BEAVER DAM, WI, US
PFC, HHT, 1ST SQD, 61ST CAVALRY REG, 4 BCT, FORT CAMPBELL, KY
11/29/2010, PACHIR WA AGAM DISTRICT, AFGHANISTAN
Jacob Alexander Gassen was born on November 19, 1989 in LaCrosse, Wisconsin to Gregory and Barbara Gassen. He attended elementary school at St. Jerome’s Catholic School in Columbus. He then attended Beaver Dam Middle School and was a 2008 graduate of Beaver Dam High School. (Classmates have established a memorial fund in his name.) While in high school, Jake was active in the BDHS Orchestra, the golf team, and Academic Decathlon; he was also involved in youth soccer, YMCA swim team and was a life guard at the Columbus Aquatic Center and the YMCA of Dodge County.
After high school, he attended the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh for a year. In September 2009, Jake joined the U.S. Army. After his basic training, Jake was assigned to HHT, 1st Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division at Ft. Campbell, KY. He officially arrived at Fort Campbell in April 2010. He was a combat medic who died serving his country in Operation Enduring Freedom.
Jake is survived by a large family and “more friends than there are stars in the sky”. He has been remembered as a kind soul with a fantastic smile. His fifth grade teacher at St. Jerome, Gail Tietz, said, “Jacob was a student that usually had a smile on his face and a sparkle in his eye. He was creative and at times, mischievous. It came as no surprise to me that he was serving his country.”
His memories remain in the spirits of his family as well as the recognitions he recieved. His awards and decorations include: National Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon and NATO Medal.