HARPER,Texas -- He aspired to serve his country, but died while training for his dream career. Yet out of the tragedy, comes hope and a second chance at life for others.
At 18 years old, Jacob Krebs was a well-rounded athlete. It was on the high school track field that he made some great friends and even inspired other students.
“One of the hardest workers you've ever seen in your life,” said Chris Stevenson, Harper High School principal.
Jacob was an Eagle Scout, a cross-country teammate and a role model for others at Harper.
“I’ve been here six years and Jacob ran every year for me,” said Will Reid, his coach.
Jacob was two months shy of graduation. Everyone in town knew about his big dream.
“He was always wanting to be a SEAL, even from the time he was able to stand and speak,” said friend Dennis Land.
Jacob's' love for the military pushed him to train for the Navy SEALS.
But a week before he died, he was practicing an underwater exercise at a Fredericksburg wellness center.
“The belief is that he lost consciousness under water,” said the principal.
Though Jacob will not be able to fulfill his lifetime goal, there is a silver lining.
“Our loss and the family's loss is going to be a miracle to others because he is going through organ donations as we speak,” said the principal.
Yellow ribbons adorn school trees in his honor, and the reality that Jacob’s sneakers won't set foot on the school track anymore is a harsh reality to swallow.
“That hits hard,” said Land. “(It) hits hard.”
In spite of the pain they feel, Jacob's friends remember the good times and remain optimistic.
“I hope he’s up there running, too,” said his friend Michael Montoya. “I hope he's watching over us.”
On Friday, April 12, the entire school body will gather to hold a memorial for Jacob and celebrate his life.