Jedadiah Dean “Jed” (Age 23) Passed away February 11, 2014 in Spokane Valley. Jed was born April 22, 1990 in Spokane to Brian Ponder and Brandi Zillmer. He was a student at Spokane Falls Community College pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering and computer science. He was a Purple Heart recipient that served in Afghanistan. He was an infantry sniper in C Troop 1/32 Cavalry 1st Brigade, with the 101st Airborne Division. Jed and Katie were married July 5, 2011 in Clarksville, TN. He worked as a Veteran Resource Officer at SFCC. He had a lifelong dream to fix and renovate his own home. He loved working on computers, cars and house projects. He spent much of his time outdoors hiking, adventuring, biking, running and exploring. Jed helped and inspired every person he ever met. Jedadiah was a loving and dedicated husband, son, brother and friend. He won a Chase Youth Award for helping fix and build computers for low income families. – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/spokesman/obituary.aspx?pid=169681973#sthash.SVQi0inK.dpuf http://www.kxly.com/news/spokane-news/vet-suffering-from-ptsd-shot-killed-by-deputies/24444080
SPC Jerry Youngs served in the 1073rd Army National Guard out of Greenville, MI. He deployed to Iraq twice and Saudi Arabia once. He was the beloved husband to May; father of 3 children and grandpa to 7 children. Jerry had a heart of GOLD and was there for everybody. He was a mechanic in the military of which he gave 24 years of his life. Jerry also loved to rescue dogs off the streets. He will be forever missed. #22toomany#OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
SPC Alan Joseph Younger of the Kansas Army National Guard was born June 2, 1987 and passed away from suicide on August 12, 2013 in Topeka, Kansas. He was a Combat Medic and Operation New Dawn Veteran. AJ accepted into the KU School of Engineering prior to his death. He is survived by wife Amber and daughter who was 6 at the time of his passing.
“It’s funny, but I had always been an athlete, but had gotten out of shape after having children. When my husband died, I took up running to take my mind off of things and clear my head and it became instant therapy and helped me to cope. Now, it’s a necessary habit and my oldest son has joined me. It’s the time when anger, hurt, and sadness seems to be released. Anyway, I saw many posts and thought I would share about my soldier. My husband, MSGT Charles Allen Young, committed suicide June 10, 2013, just 9 days short of our 14 year wedding anniversary. He was 33. He joined the army in high school, left for basic at FT Benning Ga, right after graduation and was an Infantryman through and through.We were high school sweethearts and were married June 19, 1999. He was stationed in FT Riley, KS. He deployed to Bosnia, and was part of a peace keeping mission, but told about the sadness of watching people look for remains and memories of family members in mass grave sites. He came home and decided not to reenlist active duty, even after being begged by his commanding officers. He was a good solider. He joined National Guard rather and became an MP. He came home, started college, and was then deployed right after 9/11 to Afghanistan. He was one of the first guard units sent over to that area. They took prisoners, questioned and detained people, and worked close with the CIA on missions. He came home after 10 months. He started back to college, we moved to a new town so I could get a job teaching, and sure enough, 4 months after being off orders they deployed him and his MP until to Iraq. It was brutal! It was happening again, and honestly I have no idea what he did in Iraq. It was not talked about or discussed. After 10 more months he came home. He went to BLET and became a police officer. He struggled. I would find him sitting in the living room with a gun rocking. He didn’t sleep. He worked out like an insane person. He was never still. He was still doing National Guard and never left the military since the day he enlisted. He struggled being faithful to me, even though I know he loved me more than anything. He had demons and battled them silently. He applied for an active duty AGR position as a recruiter and got it. It was worse than war. The hours were horrible, the stress was horrible. When things were good, they were great, and when they were bad, it was hell.We had a son, who is now 7 and they bonded instantly. He was the biggest hero and an amazing dad. When my son was 3, I was pregnant with a little girl, Ava. Allen was stressed and working all the time. He was traveling to this and that meeting or conference. To make a long and sad story short, I went into labor at 38 weeks. The cord got wrapped around her neck, cut off the air supply and she died. I delivered her with Allen by my side and we cried together. Our world was shattered. I kept thinking, the deployments, the pain, the cheating, the death of my daughter, this had to be my bad thing. Everyone has a bad thing. Recruiting became hard. Our lives were dependent on 18 year old punks and silly girls who wanted attention and had no intention of enlisting or what it meant to have pride in your country.I became pregnant with our youngest son, age 3 now. The entire pregnancy was just waiting for this baby die. 1 week before our son was born, Allen locked himself in Ava’s room, painted it, packed all the girl clothes away, and cried, so that I could go into that room. We had our healthy son and life was good. Again, recruiting became hard. He wasn’t making mission. He was on hours. He stressed and cussed and talked about leaving and if something happened to him, what I was to do. I finally talked him into going to the VA. He went. He applied to be seen. He received a letter in the mail, stating that his rank (SFC) was too high, we made too much money and he needed to seek help elsewhere. He did not go anywhere. He was ashamed and embarrassed. He wouldn’t go on meds because he said he could lose his job. He lied on every mental health form because if they found out he would lose his job. If he put the truth on the form after those deployments, he would be held back and not get to come home. It is a messed up system. June 9, he received a call that he would be visited by the SGT Major concerning some accusations, the next day. He cleaned his office, and stressed. He had signed a counseling statement the week before, for being 7 behind in enlistments. He was on hours. We never saw him.I dropped him off at work at 6:30am June 10, because his truck had broken down and was in the shop. He met the SGT major. I found out later, incidents of infidelity had been questioned. He admitted it, signed a statement, without any of his bosses, chain of command, fellow recruiters present. He only texted me that day. No one else could get him to answer his phone or respond to texts. He wrote a letter. He bought me an anniversary card. He wrote out an email to his boss Master SGT. He sent me an email at 2:30 of our daughters grave and new flowers he had bought. I responded what an amazing dad you are. He sent me sweet messages all day. He asked me when I would be home from work so we could spend some time together, because our kids were at my moms. He sent me a text message at 3:56pm, saying he was so sorry he had taken me for granted and he loved me with all of his heart. Then he said “want to have a movie night”. I responded with, “you’re scaring me.” 30 minutes later, police arrived at my door. He had shot himself at our daughter’s grave. He waited until the police arrived so no one else would find him. He had sent the email telling what he wanted, where I was, and where he was. He told them where all important documents were, and told them he had been unfaithful, but that wasn’t what this was about. He said I would forgive him because I had before. He said that he couldn’t deal with the pain from deployments and not being good enough anymore. He was gone. I was left to pick up the pieces. He was an amazing, decorated soldier. He was a dedicated, loving, father. Despite, his need to boost his ego, he was a good husband, who I loved with everything that I am. He is forever a part of me, and I will fight whomever I have to fight, to make sure that no wife, no child, has to through what we are surviving. Thank you for listening, and letting me share. Thank you for what you are doing. Thank you for honoring, men and women, like my husband.” From Amanda
“My brother (in law) was SGT Zachary J Wyman. He proudly served in the 101st Airborne and deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. Growing up he was my best friend and we immediately bonded. There may have been no blood between us but we discussed many times how it didn’t matter and we never really saw each other as in laws. He lost his mother when he was young and lost his sister too. He didn’t have much of a family, but we always had each other. He was married and had 4 beautiful children, 3 girls and 1 boy. Our dream was always for me to enlist with him and after we both got out we were going to join the police academy together. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always go as planned. I had just graduated from college and was in training to be a correctional officer the night my world was turned upside down. As soon as I heard he was gone I immediately knew he had taken his life. We had talked many times about his demons but he mostly tried to hide them. I witnessed his flashback once and it was so hard watching someone I loved so much go through it. Many years before he had told me it was only a matter of time before he lost that battle. He didn’t really feel that people appreciated all he did: two combat tours and he came home and felt like he was forgotten. I know many of our vets do. Nothing against our currently deployed vets of course, but I want to focus on those who went over and are now home. So many think they’re safe but they don’t realize that many can’t shake their demons inside. I just want to be that light that shows them we haven’t forgotten, that we still care.What I’m hoping for is for 22 volunteers to write a simple letter of appreciation. Whether it’s a few sentences or a page long letter, anything is appreciated. I want this to be a monthly thing, and hopefully it can grow and spread and we can impact some lives. Even if we just give one veteran that boost they need to push on a little bit more, it’s not in vain.Anyone wishing to volunteer can either write a letter and send it to me
Rodger Joel Wooten, 42 of Harrison, Arkansas, passed away Sunday, October 20, 2019.He was born May 9, 1977 at Gainesville, Georgia to parents, John Daniel and Holly (Pettus) Wooten. Joel was a Veteran, serving his country in the US Army, during Operation Enduring Freedom in Kuwait. After being honorably discharged, he has been a Postal employee for the past 12 years. He loved hiking, playing cards and spending time with his family and friends.He was preceded in death by his grandmothers, Neomi Sue Pettus and Eva Bryson and his grandfather, Rodger Doyle Pettus.Joel is survived by his wife, Erin Wooten of Harrison; parents, John and Holly Wooten of Harrison; his son, Dakota Wooten and wife Nicole of Everton; two daughters, Zarie and Karma Wooten of Harrison; his brother, Daniel Blake Wooten; two grandchildren, Xander Wooten and Emerlyn Wooten; his extended family and many friends, all who loved him and will miss him. Graveside service was held, Friday, October 25, 2019 at Maplewood Cemetery with Pastor Rodney Stromlund officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Joel’s memory to the Ozark Humane Society (PO Box 542, Harrison, AR, 72602) or 22 Too Many, the PTSD Veteran Support Group, on-line at www.22toomany.com.#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
Tyler was born on September 17, 1995 in Lancaster, WI and is the beloved son of Brooke (Skaife) Mohn and Paul Wood. They were surrounded by many adoring family members, impatiently awaiting his arrival. Tyler was a devoted husband, father, loving son, and brother; adored nephew, admirable cousin, and precious grandson. Tyler’s smile and sense of humor were contagious and would brighten anyone’s day. His sense of humor was inherited from his Papa John. Tyler was a 2014 graduate of Onalaska High School where he formed lasting friendships with his wrestling teammates. Shortly after high school, Tyler joined the United States Army which he proudly served until his passing. Tyler took great pride in being a part of a military family, wanting to continue the legacy set by his Papa Skaife, Aunt Jackie, Step-Dad Shane, and many extended family. He married Shaiza (Summers-Wallace) on July 30, 2017 and their precious baby girl was born April 3, 2018. Tyler was an avid Packer and Badger fan and enjoyed his many fantasy football leagues. He also treasured spending time with family and hunting and fishing. Tyler had a passion for Michael Jordan shoes in which he had a large collection. Tyler was a gracious man that found a passion for helping others, especially children during his time in Korea where he spent time with orphaned children. He was loved and admired by his family, friends, command and soldiers. Tyler was a great soldier, always willing to tackle even the most complicated tasks. He would also become a motivating and well admired NCO. All that knew Tyler would comment on how kind and loving a person he was. Tyler’s infectious smile and loving heart will be truly missed, but they will never be forgotten. He also loved practicing his wresting moves on his mom, sister (Chesny) and aunt (Jackie). Tyler will always be loved mosterestest. We would always start with love you until we finally got to mosterestest, which was the highest we could get out and make sense. Tyler was truly loved and loved his family deeply! The world was truly a better place because of the soul this young man had. Tyler had over 600 people at his wake that knew how amazing he was and our family will ensure his memory continues to attempt to live up to the high standards he set. Tyler is survived by his wife Shaiza and beautiful daughter Ahnora, Onalaska; his mother and step-father Brooke and Shane Mohn, Cataract; his father and step-mother, Paul and Melissa Wood, Sun Prairie; co-parent, Rick Fuller, La Crosse; two sisters, Chesny Fuller, Cataract and McKenzie Fuller, La Crosse; maternal grandparents John and Carol Skaife; paternal grandparents Joanne Wood, Lancaster and Gary Wood Bagley; step-grandparents Linda and Art Grames and Patricia and Edward Mohn; his loving Aunts and Uncles Jacqueline (John) Skaife, Cathy (Tim) Mahaffey, and Mark (Sandi) Wood, Ryan (Leslie) Olson, Stacy Dremsa, Jody (Rachel) Mohn and numerous cousins, in-laws and step aunts and uncles. Tyler was preceded in death by great grandparents Robert and Esther Robinson, Lawrence and Eleanor Skaife, Lyle and Lucille Bellrichard and Sam and Bernice Wood, and Aunt Bobbi Jean Skaife. Hometown: Onalaska, WisconsinHobbies: Collecting Jordan Shoes, playing Madden, playing fantasy football, enjoying the outdoors with his baby girl, hunting and fishingInterests: Nascar, Football (NFL and Big Ten), boatingTalents: Being an amazing army mechanic, great wrestler, infectious smile/laughFavorite Sports Teams: Milwaukee Brewers, Green Bay Packers, Wisconsin Badgers States Tyler called home: Wisconsin, Oklahoma and HawaiiFinal Rest: Woodlawn North Cemetery in La Crosse, Wisconsin
