Columbus Mourns Marine Killed In Afghanistan.

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A Columbus marine is being remembered today as a young man with an infectious smile and a competitive spirit. 21 year old Corporal Jacob Tate was one of two U-S troops killed Sunday in southern Afghanistan. WOSU’s Tom Borgerding reports.

Corporal Tate was three years out of high school. He graduated from Gahanna Christian Academy after transferring from Northland. Scott Jemson coached Tate in baseball and basketball. Jemson says he first heard the news from his wife.

“She said did you hear about Jacob Tate and I said ‘no, why, what happened’ and she told me he had died in Afghanistan that morning and I was in shock. I just had almost no reaction it was just like someone punched me in the stomach and knocked the wind out of me.”

Jemson says he and his wife immediately began to pray. Some of the older students…the seniors….remember Tate. Jemson says its touching to hear students share their memories. Jemson says the kids that did know him were fond of him.

“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.

Another teacher, Matthew Morgan, taught Tate in computer and Bible classes. He says his student was gung ho to join the marines even during his teen years. He says with Tate it was always about the marines and he signed up even before graduation. “I still remember the day when he came in he had signed up and of course we were able to see that. He had long dreadlocks through the course of school. And the day that he came in with his dreadlocks completely shaved and his marine hair cut was a very memorable day for all of us to see that.”

Morgan says he accompanied Tate on what he described as a mission trip to South Boston. The students helped repair some houses. Morgan says Tate was also dealing with a deep personal issue at the same time.

“Jacob talked to us his senior year, he was actually adopted, and was struggling with some of the issues with his birth parents. And so that was another way I got to know him was talk to him about that and about that relationship. But certainly had support of all those around him.” Says Morgan.

Jacob’s parents,James and Janice Tate live in the Northland area. Tate is also survived by his wife Amy and a three month old child.

Tom Borgerding WOSU News

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