Jake died on May 2, 2009 on his second tour of duty in Iraq while serving his country. Jake was born on June 21, 1986 in Santa Rosa. He grew up in Inverness, attended West Marin School and graduated from Tomales High School in 2004.
Following high school he attended College of Marin. Jake was a natural athlete, he loved playing sports. At Tomales High, Jake played baseball and football with passion. He pitched for the Tomales baseball team, where opponents found it hard to hit his “stuff.” When Jake wasn’t on the mound he was playing center field. Not many balls got by him because of his speed. His speed and agility carried over to his other favorite sport, football, enabling him to help push his team to a championship.
Jake also pitched for the College of Marin. While at College of Marin he became interested in photography and actually had his photos displayed at Bovine Bakery for a show, something he was proud of and made him happy.
What made him even happier was his engagement to Danielle Erwin. In November he proposed to Danielle on top of the Golden Gate Bridge with his parents present. After being deployed this past December he and Danielle were planning their wedding via email. All his family and friends were invited. Jake could have chosen one of his passions and followed that through life, but ultimately he chose military service. He enlisted in the US Army and was very proud to be a soldier and serve his country. Jake knew the risks were real, ultimately giving his life for his beliefs. Beloved son of Susan and Robert Velloza of Inverness. Devoted fiancé.
Spc Velloza proudly served in the US ARMY, Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. Jake served two tours of duty in Iraq and received numerous honors for his service including the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
Below is a photo of Jake’s final journey home crossing the Golden Gate Bridge.
I Am Free – written by Jake Velloza
“Don’t grieve for me now for I am free I am following the path that God has laid for me Be not burdened with times of sorrow I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow Perhaps my time seemed all too brief Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief Lift up your heart and share with me God wanted me now and set me free.”