SSG Micki Ray Nixon, of Savannah, Georgia, was known as Micki to his family but as Ray to his friends and co-workers. He was born in Oklahoma City, OK on 13 May 1972. He attended Crooked Oak High School before moving to Middleburg, FL, where he attended Nathan Bedford Forrest High School in Jacksonville, Florida where he played football. He loved medieval history and considered King Arthur to be his hero. SSG Nixon became interested in Role Playing Games, such as Dungeons & Dragons, Battletech, Shadowrun & Warhammer 40k, when he was a young child & enjoyed playing them until his death. SSG Nixon was also an avid fan of comic books and could recite the history of all the characters from the Marvel series. SSG Nixon initially joined the Florida National Guard as a Medical Specialist until he entered active duty in December 1992. In May 1998, after a two-year break in service, SSG Nixon entered the Utah National Guard until October 2001, when he once again entered active duty as an Infantryman. SSG Nixon always wanted to serve in the military and it became even more important to him after the tragedy of Sept 11th occurred. SSG Nixon’s grandfather was a very influential person in his life, who taught him the values he lived by until his death. SSG Nixon’s wife, Janice; his sister Brenda; his niece, Savannah; and his nephew, Brayden were very important to him as well. On becoming an Infantryman, he was assigned to Fort Stewart, Georgia and in June 2002, he was assigned to 3-7 Infantry Battalion. He served with 3-7 during OIF I, III, and V. During his 9 years of service with 3-7, SSG Nixon had several younger soldiers in his Company and was looked upon as a father figure. He would go out of his way to help them with any problems they were having. In addition to Soldiers in his own Company who came to him for advice, Soldiers from other Companies also came to him for advice as well. Our family would like SSG Nixon to be remembered as a man who thought of others before himself. He was a dedicated Soldier who loved the Army and his Country. He had a great sense of humor, he was kind, loved animals, believed in chivalry, and was a great husband. SSG Nixon was assigned to: Home Detachment, 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, Fort Stewart, Georgia. Awards and Decorations Include: Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation w/Combat Distinguishing Device “V,” Army Commendation Medal (3), Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal (3), National Defense Service Medal w/Bronze Service Star, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal w/Bronze Service Star (3), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon (2), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (4), Combat Infantryman Badge, Combat and Special Skill Badge Basic Marksmanship Qual Badge, Bar, Weapon: Rifle (Inscription : Rifle), Right Side Award, Presidential Unit Citation (Army and Air Force), Valorous Unit Award, Overseas Service Bar (5)#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
Dan was from Libertyville, IL. He was a Sgt in the army. He was in as a Cavalry Scout with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment from 2003-2009. He deployed to Iraq from Feb 2005 – Feb 2006. He was medically retired in 2009. He was a fantastic welder and an avid gun builder and collector. He tried so hard to get through his illness. Dan took my son in like he was his own. We actually have a Facebook page from when he was missing (December 1, 2014; recovered March 13, 2015).http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/libertyville/news/ct-lbr–nerstrom-0604-20150523-story.html https://www.facebook.com/bringdanhome Note: now the page has many memorial posts in honor of Dan.
Robert Theodore Moroney was born on June 17, 1991 in Fort Walton Beach, FL. He attended Mt. Vernon High School where he excelled in all sports especially track, wrestling and football and graduated in 2010. Robert grew up knowing that he wanted to become a soldier and enlisted in the US Army in 2010 where he honorably served for 4 years as an infantry sniper. Robert was the strong, silent type who enjoyed playing video games, cooking and exercising; he was never idle. Robert had big dreams and a very entrepreneurial spirit. After completing a 2-year tour in Afghanistan, his family says he was drastically changed from the things he witnessed during combat and lost his battle on May 5, 2015. Robert is survived by his mother Gena Hayes & sister Geneva Lineberry.
09/11/81 – 03/15/15 Geraldo Andre Mora-Cruz was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico on September 11, 1981. In 2000 he left his engineering studies from University of Puerto Rico (CAAM) and joined the US Army at the age of 18. He served in Germany, Iraq, Korea, and Japan and had two deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and 2007. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, five Army Achievement Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal with two Bronze Stars, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, two Non-commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbons, Army Service Ribbons, four Overseas Service Ribbons, the Driver and Mechanic Badge with W Bar, the Combat and Special Skill Badge, the Basic Marksmanship Qualifying Badge, the Rifle Bar, and the Overseas Service Bar. He was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 48th Chemical Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas. Growing up he loved playing video games. As an adult he enjoyed computers and electronics. He also enjoyed riding motorcycles, movies and music. Loved ones left behind: his Mother Lydia Cruz, step-dad Nelson Ortiz; sisters Ideliz Mora, Vanessa Mora; three children: Elijah Mora (13), Julianna Mora (5), Alexander Mora (2); and uncles, aunts, cousins and others. SGT Geraldo Andre Mora-Cruz lost his battle with PTS on March 15, 2015. He was 33 years old.
Ben grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was an only child to Vel Carter. He was raised by his Mom and Step-Dad, Lee. He graduated from Cottonwood High School in 1994. He attended Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, which is where he was when he decided to join the Army. His field of Study was History and Geography. He took a trip to 21 different Countries with his geography department. While on this trip he realized that he was able to easily pick up the language in these Countries. He saw a sign posted on campus at Weber State that said, “Are you interested in becoming a Linguist” he had no idea at the time that it was the Army, until he went to the address on the sign. It was indeed the Army Recruiting office. He decided he would go in and talk to them. They scheduled a linguist test for him which he took and got 100% on. Without telling Mom he joined the Army. He got married a week before basic training to Jeannie Earl. Ben excelled in language school. He was the top Hebrew Linguist and later became an instructor of where he was a Hebrew. He deployed to Israel. ~Vel Carter
“Chris was a lover of life. He loved being outdoors and spending time with his family. He loves football and basketball. He was a fan of range shooting and simply riding around in the country. His favorite food was pizza, he could literally eat it every meal if I would let him. He was a corrections officer for the state of MO. And a peacemaker in life. He was shy and quiet, but when he spoke everyone listened. We have a one year old daughter together, McKenzie, and she was the light of his life. He was caring and loving of all things.” Shared by his wife, Erin Final resting place is Mounds Cemetery in New Madrid, MO.#22toomany#OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
SPC Jonathan Karl Mesenbrink, US Army Reserves, 8/10/86 – 1/8/13OIF Veteran – 2 Deployments from the Boise, Idaho Army Reserves NEVER FORGOTTEN
“When I went to Vietnam in 1968 I was only 18 years old and very naïve. Nothing the Army trained me for prepared me for what I experienced. Only four days into my tour of duty, four men were obliterated not more than 10 yards away from me. Because I was a medic, it was my duty to pick up the pieces of these mend and put them into body bags. Only the first of many times I have heard the final zip of the bag being closed. Even after all these years I can still hear the sound of all those zipper closing on all those dead bodies. At times it’s overwhelming.” “Right after Tet most of our operations were search and destroy missions. Most of our wounded were booby traps and mortar / shrapnel wounds. I did my job well and was fully accepted into the company as one of the men. At first, I was terrified and scared all the time. None of the training back in the states was anything near what I was seeing here. Have you ever had to stick your hands inside someone’s body to try to reach an artery to stop the bleeding? Or have someone step on a mine and lose everything from the waist down but still be alive and conscious and you have the feeling of being totally hopeless and frustrated knowing that there was nothing you could do and this person would die? From touching so much blood and trying to treat so many wounds I still can see the blood on my hands and cannot get it off. Have you ever had a man die in your arms crying softly for his mother? Or have a man scream continually from a gut wound until the medevac helicopter picked him up? I still hear those screams and cries in the nightmares that haunt me continuously.” … “the company commander radioed the platoon leader to pull back and leave the wounded behind. We were heartbroken. It was nightfall and we had to wait till morning to go back. We did in force, but of course they (VC) had pulled back, but not before they did absolutely hideous things to the men we left behind. They had hog tied all 3 and then mutilated all of them horribly. It’s the first time I cried in Vietnam – I had to put them in body bags. They were part of my platoon, my friends. I should have been there with them and I wasn’t. God, I wish I was dead; I can still see their faces.” “As a medic, it was my responsibility to determine who would live and who would die” (by having to make the decisions which wounded would be medevac’d out of the war zone for treatment due to limited room on the helicopters). “I wish I could have taken their place, those left behind to die. I was only 18 years old. I can’t believe I took that responsibility – it will haunt me to my very end.”
