Based: Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii
3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force
Supporting: Operation Enduring Freedom
Died: May 29, 2010
Helmand province, Afghanistan
Hometown: Stevenson Ranch
High School: West Ranch High (Valencia)
That night, he spoke to his parents for 2 1/2 hours.
"We had a work-up on the Afghani people, and they're really nice people, they're very respectful people," his mother quoted him as saying. "I'm a liberal now. I'm going to liberate the Afghani people."
Throughout the conversation, she said, he emphasized how much he had learned in his first year as a Marine. His mother said he was excited and motivated, and ready to go.
"It was our first glimpse of what kind of adult he was going to be," she said. "He was so mature, and he was looking at things so clearly. He talked about everything, and he was honest about everything."
Two weeks later, Jake William Suter was killed while supporting combat operations in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province, on the Pakistani border. The cause of his death has not been disclosed and is under investigation. He was an assaultman assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force at Kaneohe Bay.
Lance Cpl. Max Bernstein, 20, met Suter in November 2008 when both enlisted in the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program. During his senior year of high school, Suter would often volunteer at the recruiting station where Bernstein worked. The two became close friends, Bernstein said.
Suter scored 94 points out of 100 on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test, which opened a variety of opportunities for him, his friend said.
His mother said no memories stand out for her quite like the final phone calls she shared with her son.
She said she was happy to hear him sounding so upbeat when he called from Hawaii, and thankful that he called once more May 25, his first day in Afghanistan.
"I know my job is arduous," he told her. "But I can't imagine doing anything else."
Read the entire LA Times article about Marine Private 1st Class Jake W. Suter here.
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