Connection to Columbus Area: Resident
Survived by: Parents and Girlfriend
Date of Loss: 4 Sept 2010
Accident Type: IED
Country of Loss: Afghanistan
Sergeant Jesse M Balthaser was a graduate of West High School and dreamed of going into the Marines. He joined in 2005, saw his first deployment to Iraq in 2006, followed by a second deployment in 2008. His mother and father describe him as a man who could make anyone laugh; he was a combination of a tough guy with a tender heart. Sgt Balthaser was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010, when he stepped on a roadside bomb, killing him instantly. His girlfriend and high school sweetheart said she spoke with him just the day before, when he told her how excited he was to come home to witness the birth of their little girl, later that year in December. His mother Nancy, recalls that she could barely believe it, and was trying to understand the situation any way she could. Sergeant Balthaser was their only son. Sgt. Balthaser’s awards include the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and the NATO medal.
- Mackenzie Wright, 2013