Staff Sgt. Dustin J. McMillen, 29, was an infantryman assigned to 2ndBattalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.McMillen joined the Army in December 1998 and served at Fort Campbell and Hohenfels, Germany before his assignment to Fort Drum in September 2004.Soldiers in the 10th Mountain Division who served with Staff Sgt. McMillen describe him as a solid Soldier, both as a squad leader in Afghanistan, and platoon sergeant here at Fort Drum.SSG McMillen passed away due to PTS related causes.
McKAY, Sgt. Rachel Reve Age 23, of Marblehead, MA passed away unexpectedly on April 8, 2019 at the United States Army’s Fort Gordon located in Augusta, GA. Rachel had recently completed Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson, in Columbia, SC, graduating second in her Company within the 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment. Upon graduation from Basic Combat Training, Rachel was assigned to Fort Benning near Columbus, GA to attend the United States Army’s Officer Candidate School. Rachel was a proud, fit, respected and tireless soldier, and a sought after “battle buddy” by her fellow officer candidates in the highly selective program. She was dedicated to live by and embody the Army’s core values: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. Prior to earning her appointment to Officer Candidate School, Rachel was an accomplished scholar and student-athlete. Rachel graduated from William Smith College in May 2018, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. At William Smith, Rachel played NCAA Division III athletics as a forward on the Women’s Ice Hockey Team, and as a member of the Women’s Golf Team. During her senior year at William Smith, Rachel earned the golf team’s Most Valuable Player Award, and holds many individual scoring records in the college’s golf program. Prior to attending William Smith, Rachel graduated from Marblehead High School and, there too, was an elite and recognized athlete playing ice hockey, golf and softball. Rachel also played on elite national women’s ice hockey teams, once travelling to a national championship in Dallas, TX. But, looking past her military, collegiate and high school accomplishments, Rachel was best at being a sister, daughter and friend. She was a genuine and caring person with extra doses of empathy and admiration for the underdog, and was deeply rooted with a sense of fairness and selflessness. She will be missed more than words can express by the many people she touched during her far too short time with them. Her extended family and friends are shattered with her having been taken from them too soon, and there will forever be an emptiness in their hearts for Rachel. But they will persevere and remember the light, happiness and joy that Rachel brought into their lives with her humor, friendship, genuineness and candor. Rachel leaves hundreds of heartbroken friends and family members. Rachel is survived by her parents, David and Deborah, and her loving sister Halle, and her faithful and cherished dog, Eddie, of Marblehead. Rachel is also survived by her maternal grandparents, Vincent and Esther Grimaldi, of New Hartford, NY; her paternal grandparents, Edwin and Ruth McKay, of Rockport, MA; her Aunt Kimmy Fortier, and her husband, Marc, of Hamilton, MA; her Uncle Stuart McKay, and his wife, Ann, and their daughters Maddie and Samantha, of Marblehead, MA; her Uncle Mark Grimaldi, and his wife Kristine, of Clinton, NY; and many other countless relatives and friends across New England and beyond.#22toomany #OurHeroes are #Neverforgotten
This is ARMY PFC ANDREW MCFADDEN. RECIPIENT OF TWO PURPLE HEARTS, Two tours in Iraq. Fell to PTSD on June 5th 2011Andrew was born on April 4, 1977 to Irvin and Chris (Beguhl) McFadden. He was the middle child and was a joy when he was born. Andy (as he was called) grew up in Jerome, Idaho, and then he lived a short time in Nampa, Carey, Jerome and Boise. He graduated from Nampa High in 1995. He attended Warner Pacific in Portland, Oregon. He enlisted in the Washington National Guard in April 2003, deployed to Iraq 15 of Nov 2003. He was then deployed to Katrina in Sept of 2005. He then transferred to The Idaho National Guard in Nov of 2005. He was recipient of two purple hearts. He was wounded twice and ended up serving as a body guard for General Flying in an Apache Helicopter.Upon returning to Boise he worked for many places including Mr. Formal and he spent his summers working for the Boise river volunteer’s helping many people floating down the river. He was a member of Friends of the Boise River, a group dedicated to the preservation of the Boise river which runs through the center of our city.
Tyler was in the 1st Battalion 32nd Infantry Regiment.Following is a note written by Tyler’s cousin and close friend Daniel Dean.Jordan Tyler McDaniel had been struggling and in a deep dark place for years. He had a hell of a deployment to Afghanistan. He saw many of his buddies get killed in front of him. He dealt with a lot of Survivor’s Guilt. Tyler was my younger cousin but was more of a little brother to me.All he ever wanted to do was be a grunt in the military. He enlisted at 17. After his deployment, he couldn’t adjust and ended up getting medically separated from the Army. That broke his heart. He called me in his darkest hours. I was helping him, but he was also helping me. I don’t open up to many people, but Tyler brought a lot out of me. I loved him even more for that.Tyler, I hope you get assigned as my guardian angel cause you’ll have the toughest job in Heaven…….Daniel Dean*****************Tyler took his own life after struggling with PTSD.
McCullough, Sergeant Ryan P. passed away on January 24, 2014 at HAAF, Savannah, Georgia. Ryan was born in San Antonio, Texas on April 6, 1985. SGT McCullough enlisted into active duty as a 15T, UH-60 crew chief. Upon completion of training, SGT McCullough spent over 30 months serving in Germany and arrived to Bravo Company, 603rd Aviation Support Battalion in March 2011. He completed two combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. His awards and decorations include three Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, two Army Good Conduct Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, three Overseas Service Ribbons, NATO Medal and the Basic Aviation Badge. SGT McCullough most recently served as the UH-60 Team Chief and a Downed Aircraft Recovery Team NCO in Bravo Company, 603rd Aviation Support Battalion. He was a dedicated Non-Commissioned Officer who was professional, competent, and concerned with the welfare of those he served with. He always followed the motto of “Never leave a fallen comrade”.