Culloden, West Virginia – SSG Brian Walter Wood passed away unexpectedly on October 29, 2018.Brian was born in Rochester, NH on February 5, 1966 to Walter and Mary-Lou (Carpenter) Wood. He spent the last 22 years in the United States Army. He loved his country and served with pride. He was a loving and kind father, grandfather, brother and friend and will be greatly missed.Brian is survived by his fiancé and best friend Becky Olsen and her daughter Jymalee of Culloden, WV, father Walter Wood of Ft. Myers, FL, daughter Lesley Smith and her two children Trowa and Serenity Smith of Wakefield, NH, son Christopher Wood of Dover, NH, and son Brian Wood, Jr. of Rochester, NH, sisters Pamela Witman and husband Dale of N. Waterboro, ME, Cheryl Kuliga and husband Ken of Sanford, ME, Leisha Nadeau and husband Randy of Enfield, ME and brother Ernest Wood and wife Debbie of Apopka, FL.Brian is predeceased by his daughter Courtney Wood, brother Wayne Wood and mother Mary-Lou Wood. “His hometown was Lebanon, Maine. He served in the Army for 22 years. He loved music, English, the Patriots, and Eagles. He was a fantastic cook. He lost a daughter in 1994 to SIDS but is survived by myself, my brothers, Christopher and Brian JR, and my two children. He was funny, sarcastic and kind.” Shared by his daughter, Lesley States he called home: Maine, New Hampshire, Montana and West VirginiaBurial will be private at the Veteran’s Cemetery in Springvale, ME (Spring of 2019)#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
Keenan was a wonderful husband and even better father to his daughter, who is now six years old (born 12/12/12). He was from a little town called Portales, New Mexico and was stationed and promoted in Ft. Bliss, Texas, from which he deployed twice to Qatar and Bahrain with the 11th Brigade Air Defense Unit. Keenan loved being with “his girls” as he called his wife and daughter. His daughter still asks for her dad and misses him very much. His wife is also a veteran and is having a hard time moving on in life without him beside her. When he died his donated organs saved many lives. His heart alone saved a father of four. However, I would do anything to have him back.Keenan was born and raised in Portales but always considered El Paso his home because that is where he got married and had his daughter. He was active duty and recruiting with the Army in Las Vegas at the time of his death. He is buried in Portales. #22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
James C. Wilson, was a SSGT in the US Army. He served in the USMC from 1986-1991 and deployed to Iraq. He joined the National Guard and deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan during this time. When he returned home from deployment in 2010, he suffered from PTSD and ended his life on March 20, 2011. A memorial page “In Memory of Staff Sgt Jimmy C Wilson” was started by Jimmy’s best friend, Terry L. Eutzy. Please feel free to add your memories, thoughts, prayers, pictures and anything you want to share, in memory of our fallen friend teacher, fellow comrade, fellow outlaw, officer, and most of all our brother and true hero. You will never be forgotten Jimmy and we hope this is a way for all who knew you can honor you in their own way. RIP James “Jimmy” C. Wilson, 1968-2011 Staff Sgt. James Wilson survives battleground but loses a war with another enemyPosted Aug 7, 2011From the article printed in PA Penn Live (link is attached for entire article) The truck barreled past Robert Rafferty as the light turned green. Rafferty swerved and slammed the brakes.The 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee veered off into the opposite lane where Eisenhower Boulevard dips under the Pennsylvania Turnpike overpass in Lower Swatara Township. It hit the curve and flipped over twice, landing on the roof.Rafferty jumped out of his car.A man had crawled halfway out of the driver’s door.“Hey, mister, are you OK?” Rafferty asked.“Yeah,” said the man on the ground.The truck was on fire.“I have to get you out of here,” Rafferty said.“OK,” said the man.Rafferty leaned to pull him out, but the man reached back for something in the truck.That man, Staff Sgt. James C. Wilson — Jimmy to everyone who knew him — had always carried a gun. A fascination kindled at a young age in the woods near his father’s Huntingdon home had lured him into the military and law enforcement.At 42, Wilson had seen men blown to pieces inches from him, their blood splattering his face. He had seen children disguised in burqas used as suicide bombers, blown apart along with anyone in proximity.Nothing frazzled Wilson. Not the enemy. Not the snipers. Not the landmines. Not the drug dealers he chased as a cop. Wilson was fearless. The Marine Corps had drilled that into him. “You eyeball me, boy, I’ll smack you,” he liked to taunt.Wilson returned home in November, the Pennsylvania National Guard’s Company C, 1st Battalion, 110th Infantry having finished its 10-month tour in Afghanistan. Wilson had volunteered for it two years ago when he returned from his tour with the 56th Stryker Brigade in Iraq.He was getting back to civilian life.The Highspire Police Department had given him back his job, and Wilson had just signed a lease on an apartment in town. He bought a few pieces of furniture, and he and Chester — Chet as all his friends called his dad — talked about refurbishing old trucks.But for months Wilson battled another enemy.A stray tear every now and then betrayed what anguish dwelled in his heart. Wilson had lost men — close friends. Wilson had always been a heavy drinker, but now he chased their memories away with vodka.This last tour had changed him. His friends saw the cracks in his armor, but Wilson seldom talked about it. He guarded his emotional torment. Suck it up, he used to say. It was the soldier way.On the evening of Sunday, March 20, the daylight waning, Wilson, returning home from a friend’s house, had his favorite gun next to him, the Glock 17 his father had shipped to him when he was a young Marine in Kuwait. Wilson had wanted it for back up. “You just never know,” he would say.Wilson was halfway out the driver’s side when Rafferty got to him. The windows had shattered. Glass shards punctured his back.Family and friends search their hearts for an explanation as to why Wilson — with things finally looking up — did what he did next.Did he have a flashback, Chester Wilson asks. His son always said he would never be captured. He would rather die than let the enemy get him.Was he trying to take cover, his mind tricking him into thinking he was out on one of the barren Afghanistan fields riddled with the improvised explosive devices that had killed his men?Was the prospect of another DUI — the possibility he might lose his job with Highspire — too much to bear?Had his torment simply crushed his heart?Wilson reached back into the truck.A soldier is trained to always know where his gun is. Wilson found his and killed himself.Detached and distantTerry Eutzy II knew something was bothering his friend when more than a week after returning home from Afghanistan, he had not called.Eutzy’s farm was down the road a couple of miles from Chester Wilson’s house. Jimmy Wilson loved helping around his friend’s farm, driving tractors, bailing hay and feeding the cows. Every time Wilson came back from training or a tour, the first thing he did was call Eutzy.When two weeks went by, Eutzy drove up to Wilson’s camp, a trailer on about 15 acres of woods that provided a retreat for Wilson. The guys hung out there, mostly during hunting season, but Wilson went there when he needed solitude. His two Labradors had the run of the place.Eutzy pulled up to the long driveway around 7 that morning. Wilson was sitting on the porch. His gun rested on the banister. “I saw him look at it as to make sure he knew where it was,” Eutzy said. “He looked at me funny. I almost want to feel like he forgot who I was.”Eutzy walked up to the porch. Why didn’t you call, he asked his friend. “I didn’t want to see anybody. I just want to be left alone,” Wilson said.He had been up since 2 a.m. and the bottle of whiskey in his hand was nearly empty.Wilson seemed detached, distant. The Wilson he knew was a big-hearted guy who hugged his friends, picked them off the ground and roughed them up.Eutzy had heard his friend tell stories about security patrol duty, the landmines, booby traps, bunker attacks. He had heard stories of the men Wilson lost — some right in front of him. The men who went home without legs. Wilson rarely opened up, but when he did, he teared up.“He was pretty emotional about it,” Eutzy said. “He would tell what he could tell then toughen up and get over it. That was his job.”Wilson had not seen green grass in four months, he told Eutzy. A memory tormented him.Sgt. First Class Robert James Fike and Staff Sgt. Bryan Alan Hoover had shipped out to Afghanistan with Wilson in Charlie Company. The three became good friends. Wilson, Fike and Hoover liked to head back to their tents at the end of the day and have a few beers.On June 11, 2010, out on a security patrol, Fike and Hoover were killed by a suicide bomber.“He definitely was messed up because of the things he saw and [had] done, but he didn’t get into a lot of detail,” Eutzy said. “He’d say my platoon, my unit went out. We got attacked. This person got killed, but he didn’t go into a lot of detail about it.”Wilson dealt with other memories, other men he had lost in Desert Storm and Iraq.“You can’t erase stuff like that,” Chester Wilson said.‘He was always tough’ Jimmy Wilson wasn’t cut out for school. He struggled and had horrible grades.A few weeks after he graduated in 1986, he joined the Marines. Wilson would finally come into his own, putting behind what was at times a troubled childhood. His parents’ short-lived marriage had been wrecked by alcohol and fighting. Wilson was 8 when he went to live with his father.Jimmy got his love of hunting, fishing, guns and playing ball from Chester. “We were me and him for a long time,” said Chester, his son, Jimmy, staring back from the same piercing blue eyes, the father-son resemblance. “He always told me I was more of a big brother to him than I was his dad. We did everything together.”Wilson loved being a Marine.At the end of his four years, Wilson extended. The first Gulf War was about to start. He wanted to be a part of it. Wilson shipped out to Kuwait.He earned meritorious citations from the Marine Corps for superior performance and leadership. When he returned, he seemed more mature. Those close to him saw a changed man.“He lost men — good friends. Bang — he’d hit the table and the tears start rolling and bam, he’d be done,” Chester Wilson said.Wilson found it hard to shake it off. He began to drink heavily and to have nightmares, tremors and sweats.“He had a lot of things he needed to work out from coming home from Desert Storm,” said Billie-jo Sedlacek, the young woman Wilson met one summer in Myrtle Beach, S.C.Sedlacek and Wilson courted for nearly three years before they married in 1999, his fellow Marines saluting the couple before a horse and carriage whisked them away.But the storybook marriage quickly frayed as Sedlacek watched her husband ease his torment with alcohol. Sedlacek said it was post traumatic stress syndrome.“A lot of it was the fact that there were a lot of young kids that were shooting at them, that they had befriended,” said Sedlacek, who is remarried and lives in Philadelphia. “And all of the sudden they have to shoot back at them. Essentially 12-year-old soldiers. That’s got to be tough.”Sedlacek urged her husband to seek counseling. He refused.“He always felt that if you admit there’s something wrong with you, then you are succumbing to weakness,” she said. “He was very big on not showing weakness. He knew he was suffering. But that was always his thing, ‘You can handle anything.’ ”Sedlacek forced Wilson to choose between marriage or alcohol. The two divorced in 2003.That year, Wilson joined the National Guard. Waiting for deployment, Wilson channeled his passion for guns and law enforcement with jobs in local police and sheriff’s departments.“He’d always tell stories about how he’d go on drug raids and kick down doors. All the high action, high-speed chase,” Eutzy said. “He’d live for that. I always thought something would happen to him.”Wilson was fearless.“We went up against guys sometimes twice our size,” said Newport policeman Richard Behne, who worked alongside Wilson in the Perry County and the Dauphin County Sheriff’s Departments. “We were both 5’ 8”. They semi-resisted. But it wasn’t seconds we were on them. Even if he was by himself. He was taking no crap. He was a take-charge kind of guy.”A former Army infantryman, Behne and Wilson shared combat stories.“We both agreed there’s nothing wrong to think about it,” Behne said. “It happened in the past. Death is nothing somebody wants to see, at the same time it’s not something we want to gloat on. You think about it every day but to an extent.”Wilson’s friends say alcohol didn’t make him angry, just more intimidating, obnoxious.“Jimmy was a different kind of guy when he was drinking,” Behne said.One weekend, Wilson locked himself up in his cabin near Newport and binged on vodka. When he started to fire his gun into the air, Behne stepped in. He forced Wilson into his truck and drove him to the outpatient rehab program at Holy Spirit Hospital in East Pennsboro Twp.“I pretty much think he had defeated everything at that point,” Behne said.In some ways he had.Few people knew Wilson had been married. Even fewer knew he had a son.Wilson dated someone he met at his gym after his return from Desert Storm. Over the years, he would spend little time with Brett P. Strawser, the son born out of that brief relationship.“Jimmy never had a lot of time for him,” Eutzy said.A few months after completing the outpatient rehab program, Wilson was […]
Sgt. Andrew S. Wilson, 26, of Lafayette, passed away Nov. 22, 2011, in Fort Lewis, Wash. He was Infantry in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Fort Lewis, Wash. He served in the HHC 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Stryker Brigade Combat Team
“Michael W. Wilke from Waukesha, Wisconsin served from 1958 to 1980 in the U.S. Army with two tours of Vietnam. He loved his country and was very patriotic. He had a passion for us war history and loved building models of U.S. Navy ships like the U.S.S. Missouri or U.S.S. Wisconsin. He was my hero.” Shared by his son, MikeGraveside services with full military honors: Prairie Home Cemetery. On April 22, Mike who is president of the Student Veterans of American in Sheridan, WY, organized and hosted a “Masquerade Ball” at his college campus. Pictures were shared of our 22 Too Many and a display also included brochures and information about PTS and resources available. Bouquets were given at the end of the night with a ’22’ name on them. Mike wanted a unique event to raise awareness of the tragedy of veteran suicide. His own father, a veteran who did multiple tours in Viet Nam, lost his battle to the darkness of PTS several years ago. Thank you Mike, for honoring and remembering – your father, Michael W. Wilke and our #22toomany heroes are #NeverForgotten.
