Former graduate seeks career in the Marines


Macen Stripling , Staff Writer

Former graduate, Chris Tate, attended Midwestern State University to play football. After a semester, he made a change of plans. Tate enlisted in the Marines.

“The Marines came to me with a football opportunity,” Tate said.

Tate left his college life looking for something more. His mother, English teacher and girls basketball coach, Jody Carter, was shocked by his decision.

“He told me that college just wasn’t for him, so we both knew that some very big decisions would have to be made quickly,” Carter said.

Tate’s family was surprised by his choice. He called Coach Carter before a basketball game and informed her that he wouldn’t be enrolling in the next semester’s classes. Tate’s younger sister, sophomore, Jasmyne Tate soon received the news.

“I really thought he was kidding at first,” Jasmyne Tate said. “I was very proud he had the courage to do it.”

Chris knew this was the right plan for him. But, he was unsure about how his mother felt.

“I was excited for him because I believe that kids have to make their own path in life, but being a mom, I went home and cried,” she said.

Soon after enlisting, Tate headed for boot camp in San Diego, California. carrying a 90 pound backpack everywhere he went, and hiking 50 miles a day up mountains.

“We work out everyday and shoot a lot of weapons,” Tate said. “I always carry an M-16 A2.”

Tate experienced new difficulties, but he never surrendered to the challenges.

“He is definitely a stronger individual mentally and boot camp has taught him that quitting or giving up isn’t an option in life,” Carter said.

Tate believes the people involved in his life really helped him in boot camp.

“All of the letters sent by family, friends, coaches, and teachers as well as his faith in God is what gave him the strength to continue to reach his goal of graduating,” Carter said.

On Oct. 5 the Carter/Tate family took a trip to San Diego, California, to watch Tate graduate from boot camp. He won the Expert Rifleman, Platoon 2165 Squad Leader and was meritoriously promoted to Private First Class.

“He told me at graduation, ‘Mom… I’m so glad you didn’t let me quit.  This was so hard but I am so proud of myself for finishing’,” Carter said.

Tate plans on making a career out of the Marines.

“I’m going to be doing aviation and playing football for four years,” he said.

Last week Tate left his home visit to go to Florida for an unknown amount of time. He wouldn’t be shocked if he was assigned for deployment soon. His family will be thinking of him each minute he is gone.

“My faith in God is what gives me the strength to handle each day with confidence,” Carter said.

While away from home, Tate experiences a different support group behind him.

“In the Marines I have friends; my buds are always next to me,” Tate said.

He easily relates to every soldier; they are all going through the same thing.

“The brotherhood of the Marines is something that will always be a part of his life,” Carter said.