John (Jack) Joseph McCliment ll April 23 1992- August 25 2017 Jack grew up in Illinois and Wisconsin. He was a wonderful son, brother, and friend. When Jack became of age he joined the Army where he became a Cavalry Scout and Paratrooper. He was respected and loved by all who came into contact with him. John served in the 4-73 recon with the 82nd Airborne. John’s deployment to Maiwand, Afghanistan came up in 2012. John served at the front of his platoon clearing the way with his mine detector. In one hard fight with a sizable Taliban attack he personally applied bandages to a wounded Afghan soldier stopping the bleeding. Upon returning to the states he spent his last year in service training new soldiers and even represented the 4-73 recon in the best scout competition that draws from all Cavalry Scout units across the country. John’s team took second place. He was well liked and respected by his fellow paratroopers and was a firm friend. Jack lost his battle to PTSD on August 25th 2017 when he took his own life. To say he will be missed is an understatement. We must share our stories and our truths. We must band together to #end22. This is a club we never thought we would be a part of but we are here and we must #end22. I’ll close with my brothers own words. “So, yea..PTSD. Thought it was a myth. Found out it’s real. Now I’ve become something of a person I’d rather not be. I’m working on it, though. I hate being angry, and I miss the innocent guy that everyone became friends with.” -John McCliment Shared by his sister, Kara:“What an honor it was to stay at The Hilton hotel where my brother worked. I soaked every second in. Did he walk this hallway? Did he sit on this bench? Did he head down to the restaurant after a long shift? Did he touch this? Or hang in the gazebo? The 3 hours of sleep I got were very comfortable and I wondered if he was making his rounds from family member to family member, checking in on us. As quite a few of us were staying there. I kept feeling him with me so strong.The services were beautiful and went off without a hitch. So M A N Y friends and family were there. So much loveOh my goodness so much love. It was the most difficult day of my life. Knowing my baby brother was in that small box destroyed me. I wept for him. I wept for a while. The pain was so bad it clenched my soul like an iron fist and wouldn’t let me breath. He really is gone, the reality of that had no mercy on me. So many faces, so many names. So many mourning this young soul, gone way too soon. Not too far in it was time for the flag folding. As I sat there and experienced this perfectly intricate chain of folds and oaths I began to think how much I hated being in this moment. Can I be someone… anyone other than me right now. Surely these perfectly pressed pants and stunning decorated soldiers weren’t there for Jack. This could not be my reality, our reality. Sure enough that soldier started to walk towards me with that flag of honor. That flag that was folded with such care and love and respect. “On behalf of our President we give you this flag.” I didn’t want that flag. I want my brother back. Breathing, with blood in his veins. I want his perfect handsome face whole again. But that will never be; I’m starting to accept this. Then that awkward pause where the flag portion is over and now everyone sits there afraid to move. I mean we are all just in shock after being a part of the dreaded flag folding ceremony. I mean beautiful tradition, but no one ever wants to actually see it 1st hand. I feel my Mother fill my belly. A small still voice in my ear, “Get up. You can do it. Stand up and address your brother’s family and friends. Let them know it’s ok now.” My Mother must have pulled me up before I knew it I was looking into the eyes of so many sad hearts. I don’t remember what I said but seems like it was appreciated. Everyone continued paying their respects to Jack.I finally have the opportunity to meet the priest who will do the eulogy, my step father and I listen to his plans and they are just perfect. He wants to give everyone the chance to speak about Jack. A memory, a feeling, a tribute – Whatever was on anyone’s heart. Love the idea but will anyone be brave enough to get up there? Sure enough there are 2 people at a time getting up to speak. I heard wonderful stories about my brother. I laughed I cried. It was beautiful. My brother would sweep for mines. Do you know how brave that is? He did the job no one wanted to do. Jack went before any of his unit and made sure it was safe from bombs. My brother also had a shag rug in his barracks and did you know he was planning on buying land in Kentucky? Yup, he was. Most importantly I learned yesterday what a stellar friend my brother was. I am so proud of what a firm friend my brother was. If you can be anything. If you can leave a legacy behind, you’d want to be known as a great friend. He showed me that yesterday. Unfortunately my brother has another legacy left behind as well and that is SUICIDE. Yup I capped that word to make it more powerful than it already is.Suicide took my brotherSuicide took a futureSuicide took my future nieces and nephewsSuicide took my children’s UncleSuicide ruined my familySuicide ruined countless relationshipsSuicide caused financial hardshipsSuicide caused hundreds of lives to be forever changed. Forever chaos. Forever guilt. Forever in a state of devastation. Forever cold. Forever wondering. Forever missing. Forever hurting. Pain. Pain. Pain.Suicide is so much more than one person. Suicide is so much more than my one perspective on yesterday. Hundreds of people formed their own nightmare of yesterday. Nightmare of someone so cherished G O N E FOREVER.Seriously seek help if you ever get into as dark of a place as my brother Jack. This must be hellish but think about THE BIG PICTURE.I will continue to tell the world my brother’s story and my own. What’s left post suicide. Picking up the pieces to this new life – my new existence. What Jack ran from, what ultimately killed him.#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
March 26, 1983 – February 3, 2013“Loving husband, Daddy, Brother, Son and Friend”
https://www.facebook.com/RipTexInLovingMemoryOfErikNMay?fref=ts“Erik had a passion of serving his country from a very young age. He just knew he’d be a Soldier when he grew up. Gone far too soon.”Erik Nathaniel May, US Army Sgt, passed away on July 14, 2012 in Afghanistan where he was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Tem, 2st Infantry Division from Fort Riley. This was his 2nd deployment with the “Dragon” Brigade. He was a 2004 graduate of Fredonia High School where he was known as “Tex” to his classmates.His awards include an Army Commendation Medal, an Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghan Campaign Medal with one campaign star, and the Iraq Campaign Medal with one campaign star.Sgt. May was the type of man who was generous and loyal to the people he loved. When friends came up short of money, he loaned them not only money, but sometimes his pickup truck. “One of his friends didn’t have enough money for his wife’s plane ticket. Erik loaned him the money for the ticket, then drove him to Kansas City to pick up his wife and then handed over his truck keys and told the couple to go enjoy themselves,” Kryston said. “He did stuff like that all the time.”
