I Salute You; Marine Sergeant Jacob M. Hess

I Salute You; Marine Sergeant Jacob M. Hess

Mankato TimesMarine, Sergeant Jacob M. Hess, Spokane, Washington, Afghanistan, Operation Enduring Freedom, tribute, obituary, hero, Mankato Times

Marine Sergeant Jacob M. Hess, 22, of Spokane, Washington died Jan. 1, 2014, while supporting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Sergeant Jacob M. Hess was assigned to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 26, Marine Aircraft Group 26, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and was serving during Operation Enduring Freedom.

Born on Feb. 5, 1991, in San Diego, Jacob grew up in a military family, moving a number of times for deployments. Jacob had his own passport by age 4. He spent seven years in Okinawa, forging childhood friendships during long days exploring the island’s beaches. He considered Okinawa his emotional home.

Prior to his senior year of high school, Jacob moved to Spokane with his family and graduated from NorthCentralHigh School. Soccer and hockey were his favorite sports. He liked to read and had a knack for history. He had been hoping to take a tour of historic battle sites.

His soccer coach, Mica Lamb, said Jacobs’ arrival at North Central was like a gift to the soccer program. “The kid was tenacious. He would never give up,” Lamb said.

“He was definitely one of a kind and it showed, you know, everyone in the league recognized him,” said Nathan Pelton.  “It had a lot to do with the way he treated people and the friendships. I mean, he wasn’t as much of a vocal guy, but he just had a way with everyone.  You know everyone liked him, no one hated him, everyone respected him and he was just a great guy.”

Throughout his school years, Jacob won multiple awards as a most valuable player for different teams. He was inducted into the National Honor Society and had a Congressional Award for citizenship.

Jake became a regular blood donor at 16, a regular platelet donor at 18, and had the unique privilege of being a bone marrow donor at the age of 20; literally giving the gift of life to someone he had never met.

According to Michael Osha, Jacob was a bone marrow match for her daughter Crystal, and before he was deployed to Afghanistan, Jacob went into the hospital to donate the life giving bone marrow platelets to cure Crystal. Today his platelets flow through her veins to keep Crystal alive and healthy.

People who knew him best described his loyalty and devotion to family, friends and country.

“Leave here today knowing he’s the best I’ve served with,” his supervisor, 1st Sgt. Leon Banta said “He was the epitome of what a leader in the Marines should be.”

“He was my go-to guy,” Banta said. “He was absolutely good at everything.”

Not only was he smart and efficient, he was also known for his strength and quickness. “If you know Sgt. Hess, he was a physical fitness monster,” Banta said.

Jake is survived by his wife Bridget Hess; mother Keirsten Lyons; father Michael Hess; brother Cameron Hess; grandparents Lynn and James Brink and Robert and Charlene Hess; and in-laws Ismael and Sara Ramirez; as well as numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.

Sergeant Jacob M. Hess, I Salute You

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