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11/21/2012 2:01:00 PM
Blythe Marine who lost leg in Afghanistan, will run 5k marathon to benefit PVHS wrestling team
Jacob Shoemate, a 20-year-old Blythe Marine who lost his leg in Afghanistan, ran a 5k marathon on Nov. 24, to benefit the Palo Verde High School wrestling team.
Jacob Shoemate
Jacob Shoemate

Marty Bachman

A Blythe Marine who lost a leg in Afghanistan last November, will run a 5k marathon to raise funds for the Palo Verde High School wrestling team, Saturday morning at 9 a.m. at the high school track.

Jacob Shoemate, 20, a Palo Verde High School Class of 2010 graduate, was on patrol with his squad in Afghanistan on Nov. 25, 2011 when a bomb exploded, taking off the bottom half of his left leg. Shoemate was flown out to a hospital in Germany and then later to the Balboa Medical Center in San Diego, where he is expected to remain until March 2013.

"It sucked," Shoemate said, recalling the explosion that injured him. "It was not a fun experience. I was on a lot of medication and having bad reactions to them. I was always tired and pissed off."

For three months Shoemate suffered through treatments until he finally decided to quit all the medications.

"That was big time," he said. "I actually realized I wasn't as bad as I was making it out to be. When I got my first leg, it got immensely better. I was no longer confined to a wheelchair."

On his first night with the prosthetic limb, Shoemate headed out to a punk rock concert in San Diego.

"It hurt - but it was a good hurt," he said. "This is one of those different kinds of hurt -not like my back is hurting from sitting in a wheelchair."

With his hand damaged as well, Shoemate has been in physical and occupational therapy and has completed most everything required of him to be released. He's relearned how to walk and run and now he wants to use those running skills to benefit his former high school wrestling team.

"When I was on the team we went to to eight or nine tournaments a year," Shoemate said. "Now they only go to four a year."

He said there will be a donation jar at the event on Saturday for people who want to help out the team.

Shoemate said that he is nearing 100 percent and that if he remains in the Marine Corps, he's willing to re-deploy, though his mother strongly objects. If he leaves the Corps though, he wants to attend Palomar College in the San Diego area and wrestle for their team.

"I can run, jump and walk," he said. "I can do everything I used to."

For others who may suffer a similar fate to what Shoemate went through, he offered that they stay positive.

"When it happened I got real depressed," he said. "I hated the damn world. When you come to grips and accept it for what it it is, it's not ideal, its not good - it's what you make it. You can either be all shi--y about it and let your life go or you can rise up from it and you can prove yourself. I think I'm a lot stronger person now going through such an experience as that. Its not one of those easy things to go through."

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Article comment by: Shendell Ford

This guy is hardcore! Such inspiration!

Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Article comment by: Thank You Jacob

Thank you Jacob for everything! Thank you for getting back up and fighting your way back. You are the best of america and we don't say it enough but thank you, thank you, thank you. Stay strong Blythian and good luck in whatever you decide!

Posted: Friday, November 23, 2012
Article comment by: Rafael Sanchez

Great Jacket! Great Warrior! Great MAN!
from PVHS wrestler in Team 1969!

Posted: Thursday, November 22, 2012
Article comment by: Sherri Amerman

Way to go, Jacob! You always were a battler and I am immensly proud of you!

Posted: Thursday, November 22, 2012
Article comment by: Brenda Rather


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