Jason reported for active duty at Fort Bragg, NC in 1997. Jason completed deployments to Egypt in 2000 and Iraq from April 2003 to January 2004 where he served with the 571 Air Calvary as a combat medic. Jason grew up in Northern California in a small town called Grass Valley. There he met his future wife, Faye. They would meet up years later when he returned from the war and were married in 2007. Jason and Faye settled in Oregon in 2011 to be closer to his mother and family. His wife describes Jason as “…one of the most beautiful, loving, passionate, and caring people that you could ever meet. And he was a wonderful guy.” http://www.kgw.com/story/news/2014/07/23/12205114/
Justin was beloved by all that knew him – family and friends. He had just become an uncle for the first time. He was a man with many interests and hobbies. He loved his family and friends most of all, but some of his interests were games like Pokémon, Legend of Zelda, and Magic the Gathering. He had many passions, some of them were wood working and gem polishing. He was a collector of many things: collector’s knives, dragons, various playing cards, gems/rocks, etc. He loved building bon fires and socializing with his many dear friends. He loved making people smile, always generous and loving to anyone in his path. He dreamed of being a father to his own child someday, but he was an amazing step dad to five children whom he loved and cared for. From his memorial page:“Presiding over your promotion to SGT as you were transitioning turned into such an entertaining experience for all present. You will always be remembered for your astounding ability to make the world around you better. Your care and concern for your fellow travelers on this grand journey are already legendary. Rest easy Sarge… We got this.” CPT Harmon, USAR of Ft Gordon States he called home: TennesseeFinal rest: Johnson Cemetery, Crabtree Community#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
“If you met Donnie once, you wanted to see him again. If you didn’t know Donnie but heard about him, you wanted to meet him. If he was your friend or family, you were priority in his book. He was the most selfless person I have ever met. He would undoubtedly go out of his way if he knew it was helping somebody out. Anybody that has ever served with him will be the first to tell you, it was always a little better, a little funnier, and a lot safer with him around.” These words were spoken at Don’s funeral by Master Sergeant Josh Mannel, his closest friend of over 20 years. Time and time again that day, we heard the words “selfless,” “generous,” “trustworthy,” “doting father.” We also heard words such as “prankster, shenanigans, funny, dare-devil, ever-present smirk.” Don left a legacy through his daughter, his actions on and off the “battlefield”, friendships, his generosity, his skill in wood working, and, yes, his shenanigans.On January 21st, 2016 the world lost a son, dad, husband, brother, nephew, cousin, friend, brother-in-arms… a hero. Donald Ryan Marine was born June 20, 1982 in Marshfield, WI to Mark Marine and Linda Brey. He was a 2001 graduate of Neillsville High School, Neillsville, Wisconsin. He earned an Electrical Power Distribution degree from Chippewa Valley Technical College. In 2003, he entered the 307th Engineer battalion of the 82nd Airborne. Don served five tours in Afghanistan and Iraq before he was honorably discharged in 2008. The tour Don enjoyed the most was in Afghanistan building schools for the Afghan people. He experienced great joy in interacting with the locals in both countries. He playfully took a brief ride on a donkey carrying the voting ballets from the remote Afghanistan villages during the country’s first independent election. He loved handing toys out to the children of Iraq and would sit down and listen to the life stories from the village residents and his interpreters. An Iraqi family he stayed with while on assignment was told by the mother that she would be his mother and his own mother should not worry because he was in good hands. During his years of service he was awarded multiple medals including two Army Commendation Medals.After the Army, Don started a construction business, building and remodeling houses. His daughter, Adelyn was born to Don and Katie McKevitt on January 3, 2009. They later divorced. In 2015, he married Michelle Nelson. He found peace fishing and spending time with Michelle at their cabin in the serene northern woods of Wisconsin.He continued to help anyone he could with random acts of kindness. One prime example was when he “provided Christmas” for a local struggling veteran who had been battling complications from breast cancer. He organized a collection of gift cards, food, and gifts from his friends and family; he added a personal touch by fulfilling her Christmas wish to have a birdhouse by building a personalized designed birdhouse for this military comrade whom he had never known.His immense love for his daughter was most apparent when he was in his wood shop creating treasures with and for her. Adelyn fondly remembers her dad getting down on all fours to give her horsey back rides while filling the house with laughter. She also loved the many fairy houses they customized and built together, including a slide for the elusive fairies.The war does not and cannot return the same person. Sleep did not come easy for him. As a civilian, Don’s PTSD continued to plague him. Flashbacks and nightmares haunted him. Loud sounds easily startled him. He had to be awakened by touching just his toes to avoid any sudden reactions of an attack. A ticking clock in a garage gave him acute alarm of a bomb. In spite of alcohol treatment and a long list of medications, his post traumatic stress continued for years. Don’s sister, Kari, recalls a breakdown when all she could do to console him was hug him tightly while he wept and shook uncontrollably. His moral war injuries were insufferable. All who knew and loved Don have lost a “one of a kind,” and are better people for having had Don in their life. Don’s best friend concluded his tribute to his brother-in-arms by stating, “The courage he showed everyday will always make him a hero in my book. . Rest in peace brother. Airborne, All the way!” Resting place: Memorial Bench at the Highground Veteran Memorial Park in Neillsville, WI#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
SPC Nickolas J Maner served in the 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, 2-30 Light Infantry Regiment, Charlie Company, 2nd Platoon. He was an Army Veteran. During his time on Active Duty, he received the following distinctions: Army Achievement Medal, NATO Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal w/Two Campaign Stars, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and Combat Infantryman Badge. He called Denton, NC home for many years and the last couple of years he was living in Elko, NV. He is survived by his parents, Bobby and Stephanie Maner, his brothers Bobby and Derek, and two nephews, Brayden and Kyler. Nickolas was the youngest of 3 sons. He graduated from South Davidson High School in Denton, NC June, 2010. In June, 2010 Nickolas left NC and went to Ft. Benning, GA for his Basic Training. Once he finished, he went to Ft. Polk, LA. On 1/24/11 Nickolas was sent to Afghanistan where he spent 9 long months. I can remember our phone call…he was nervous and so was I. I made him promise me he would come home. We were there to greet him when he returned on 10/27/11. Unfortunately Nickolas didn’t return as the same young man. His temper was awful. I wouldn’t be alone with him…not that I thought he would hurt me on purpose but I worried about what to do if he had a flashback. After he got out of the Army he struggled to find his way. It’s hard watching your child struggle knowing there’s nothing you can do. The running joke between him and me was that he was going to give me 6 granddaughters (since I had all boys) and they were all going to live with me in the big house he was going to buy for me….lol. Nickolas loved music. He use to sit on the computer for hours making tracks with his oldest brother and friends. In fact he had several music related tattoos. Nick could light up a room with his smile. And if you were lucky enough for him to like you then you were a friend for life. He wasn’t the type that had to have a lot of friends, and he was fine with that. I remember after Nick’s funeral, some of his Army buddies came to our house and they were telling us stories about Nick. I could picture him doing the things they were telling us. I still laugh when I think of them. I appreciate those guys sharing their stories with us. One of these gentlemen gave me his Purple Heart wrapped in the 10th Mountain Badge. I tried giving it back but he told me “when one earns it we all earn it”. I placed it in a shadow box exactly how he gave it to me, and it hangs on the wall. Nick loved his family. Even though he and his brothers would have their falling outs, they loved each other and always had each other’s backs. When Nick found out he was going to be an Uncle he was so excited!! He adored his nephew, Brayden. I wish he was here to see the newest addition to our family, Kyler. He would be so excited to have 2 nephews! Brayden remembers his Uncle Nick and told me he would make sure Kyler knew all about him. December, 2015 a few of his military buddies flew him out to NV to help him get back on track. After a little bit Nick got a job working for the State, bought