Soldier originally from Mich. dies at Fort Benning | News
FORT BENNING, GA (WTVM)- News Leader 9 spoke to Margaret Schlereth today over the phone as she is finalizing funeral plans in Vassar, Michigan. That's where SFC Jacob Schlereth, known as Jake, will be laid to rest on Saturday at 1.p.m. at Vassar High School, his Alma Mater.
Margaret says her husband survived three tours of war, once in Iraq and twice in Afghanistan. She says she knew the chances of him getting killed on the battlefield were high, but didn't expect to lose her husband to natural causes. " He was an Army reconnaissance instructor and was leaving class and collapsed in the hallway."
The Auburn University Department of Engineering fundraising coordinator says she thought her husband would recover after a short stay in the hospital. But, when she arrived and saw the chaplain, she thought knew it was bad news.
"On the way there, I just didn't expect it. He was my rock, He was always the tougher one than me so I thought he'd be okay."
A memorial was held Friday at Fort Benning before sending the body back to Michigan. More than 1000 people have 'liked' a Facebook memoriam. Amber Davis wrote: "such a fun, caring and living guy. You sure will be missed, but never forgotten. My thoughts and prayers are with your family and friends! RIP Jake
The family is still waiting on pathology reports to determine the officials cause of death. But from all indications, Margaret says it appears Jake died from a heart malfunction.
Schlereth had received two bronze stars, among other honors. Survivors include his wife, Margaret, and son, Caleb.