Honoring Marine Cpl. Jacob A. Tate died eight years ago (January 2, 2011) while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
Corporal 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.
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.
Corporal Tate had a strong sense of family, he was adopted as a child, and always wanted the family closeness. His infant son was born three months ago, but he never had the chance to meet him. He is remembered for being the nicest person you could ever meet.
A high school baseball and basketball coach, Scott Jemson, said he felt like he had been “punched in the stomach” when he heard the news of Jacob Tate’s death. “He had an infectious smile, kids loved him, teachers loved him. He had these dreadlocks that our school made him tie up in the back because it was not dress code but that was just part of his personality, “Says Jemson.
Jacob was an overcomer. He did not allow his fears to be an obstacle in accomplishing what he wanted. He valued whatever was real, true and good. His smile alone was a reflection of the goodness in his heart. Father we ask for your comfort and peace for wife Amy Tate and the entire Tate family during this time of loss. We thank you for the life of this fine Marine, Jacob A. Tate and we pray you wrap your loving arms around him as he enters your kingdom. He will always be a hero in our heart and in our minds. We won’t forget your sacrifice Corporal Tate. God Bless You.
Posted by Debbie Frith