“Jason grew up in Solon, IA where he varsity lettered in Football, Basketball, Track and Baseball. Jason loved to play golf, ski and hike. Jason joined the Army after he had gone to college for almost 2 years. He was stationed with the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, and they deployed to Bermel, Afghanistan from January 2006 to May 2007. Upon his return he was stationed at Fort Carson with the 4th ID. He was unable to deploy due to several shoulder and back surgeries and was given the opportunity to work with the Warrior Transition Battalion as a Squad Leader. He managed a team of 10-12 wounded warriors assigned specially for complex medical care. He then was assigned a position as a Contract Specialist (DoD Initiative for Wounded Warriors) at Petersen AFB. All the while he was also completing his BA degree in Business Administration. Unable to be deployed, he decided that he would be medically discharged from the Army. This was a very tough decision for him because he loved being in the Army. He wanted to still be working for the soldiers he so dearly loved. He was offered a position as a Recovery Care Coordinator for the US Army as a consultant of MANCON. As a AW2 Advocate, Jason was a coordinator for recovery plans for up to 65 soldiers – he helped them navigate through their medical transition. Jason worked with soldiers and veterans by helping them locate adequate housing, jobs, assistance with grants, assistance with VA healthcare, and he provided them the knowledge of their entitled benefits. He loved what he could do for these warriors and veterans. Jason worked diligently to make sure they had what they needed and the resources. Jason was well respected by his peers and Commanding Officers.”Shared by his mother, Janeen States Jason called home: Iowa and ColoradoFinal rest: Cedar Memorial Cemetery, Cedar Rapids, IA#OurHeroes #22toomany are #NeverForgotten
“Rob was a proud US Army veteran, who served 12 honorable years in the Army before being medically retired. During his time in service, he was stationed at Fort Hood, TX, Germany and completed two tours to Iraq. The majority of his service was within 3d Calvary Regiment at Fort Hood, TX and was well known within the Regiment. Everyone within the Regiment knew to go to SGT Wike to get things accomplished. He was an exceptional leader. Outside of the military, Rob enjoyed fishing, building things, and spoiling his kids. He was known for being a goofball.As a result of his service, Rob suffered from numerous medical issues. He had PTSD, degenerative bone disease, TBI, and several other injuries that made daily life unbearable. He fought and fought within himself, day in and day out. While he did reach out for help from various sources, nothing seemed to help improve his quality of life. Sadly on April 16th 2014, Robert took his own life. He became a casualty to the monster that lived inside – the PTSD. Rob left behind a large family and four beautiful children. They all know their father died a hero – to his family and to his country.As a family, we carry on his memory & share his story. Our hope is that by sharing, we help save others. Please reach out and get help. Allow your family/friends to support you throughout your fight. You have millions of people behind you – don’t give up, please! We are here for you!” Shared by Megan, his wife Robert is from Albuquerque, NM; later a resident of Boyce and is buried in Louisiana Veterans Cemetery, Leesville, LA
Lee was Georgia born and raised – his hometown was Palmetto, GA. He was a die hard BAMA FAN!His passion and joy was duck hunting. For his ‘resting place’ his ashes were spread in the Sabine Marsh, near Hackberry, LA, his favorite duck hunting spot. Lee was active duty when he died as a result of his struggle with post traumatic stress.Remembrances from others:“To the family of SFC Whitetree…I am so sorry to hear of your loss. He was a great man, and I am grateful for having gotten to know him through the Army. He will be sorely missed, by a great multitude of Soldiers. RIP brother, All the Way, Geronimo!!!” “One of the finest Platoon Sergeants I ever had. You will be missed. See you on the DZ in the sky “Tree”. Geronimo, All the Way” “You will be missed my brother. I’ll see you on the dropzone!” Lee’s twin brother, MSG Patrick Whitetree, carries his brother as well as other fallen “22 Too Many” on his 22 mile (or more) rucks, to bring honor and remembrance.#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
Todd Allen Werley, age 44, of Lorain, Ohio, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, April 22, 2017, at Metro Health Medical Center, Cleveland. He was born on November 23, 1972, in Lorain, where he lived his entire life and was a 1991 graduate of Admiral King High School. After graduation, he enlisted and proudly served in the United States Army from 1991 until his honorable discharge in 1995. Todd was stationed at Ft. Bragg in North Carolina, where he was in the 2 / 319th Field Artillery Field Division 82nd Airborne Division. After his service in the Army, Todd was employed for 19 years at Ford Motor Co. as an Assembler, first at the Lorain plant, then transferring to the Avon Lake plant. He was a member of Christian Temple Disciples of Christ. Todd was best known for his love of his family. He enjoyed coaching his daughters in their various sports and proud to share their accomplishments with all his friends and family. He had a passion for running. He ran many marathons and was a member of quite a few running groups. He was a member of “Wear Blue – Run to Remember,” which honored those who lost their lives in the military. He was also a member of “Team RWB” and “Team Riot.” Along with running marathons, Todd also enjoyed trail running and hunting. Todd recently ran the Ft. Bragg Marathon in March 2017 in honor of a 22 Too Many soldier. His true pleasure though, was when he traveled with his wife and daughters all around the world. He was also an active member of the UAW Veterans Committee for 14 years.#22toomany#OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
Born on October 4, 1984 in Heidelberg, Germany, he was a son of SFC (Ret) Daniel Luis Wenger, Sr. and Mrs. Gregoria Quijano. SSG Wenger’s family was the center of his life. He was a loving father and devoted husband and will be greatly missed by all who knew him. He met his wife, Jessica, while in the Army in 2009.While in the U.S. Army for 13 years, SSG Wenger served as an infantryman and later became a Drill Sergeant at Fort Jackson. He was deployed twice to Afghanistan, once to Iraq and once to Korea. While in Afghanistan, SSG Wenger received the Bronze Star award. Places he called home: VirginiaFinal resting: Ft. Jackson, SC#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
“Ellis was born in Landsthul, W. Germany on 21 June 1992 (the summer solstice). I was still in the military, and he was the joy of my life! He was raised in Harper Woods, Michigan. Ellis was my only child, and my mirror image who left this Earth far too soon. He loved life, and loved to put a smile on the faces of those who came in contact with him. He was active in soccer, baseball and an extreme skateboarder. He loved to eat – my goodness, my grocery bill stayed high when he was home! He was a free-spirit; always soaking up the information he received from others so that he can master it in his own life. I miss his smile and our conversations about life. I miss my Son every single day…15 July 2016 will be a constant reminder that the joy of my life is no longer here…” shared by his mom, Theresa In the spring of 2017, Theresa ran a 5k in memory of Ellis at Ft. Bragg, NC.#22toomany#OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
February 26, 1979 – April 10, 2017 3rd Infantry Division “Travis lived in Beech Island SC, and had one child, Jade Madison Tullis. He lived most of his life in Aiken County. He was a veteran of the United States Army, serving in Iraq. He was married twice. His dad is Baxter Vinson, brother, Felix Vinson, sister, Jennifer Tullis, nieces Alia and Harliann, a nephew, Mason, and myself, his mom, Rose Tullis.” He loved the Carolina Gamecocks, the Atlanta Braves, and the Falcons and was a die-hard fan. He played sports: baseball and football from the first grade on. He was his daughters coach during soccer and T-ball, and also coached girls fast pitch softball. Travis was a mentor to many of the young people in the community. He loved his family and his daughter was his world, and he was hers. He was as close as it comes to being a perfect son growing up – he never gave me any problems and never got in any trouble. Every teacher loved him and so did his classmates. He was the first to offer help and the last one to ask for it. He had a good job at Halocarbon Chemical Co. He loved get-togethers with friends and family, and just having a good time. He loved his country and was a true Hero even in death, because he was an organ donor. His heart never stopped before he was put on the life support. I would love to meet some of the people whose life he saved. Travis was my Hero long before that. He was my Hero the day he was born. He showed me what love was – loving unconditionally. He is My Hero, My Son and always his momma’s baby boy, although he would get all embarrassed if I said so. He is loved and missed dearly.” Shared by Rose, his mother. Spreading awareness of veteran suicide and prevention was a cause Travis embraced. Suffering from PTSD himself, on an April night, he went to the VA and urgently stated he needed help. A security officer escorted him to the ER and said he needed to wait for the social worker. In completing the paperwork, he wrote “I almost shot myself.” He then waited and waited. Someone came to take his vitals. He stormed out, receiving no treatment. When they finally read his paperwork and realized he was in crisis, they ordered a welfare check at his home (using the wrong address). He returned and shot himself in his car, literally in the shadow of the VA Hospital. Taking up the cause of suicide awareness and prevention, his family has gone on to participate in Out of the Darkness walks in his honor and memory in order to reach others that need support and crisis intervention. They have also raised money to assist the efforts of the organization Stop Soldier Suicide.
John was being treated at Alvin C York VA for PTSD, depression, anxiety and substance abuse. He was kicked out for being late for medication. He hung himself on the VA campus, approximately 22 hours later, the day before Thanksgiving.John was wanting to re-enlist with his unit. He was also studying to become a counselor in the S.M.A.R.T. Recovery program, while at the VA. “I’ve come to see the people I know & love, & strangers alike, as children. I pity, empathize & sincerely feel compassion for us all. The way we pain each other senselessly, never realizing how fragile we really are. I know for certain though, in all of us, that spark of the Devine, that hope we all must learn to nourish in each other. It’s far too easy to tear someone down… we must learn to empower & support each other selflessly.” John Toombs 11/23/2016 (shared by David, John’s dad: ‘These are John’s words that he asked me to read at his funeral, from his goodbye letter to me’). There is a bill before Congress, H.R.1341 – To designate the Mental Health Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Facility Expansion of the Department of Veterans Affairs Alvin C. York Medical Center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, as the “Sergeant John Toombs Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Facility”. This is the location where John took his life. News article 1:“Study shows drug commonly prescribed to veterans could be making suicidal thoughts worse”Fox News Nashville by Kathleen Jacob (February 18th 2019)Sgt. John Toombs took a video of himself on an early November morning in 2016.“I went to the VA for help and they opened up a Pandora’s box inside me and just kicked me out the door,” Toombs said in the video.The day before, he said the VA kicked him out of a residential drug treatment program for being late to take his medicine.“I came for help and they threw me out like a stray dog in the rain,” Toombs said in the video.Just moments after recording the video, he hung himself from a construction site on the Murfreesboro VA campus.Now his dad is speaking out about his son’s struggle leading up to his death.“People don’t realize that it’s something you just don’t get over,” his dad, David Toombs said.David Toombs thinks about his son every moment of every day.“He was extremely smart, and a quick, dry, sense of humor, that would catch you off guard so fast and then he’d answer you so fast,” David said.Sgt. Toombs served as the man riding on the back of a convoy in Afghanistan, eyes peeled, looking for suicide bombers or anyone else who posed a threat to his team. His dad says, when he came back home, things were good for a couple years, but when he decided not to reenlist, it became harder and harder to recognize his son.“He just wasn’t the same person,” David said. “He said for him, the main thing was being helpless and hopeless. If he was in a position that felt helpless and hopeless that’s when it kicked in the worst.”His dad said getting kicked out of the drug rehab program was one of those helpless and hopeless times.At the time of his death, Sgt. Toombs had six medications in his system that listed suicidal thoughts as a side effect. It’s something his father thinks is a rampant problem in the VA.“They’re over medicated and they’re dealing with an over complicated system and they just give up at some point,” David said. News Article 2A Vet’s Suicide Pushes The VA To Do Better NPR WAMUQuil Lawrence Veterans Correspondent August 28, 2018John took the job after leaving the Army, but he couldn’t leave his memories of Afghanistan behind so easily. He developed a drug problem that landed him in the residential treatment program at the Murfreesboro Veterans Affairs center.It’s meant to be an intensive therapeutic atmosphere, but it also demands strict discipline, and on the morning of Nov. 22, 2016, John was abruptly kicked out for being late to take his medications.Later that day, his father came to pick him up.“I said, ‘Come on John, let’s go, I don’t want to leave you out here,’ ” David Toombs recalls. But the 32-year-old didn’t want to leave.“He said, ‘I’m gonna be OK. I’m gonna sleep in the emergency room, go see the patients’ advocate and the director in the morning, and try to get back in the program,’ ” Toombs recalls.John loitered around the campus all night. His father believes he went to the emergency room and was turned away; the Department of Veterans Affairs denies it. Sometime before dawn, John recorded a video on his phone.“When I asked for help, they opened up a Pandora’s box inside of me and just kicked me out the door,” Toombs said, “that’s how they treat veterans ’round here.”In the message, he thanks the people who did help.“Some of you I love more than the whole wide world,” he says and it ends.Then John went to a construction site on the campus and hanged himself. Final Rest: Murfreesboro, TN#22TooMany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
“Matty served in the Kosovo campaign as well as Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He was from Graettinger, Iowa. He loved anything outdoors: hunting, fishing golf… He was completely obsessed with anything and everything Spiderman. He even had a Spidey tattoo! Matty obtained the rank of Sergeant with the Iowa Army National Guard. He was known for a million watt smile and bone crushing hugs. I sent a proud, ever smiling son to Afghanistan. That is not who came home. I called the VA (I too am a veteran) trying to get him an appointment around Thanksgiving 2013. They told me there was at least a 90 day wait. The following month, he left here Christmas Eve and telling me he loved me and would see me tomorrow. That was the last time I would see him alive. Christmas Day 2013, Matty completed suicide. Our hearts are still shattered.” Shared by his Mom, Terry.Matthew John Tindall was born February 21, 1988 in Emmetsburg, Iowa. Matt attended Graettinger Community Schools and was a 2006 graduate of Graettinger High School. Following high school, Matt joined the United States Army. He served two overseas tours in Kosovo and Afghanistan where he attained the rank of sergeant E-5. Matt made many friends throughout his military career, and he loved the comradeship that he had with his fellow soldiers.After his military service, Matt stayed active in the Iowa Army National Guard. He worked in several area manufacturing plants, and he was currently employed at Bobalee Hydraulics in Laurens, Iowa.Matt was an avid outdoorsman enjoying golfing, fishing, hunting and taking trips to the Black Hills. He loved music, playing his guitar and playing Spiderman with his nephew, Wyatt. He was passionately competitive in everything he did in life. More than anything, Matt treasured spending time with family and friends.On December 25, Matt entered into eternal rest.
