FORT LEE, Va. (Aug. 22, 2018) -- The last time community members heard the name of Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Tate was July 2017 when he was featured in the installation newspaper. The 40-year-old Alpha Company, 832nd Ordnance Battalion, Soldier had resumed a pre-military taekwondo ambition and had vowed to train hard and enter several tournaments to ready himself for global competition.

He is now in lassoing distance of capturing his dream. Over the past five months, the Minnesota native earned first place during the Peach State Games in April; first place in the American Taekwondo United National Championship in June; and second and third place nods at the North American Sport Taekwondo Association National Championship, also in June. He said the comeback has surpassed his expectations.

"It's hard to believe," exclaimed the Ordnance School instructor. "After taking such a long break, to pick it up and then continue on … I've been truly blessed to have the opportunity to come back and be able to compete."

Tate had a promising martial arts career prior to enlisting in the Army 17 years ago. Because of his military obligations, he could not adequately train and thus pursue higher goals. The return to his taekwondo regimen resumed about three years ago at Fort Hood, Texas, his assignment prior to arriving at Fort Lee.

Competing as a black belt heavyweight in the 33-42 age bracket, Tate's ultimate goal is to work his way toward battling for gold at the U.S. open, the German open and the World Open Taekwondo Championships in 2019.

The Traveller will continue to follow Tate's journey to the national and world stages. Those interested in reading the previous feature about the Soldier can got to www.fortleetraveller.com and type "Daniel Tate" into the search bar at the top of the page.