a car and was supposed to be moving into a place of his own. We thought he was doing good. Boy, he hid it well. The last time we saw Nick was in August, 2017. We went on vacation to Las Vegas, and Nickolas drove down when he got off work so we could spend some time together. He looked good and we had the best time. Never did I imagine that would be the last time I saw my son. Then in October, 2017 I received the call. My heart shattered into a million pieces. I still struggle every day. The pain of losing a child is a pain so deep….you never recover. We found out later that he had tried it before….we didn’t know.I spoke to Nickolas a few days before this. His oldest brother spoke to him the night before. We didn’t pick up on anything. We found out he was actually living in a motel and that’s where he took his life. When I checked his email I saw that he was trying to transfer back to NC…..I wish I had known. We would’ve flown him home if he really wanted to come back. The what if’s are hard to let go of. I will always wonder what I missed. His death has left a hole in this family. Nick’s death put me on a new path. I got involved with TAPS and I am now a mentor. I try to do what I can to bring as much awareness to this awful epidemic. I feel this is my new mission. I promised Nick that he would never be forgotten and I would make him proud of me. The last selfish act Nickolas did was donate his organs.Nicks final resting place is at the Salisbury National Cemetery in Salisbury, NC.#22TooMany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
Ramon Alfonzo Mancha, born March 25, 1990, in Prescott AZ, beloved son of Juan and Rose Mancha, beloved brother Anthony, buddy to his service dog Monty. Ramon graduated from Prescott High school in 2008. He enlisted in the ARMY Sep 10, 2009 and reported for basic Nov 11, 2009. After Basic and AIT he reported to Fort Knox KY to the 1st Infantry Division. He was in Afghanistan from Jan 2011 till Jan 2012. His awards include, NATO Medal / Meritorious Unit Commendation/ National Defense Service Medal/ Afghanistan Campaign Medal W/Two Campaign Stars/ Global War on Terrorism Service Medal/Army Service Ribbon/ Overseas Service Ribbon. On Ramon’s return to Fort Knox he was hospitalized and medically retired April 9, 2013. He returned home and after 9 months in the spring of 2014, he enrolled into Yavapia Collage and started on his Nursing degree. He wanted to work with people with prosthetics. He enjoyed being outdoors and spent many hours riding his bike at the bike park. He truly enjoyed spending time with his family and could be a friend to all and was. He was an avid hiker, enjoyed gardening, camping, and animals. Ramon was a gentle giant and had a heart of gold. He would always help others before even thinking of himself. PV 2 Ramon Alfonzo Mancha lost his battle to PTSD on October 5, 2016. He was 26 years old. He is truly missed by all that knew him. Final Rest: Prescott National Cemetery, Arizona#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
George “Geo” Mackulin IV age 30 of Jefferson Hills, PA died suddenly on Monday, October 12, 2015. He was born February 25, 1985. Geo was a Thomas Jefferson graduate, class of 2004 and a Duquesne University graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry in 2013.In between high school and college he was a Staff Sergeant in the Army, highly decorated in Special Forces, serving all over the world. His military awards include, Green to Gold Scholarship, John D. McGrath Leadership Award, Two Army Commendation Medals, Two Army Achievement Medals and a Good Conduct Medal.He then served as an ROTC Instructor with the Pittsburgh Battalion. He was a member of the American Legion in Pleasant Hills and the Floreffe Volunteer Fire Department. Geo will be buried with Military Honors in the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies at 1:30 PM.
Robert was born in Greensboro, NC. He attended Southeast Guilford High School, where he was in the ROTC. Robert met his wife Brittney in January of 2007. Robert then enlisted into the Army in the 82nd Airborne Division. Robert was deployed to Afghanistan from 2010-2011. Robert and his wife Brittney had their first and only son, Paul Ellis Long on November 22nd, 2017. He made Robert so proud. He loved taking his son out on the golf cart, chasing him around the yard and teaching him how to fish. Robert loved spending time with family and friends. He liked going out shooting skeet and targets. Robert was a very adventurous person. He liked kayaking and anything outdoors. He was such a wonderful man. Resting Place: Colfax Memorial Gardens, Colfax, NC#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
“In Memory of Sgt. James D. Little III (Jimmy) September 23, 1987 – July 20, 2015 Jimmy was a machinist with 407th BSB, 2nd Brigade 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC and served on three combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Jimmy was a loving husband, son, brother, friend and “Daddy-Dog” to his three pups. One thing that everybody knew about Jimmy was that he loved fishing, cars, guns and his dogs. The unseen wounds of war became too much and he passed away the morning of July 20th, 2015. Rest easy Jimbo.” “Sgt. Little was a dedicated and professional leader of paratroopers whose presence will be missed throughout the Golden Griffin Family,” Lt. Col. Matthew Bresko, commander of the 407th BSB, said in the release. “Our most solemn condolences remain with his friends and family as we mourn this tragic loss.”Little joined the Army in 2005 and entered basic combat training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. After basic combat training, he attended advanced individual training at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.He was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. in Sept. 2014.Little served on three combat deployments. He deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from Sept. 2006 to Nov. 2007, and twice to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from Oct. 2010 to Oct. 2011 and July 2013 to March 2014, the release said.His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal with two oak-leaf clusters, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal (one campaign star), the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (numeral two), the Army Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal, and the Parachutist Badge.
Benjamin was born December 9, 1988 in Fort Collins, CO. He earned his GED and joined the U.S. Army at 17 were he honorably served his country in the 82nd Airborne in Afghanistan for 18 months during Operation Enduring Freedom. Ben received an honorable discharge in 2009. He then went on to work at multiple Best Buy stores, earning promotions in the retail computer and cellular phone divisions. In his spare time he enjoyed spending time with his family traveling, playing golf, and fishing. He had mastered boogie boards, snorkeling, pontoon fishing and kayaking. He taught himself how to navigate bikes, computers, skateboards, guitars and keys. He wrote, performed and recorded music with his brother and was a member of a Christian Youth Band both as a teen and in the military. He was a gentle soul who loved animals and often looked after many strays both at home and while on deployment. Benjamin lost his battle with PTS on September 20, 2014 at the young age of 25.
Ronald William “Ron” Lewis grew up in Effingham County and graduated from E.C.H.S. in 1990. He served in the U.S. Marines, U.S. Army, and Army National Guard having served in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Bass fishing, coaching football, baseball, and softball were his passions. He was an amazing husband, father, brother, uncle, PopPop, and friend. He would do anything for his family. He loved and was so proud of his country, and fought hard for it. PTSD is an awful thing, and he fought it so hard for so many years. We miss him more every day. Thank you for helping to honor his name!He called Georgia home and is laid to rest at Glennville (Georgia) Veterans Memorial Cemetery#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
Ben served with the U.S. Army in Iraq in 2010 and Afghanistan in 2011-2012.From Antioch, TN, the SIXTY FOOT Spiderz was his motorcycle club. Ben’s description of what the name means: “the first sixty feet in a drag race are the most important. Everyone is scared of spiders. Hence the name “SIXTY FOOT Spiderz!”“My sincere condolences and prayers to the family and friends of Spc. Benjamin David Leftrick, Tennessee Army National Guard / OEF Veteran. I am forever grateful for your service to our country. Your service and sacrifices will not be forgotten. You are a “TRUE AMERICAN HERO”. May you Forever Rest in Peace. Stand Down. Your mission is complete.”Layla – Ben’s 15 year old cousin wrote this for him:But Now We Won’t See Each OtherIn the sky,I look at you day and night.You are both sun and moon,You keep me warm and protect me.Even though you are gone,I feel you and see you everyday.I have missed you day and night,But you are there with me.We knew each other,But now we won’t see each other.Hear me now and never leave,You are still everything.You will always be my friend,and my family.You gave me happiness,and loved me.But now we won’t see each other.I was there with and for you,In return, you did the same.I will miss you forever,Until I am with you.I will stay with you,and be happy with you.Until then, we won’t see each other.
