Looking through my old high school yearbooks, I found this photo of my friend David Jacks. I met David in 1996, the week after my brother died. David was a senior at Eldorado High School and I was a recent graduate.
David is a private person and may not be too pleased with me crowing about his accomplishments, but people should know who he is, now, while it matters. I might have lost my best friend on April 13, 2018.
On that Friday the 13th, though racked with fears while holding a criminal at gunpoint, David nevertheless did what had to be done, which is, in my view, a sign of heroism. He detained the masked and violent madman that illegally came to David’s office until the police could arrive.
David was the most decorated ROTC student in Eldorado high school history. After graduation, he worked briefly in construction, married, and then joined the United States Army.
While in the Army, David’s back was seriously injured. Not long after the back injury, his wife gave birth. The little baby needed open heart surgery. Also, during this time, David’s home was invaded and he had to hold off intruders in the back part of the house with his hunting rifle while waiting for the police to arrive.
Six weeks to the day after the baby’s open heart surgery, David’s wife showed immaturity and selfishness, and in a few months’ time David was a single father of a healing baby, and was unemployed due to the Army medical discharge under honorable conditions for his back injury.
When David returned home to Las Vegas and became a PADI certified scuba instructor, he says he hoped that the water would relieve his back pain. However, scuba instruction did not pay well, so David obtained a job with Nevada State Bank. This job also did not last long. The first day of working at the bank after training, an armed robber held him up at gunpoint.
Since he knew how to operate heavy machinery and could sit while working, David returned to construction work. When terrorists flew planes to take down buildings, David was hard at work making buildings and roads in the fastest growing city in America back then.
Just like those who know him would expect, in no time, he was running the construction company. Because of his physical limitations and the demands of being a single father of a toddler, he could not maintain the early mornings and long days of construction work forever and so he used his GI Bill to go to college with the intention of one day going to law school.
Perhaps due to his several life and death experiences to that point, David really ate up life. He spent his time and money pursuing interests like becoming an airplane pilot, four-wheeling, and hunting in the backcountry of Northern Nevada. His experiences with his own divorce and child custody years earlier propelled him into that field of law when he was be-knighted to practice law in the State of Nevada.
He was a newly minted lawyer when he took on one of his most challenging cases and succeeded where many would not even try. I was proud of him then and wrote about it here: http://wrightlawnv.blogspot.com/…/young-man-says-local-atto…
Over the years since becoming a lawyer, his victories are many. He has taken on extra study to become one of the best in his field, including attending a week-long National Family Law Trial Institute and an almost month-long Trial Lawyers College where he was taught by one of the greatest and most famous American attorneys who is still alive, Gerry Spence. For those who don’t know whether this is a big deal, as an attorney myself, I can tell you that very few attorneys do these things, less than 1%.
After his armed confrontation with the crazy five-time felon on April 13th even the police that came were calling him a hero. Dave repeated to me later that he didn’t feel like one, that there were many things in his life he was prouder of.
I hope David is not too upset with me for writing this, but I am frankly tired of reading of all the great things about people in their obituaries. He deserves many accolades. With death so omnipresent in our news these days, I think we should honor and celebrate life while it is still here.
I love you David.
Anthony M. Wright
April 15, 2018
April 15, 2018