Sunday, January 02, 2011

Marine Cpl. Jacob A. Tate

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Cpl. Jacob A. Tate, 21, of Columbus, Ohio

Cpl. Tate was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Jan. 2, 2011 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Cpl. Jacob A. Tate enjoyed the challenge of being a Marine, but to those who knew him it's a picture of him in Iraq, smiling and holding a puppy, that captures his fun-loving spirit.

Tate, 21, of the North Side, died Sunday along with another Marine from Hagerstown, Md., while conducting combat operations in southern Afghanistan. They were based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division of the II Marine Expeditionary Force.

Ben Peer and Jeff Frisch are both North Side residents who knew Tate since they went to Columbus' Alpine Elementary School together. "We were in Pee Wee soccer at the Y together," said Peer, 22. "He was very vibrant. Always smiling and always cracking jokes."

Frisch, 21, said he remembers going to Tate's house to play computer games. Frisch said they'd shoot targets with pellet guns in his backyard. "He was into hunting with Dad," Frisch said. "Honestly, I don't know of anyone who couldn't get along with him."

At the start of his junior year, Tate transferred to Gahanna Christian Academy from Northland High School. There was a period of adjustment to a school with a few more rules, said Paul Hartje, an English teacher at Gahanna Christian. "He was just so buoyant," Hartje said.

Tate soon became popular at the school and a committed Christian, Hartje said. He played soccer, baseball and basketball.

During his senior year, Tate decided to enlist in the Marine Corps. Peer said he thought that Tate's ultimate goal was a law-enforcement career. "He always pushed himself real hard," Peer said.

Hartje said that there was no hesitation with Tate's commitment to the Marines.

"I think that he saw the value of the Marines," Hartje said. "He saw the discipline. It gave him a sense of purpose to defend the country. He saw the strength of brotherhood." As an adopted child, Tate had a "sense of family that was genuine," Hartje said.

The life of a Marine agreed with Tate. He already had been to Iraq before returning for his second overseas tour in Afghanistan this past summer.

There were times that Tate would return to Gahanna Christian and talk with students about life in the Marine Corps.

One time when Tate returned to the school, he met Hartje's wife, Karen, who thought she couldn't greet him because he was in full dress uniform. She said, "Oh my goodness, I can't give you a hug." Mr. Hartje recalls Tate replying, "That's really why I came to see you" - then he hugged her.

Tate leaves behind a wife, Amy, in North Carolina, and an infant son he'd never met. Friends say the child is about 3 months old. Tate was the son of James and Janice Tate.

Marine Cpl. Jacob A. Tate was killed in action on 1/02/11.

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