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Week in Review

November 09, 1986

It had been 17 months of anxiety and uncertainty. While his father, David P. Jacobsen, remained a hostage of Muslim extremists in West Beirut, Eric Jacobsen of Huntington Beach, the oldest son, steadfastly crusaded for the release of Americans held captive in Lebanon.

But the oppressive worry turned into unrestrained joy for Eric Jacobsen and his brother and sister when their father, the administrator of the hospital at the American University of Beirut, was released last week.

With a tearful embrace, David Jacobsen was reunited with his three children in Wiesbaden, West Germany, at the flag-festooned U.S. Air Force Medical Center. After a stopover in Washington, all were expected to fly home to Southern California today.

"I waited a long time for this day . . . a day of joy with my kids. . . . I want to thank God," the bearded Jacobsen said in a quavering voice, as loudspeakers blared a song composed by his sons.

Eric Jacobsen, 30, triumphantly pulled off the bracelet he wore during his father's months in captivity. It was inscribed with his father's name and the date of his abduction: May 28, 1985.

Because the Jacobsen children were unable to send their father any messages during his captivity, a few family surprises awaited the elder Jacobsen. His daughter, Diane Duggan, 25, is seven months pregnant. His other son, Paul, 28, was married only two weeks after the kidnaping, and he and his wife are expecting a child in February.

But the Jacobsens' elation was tempered by the knowledge that five other Americans remain in the hands of terrorists in Lebanon.

"We can't celebrate the way we want to until all the hostages are home," Eric Jacobsen said before the reunion.

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