Michelle Rachael Langhorst was born on May 13, 1983 in Pittsburgh, Pa. She is the beloved daughter of Michael and Concetta Langhorst and precious sister of Nicole Langhorst as well as countless other family members and friends. Michelle was raised in Pittsburgh, Pa and was a bright, vivacious and athletic woman who was passionate about sports, especially soccer. Soccer was her first love; she played on several recreation teams as well as travel and cup teams throughout high school. She excelled at soccer and could have pursued a professional career, but chose to study criminal justice at Seton Hill University and Point Park University where she obtained her Bachelors Degree in August 2014. During her time at Seton Hill University, Michelle spoke with an Army recruiter and decided she wanted to serve our country; she joined in February 2004. Michelle’s mark of specialty was military police, which she enjoyed immensely. Immediately finishing basic training, she was deployed to Germany then Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with the 212th company. She made lifelong friends with her fellow soldiers and had a special bond with them. One of her fellow soldiers told our family a story that is proof what an excellent, compassionate, and heartfelt woman she was. During the deployment in Afghanistan, she used her free time and money to visit children in the orphanage and brought them toys, food and water and they played games too. He told us how dangerous it was for her to leave the confines of the base and risked her life to visit these orphans. Michelle was very humble and never told anyone at home about her selfless works. As you can imagine, our family felt very proud upon hearing Michelle’s selfless works. After her time in Afghanistan and Germany, Michelle was 1 of 2 women chosen for a special assignment in Brussels, Belgium doing protective services for NATO. Michelle received many accolades and awards during her 9 years of service and attained the rank of Staff Sergeant. Michelle was honorably discharged after she sustained an injury to her arm. Michelle was such a giving and kind person, always doing for others instead of tending to her own needs. She had such a beautiful heart and is loved and missed beyond words. Michelle lived for her family and was very excited to be a Godmother to her precious Harper Monroe Michelle, whom she never got to meet. We are certain she is in Heaven and will be the guiding light for Harper.SSG Michelle Rachael Langhorst5/13/833/30/15Gone but NEVER forgotten
“SPC Jay Kroboth. June 26,1988-July 25,2010. Spent 4 years in the US Army. One tour to Iraq for 18 months. My beloved son, I miss him every day. Gone way too soon. I love you my son.” Jay was born here in Lawton, Oklahoma when I married his adopted father, we lived in Florida, Virginia and Mississippi. After hurricane Katrina I moved back home and he finished high school in Ocean Springs, MS and graduated in 2006. After that he came back home to live with me and his little sister. He loved his little sister very much – she was always going with him. He was very much family orientated – we would ride horses together all the time. His favorite hobbies were spending time with his friends and family; he also enjoyed video games as all boys do.Then he wanted to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and join the Army. As a mother all I could do was stand behind him and support him with the decision that he had made. He could have done almost anything in the Army but he choose to be an MP. As a mother I didn’t want him to do that job, but I never told him. So I sucked it up and stood beside him even when he married a woman that was 13 years older than him and told me that he didn’t need his mother anymore, that he was married.When he went to Iraq for 18 months I could only get one phone call a month – she would get mad if I would talk to him more. I knew the war over there was changing my son, and I saw that after he came home. The Army just would put him on more and more pills and then he just stopped taking them and with PTSD you cannot do that unless you are under a doctor’s care. I know I am in the nursing field. So not quite a year after his return he saw his wife having a party in front of their quarters and he did the worst thing that a mother could ever have to deal with – he took his own life on July 25 2010 at 2:50 in the morning. Life has not been the same for me or his sister since. My daughter will tune 21 this year and she said “I just wish Bubba was here” and I told her “I know we all do but he is with you each and every day.” I tell her that all the time. I feel that the army faulted my son, but then again I feel that they have faulted many of our veterans that have PTS; they do not give them the care that they need to help them.
Joel grew up in Glenview, IL, right outside of Chicago. As a young Marine, he served in Operation Desert Storm. After a 10 year break from the service, he joined the Army in 2002 where he served two tours in Iraq as an Army Medic. He returned from his second deployment to Iraq in 2009 addicted to pain medications after being the first responder for a young soldier who died by suicide. He served in the Army for 15 years. He was two months away from graduating from massage therapy school in Colorado when he took his own life August 13, 2015. Joel’s favorite teams were the Cubs and Bears. He loved Van Gogh, art, photography, movies (especially Cohen Brothers) and music.Joel has three children: a son, Dylan, and his daughters, Ava and Emma.States he called home include North Carolina (where he served in the USMC), Virginia, and Colorado. A couple of years before his death, Joel was featured in a documentary about military suicides called “The Hidden Enemy” which explores the impact of psychiatric medications. “I didn’t see the emergence of psychiatry in the Army until I suffered my own injury, and then it was like, it was a flood,” said former U.S. Army Sgt. Joel Kort.“I know that I’ve been on Ambien, Seroquel, Paxil, the big ones. Also, a very dangerous drug called Abilify. It kind of puts whatever meds you’re on, on steroids,” said Kort, who’s featured in the documentary. Kort’s experience with a virtual cocktail of psychiatric drugs has fast become the norm in military mental health treatment, said CCHR’s Kelly Patricia O’Meara.“The problem, as exposed by ‘The Hidden Enemy’ is that the majority of psychiatric drug cocktails have never been studied in combination by national drug regulatory agencies,” O’Meara said.The link to this article and the documentary: https://www.cchrint.org/2014/05/22/documentary-looks-at-military-suicides/ #22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
Austin grew up in Vermilion, Ohio amongst his parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. He spent countless hours in the woods with his dog, hiking, building forts, riding 4 wheelers, going to the beach and swimming. He participated in 4H and won championships for dog obedience and other projects. He attended Vermilion High School where he participated in track, cross country and academic challenge; he graduated in 2016. He also enjoyed running the Indian Mud race in Coshocton, Ohio where he overcame his fear of heights. He started reading at a young age and was an avid reader, he especially loved history and politics. After high school Austin went immediately into Army basic training for airborne infantry at Fort Benning, Georgia and then was assigned to 509th Geronimo unit Fort Polk, Louisiana where he was a specialist. He married his high school sweetheart and had a little boy. Austin earned his parachutist badge, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Army Service Ribbon. Austin was deeply loved by his family and friends for his caring and kindness, for his wit and humor and his “bear” hugs. Austin passed away at his home January 24, 2019.He hugged like a bear, loved with all he had, touched us all and then he left. Final Rest: Maple Grove Cemetery, Vermilion, OH From his friend, Avery Lane:“So I write, a lot, but I’ve never written anything about someone who has passed, especially when they were very close to me, and many others. But on the 24th it will be two months since we have lost Austin, and I just needed to write. So please let me know your thoughts on this, I just thought maybe it would help someone. ❤️ so here we go.. ‘Death is nothing at all.I have only slipped into the next room.I am I, you are you.Whatever we were to each other,That we still are.Remember me not for the scars I left,But for the scars I healed.The moments of laughter, the times with music, beer, and wine.Remember me as our good moments, the bad, and in between.Remember me as what I was,The ass with the attitude,The best friend with all the care in the world,The father who wanted the perfect family,The son who loved his parents greatly,The cousin, the brother, the grandson, and the loved one, who loved all.Lastly, remember the soldier.Who not only fought for my flag,But fought for my beliefs,Who fought my own battles,My own demons.I fought my battles to the end, and I have chosen to enter the next room, with love in my heart for all.For the people like me, for the fathers, the brothers, the sons, the cousins, the grandsons, the best friends; the soldiers.So please, do not remember me for my last moments.Remember me for what we were.For what I was, what I stood for, and what I believed in.For those I loved, for those I would give my all for.Remember those moments where we were together, where we were happy.Where I was a household name, where we sat with our music, beer and wine.Remember me for those peaceful moments.Remember me for all the times that make you feel whole, that hold me close to your heart, just like I do you.Remember me happy, remember us together. With no cares in the world.’ I love and miss you, Austin. Everybody does. I know you loved poetry, so hopefully this is something you’d like. ❤️”#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