James Ellis Threadgill, 36, was born July 13, 1980 in Dumas, TX. He was a 1998 graduate of Corinth High School and Itawamba Community College with an EMT- Basic. James served in the US Army as a Medic, having received Army Commendation Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Valorous Unit Award, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, and Iraq Campaign Medal. He was working with Team Rubicon.Arrangements: Memorial Funeral Home, Corinth, Mississippi. Shared from Junior Miss Northridge Magnolia Mississippi – Samara Ozbirn“Today being Memorial Day I thought it would be a good day to announce my Platform. My Platform will be Veteran Suicide. Here is why I choose this platform:”“My Uncle Jimmy was a very nice man. When we didn’t have a lot of money for things we needed he would lend it to our family. When my family was fighting for my safety he would sit in court with my mom and dad. He was always there to help our family through rough times and we were there for him. He was a very selfless man and always thought of others before himself.He wanted to help people so much that he joined the army. When he was in Iraq he saw some terrible things that no one should ever see. He came out of the army with PTSD and a Traumatic Brain Injury. The things he saw traumatized him, and this caused him to be suicidal. He tried to commit suicide many times. My mom tried really hard to keep him alive for many years. When he was feeling down she would go see him. Each time he tried to commit suicide, I know my mom would go to be with him. She loved her best friend. I never really realized how sad he was until the day that my mom got the call that he had committed suicide. I heard her screaming cries and ran downstairs to her covering her face saying “What happened? What happened?” I thought it might be her grandmother or grandfather. I didn’t know it would be my Uncle Jimmy.When he killed himself it felt like my whole world had fallen apart and exploded. I felt a lot of emotions – I was sad, then I would feel angry, and then I would just feel like my heart was heavy to the point it felt hard to breathe. My life would be changed forever. I wanted to know why he did this, because he hurt my family – something I trusted him to never do. I use to struggle with suicidal thoughts from my abuse when I was younger and he always helped me through it.I have learned from my uncle’s suicide that he killed himself because of the pain he was suffering from the war. After you have been in a war I have learned, you don’t always get to leave the war and stop seeing all the traumatic events of war. I am glad now that he has some peace. I also know that had there been better ways to help him he might have found that peace here and never left us. So I want to raise awareness for the #22ADay. That is how many Veterans we lose every day to suicide. I didn’t know that until my uncle died. So I have decided while I am Miss Junior Northridge Magnolia Mississippi I will raise awareness for this cause in any way possible. I hope the community will help me with this mission by supporting my events!”#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
SGT Adam Joseph Thornton passed away on Thursday, August 23, 2012 at the age of 22. SGT Adam was a member of B/1-141 FA, The Washington Artillery 16 September 2008 to present. He was a veteran of OIF X and Operation New Dawn. Honored recipient of Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal w/ Campaign Star, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal w/M Device, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, Louisiana War Cross and Louisiana General Excellence Ribbon. He will be deeply missed and forever remembered as a loving father, son, grandson, brother, soldier and a friend to many, who loved his country and treasured his family.
PFC Bryan Leroy Thorsted served with the U.S. Army. He deployed to Iraq out of Fort Riley with the 1st Armored Division as 11 Bravo. He lost his fight with PTSD on September 15, 2007. He loved baseball and his favorite thing was coaching his son’s team. He had two boys and two girls – he loved his kids. He loved his family and his country. He is missed.Final resting place: Evergreen Memorial Park, Ogden, UT
Joshua David Thompson, 23, of Rock Springs, Wyoming passed away on August 13, 2013 . He was a lifelong resident of Rock Springs, Wyoming. Joshua was born on June 15, 1990 in Salt Lake City, Utah, the son of David and April Thompson.He attended schools in Rock Springs, Wyoming.Joshua was a United States Army Veteran of the Iraq War.He was employed at Fed-EX as a driver.His interests included his family and soulmate Mariah; his car club Apostle-Wyoming Chapter, music, traveling on dirt roads; his job, tattoos, Pittsburg Steelers and his dogs. “Josh first time we met was in the back of a loud vibrating bradley preparing for war, you where fresh to the army and still wet behind the ears and pretty eagar to learn. Little did I know that the kid with a tattoo of a pencil could have an affect on all of us. I look back in time and remember many of the late nights we had, the talks, the hard times and well my friend those hard times are now over. You are in a better place but no better place than within the depths of our heart my brother, the blue cord and all the sacrifices we have made for our familys and country will live on forever. you and your family are in my heart and on my mind and im sending this out to you all cause i cannot be there at the moment because of my current station in afghanistan. April & David your son was one hell of a man,and a fine soldier, my deepest of affection and feelings go out to you. with all of my love bubba” Words from his mom: “My daughter captured it perfectly “Shut up and Hold On” By Toby Keith is the way he lived. Til the end he talked about wanting back in the Army. He loved and helped many throughout his short life. The number of people that have contacted me about him is amazing, from his Battle Buddies to the cashier at the local gas station, who said he made her smile every day. Our lives and those of others are richer for having had him in them. I miss him so very much. Please check on your Battles, you just might be the thing they need to go on fighting!”
“Brad was born and raised in Oconomowoc, WI and proudly served in the 32 Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 120th Field Artillery, Stevens Point, WI. Brad did one tour in Iraq in 2009-2010 in support of OIF. He wasn’t the same when he came home and struggled for years with ptsd, alcoholism, and drug addiction. Unfortunately he lost the battle with his inner demons on 10/6/12…and day that scarred my heart for the rest of my life. Rip my sweet Brad….til my dying day, I’ll be lovin’ you.” from his fiance, Susan
Soldier’s son on a mission to help others after father’s suicideHe has a message for other grieving military childrenBy Lindsay Wise / Houston Chronicle June 27, 2012 Timothy Swenson was 6 years old when his father, a soldier, died by suicide at Fort Hood. Thinking to spare the little boy, his mother told him that Daddy had died of a heart attack.But Timothy’s grandparents, who had been taking care of him at their home in Humble, wanted to be as open as possible. They told him the truth.“He didn’t believe us,” said his grandmother, Judi Swenson. “He said, ‘Nobody was in the apartment when he died. Nobody knows. I know he didn’t commit suicide.’ “It took Timothy years to come to terms with how his father died. Now 13 and a student at Timberwood Middle School, he wants to help other grieving military kids heal.“Let your feelings out. And just, like, don’t hide it,” Timothy advises. “Don’t keep it to yourself.”For adults, he has this message: “Suicide is not the answer.” Timothy’s father, Spc. David Paul Swenson Jr., served in the U.S. Army and Texas Army National Guard. He is among a record number of Guard members, reservists and active-duty service members who have killed themselves in the decade since the start of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Their children, like Timothy, grow up grappling with a complicated legacy of patriotism and pain.“Timmy was extremely close to his daddy,” Judi said. “His daddy was his hero.” ‘Too much for him’When his father returned from Iraq in 2004, Timothy came to the welcome-home ceremony dressed in a pint-sized soldier uniform.“I can remember seeing him and telling him I missed him,” Timothy said.A photograph of the reunion shows Timothy clutched in his father’s fierce embrace. It’s an iconic moment portrayed countless times on front pages and evening news shows across the country. But for the Swensons, David’s return from war was the beginning of their nightmare, not the end.David had separated from Timothy’s mom, then broke up with a girlfriend. He struggled to pay his bills.“He was drained emotionally. He was drained financially,” Judi said.He also was distraught to learn he had been assigned to another unit and wouldn’t return to Iraq with his buddies when they deployed again.“The Army and the deployments and stuff – that was his calling, that was his comfort zone,” Judi said. “Coming back and the stresses and the day-to-day life was too much for him.”David died of a self- inflicted gunshot wound in Killeen on June 16, 2005. He was 26.At the cemetery, Timothy walked behind his father’s caisson in the same uniform he’d worn to welcome him home.“He was hysterical throughout the whole funeral,” Judi said. “Everybody kept saying he’s too young, he doesn’t understand.”She knew it wasn’t going to be easy for Timothy, but decided it would be worse to lie to him.Refused to believe“He would have questions, and I wanted him to be comfortable always asking questions of me,” Judi said. She and her husband later adopted Timothy.“The more honest, the better it is in the long run … he has to know that he can ask you something and believe what you tell him,” she said.Judi tried to explain the tragedy in terms a 6-year-old could grasp. She told Timothy that a gunshot, not a heart attack, had killed his daddy. She said his daddy was stressed out and sad.“His heart was broken, and his brain didn’t know how to handle it,” Judi told the boy.Timothy couldn’t believe that the brave soldier he worshipped had shot himself on purpose.“I thought that he was doing that thing where they have to spin their guns and stuff, like for a 21-gun salute, and that he accidently pulled the trigger,” Timothy said. “Or that he was cleaning his gun and it went off.”It wasn’t until October 2009 that Timothy accepted what had happened.His grandparents had taken him to California for the first military suicide seminar and Good Grief Camp organized by the nonprofit Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. Participants were divided into age groups, and Timothy found himself seated at a table with kids who had gone through what he had.“For a child to walk into a group setting and they’ve seen all these other kids who’ve had a similar experience to theirs, there’s a level of understanding that you just can’t find in any other environment,” said TAPS spokeswoman Ami Neiberger-Miller.Reaching out to othersThe TAPS community includes about 450 military children who are mourning a relative’s suicide, Neiberger-Miller said.“Once I saw how many kids had dads who did it, I kind of realized it was suicide,” Timothy said.“That’s when his grieving started all over again,” Judi said. Timothy said he was “angry, then sad.”The other children in TAPS comforted him, he said. “They were just helping me, telling me the world wasn’t over,” he said.Timothy now attends TAPS programs every year, all over the country.“He goes to get his own good out of it and tell his own story, but a good portion of his benefit is reaching out to others, even though he’s still a kid,” Judi said.Earlier this year, Timothy posted an essay about his father on the website of a fundraising walk for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.When his father was in Iraq, Timothy wrote, he worried every day that something might happen to him.“When he came home safe, I was so happy to see him at the Ft. Hood welcome home ceremony,” he wrote. “I knew he would go back to the war some day, but I thought he would be safe while he was home.”Timothy said he was walking to raise money for the foundation “so maybe someday, a kid’s dad will decide to live instead.”———————————— Army Spc. David P. Swenson Jr. loved the Army, Swenson said, but had recently transferred to a new unit on Fort Hood, Texas, and sorely missed the battle buddies in his old one. He disappeared one night and his squad leader called Swenson to see if she could track him down. She found him at his sister-in-law’s house. He told his mother that he hadn’t slept in three days and wanted to return to his former unit so he could deploy with them in November. Swenson spoke to him of his responsibilities and how important it was to fulfill them. “One of the hardest things — and there are many things that are hard — is my son begged me, ‘Please don’t make me go back,’ but we raised him to do what’s right,” she said, wiping away tears. “He had a job to do so I made him go back that night.” The soldier drove back to post, took all of the decals off his truck so his father could have it, then called a close friend. He threatened to harm himself so his friend called the police. The police were enroute when Swenson’s son shot himself in the head. He left a 6-year-old son, Timmy, behind. Swenson and her husband had been caring for him, and after their son’s death, worked to adopt him. The adoption was finalized last week, she said. “I waited 10 years to have him,” Swenson said of her son. “I thought I’d never be a mom again, but now I’m a mom again. I’m joyous, but with a big cloud overhead.” Timmy struggled for years with his father’s death, refusing to believe it was a suicide. “He didn’t think it was humanly possible for a parent to kill himself if they have children,” Swenson explained. He finally accepted the truth while attending last year’s TAPS suicide survivor seminar in San Diego, she said. “It hit him like a bucket of ice water,” Swenson said. “He came to the realization that maybe Daddy killed himself. TAPS got through to him and helped him through it.” TAPS is their family now, she said. SPC David P Swenson, Jr. Born 7/23/78 in Teheran, Iran. Died by suicide at Ft Hood, Tx 6/16/05. Active duty Army 4ID. Left parents and a 6 year old son, Timmy. We adopted Timmy in 2010. He is now 17.
