Kaneohe Marine dies in Afghanistan
An 18-year-old Kaneohe-based Marine who died in Afghanistan is being remembered in his hometown as a kid with a passion for church, athletics and history.
The Department of Defense today said Pfc. Jake W. Suter, of Stevenson Ranch, Calif., died May 29 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
The DOD said Suter's death is under investigation but did not provide further information.
KABC-TV in Los Angeles reports that more than 50 American flags decorated the front yard of Suter's home in Stevenson Ranch over the Memorial Day weekend.
A vigil has been scheduled for tonight.
Radio station KHTS says Suter was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and that his bishop remembers him riding his bicycle four miles to attend services.
"He was excited to serve his country, he was very proud," Ray Carlson told KHTS.
The station said Suter played three years of football at West Ranch High and also was active in the Boy Scouts. He attained the rank of Life Scout, just below Eagle Scout.
A friend told KHTS that Suter studied Afghanistan before he deployed and had come to love the country and its people "before he even got there."
"For him, it was about bringing peace to that region, and to those people, more than anything else...," said Brian Walters.
KABC said Suter and his cousin Joseph Fowler enlisted in the Marine Corps at the same time. Fowler is scheduled for a tour of duty in about four months.
"He gave his life for his country. If need be, I'll give my life for mine," Fowler told KABC.
On the Net:
KHTS AM1220: http://hometownstation.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=20504:friends-fallen-marine-2010-06-01-13-47&catid=26:local-news&Itemid=97