Message from Michael’s mom, Jill. Please join her page Unofficial: Suicide to connect with others:“Again, I share my sons story for those new to this site in case YOU are thinking of ending your life. DON’T, it leaves such devastation and destruction…there is always help.1 (800) 273-8255 Suicide HotlineI am going to share my sons story. Maybe you may see a reflection of his story in you. In hopes you don’t end your story like he did. You have no idea the terrible nightmare you leave behind. No closure, EVER.My son suffered from depression at a very young age. PTSD was not the CAUSE of my sons death but a contributing factor for sure. Being deployed twice (2008) (2010), having to deal with suicide of soldiers, calling parents of the death of a solider was part of his duty as a US Army Chaplain Assistant, it was not easy. Also to counsel those that wanted to die. People who suffer from depression should never be in that position, but very little is told when you sign up the actual duties one will have.Michael had so may losses in a very short time. My father’s death (which he loved dearly) was very hard. My dad died the same day Mike was coming home from his first deployment, break ups, loss of jobs. His Chaplain Josh Remey committing suicide 11 months before Mike. That devastated Mike. They were like brothers, he protected him over seas. Promised his parents he would return him safely home and signed up for a second deployment to do just that for Chaplain. He loved him that much. He was loyal and protective of those he loved. He was also intense and suffered from OCD. He didn’t want to take meds. You know, an Army solider has to man up. What kind of bullshit is that?On December 26, 2014 his fiance broke it off with him, again another loss. His life spiraled, the anxiety set in. He could not handle any more loss. He left a text to us that morning. He apologized over and over, told us we gave him a great life and to remember the funny him. A great life? Then why? So many questions. That’s what suicide does. The pain to unbearable for him, he thought. He took his life at the cemetery close to my dad. He is now buried there. I get to see that picture in my mind every time I go there to visit them both.If you’re thinking of suicide, PLEASE don’t do it.Reach out, contact me. I will find help for you or find the right help.Please share this site with all your contacts and ask them to do the same and pass this on. We have to stop this. NOW.Thank you,God Bless” “I wake up at all hours my son, crying for us all, every day I realize more and more the love so many have for you, how you saved their lives in Iraq, gave them hope when they had none, helped people pursue their gifts and talents. When you were in a room it was mesmerizing, you controlled with just your presence, your smile and the quickest wit and humor. My heart is heavy, our family torn up. I will create some sort of legacy for you when I can think clearly, which may not be for some time my son, You were a soldier inside and out, I love you”“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. To your family – Michael my heart breaks for them you are in my prayers through this grieving time. I will see you at those pearly gates my brother. RIP Michael Kissell”“There’s nothing I can do for Mike now, other than to try to comfort all of you that he loved. And he did love you-in a more real and sincere way than most people could ever wish to know. I think I can say with confidence, that he wouldn’t want you to dwell on the why and the what ifs. Don’t remember him for this, And don’t drive yourselves crazy trying to answer the questions that have no doubt haunted you for the last 10 days. There’s no peace there. Remember the things you’re sure about, the love, the laughter, the uniqueness. Let that live on and spread it where you can. There’s no greater legacy than that.” ETS AWARD SPC MICHAEL KISSELL– FORT HOOD –– Aided the Chaplain in All field exercises while providing field services at mobile sites.– Was the BN BOSS rep. Duties included attending meetings providing information to company reps and advising them on events and opportunities for single soldiers during their time at Fort Hood.– Planned and organized the Trunk or Treat event at BN Motor pool for Halloween with assistance of single soldiers.– Attended the DFAC council meetings advising command on updates and information regarding the DFAC both in garrison and during deployment.– Taught and consolidated suicide awareness/ reintegration briefs upon leaving and arriving back from two deployments.– Supported and organized 4 memorial ceremonies (2 during deployment) during my time with 2-12 CAV.– Has never been flagged, never received a negative counseling statement, has never been late or missed a show time, never failed a PT test or rifle qualification, has never received disciplinary actions by any means by the civilian law enforcement or military justice during my 4 years with 2-12 CAV.– Performed and set up to specification of well over 208 religious services by 4 different Chaplains. (2 while others were on leave)– Went above the call of regular duty hours to counsel soldiers at their homes and off base about multiple issues to include suicide outside of normal duty work hours.– Organized and prepared a Long knife Brigade bike run where I assisted in set up, working on thgrill and arranging contests for participants who attended the event.– Has personally counseled well over 150 soldiers on everything from financial advice, spiritual, Family stability and personal development while advising them to get further help with the Chaplain and or Mental Health.– Allocated cooperation with Cell Phones for soldiers (Organization) for 4000 plus calling cards in which I distributed to soldiers before and during our deployments.– Organized assistance with Beasties Boxes (Organization) for Christmas stockings for every soldier during both deployments.– RETREATS (7 Total)-– Organized, and regulated 3 single soldier and 4 Married couples’s retreats over 4 years without incident. Planned and advised command of retreats, set up, child care, movement plan, activities and events at the sites and taught programs during the event. Approximately 300 soldiers and spouses in all attended the events in locations in Austin, TX and Dallas, TX during my time at 2-12 CAV.– JRTC (2 Rotations) –– 1st JRTC rotation: Completed with absence of the Chaplain due to surgery. Coordinated with other UMT’s to provide religious support to 2-12 CAV during JRTC. Completed all lanes, set up and led bible studies. Assisted soldiers in counseling, suicide training and attended staff briefings.– 2nd JRTC rotation: Provided suicide awareness training, Bible studies and counseled soldiers, attended command and staff briefings. Assisted in MASCAL exercises and completing lanes.– DEPLOYMENTS (2 Total)-– Deployed on 2 rotations to Iraq with 2-12 CAV in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. Performed, planned and organized over 88 missions to get the UMT to outlying COP’s and JSS’s providing religious support to the soldiers while ensuring safety to the UMT all while maintaining support of soldiers in absence of the Chaplain. Attended Command and staff briefings. Administrated all soldiers with EML/RNR, reintegration and Suicide Awareness/Prevention Briefs