Stull completed tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, volunteered for airborne school, and served with the 82nd Airborne Division during his time in the U.S. Army. He was 37 years old. A wheeled vehicle mechanic, he was assigned to Echo Company, 37th Engineer Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. “We are deeply saddened by the loss of a valued team member,” said Major Jeff Works, the deputy commander of the “Falcon Brigade” Stull was part of at his death. “He was a caring leader to his paratroopers and a reliable paratrooper to his peers and leaders. Our full attention now turns to his family and fellow paratroopers in their mourning.” Stull received a number of accolades for his service, including the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Korea Defense Service Medal. He served at Fort Bragg and in South Korea before his final assignment as a member of the 37th Engineer Battalion last March. From his wife: “Nathan loved baseball and football He played baseball the last 6 years for both our church and his units with the Army. His favorite football team was LSU. He was a big time hunter as well. He hunted every year and that was also one of his favorite things to do.” “He loved to spend time with our girls and our family. We would always make the best of the time we all had together due to his heavy work schedule. Our family was our everything. Nathan served in the Army as active Duty for 19 years. He served at Fort Bragg for all his years. He has 4 deployments and 2 assignments to Korea. We were married for 8 years and have 2 daughters. Although he battled severe PTSD, he was a very hard worker and made every day count. Every person he came into contact with during his life, he left an everlasting impression on them. He gave his all in everything he did and he never took the easy route to just get something done. He did not have an easy time, but I am so proud of the life he lived and how he lived. Unfortunately on July 30 2017, the battle of PTSD won and I lost my husband and my best friend. Our girls also lost their dad. Although this is the hardest journey we have to walk and face every day, I could not be more proud of him, and I will continue to carry on his legacy and spread awareness for Suicide and PTSD. We will always love you, Nathan, and miss you each and every day.” Remembrances from his Obituary:“I could talk about you for days and it still wouldn’t be long enough. You were a great NCO and mentor. You had a natural ability to take care of soldiers and did it effortlessly. I remember you for always being motivated and dedicating your time to your soldiers and not your soldiers but everyone else’s soldiers also. You fed me when I didn’t have a dime, gave me money when I didn’t have gas, help me through a financial crisis when I couldn’t see light at the end of the tunnel and I never heard a thing about it. I can truly say you were a brother to me and I will always be indebted to you. I know that God don’t make mistakes and because you were truly an angel on earth, he had to call you to his kingdom. My brother you will never be forgotten and always be remembered as a hero, until we meet again, fly high because you earned your wings.Thank you my brother R.I.P.” “Heroes come in many forms. SSG Stull was a true hero who didn’t ask for accolades or awards. He would go out of his way to ensure the sick and wounded or his comrades had what was needed while disregarding his own needs. Old Soldiers never die, they only fade away. I am positive he is preparing a place for us all in Heaven as he did on earth. You will be missed my friend but never forgotten.” Born in OhioFinal rest is with his family in Arizona #22toomany#Ourheroes are #Neverforgotten
Lee Stiles was an Army Ranger who served in Vietnam. He took part in HALO (high altitude low opening) jumps.“The HALO technique is used to airdrop supplies, equipment, or personnel at high altitudes when aircraft can fly above surface-to-air missile (SAM) engagement levels through enemy skies without posing a threat to the transport or load. In the event that anti-aircraft cannons are active near the drop zone, the HALO technique also minimizes the parachutist’s exposure to flak. In a typical HALO exercise, the parachutist will jump from the aircraft, free-fall for a period of time at terminal velocity, and open his parachute at a low altitude. The combination of high downward speed, minimal metal and forward air-speed serves to defeat radar as well as simply reduce the amount of time a parachute might be visible to ground observers, enabling a stealthy insertion.” (source: Wikipedia) Once out of the Army, he continued his skydiving and was part of an elite group that jumped in formation.After losing both his mother and sister to breast cancer, Lee was an active volunteer with the Komen Foundation. He also loved race cars and racing and another favorite hobby was shopping.Recently, his former wife received a call from a soldier Lee had served with in Vietnam, who shared how Lee had saved his life. Both were exposed to Agent Orange in heavy doses. Lee’s severe PTSD was a major cause of his stroke in middle age, which led to his untimely death.
Charles Brandon “Chuck” Stayton, 29, died Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011, at his home.He was born Aug. 25, 1981, in Benton, IL. He was a 1999 graduate from Benton Consolidated High School. He joined the U.S. Army, serving from January 2000 to August 2003 with the 82nd Airborne Division, 307 Engineer Battalion. He earned an associate degree from Rend Lake College in 2006.Chuck was an avid hunter and fisherman. Chuck loved his family and friends. He was a wonderful father and husband.Burial with military honors will be in the Masonic and Oddfellows Cemetery in Benton.#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
Dallon Ross States, 26, passed away June 11, 2017 at his residence. Dallon was born March 27, 1991 in Lima, OH, to Todd States and Kathie-Jo (Moore) Dove, who survive him. Dallon served in the United States Army Reserves 304th Engineer Company. He loved karaoke with his sister, Cami, and spending time singing with his friends. Dallon had a passion for all things tech and he loved Star Wars and Marvel. He loved to draw and was a very good artist. His pride as a soldier was only equaled by his passion as a warrior. He loved to bowl with his family and was an avid gun collector; he was always prepared and ready for anything. He was a huge Buckeyes fan and loved to research and debate. Dallon loved life and enjoyed spending time with those in it; especially his girlfriend Taylor, who was the love of his life. Memorial contributions may be made to the Dallon States Memorial Fund through Superior Credit Union, savings account #170259 and routing #241279616. This is a safe and secure account through the credit union. Checks can be made payable to the Dallon States Memorial Fund, Account #170259.Interment: Woodlawn Cemetery, Lima, Ohio LIMA — Ohio Gov. John Kasich has approved lowering flags in Lima to half-staff on Saturday in memory of Army Reservist Dallon Ross States, 26, a native of Lima who died June 11. The approval came after a request from Lima Mayor David Berger, who extended his condolences to States’ family in a statement. “It is only fitting and proper to honor this military serviceman by lowering the flags on all city buildings and grounds to half-staff and by publicly calling the community’s attention to recognize the committed service and sacrifices made by Reservist Ross,” he said. From his guest book: May God bless this patriot warrior, Dallon, and hold in his everlasting arms. I thank him for his service on behalf of our country. Sending my condolences to Dallon’s family, friends, and to all whose lives were touched by this fine young man. And Dallon, we Ohioans will continue to say “GO BUCKS” for you. Never forgotten. ALWAYS remembered.#22toomany #OurHeroes are #Neverforgotten
Thomas Wayne Starks was born on May 15, 1979 in Baltimore County to Terry Starks and Linda Fair. He graduated from Kenwood High School May 31, 1997. Thomas honorably served his country in the military for 4 years as an Army Ranger in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He hated injustice and therefore he had inner turmoil with the things he had experienced in the line of duty. He battled with PTSD for a long time thereafter. Thomas Worked for CBI, and recently at Aptim as an engineering technician. He was a hard and dedicated worker. He was a great artist and had recently started a business making custom leather products. Apart from being a great provider, Tom was a great Dad, husband, son and brother. He was loving, kind, giving, very intelligent, funny, sensitive, and very compassionate. Thomas always went above and beyond for others. He had been undergoing treatment for PTSD, but on January 25 at his home in BelAir, Thomas succumbed to the battle. His grandfathers Jerry Starks and Robert Joseph Herbert precede him. To cherish his memory he leaves behind his loving wife and best friend of eight years Angela Starks, his 2 sons Brian Mwangi and Thomas Starks (TJ), his mothers Linda Jones and Linda Starks, his fathers Terry Starks and Jerry Jones, his brothers Keith, Lindelle, Daniel, Benjamin, and Caleb, aunts and uncles, 17 nieces and nephews, and 2 grandmothers.Gone too soon, but forever engraved in our hearts. Matthew 11:28 “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest”#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
Timothy Defoix Stalter, 28 of Palm Bay, Florida Went home to be with our Lord on February 4, 2013.Born July 15, 1984 in Spartanburg, SC he was the son of Randy Stalter of Mishawaka Indiana and Melissa Dobson Starter Hicks of Palm Bay, FL. He was a U.S. Army veteran having served with the 2-87 inf. famed “Outlaw Platoon“10th Mountain Division in Fort Drum, NY. He was a Purple Heart recipient.Tim’s unit was the B Co, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry, 10th mountain division out of Fort Drum New York.He was an infantry squad leader in a light infantry company with the mission to deploy worldwide and conduct combat missions upon arrival. Some of his medals were the Purple Heart, Army Commendation, Army Achievement medal, joint meritorious Unit Award, Army good conduct Medal National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal. He also served in Afghanistan and received the Afghanistan Campaign Medal W/2 Bronze Service Stars.“As I start my day today my thoughts are of you… How much you are loved and missed, honored and remembered, not only by me but by many others. You touched so many lives in a positive way. You are my first born and my only Son. You were an amazing young Child who grew up to be an amazing young man. I treasure each and every memory of you. Sometimes I feel like I am going insane missing you and then I feel your presence beside me, guiding me. Thank you Son, for it is you that saves me from self-destructing. Your memory inspires me to be a better person. I look forward to the day that we are reunited in heaven. Oh what I wouldn’t give to feel your arms around me telling me Mom don’t cry don’t be sad. But you know a piece of me died with you. One memory in particular stands out in my mind and that is when you were in seventh grade and a girl was being bullied by a boy on the school bus. You came to her aid and the bully challenged you to a fight. Without regard for your own personal safety, You sure put a hurting on that boy. You always gave of yourself to others. You always made me proud of you, all of your life. So today on your 2nd Angelversary in heaven, I will honor you by living & carrying on your legacy of helping others. Heaven has got to be a better place for it is filled with many Heroes. ALL OF MY LOVE ALWAYS SON!!!”
Justice for SPC Kenneth Jewel Stafford“This is Spc. Kenneth J Stafford . He was diagnosed with PTSD and on July 11 2013, in the midst of an episode , he was shot and killed by Reno Police, .. this man was a decorated soldier and was asking for help , his family called 911 to ask for the police to help him instead because they did not understand how to handle our warriors with PTSD , this was the outcome. This law will give law enforcement the training they will need to be able to handle these guys with gentle hands , instead of full force. This is agreat tragedy and it could have been prevented .. it didnt have to end this way. We send our deepest sympathy and thoughts out to this family in their time of grief. and To Spc. Stafford I will meet you at the rally point bro!!” ~ Ssgt. Haswell from Warrior’s Aftermath and Recovery WAR page https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=541724512562158&set=a.540429606024982.1073741828.540381632696446&type=1&theater
Shawn was a 1994 graduate of Muncy High School (Muncy, PA). After high school he furthered his education at Penn College where he studied business administration and applied human services. He also attended Bucknell University for ROTC training. He served in the United States Army during operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq and Kuwait. While serving he received Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Noncommissioned Officer’s Professional Development ribbon, Army Service ribbon, Army Reserve Components Overseas Training ribbon and Parachutist badge. Shawn worked at Allenwood Federal Prison for ten and a half years as a corrections officer, and was a member of the Disturbance Control Team there. He was an avid turkey hunter and was a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation. He was also a member of the Edward J. Smith Post 3428 V.F.W. Shawn was a coach for Muncy youth football and Muncy AYSO youth soccer.
