James Richard Acreback was born on October 1, 1944 in Poplar Bluff,
Missouri. He attended Fredericktown High School where he served as
captain of the football team and graduated in 1962. He then attended
Southeast Missouri State University where he was a Pi Kappa Alpha,
graduating with a math degree in 1967. He later earned a master’s
degree in Industrial Management.
In 1967, he attended Officer Candidate School in Quantico and married
Donna Shew, his college sweetheart. He also attended Naval Flight
School in Pensacola before heading to Vietnam.
A highly decorated Vietnam veteran, Jim’s bravery earned him a Purple
Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross and Legion of Merit, in addition to
many other awards too numerous to list. He was severely wounded by
enemy fire, but survived, despite the doctor’s prognosis. He served as a
maintenance officer and was proud to earn the 5,000 hour aviation
safety award. Most of his flight time was spent in Hueys, Cobras and OV-
10s. With approximately 6,000 flight hours, only he knows where he’s
Jim loyally served his country for 23 years as a Marine aviator before
retiring from the military as a Colonel. He then worked for Dalfort
Aviation and Bell Helicopter before officially retiring. His retirement
years were filled with fishing in bass tournaments, restoring his ‘52
Oldsmobile, taking his sons-in-law turkey hunting, taking his grandkids
fishing, spoiling his dogs, and fixing just about anything for anyone. Jim
loved tools and he had a specific tool for everything.
He was an unashamed follower of Jesus and an active member of First
Baptist Church of Arlington for 30 years. He served as his Sunday
School’s department director for over 15 years and started a weekly
men’s prayer breakfast. He was an avid supporter of Mission Arlington
and enjoyed refurbishing kids’ bikes for the Christmas Store.
Everywhere he went, he shared his good nature and humor with those
he encountered. He was true to his word. He went above and beyond
the call of duty in every task he undertook. He loved the Lord, his family,
his friends, and his country. Jim was one of the Marines’ few good men,
and more importantly, he was one of God’s good men.
Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They
will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31