Falk brings special flag home to Adams Central

Authored by Jim Langham on Apr 15, 2013

During his two tours to Afghanistan, Adams Central High School graduate Jacob Falk was involved in action near a little-known village known as Marjah. During his tour, a United States flag was flown over his post that was dedicated to Adams Central High School.
This past Friday, Falk delivered his gift, the flag and certificate of his service, to school officials where he was welcomed by school superintendent Mike Pettibone, athletic director and his former football coach Rick Minnich, and a large contingent of high school students who looked on as he made the presentation.
“As far as we were told by our command, one of the most significant battles of the war in Afghanistan was fought there (Marjah),” said Falk. “No citizens I know of have even heard of the place. I lost a couple of friends there.
“I wanted the school to have the flag because as insignificant as the place may be, someone from here went and contributed to that battle. Someone from here was there,” Falk said.
“That flag was flown over a small camp that was no bigger than the practice field here,” added Falk. “That camp served as my battalion’s main post. My job was to drive trucks and give everyone supplies.”
Falk is a corporal in the United States Marine Corp. He serves in the 9th Battalion where he works as an optical technician. He is currently stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Falk was sent to Afghanistan twice, from July, 2010 to February, 2011, and from September 2011, to July 2012, both times to the same place.
One of the most treacherous times for Falk was August and September of 2010, the worst time during the Afghan war in the Marjah area.
On August 31 of that year around 8 p.m. local time, Falk drove up to take water supplies.
“I hated driving at night,” observed Falk. “If you came across something, you couldn’t see what it was. I was driving back to base and I was a fourth of a mile away and I hit an IED (improvised explosive device) on the left side.
“It makes like a popping sound,” said Falk. “The moment you hear that sound, your body is crushed, your ears are ringing and everything else goes black.”
These days the decorations on Falk’s uniform reflect his heroic service in Afghanistan. He has a Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Ribbon, Global on Terrorism recognition, Overseas Deployment Ribbon and NATO ISAF Medal.
Pettibone told a class addressed by Falk that decisions such as Falk made are life-changing decisions. The superintendent referred to it as passage through doors that can never be retraced.
“There are certain doors that once you walk through them, you can never walk back through,” said Pettibone. “Jacob is telling us he walked through a door that he can’t walk back through.”
Rick Minnich, who coached Falk on the 2007 football team, remembers his former player as an offensive center who worked tirelessly for a position in which he received no glory.
“My highlight in football is seeing how all of my players accomplish success,” observed Minnich. “His success story is one of the few that went into the military.
“He went into football as an unsung hero and had a great year. He went into the military as an unsung hero and had the same effect in the military,” continued Minnich.
Falk responded to Minnich’s comment with emotion by saying, “My heroes are my friends who never came back.”
“I always wanted to be in the military since I was a little kid. After Sept. 11, I really wanted to do it,” Falk said. “These are things I will never forget as long as I live. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.”


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