Beloved son and brother, Douglas James Snyder, 32, passed unexpectedly on Nov. 24, 2009.Doug was born May 11, 1977, in Anderson. He is a graduate of Highland High School in Anderson and later joined the United States Army.Doug served until 2004 as a field artillery crewman, as a member of the 82nd Airborne and performed two tours in Iraq: in 2002 at the start of “Shock and Awe” and redeployed in 2003.“Douglas was diagnosed with PTSD/TBI and was arrested in 2009. He told the jailer he was a vet and was having blackouts. They demanded proof. The Houston VA sent a paper stating he never served in the military; as a result, he was informed that he was nothing but “a lying felon”. He hung himself a shortly thereafter. In reality, the VA didn’t take the time to look for his records, and it took us 3 1/2 hours to locate them the next day. I just recently asked for his medical records and was sent a disc clearly marked with his information. When I opened them up I realized the VA had sent me someone else’s information.” From IndystarSwarens: VA hospital’s tasteless email reignites mother’s firstname.lastname@example.orgSix years after, Marcia Snyder still mourns for the son she gave to her nation, the son who left Indiana to go to war. The son who came home a wounded, broken warrior.The son who — struggling with a brain injury, post-traumatic stress, blackouts, homelessness, drug abuse and run-ins with police — used a blanket to fashion a noose in a Texas jail one day in 2009.The son she buried. At the age of 32.A fresh wave of grief and anger washed over Marcia Snyder this past week. “Total rage” is how she described her feelings to me.The rage was set off by a story from my colleague Tony Cook, who uncovered an appalling email sent by a manager at the Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Centerin Indianapolis. The email, routed to other VA employees, included photos of a toy elf in a variety of tasteless poses.In a caption to one photo, the elf is described as pleading for Xanax and “self-medicating for mental health issues.”Marcia Snyder knows well the agony that pushes veterans to self-medicate. Her son, Doug, was prescribed as many as 15 medications at a time to treat Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD.But the pain, the fear and the flashbacks — the hellish aftermath of his years of fighting with the 82nd Airborne in Iraq — didn’t stop. And so he turned to illegal drugs in a desperate, futile pursuit of relief.It’s a story all too familiar to Jim Bauerle.A retired U.S. Army brigadier general from Carmel, Bauerle now serves with the Military/Veterans Coalition of Indiana, an umbrella organization of groups that assist veterans and active duty personnel across the state.When I started to describe Doug Snyder’s story to Bauerle, he stopped me. Then proceeded to recite all the low points of the deceased sergeant’s agonizing journey.It’s not that he knew or had ever heard of Snyder. It’s that Doug Snyder’s path of descent has been followed, before and after, by thousands of America’s warriors.That descent all too often reaches a heartbreaking destination — an estimated 22 veterans a day from across the nation, like Doug Snyder, take their own lives. That equates to about 145 military suicides each year in Indiana.No doubt many of those men and women, in various stages of desperation, tried to find help at the VA medical center in Indianapolis.How to explain then why a manager at that hospital, a social worker no less, saw fit to send an email that included a photo of the elf hanging from a strand of Christmas lights. With the caption: “Caught in the act of suicidal behavior (trying to hang himself from an electrical cord).”Apparently it was meant as a joke.But no one is laughing. Certainly not Marcia Snyder.“I know all about medical humor. I’m a registered nurse,” she said. “But there’s a line you draw.”As outrageous as that email is, there’s an outrage that’s much, much worse — the shameful fact that we as Americans have so badly neglected our support systems for veterans.The VA’s falsification of records, the low quality of care, the stumbling bureaucracy have been well-documented in recent years, and while promises to improve were made, and at some level honored, those in need of help, and those who love them, continue to raise alarms about the agency’s deep-seated problems.Jim Bauerle and Monica Snyder — the general and the nurse — are among those sounding the alarm. One lost men on the battlefield. The other lost a son in the homeland. Both are heartbroken by what they seeing happening with veterans today.“We’ve got a crisis on our hands in the state of Indiana and across the nation,” Bauerle said. “The VA and the federal government are just not taking care of the problem.”
Kurtis J. Smith (29) of Bellevue, Ohio died Monday, August 10, 2015 at his home. He was born October 29, 1985 in Norwalk, Ohio. Kurtis served in the US Army National Guard with a tour in Iraq. He was a diesel mechanic for Norfolk and Southern Railroad and enjoyed hunting, working out at the gym, and helping people farm. Kurtis loved anything that ran on diesel and was a member of the Volkswagen TDI club. He truly cherished being a father and loved spending time with his wife and daughter. Remembrances shared by his Aunt Nancy: “Kurt used to do some farming work for my husband. He was a pleasure to have work for us. And he and my husband both have birthdays in October, so they had that in common. When he helped on the farm, it was general help, wherever needed. And also he helped build a windbreak. He liked red farm equipment (Case). My husband likes green (John Deere). That was the source of many good-natured jokes as to which was better!” Resting Place: Maple Grove Cemetery, New Haven, Ohio.#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
Brandon was a young man of great strength and character and always willing to help others. He never cared for seeing someone down or left out, and would go out of his way to put a smile on their face. He loved the outdoors, kids, dogs and fixing things. He had the craziest laugh, the most beautiful eyes and an infectious smile. Brandon joined the Army after graduating high school. He completed his basic training at Ft. Benning, GA., then off to Redstone Arsenal, AL. where he completed his AIT in which he graduated at the top of his class, then back to Ft. Benning, GA. where he completed Airborne school, where his “Pop” proudly pinned his wings on him at graduation. He was then assigned to Ft. Bragg, NC. with the 82nd Airborne. The following year he deployed to Afghanistan and returned one year later. He came home on a month long leave, his pop had asked him if he was okay and he said he was, and for the remainder of the leave he was the Brandon we knew. He reported back to Ft. Bragg and less than five months he was gone from our earthly lives. He left behind a bright future, a life worth living. He left a family whom he loved and loved him, who could not have been more proud of him, still are and always will be. For it was not how he left this earth, but how he lived his life and served his country. I quote his Lt Col. Jones: “Brandon wasn’t a good soldier, he was a great soldier”. Some say they never met a hero, but we raised ours. He is deeply missed by his family and friends. We do our best to carry on, as it is our wish to live for him and to make him proud. We love you Brandon, till we meet again…. “A life so young, released to heaven, left on earth we wonder why. But some are sent among us briefly, some have spirits meant to fly.”You will live on Brandon, in our hearts.#22toomany#OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
“Jacob loved to hunt. He started hunting when he was seven with his grandpa. He hunted deer and turkey. He also loved to ride dirt bikes and spend time at home with his family. Before he passed he told us over and over again he wanted to help people. A year before he passed he inherited money from his great grandma and gave most of it away to people who needed to pay bills over the winter. He also just handed me the keys to the car he inherited because I needed a car. He was a very giving person. My family looks forward to helping end the 22 lives lost daily through education and awareness.” Shared by Jacob’s mother Jacob Douglas Shaw, 20 years of age died Friday, July 3rd, 2015. Jacob was born February 6, 1995 in Jeffersonville, Indiana and was a 2013 graduate of South Central High School in Elizabeth, Indiana. Jacob was currently serving with the 387th Military Police Company with the Indiana National Guard in New Albany, Indiana. He loved his family, the outdoors, and serving his State and Country. Jacob will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by all who knew him.
SFC Grant Shanaman was a native of Media, Pennsylvania. SFC Shanaman graduated from Malvern Preparatory School in 1997. After graduation, he enlisted in the United States Army on 27 May 1998 as an Infantryman and attended basic combat training at Fort Benning, Georgia. Upon completion of initial training, SFC Shanaman attended the United States Army Airborne School on 28 October 1998 and became a proud member of the Airborne community. On 16 October 1998, SFC Shanaman attended and graduated the Ranger Induction Program (RIP) and was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment located at Fort Benning, Georgia.During his assignment to the 75th Ranger Regiment for more than 11 years, SFC Shanaman advanced through the ranks and served in every position from Rifleman to Ranger Indoctrination Program (RIP) Instructor. SFC Shanaman served on 10 combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, to include a combat jump into Afghanistan in March 2003. While assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, SFC Shanaman served as a Brigade Operations Noncommissioned Officer for 10 months.His awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Afghan Campaign Medal with one campaign star, Iraq Campaign Medal with three campaign stars, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge and Master Parachutist Badge with combat star.SFC Shanaman was also a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jujitsu under Royce Gracie (Team R.O.C. Fayetteville, NC) and a professional mixed-martial artist (MMA) fighter with a record of 1-1.Some of his hobbies included practicing jiu-jitsu (Grant is a Royce Gracie purple belt) and MMA fighting (Grant has a pro MMA record of 1-1). As a full time single father, he spent a lot of time with his kids: taking them on trips, to movies, dinner (he especially liked Buffalo Wild Wings), attending their school sports games (even helped out by coaching a lot of the kid’s sports). He loved to cook. We had fun cooking together, trying new foods and recipes or making up our own, and trying out different restaurants we had never been to. Any time he wasn’t at work or spending time with the kids, he was at the gym sparring or rolling with his teammates at Team ROC in Fayetteville. Grant was pretty simple. He was a creature of habit. His kids were his life, so anything having to do with them, he was there for them always. (shared by Rachael) Final rest: Willistown Friends Cemetery, Newtown Square, PA #22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
Karl grew up in Pittsburgh PA. He loved spending time with family and friends. He was a gifted musician who wrote and played the guitar. For sports, he liked the Pittsburgh Penguins Hockey team. On his days off he would often go fishing; he liked the outdoors. States he called home: Pennsylvania and KansasFinal resting place: Cemetery of the Allegheny’s near Pittsburgh, PA In December 2017, Karl’s mother, Erin, will run the Rehoboth Beach Marathon in Karl’s honor and memory. Update: She has since run the AAM Marathon, the Pittsburgh Marathon and the USAF Half in memory of her son. #22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
Jennifer Schwartz grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. She served in the Army from 2009-2012. She was a combat medic for the 10th Mountain Division C Co, 94th BSB and toured in Afghanistan from October 2010 to October 2011. (She was stationed in Ft. Jackson, SC, Ft. Sam Houston, TX, and Ft. Polk, LA.) She loved helping people alongside her “battle buddies” and continued this path when she returned home.She had started nursing school and began working for Lakeside Family Health Center as a physician’s assistant. More than anything, Jennifer loved spending time with her family and called often when she was away. Jennifer lost her battle on March 5, 2016. “Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone.” Jennifer is loved by many, which is how we know she will stay alive. She left behind her mother and step-father, Martha and John Chambers, and father, Paul Schwartz, as well as three sisters, Jamie, Melissa, and Denise, a brother, Paul, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, and a very special grandmother. One of her last goodbyes was, “I just want your girls to know I love them” in reference to her nieces, Kaylee and Savannah.“Is there anything worse than losing your friends/family to demons that can be tamed? There is a system in place that FAILS combat veterans. Be a part of the change: speak out, talk to your friends, and don’t allow them to fall victim. You are not helpless; you are not alone; ASK for help; change the stigma.” –Jennifer’s combat buddy, Chelsea
SSG Mark Allen SchultzFebruary 15, 1966 – February 18, 2019 Mark Allen Schultz was born on February 15, 1966 in Norfolk, Virginia. He spent his childhood growing-up in Oberlin, Kansas where he graduated from High School in 1984.Sadly, Mark passed away on February 18, 2019 in Highlands Ranch, CO after a painful battle with Congestive Heart Failure.He honorably served his country for 20+ years in the U.S Army and retired as a Staff Sergeant. Mark went on to serve our U.S. Military Veterans for another 7+ years as a VA Benefits Representative in Lakewood, CO. He truly loved being in the outdoors and enjoyed exploring the Rocky Mountains. Mark Schultz was a beloved father and friend to so many and he will be missed. May he find rest in the Peace of Our Lord. From his daughter:He was born in Norfolk, VA in February 1966 and took his life February 2019 in his lost fight of PTSD.He loved photography, dancing, hiking, church, rock climbing, and anything with a thrill be hind it. He loved skiing.My father served 20+ years in the Army. He started his career at Fort Carson, CO in an infantry division and later served as a recruiter in California. He then got new orders after 7 years to go to Fort Campbell, KY. He served in military intelligence. My father went to Iraq in 2003. He came home a totally different person. He shut himself off from a lot of family. My dad did have congestive heart failure, but did end his pain by taking his life. We laid him to rest in February of this year at Fort Logan National Cemetery. Shared by Amanda, who also wants to run in her father’s memory soon.#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
SSG Devin Schuette, age 35, of Ft Hood, TX, met his Lord on January 3, 2016. Devin was born September 16, 1980 in Guymon OK. He moved to Clovis, NM in 1989 and joined the US Army in 1999. Some of his duty assignments included Airborne Infantry Training, Rifleman and Armorer, Military Intelligence and Intelligence Analyst. He served three tours in Iraq. Soldier’s mom: ‘He felt like he was broken’January 12, 2016Clovis News JournalBy David StevensEditordstevens@cnjonline.comDevin Schuette wanted a challenge.That’s why he joined the Army as an infantryman in 1999 after graduating House High School.“He loved his country and he loved the Army,” said his mother, Karen Alexander of Clovis.“He was very proud to be in the military. He was very well respected and he was very respectful.”Staff Sgt. Schuette’s life will be remembered Thursday when services are held at Fort Hood, Texas, where he was stationed when he died Jan. 3.Officials said his body was found in a vehicle near the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area. The cause of his death has not been officially released, but Schuette’s mother said her son took his own life.“He suffered from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder),” she said. “Just a lot of emotional and physical stress, and he just decided he couldn’t handle it anymore.”Alexander said Schuette, 35, was home with family in Clovis during the Thanksgiving holiday, but showed no signs of any worries.“He was happy, he was in a good mood. He always loved being around family,” she said.Alexander said she knew about the PTSD, but never considered it a threat to his life.“From what I saw, he just seemed to be nervous a lot,” she said.An Army news release reported Schuette was deployed to Iraq three different times, between 2003 and 2009.Alexander said Schuette chose to die at the lake because, “It was quiet … pretty. He loved the outdoors.”He left a note, she said, expressing love for his wife, their children, other family and for his country and the Army.“But he felt like he was broken,” she said.Schuette is survived by his wife, Tannie, and three children.His brothers Justin Schuette and Kyle Schuette still live in Clovis, as does his sister Kayla Baker.Alexander said memorial services will be held in Clovis in a few weeks.She said she can’t see any good coming from her son’s death. “I’m sure there will be something, but I’m not there yet,” she said.But she said there’s plenty to celebrate about his life.“He always did everything 100 percent,” she said.His list of awards and decorations, provided by Fort Hood officials, is a long one:Five Army Commendation Medals, one Army Achievement Medal, five Army Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with campaign stars, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, two Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbons, Army Service Ribbon, four Overseas Service Ribbons, Combat Infantry Badge, Parachutist Badge with Distinguished Service-Bronze Service Star and Parachutist Badge. http://www.cnjonline.com/2016/01/12/soldiers-mom-he-felt-like-he-was-broken/ From his Memory page:“You were an amazing Soldier, an exceptional NCO and a truly honorable man. I am grateful for having known you and for having had the honor of serving with you. May you watch over us as we try to go on in this life in your absence. May you Rest In Peace. Devin’s smile is one of my favorite things about him, as it always made a bad day better. Let us remember him for his kind spirit, good humor and his love of family and country. God bless each and every one of you.”
