An Army specialist from St. Paul died of injuries suffered in Iraq, the Defense Department reported Friday. He was the 72nd person with strong Minnesota ties to die in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Spc. Jacob J. Fairbanks, 22, of St. Paul, died Wednesday in Baghdad of injuries the military described as non-combat-related.
Fairbanks was a member of the 1st Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment in the 101st Airborne out of Fort Campbell, Ky. He had joined the Army in 2004 and was about six months into his second tour in Iraq.
Fairbanks' family issued a statement that described Fairbanks as a "proud member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe." It said he was a 2004 graduate of St. Paul Johnson Senior High School, where he was active in Junior ROTC, wrestling and tennis.
Fairbanks is survived by his wife, Dwan, of St. Paul; daughter Kayla, 1; stepchildren Alexander, 11; Katelin, 9; and David, 5; and his parents.
The statement said his family did not want to be contacted by media.
Funeral arrangements were pending.