perimeter of the base plus do some track work. When I’m at work, I focus on that, then when I get off
I can concentrate on my running.”

As he looks to the future, one thing is sure, his hopes to continue in a career he loves.

“I would love to still be in the military in 20 years’ time — I hope to retire out of the Air Force,” he added. “I’m still early in my career, and there are a lot of different forks in the road so I have to decide where to go. But I want to do something I can be proud of at the end of the day, and for me, serving my country and making my family proud are why I put on this uniform each day.”