Andrew Jonathan Saunders, 25, passed away Wednesday, September 2, 2015. He was born in Asheville, NC on April 27, 1990 to Susan and William Saunders.Andrew went to school in Ridgecrest, CA where he found a love for playing music in jazz band with the trumpet, as well as playing guitar almost nonstop with his many friends. In addition to his musical talent, Andrew was also an accomplished discus thrower, being voted MVP two years in a row before competing in a CIF Championship.Andrew joined the US Army after high school. Once he graduated from basic training at the top of his class, he went to Apache helicopter mechanic training, where he also graduated top of his class. After tours in Ansbach, Germany, and Afghanistan, Andrew learned that he had been accepted into flight school, realizing his dream. After graduating from warrant officer school, he finished flight school as the “Distinguished Graduate.” He was then assigned as a Blackhawk pilot at Fort Carson, CO, where he was living at the time of his death.Andrew lived life to the fullest and brought out the best in everyone who knew him. He loved deeply and made lifelong friendships at every turn of his life.Andrew is survived by his mother Susan Lasell, step-father Richard Lasell, brother Brian Hoppus, and sister Sarah Hoppus.Final Rest: Riverside National Cemetery.#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
“Benjamin was getting ready to retire in three months after serving 25 years when he died. He lived in Clarksville, TN. He loved playing the guitar and anything to do with music. He could hear a tune and pick it out by ear. He also loved camping and kayaking with his son, Dylan. He was also a very good cook (I have his recipes but can’t bring myself to use them yet). Benjamin liked to surprise me, coming home to visit without telling me, buying me a beautiful necklace he picked out himself for my 60th. He would look at me with a look of love when I called him my baby (never got upset when I did.) He loved to see Dylan & me playing or just being together. He called Tennessee home.” Shared by his mother, Belinda Over a period marking nearly 25 years, Captain Ronk served his country in varying capacities in uniform. He served eight years in Active Duty as an enlisted soldier, earning the rank of Sergeant, from 1991 to 1999. Through his enlistment he served as a Satellite Communications System Operator-Maintainer in various assignments, including a tour with the White House Office. Captain Ronk commissioned as a warrant officer in 1999 after being selected to attend the Rotary Wing Aviator Course at Fort Rucker, Alabama, serving another 12 years and seven months Active Duty from 1999 to 2012 as a UH-60 Pilot. During this time he successfully completed the UH-60 Instructor Pilot Course (2004) to become an instructor pilot at the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence. Captain Ronk attended the Physician Assistant Course and Army Flight Surgeon Primary Course in 2012 before commissioning as a First Lieutenant to serve his first assignment as a medical provider at 6th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He completed his career as the 501st Area Support Medical Company Treatment Platoon Physician Assistant with the 86th Combat Support Hospital. His current term of service was to expire in March 2016. During these periods of service, overseas and temporary duty locations included: Korea (1993-1994 and 2001-2002); Afghanistan, “Operation Enduring Freedom” (2002-2003); Iraq, “Operation Iraqi Freedom” (2004-2005 and 2005-2006); and Liberia, “Operation United Assistance” (2015). Remembrances:I served with Joe while assigned to 50th Medical Company “Eagle Dustoff” at Fort Campbell, KY and in Iraq in 2003-2004. He was a pure soul, played his guitar and has a smile that was contagious. He is one of the few pilots that inspired me to want to become a pilot myself. He will be greatly missed. CHRISTOPHER P. MILLER CW2, U.S.ARMY RETIRED Peace and prayers to his family and friends. He was a good friend and a great man. He will be missed by many. RIP my old friend. – Buck Evans & Family I remember working with him when I was stationed here the first time. He was an awesome person and a great teacher. I learned a lot from him and he was a good friend and listener. You will be missed my friend. My thoughts will be with your family in this sad time.. R.I.P. Final rest: Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Northeast, Grayson, KY#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
SSG Joel Rodriguez October 27, 1978 – February 8, 2016. My brother was a true hero. He is deeply missed by all his family and friends. He is missed every second of the day. His passing has left a huge void in our lives. Our mom, Lupe, is beyond devastated to have lost her son; when he became one of the 22 on 02/08/16 a part of our lives left with him too. As a sister, I feel like a part of me is buried with him at Fort Leonard Wood National Cemetery. Our family is broken and will never be complete again. I am very sure he never meant to cause this much pain and sorrow. He loved his family and worried about us every day. He was very strong willed, had a sense of humor that would break the ice in any situation, and had beautiful plans for the future. I am amazed at how quickly his Army comrades came together and offered us words of comfort and support. A true brotherhood. Joel brought many people together again and his presence is felt in many ways, but it will never make up for him being gone. SSG ‘Rod’ Served in the ARMY for 15 years. He started in the high school ROTC and then in the National Guard and quickly signed up full time in the Army. I will never forget how much we cried when we took him to the recruitment office to say goodbye, but he was happy, the happiest I had ever seen him. He wanted to serve his country, and he served it well. He deployed 3 times – once to Kuwait and twice to Iraq. He was recipient of the Purple Heart. His awards include Meritorious Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with two Campaign stars, five Army commendation metals, two Army achievement medals, four Army good conduct medals, one Armed Forces expeditionary medal, one National Defense Service Medal, one Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, two non commission officer professional development ribbons, one Army service ribbon, two overseas service ribbons, and combat action badge. My brother Joel suffered from PTSD, TBI, Depression, and Anxiety, among many health issues sustained from Operation Iraqi Freedom. It has been a huge shock to lose him this way. Help me honor my brother SSG Rod by sharing our story, we hope to bring awareness to this terrible epidemic. “I want him to call me and tell me it’s all been a joke. It gets harder every day, because it’s another day without him. Can you please add on the bio that it’s very, very important for vets with PTSD to always stay in close contact with their family and friends, to take their meds and therapy on a regular basis? My brother left home for 3 days without his medication and had we known, we would of helped him. God knows I would of crawled to where he was to prevent his suicide. And please add that he is missed by his sisters and brothers who are veterans. We are all in shock.” Shared by his sister, Maria
Born in Tulsa, OKResided in O’Fallon, MO1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment“Wolfhounds” Caleb Nathaniel Rios of O’Fallon, MO, passed away at the age of 26 on Thursday, October 17, 2019.Caleb is survived by his wife, Lisa Rios; his daughter, Juliana Rios; his parents, Eric and Shelly Rios; his mother, Sheri Emery; his siblings, Samuel Rios, Joshua Rios, Faith Rios, Hailey Bouxsein, Hannah Bouxsein, Amber Boeckman, Emily (Austin) Lewis, Ashley Verdugo, and Peighton Verdugo; his nephews, Brody and Grayson Rios; his grandmothers, Brenda Corbett, Tarri Carey, and Maxine Bolton; as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins, and other relatives. And to all of his brothers and sisters in the Armed Forces, “Til Valhalla.”Caleb served six years in the US Army as a member of 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment and then went on to serve as an Active Reservist. He graduated from Fort Zumwalt West in 2011 and had many hobbies he was passionate about – Caleb loved gaming, fishing, going to the movies, and was a firearms enthusiast. He was a loving father and will be dearly missed.Contributions made in Caleb’s name may be made to Mission 22. “Caleb was a loving father, husband and friend. His favorite sport to play was soccer, and he enjoyed video games and just being with his family and friends. He was always the light in a lot of people’s lives – helping others and always the one to make you laugh. He always wanted the best for the ones he loved even when he was struggling himself. He loved being a dad and loved his daughter, Juliana, so much. It was such a blessing watching him become a dad.” Shared by his wife, Lisa Home was O’Fallon, MissouriFinal Rest: Wyoming #22TooMany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
SPC Brent A Rimer Jr of the US Army died by suicide on 2/10/2018 – the worst day of my life. Part of me died with him…for fifteen years we fought to help him heal from the War he bright home with him after serving with the 3rd ID in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom…He had such a good heart and loved to make people smile and laugh…He has five children and a daughter who passed before him. He battled PTSD and became a shell of who he was before he left us …He fought but in the end he couldn’t defeat what he brought home… (shared by his mother) Rimer Jr., Brent Alva Rimer, Brent Alva Jr. Age 35, of Parma Township, passed away at his home February 10, 2018. He is survived by his wife, Diana I. (maiden-Chacon) Rimer, five children, Felicity Ann, Andrew Alva, Lily Ann, Erica Ann and William Michael, mother, Lula (maiden-Corwin) Root, father, Brent Alva Rimer Sr., sisters, Mary Lovitt, Brooke (Matt) Jenkins and Taylor Rimer, several nieces and nephews, and his extended family in New York and Puerto Rico, including his step-son, Stephen Chacon and mother and father-in-law, Awilda and Eladio Chacon. He was preceded in death by his infant daughter Mary Ann Rimer. Brent served the nation in the US Army in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, enjoyed adventure and the great outdoors and was devoted to his wife and children. Cremation has taken place. A Memorial Service celebrating his life will be held at the Albion American Legion Post #55, 1230 Edwards St., Albion, MI 49224 on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at 3 pm with Pastor Craig Pahl officiating. Contributions in his memory are directed to the Healing Household 6.#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
Staff Sgt. Juan M. Reyes Jr., 37, of San Antonio, Texas, was a Health Care Specialist assigned to the 122nd Aviation Support Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade. “We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our finest Paratroopers and a valued member of our team,” said Lt. Col. Stephen W. Owen, the commander of the 122nd Aviation Support Battalion. Reyes joined the Army in January 2001. Upon completion of basic combat training, he attended advanced individual training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He was assigned to the 82nd Abn. Div. in March 2011. Reyes served on three combat deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom; March 2004 to March 2005, October 2006 to November 2007, and February 2010 to July 2010. Reyes’ awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal (two oak-leaf clusters), the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Army Achievement Medal (two oak-leaf clusters), the Army Meritorious Unit Commendation, the Army Good Conduct Medal (four knots), the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal (two campaign stars), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (numeral two), the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon (numeral two), the Combat Medical Badge, and the Driver’s Badge. He was interred with full military honors on Monday, August 3, 2015. Inscription:AAM ARCOMServedWith HonorLoving HusbandAnd Father Note: SSG US Army, Persian Gulf Burial: Fort Sam Houston National CemeterySan Antonio Bexar County Texas, USA#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
