Staff Sgt. Sheldon L. Tate, 27, departed this life July 13, 2010,
in Kandahar City, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents
attacked his unit.
A native of Sumter, S.C., Staff Sgt. Tate
joined the United States Army on Oct. 18, 2001, where he served as a
food services specialist. His first assignment was in Darmstadt,
Germany. He deployed to Iraq for the first time from October 2003 to
February 2004. In April 2004, he was reassigned to Fort Stewart and
deployed to Iraq again in January 2005. In July 2006, he went to Fort
Bragg and was assigned to 782nd Brigade Support Battalion. He deployed
with the unit to Afghanistan from March 2007 to April 2008 and stayed to
deploy again in August 2009.
His awards and decorations
include, the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal
with three Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with two
Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, two Army Good Conduct Medals, National Defense
Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Iraq
Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism with
Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal,
Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service
Ribbon, three Overseas Service Ribbons, NATO Medal, Combat Action Badge,
Basic Parachutist Badge and Air Assault Badge.
He leaves to
cherish his memory his parents, Valerie and Walter Moore; a sister,
Ebony Shaunte Moore; wife, Marion Tate; one daughter, Kiante' Nevael
Tate; his father, Reginald L. (Trina) Tate; three stepbrothers; one
stepsister; grandparents; and a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews,
cousins, extended family members and dedicated friends.
Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. Friday, July 23, at Dorchester Funeral Home, 7842 E. Oglethorpe Highway in Midway.
The funeral service will be at 10 a.m., Saturday, July 24, at Fort Stewart's Marne Chapel.
Interment will be at 4 p.m., Saturday, July 24, at Hillside Memorial Park, 802 N. Guignard Drive, Sumter, S.C.
Dorchester Funeral Home in Midway is in charge of the arrangements.
Published in Coastal Courier from Jul. 22 to Aug. 22, 2010.
Hinesville Paratrooper's Remains Return Home on Patriot Flight
July 23, 2010 | By Pamela E. Walck
A U.S. Army honor guard carry the remains of Staff Sgt. Sheldon L. Tate who was killed in combat in Afghanistan while deployed with the 782nd Support Battalion from Ft. Bragg. Tate was a resident of Liberty County. His remains were brought by charter jet to Combat Readiness Training Center at the Savannah-Hilton Head International Training Center.
Georgia Air National Guardsmen stand in formation and salute at a hearse carrying the remains of Liberty County resident Staff Sgt. Sheldon L. Tate passes followed by an army honor guard.
Family members of fallen soldier Staff Sgt. Sheldon L. Tate, from left: sister Ebony Moore, mother Valerie Moore, and father Walter Moore are escorted by soldier away from the Patriot Flight charter jet that flew the fallen’s remains home to be buried.
Family members lingered under the shelter of the Georgia Air National Guard hangar, then slowly began walking across the tarmac toward the private jet parked 100 feet away Thursday afternoon.
Each footprint closed the distance between them and the American flag-draped coffin. Each hesitating step ushered them toward the reality that Staff Sgt. Sheldon Tate was indeed gone. Dead. Killed in action.
Silenced with two other brothers-at-arms from an insurgent attack on an Afghan police compound in Kandahar City on July 13.
Tate’s mother, Valerie Moore, clutched her daughter, Ebony, as they sobbed together over the casket. Their muffled cries rolled across the silenced airfield and hung heavy in the air.
Walter Moore, Tate’s father, wrapped his arms around both women as Chaplain Capt. Brannon Bowman, chaplain for the 165th Airlift Wing, paused to pray with the family. Then the paratrooper’s remains were saluted and carried away by an Army honor guard unit to the white hearse waiting nearby.
Moore enveloped his wife and daughter in his arms once more, then gently ushered them back to the hangar. Back to shelter from the heat of the sun, where they waited until it was time to climb into the government-issued vehicle and join the long processional home.
Nearby, Georgia Air National Guardsmen lined the tarmac like a human runway. Sixty or more airmen sweated out the noontime swelter for a chance to pay last respects as the hearse carrying Tate’s casket slowly passed through the airfield gates. Each man or woman saluted the coffin as it passed, the flag’s familiar blue field and white stars peeking through the tinted oval window of the hearse.
Hundreds more joined civilian employees, lining the main roadway off the base, past the guard shack and onto Dean Forest Road. Drivers entering the base paused their vehicles to watch the small processional, escorted by two Midway Police squad cars. The procession turned onto the interstate and at the county line would be joined by officers from the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department, who planned to escort Tate the rest of the way to Dorchester Funeral Home in Midway.
“I’m out here because we owe so much to this young man and all who have fallen to protect our freedom,” said state Rep. Al Williams, D-Hinesville, a Vietnam War veteran who traveled to Savannah to pay his respects. “I guess the irony of war is that the young die so prematurely, but because of their sacrifice, we can enjoy this great state and country.”
Bowman said it was a privilege to participate in the ceremony. “It’s an honor that we show, recognizing the sacrifice given, not just of the soldier but of a family as well,” the chaplain said later. “It’s an honor shown to the soldier but in the presence of the family.
“It’s a small remembrance, really, when you think about the huge sacrifice made. It is an incredibly small sacrifice to take that time and give thanks for such honorable service.”
Tate, 27, joined the Army on Oct. 18, 2001, as a food services specialist and was stationed in Darmstadt, Germany. His first deployment to Iraq came in October 2003 through February 2004. In April 2004, he was reassigned to Fort Stewart, and deployed to Iraq for a second time in January 2005.
Tate returned home and was reassigned to Fort Bragg, N.C., where he was assigned to the 782nd Brigade Support Battalion. He served his first tour in Afghanistan from March 2007 to April 2008, and deployed a second time to Afghanistan in August 2009.
“Staff Sgt. Sheldon Tate was a true warrior and leader of paratroopers. His last actions were a testament to the leader he was, as he grabbed a young paratrooper and led him to safety,” said Capt. William Hofmann, Tate’s company commander, in a released statement. “Tate was the epitome of a silent professional and a non-commissioned officer for others to emulate.”
In addition to his parents and sister, Tate is survived by his wife, Marion, and daughter, Kiante.
Gannett | USA TODAY NETWORK
Tate National GoldStar Registry
Sheldon's Grave Site
Tate SC General Assembly Resolution