Chaplain (CPT) Joshua Remy served at Ft. Hood, Ft. Riley, in Korea and Iraq. Following are some remembrances and also a link to a song he wrote called “Inside these Walls” about understanding the hurting heart which can lead to suicide.In the following remembrances, there are some posts from SPC Michael Kissell. Michael served with Joshua as his Chaplain’s assistant – they were like family. Michael took his life about a year after Joshua, and is also included in the “Our Heroes” album. “As I sit here pondering and thinking what could have happened, I’m very sad at the loss of my brother in arms, Michael Kissell. You and Chaplain Remy helped me through the toughest battle of my life. God used you both and now both of you are gone.” “This was one of the things that became tradition, Chaplain Remy blessing vehicles and crews as the get ready to go shoot and get qualified. He was always given credit for helping them earn top marks.” From Michael Kissell (Josh’s Chaplain’s Assistant) The Chaplain Corp crest (tattoo) Just got this done: I added Remy to the book because he was a model example of what “Pro Deo Et Patria” stands for.“For God and Country” You will never be forgotten, Sir. “Caregivers are often are often the casualties, the hidden victims. No one sees the sacrifices they make.”(Judith London) “Nurture the Living, Care for the Wounded, Honor the Dead.” “This (picture) was Thanksgiving 2010 in Kirkuk Iraq. We went out to our COP’s (combat outposts) to visit with the soldiers.Josh is seen here praying with soldiers before dinner” from Josh’s Chaplain’s Assistant, Michael Kissell “Josh was a neighbor of ours and I remember in October 2001, he carved out a pumpkin with an AMAZING tribute to the twin towers. I had never seen such art work performed on a pumpkin before (or since!)” Avenue of The Giants Marathon in Northern California – Joshua and his father ran this together. Inside These Walls by Joshua RemyApr 7, 2013“It seems one of the difficult issues with helping a person who has come to think about suicide is not so much the lack of proper answers of methods, but rather the lack of even a basic understanding of the hurting heart and why such pain could lead a person to think about suicide. Without even this basic understanding we can often jump to the wrong conclusions, answers, and methods, when all the person needs is to be heard by someone who can stand with them. Suicide is like a cancer that eats away at you until they are left surrounded by walls of hurt and no matter how many resources you point to, you and they remain outside those walls, while the person inside the hurt still sees nothing but the pain that surrounds him. This song gives a perspective of the hurting heart trapped within the walls of hurt.” Inside these walls by Joshua Remy April 2013Verse 1Its a dark and weary timeWhen every day is pain insideA cancer grows, it wears me downEvery day the walls are closing in, … closing in and shutting out … Verse 2Your answers they all sound so nice,You sound like you have got it made,But what have they to do with me,When I’m alone inside these walls .. alone and lost inside these walls … Verse 3A coward’s what you think of me,You talk of hurt I’m gonna cause,But really you have got it wrong,To end the hurt is what I need to do.. trapped with nothing but the pain… ChorusInside these walls, I don’t see your answers, you are outsideInside these walls, I don’t need more guilt and shame you bringInside these walls, I just want some one to climb insideInside these walls, alone and hurt you just want to die, you just want to die. Link to Josh singing “Inside These Walls”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uz_3x0BRucI
Sergeant Shawn Michael Reilly was born on May 8, 1967 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He lost his battle to PTSD and TBI October 16, 2011 .He was part of Panama Operation Just Cause parachuting with the 75th Ranger Battalion. He was deployed in 2005 to Operation Iraqi Freedom and in 2007 he was deployed to Operation Enduring Freedom with the 181st Engineer Company. In Ranger school in 1988 he was awarded a trophy for most motivated soldier. He was the proud recipient of Combat Jump Wings for jumping into Panama with the 75th Ranger Battalion during Operation Just Cause. He received the Purple Heart Medal for injuries he sustained over in Iraq , Shawn was also had Three Campaign Stars, the U.S. Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal. He was an exemplary soldier and loved by many. He was a jokester and the boys in his unit nicknamed him RANGERSMURF because he was only 5′5.He would do anything for anyone that needed help. He loved football. The Vikings were his favorite team. Shawn was an avid hunter and enjoyed everything to do with the outdoors. His favorite place was in his tree stand in the woods. Shawn loved being a Ranger and as he called it “Playing Army”. He loved his job serving his country.Not a day goes by that I do not miss him and his silly antics. He was my best friend and husband and I miss him so very much.
Michael was born and raised in Athens, Georgia. He was a big sports enthusiast and a huge Georgia Bulldog fan. He had a great sense of humor and a contagious laugh. How I would love to hear that laugh again! Michael was loved by his family and many friends. He had so much love and support. Unfortunately, he was suffering until something snapped – he seemed to have everything going well for him, then one day he was gone.Michael was stationed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii where he served in the 1-27, 25th Infantry Division Stryker Brigade. He was deployed to Iraq from December 2007 to February 2009. Nearing the end of his enlistment, he served with the U.S. Army Pacific Command at the “Pineapple Pentagon”, Fort Shafter, Hawaii. Theta Kappa Brother Michael Warren Reed (ΘΚ 654), age 28 of Athens GA, tragically passed to Chapter Eternal on Tuesday, August 27, 2013. Born August 23, 1985 in Athens, GA, Michael was a graduate of Oconee County HS. He attended Georgia Southern University where he was a brother of Sigma Nu Fraternity with his older brother Wesley S. Reed, ΘΚ 626. Michael served as a Combat Infantryman in the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division in the US Army and was a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He loved his time in service to his country and with his brothers in arms. Most recently, he was co-owner of JWR Engravers in Athens, which he helped acquire an existing business, move to a preferred location in Athens, install new machinery, and reopen at the beginning of June. Michael was a charter member of Oconee County’s Lacrosse Team and this last spring enjoyed volunteering as a coach for the current teams. Michael was a member of Athens First Presbyterian Church. While he attended GSU, he remained an avid Georgia fan, he followed the Bulldogs closely, even when deployed in Iraq. He could be seen at tailgate events at both home and away games donned in his favorite colors of Red & Black. Theta Kappa Brother Michael Warren Reed (ΘΚ 654), age 28 of Athens GA, tragically passed to Chapter Eternal on Tuesday, August 27, 2013. Born August 23, 1985 in Athens, GA, Michael was a graduate of Oconee County HS. He attended Georgia Southern University where he was a brother of Sigma Nu Fraternity with his older brother Wesley S. Reed, ΘΚ 626. Michael served as a Combat Infantryman in the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division in the US Army and was a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He loved his time in service to his country and with his brothers in arms. Most recently, he was co-owner of JWR Engravers in Athens, which he helped acquire an existing business, move to a preferred location in Athens, install new machinery, and reopen at the beginning of June. Michael was a charter member of Oconee County’s Lacrosse Team and this last spring enjoyed volunteering as a coach for the current teams. Michael was a member of Athens First Presbyterian Church. While he attended GSU, he remained an avid Georgia fan, he followed the Bulldogs closely, even when deployed in Iraq. He could be seen at tailgate events at both home and away games donned in his favorite colors of Red & Black.
Matthew loved to fish. He loved the 4th of July and setting fireworks off. He loved to play Xbox 360 Live Black Ops. He worked as a correctional officer in the Florida Department of Corrections.In 2008, Matthew was deployed to Afghanistan with the 806 715 Co. with the Florida National Guard. He received a Purple Heart.Matthew is buried in Hardee County / Wauchula, FL.He is forever loved and missed.
LORAIN – U.S. Army Sgt. Jacob D. Prayzer, 26, of Lorain, passed away at his home unexpectedly on Tuesday, September 10, 2013.Sgt. Prayzer was born in Elyria on June 15, 1987, the son of Kenneth S. Prayzer and Theresa M. (nee Tellier) Prayzer Howard. He was a graduate of Mountain Pointe High School in Arizona, where he played baseball on his high school team.He was a member of the Agudath B’Nai Israel Temple in Lorain.Following his enlistment in the Army National Guard, Sgt. Prayzer was deployed to Afghanistan. He earned the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one star, Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal and the NATO Service Medal. He was extremely proud to be serving his country and of being a soldier. Graveside services were held Thursday at the Salem Cemetery, Sheffield Township, with Cantor David Wolinsky officiating. Full military honors were provided by the U.S. Army Honorguard, American Legion Post 30, AmVets Post 451 with attendees from the American Jewish War Veterans, The Disable American Veterans and several other military organizations. Jacob’s mother, Tina Howard, now organizes an annual event in Jacob’s memory to help soldiers with PTSD and spread awareness of the tragedy of military suicide. Annual Sgt.Jacob D. Prayzer PTSD Memorial Poker Run is held at American Legion Post 118 in Amherst, Ohio. This year the date is September 9, 2017.#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
Matthew M. Power was born on November 17, 1969 in Cleveland, Ohio and passed away August 20, 2013. Matt was a veteran of the US Army where he served as a Human Resource Specialist and Infantryman. During his 16 1/2 years in the Army, he earned many medals and awards including the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal and Marksmanship Qual Badge-Expert with Rifle. In his free time Matt enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, fishing, football and going to baseball games.
Mr. Powell was born on September 29, 1951 and passed away on March 3, 2012. Charles Robert was a veteran of the United States Army serving in Vietnam, where he received a purple heart as well as the Army Commendation Medal (ACM). The Commendation Medal is awarded to one “distinguishing oneself by heroism, meritorious achievement or meritorious service.” The Commendation Medal is a mid-level United States military decoration which is presented for sustained acts of heroism or meritorious service, and for valorous actions in direct contact with an enemy. The Vietnam War was a daily struggle for Charles but he loved his country. He won multiple safety awards in his 20 year career in the oilfield industry. Charles was an avid Atlanta Braves fan. More remembrances of Robert:“Robert was an avid sports fan, especially, baseball. His favorite team was the Braves. He played baseball from a child through his teens and made it to the minor leagues. He had a tender heart and was very giving to those in need. He was stationed in Germany, but he volunteered for Vietnam. Robert was eating out, and had his Vietnam hat on, as he very often did. A Police Officer saw him, walked to his table, told Robert he noticed his Vietnam cap, thanked him for his service to his country and paid for his meal. Robert was so proud of that, and I still am.” from his sister, Shirley http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/thenewsstar/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=156333436#fbLoggedOut
Jayme was tragically taken from us on Sept. 14, 2014, while active duty in the Army where he served for 12 years. His tours in Afghanistan were from 2007 – 2008 and again from 2010 – 2011.Jayme was a decorated hero – he earned ARCOM with V device for valor on his first tour in Afghanistan. Soldier of Fortune Magazine featured his story of heroism (on the cover) in their January 2008 edition. As a combat medic, he saved many lives.He grew up in Brewster and Canton, Ohio. Jayme liked to hunt, fish, play video games, and study history.He was stationed at the San Antonio Military Medical Center, where he worked as an emergency room medic. Jayme was 32 years old when he lost his battle with PTSD and TBI. He struggled for 7 years. He leaves behind a son, daughter and step-daughter. His sister, Jessica, has shared his story.There is a Facebook page: SGT Jayme Pohovey Memorial Page.Jayme is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgottenJayme’s story in Soldier of Fortune magazine:https://www.sofmag.com/ambush-on-the-ridgeline/
On Sept. 23, 2014, Joshua Rodney Pallotta, 25, of Colchester, succumbed to his ongoing battle with Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injuries sustained while proudly serving his country in Afghanistan. Born April 2, 1989 in Burlington, Josh was the beloved son of Gregory and Valerie Pallotta of Colchester. As a young boy, Josh was an avid hockey player. He enjoyed going to UVM hockey games with his Mime and spending time with his grandparents at their summer cottage on Lake Eden. Josh graduated from Colchester High School in 2007, where he played club lacrosse and Varsity Football. During his senior year at Colchester High School, Josh was selected to play in the North-South High School Football Game. After high school, Josh took courses at the Community College of Vermont and subsequently became an agent working for the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) in Burlington. Josh joined the Vermont Army National Guard as a member of ALPHA Company, 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry, 86 IBCT (Mountain) and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2009. His bravery earned him The Army Commendation Medal with “V” Device for his valorous achievement during combat operations fighting against an enemy ambush while in Afghanistan. To live in hearts we leave behind is to never die and, thankfully, our cherished Josh will live in the hearts of his family and friends forever.From his mother: “I have discovered if I’m focusing on our mission of supporting Veterans and service members who have PTSD/TBI and assisting with putting an end to the tragedy of 22 a day, I am not focusing on my grief. This is my mission. I testified on November 19, 2014 before the Senate Committee for Veterans Affairs less than 8 weeks after our son died. This is very important to me and I will not stop until there is an end to this tragedy.”
Sean proudly served his country in the United States Army in the 10th Mountain Division 59th Chemical Co. His greatest accomplishment was being one of the first soldiers to arrive in Iraq and serving there from 2003 until 2004. Sean enjoyed playing the guitar, riding his motorcycle and was a talented artist. He was a member of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, the Milwaukee Chapter and he attended Fox River Christian Church. His cousin is SGT Stephen Keyes, USMC, who is also in the “Our Heroes” album. Here is a link that includes both of these cousins and a movie they will both be a part of.Almost Sunrisehttps://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=643081172447735&set=vb.619039064851946&type=2&theater