My brother, Richard Kellogg, was a veteran with PTSD from serving in Iraq. His story is below. It would give us hope if his story saved another veteran.“I was nine years old when my brother Rick was born. I did not know that you could love a baby so much, let alone a brother. Rick was born happy, he always was positive. When he set out to do something he gave it his all. Rick grew up in Mechanicstown and attended Willis School, Bell Herron Middle School and Carrollton High School. Rick was always making people laugh, he was just a happy,funny,ornery kid. He made friends easily, and in most cases, they became lifelong friends. Rick was always the first one to jump in and help anyone. He could always be counted on. Rick played football,baseball and basketball throughout his school years. He worked harder to always try and be his very best in whatever he tried. Rick graduated from Carrollton High School in 1992 and was prom king that year.After graduation Rick joined the Army and went to the 82nd Airborne Division after boot camp. He would later be based in Korea and Washington state. After he completed his four years he returned to live with his family in Canton, Ohio while he attended Kent State University, graduating with a Bachelors degree in criminal justice. Rick graduated with zero debt from his college years, some from his service. He worked two jobs and also did his National Guard duty while in school full time. Rick stayed with the military, serving in the Army Nation Guard at a couple different areas in Akron and Cleveland.Once Rick graduated from college, he searched for employment in the criminal justice field. His search led him to Flagstaff, Arizona where he was hired as a police officer. Rick was enrolled in the police academy in Arizona where he stood out and was made a class leader. Rick never told us this story but it was shared at his funeral. After completing the police academy, Rick found a place to live with another police officer whom soon became one of the dozens to call him their best friend.Shortly after he started working with the Flagstaff Police, Rick was informed his Arizona unit was going to be deployed through a base in Louisiana. Rick came to visit Ohio and shared his news with us. Rick was very eager to head to Iraq to represent his country. Rick was told he would now become part of the Military Police Unit and be going to Louisiana to prepare for deployment. Rick told us that he was concerned that they were not going to train him for the position he was taking but had been told the Police Academy’s training was more than adequate for his role.Rick did keep in touch with us during his deployment but shared very little. He asked me to send him items that he was unable to buy there, which I happily did. Rick was able to buy a Harley and a truck while he was in Iraq. While in Iraq one of the things he did was to assist in training Iraqi Police Officers. When he came home on his leave Rick was changed. He was very quiet and distant, he seemed weary in his heart. We understood he had been through some pretty bad things, he talked about losing two of his guys and how he blamed himself for that. While he was home he drove to Washington, DC to visit another of his guys that had been injured in one of the IED hits. That was Rick, always more concerned for others. Rick re-enlisted while serving in Iraq. He returned from deployment in 2005 and settled back into his job at the police department in Flagstaff, AZ. Rick completed training to become a motorcycle officer after his return.He loved his Harley, his friends and their children, his community, his job and the beautiful area he lived in. Rick was very physically active. He loved running, hiking, skiing and pretty much anything outdoors. As far as his family knew he was happy and healthy.We received a call on Easter day, 2010. I can clearly see that moment in time when my husband informed my mother and I that Rick had committed suicide. Not one single person that knew Rick would ever have imagined this outcome. The overwhelming pain, shock and grief at this news was unfathomable. We went to Arizona in a fog trying to make sense out of the news. That was not possible.During the process of planning his burial we kept hearing over and over again how very loved he was. We also started to hear that a few people knew he had PTSD. I wish we had known but I am unsure if it would have made any difference. ABC News reporter Lori Gliha in Phoenix, did a story in 2013 about Rick and his unit in Arizona, due the highest ratio of suicides at that time over combat losses in any other unit in the U.S.Rick served 17 years and 10 months. Rick never bragged about anything he did. Prior to his death he was in Kentucky for a five week training class. At his funeral my mom was presented 2 medals by a General – one for being the honor grad of that class. My mother found dozens of medals packed in his garage, Rick never mentioned any of them to his family. That was the man he was, humble, helpful, funny, generous, and described by many as simply the best.One of the first things people say about him is that he had a unique sense of humor. He was always making people laugh. I will say that we received tremendous support from his Sgt. and Outreach support services. Rick was a bright shining star that burned out too soon. He made an impact on everyone that knew him. Everyone.” Shared by Rebecca, his sister#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
“Thirty-three years ago today – September 18, 1983 – the youngest of my three siblings was born. Lawrence Daniel Jenkins always had a heart of gold and a smile that would light up the darkest room. Daniel believed in our United States and joined the U.S. Army after he graduated high school. He did two tours in Iraq, with a stint in Korea, in between. He got out of the Army after his second tour in Iraq. He continued to protect his loved ones by not sharing his experiences and his PTSD. Daniel found and loved Jesus Christ and knew, as he was leaving this world, that he would be entering Heaven and would be made whole again. Today marks Daniel’s second birthday in Heaven and I know he has that big smile on his face and is celebrating. Happy Birthday, Daniel! You are my hero! I love you!” shared by his sister, Amy Post from his Army Brother, Michael Palma:September 18, 1983, a warrior was born in Austin, TX. Fast-forwarding through his life he left his family like most of us vets once did to serve our country and do God’s work. October 2004 he got his chance and was sent to Mosul, Iraq along with us brothers from TF Automatic. After a year of fighting AQI and securing safety for the Iraqi populace he was sent back home scarred with wounds not visible to others. He fought these invisible battles and scars through two deployments to Iraq. Like us vets that were engaged in actual combat more than a single event, he struggled with the memories and decisions he had to make to protect not only his own but the innocent lives stuck between the crossfire of good and evil. My brother made it home twice, which I don’t want to take away from the heroes who lost their lives in Iraq/Afghanistan. But the biggest loss is losing someone at home where help is available. I hate talking to FB like you can hear me, but brother your TF Automatic brothers miss you. You fought both battles and I regret losing contact with you during multiple deployments. God bless the Amy D. Jenkins family. #danieljenkins #22toomany #happybday #salute Lawrence Daniel JenkinsSardis, GA-Entered into rest Thursday, March 26, 2015 at his home in Sardis.Daniel was a disabled veteran, having proudly served his country in the United States Army for six years. During his time of service he was deployed to two tours in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and one tour in South Korea. Like so many of our veterans, he suffered greatly with post-traumatic stress disorder.He was born September 18, 1983 in Austin, Texas and always considered Texas his home (Hook ‘em Horns), but he was also always a huge Atlanta Braves fan.
Christopher passed away on Tuesday June 30, 2015 at his home in Santa Rosa, CA following a decline in his health from PTSD from his time served in the U.S. Army. Christopher is survived by his father, Kerry Ishmael, his mother, Candace Ishmael and his sister, Amanda Ishmael. Christopher’s main passion after the military was cooking and had a knack for making great dishes with no formal training. Christopher will be cremated and his ashes will be spread off the coast of Northern California so he can be free to roam. He will forever be in our hearts. Christopher’s silhouette and picture were used by Mission 22 at their memorial in Bandera, Texas. Born in San Francisco, CAFinal Resting Place: out at sea Bodega Bay, Sonoma, CA#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
Sherman was a gifted artist and had a knack for making everyone laugh. He was loved by all, especially by his sisters, our mom, and his two sons. We miss him dearly every day. He is a veteran of Desert Storm and the Panama Invasion; buried with full military honors at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies in Cecil, PA.Words from his obituary:“A 1988 graduate of Burgettstown High School, he was a gifted artist, specializing in drawing, and attended Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He most recently worked for UPMC-Presbyterian Hospital, Pittsburgh, as a patient care technician, where he loved to care for his patients and working with his co-workers.Mr. Huber served in the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division beginning in 1988 and was a combat veteran of the Panama Invasion, from 1989 to 1990. He was honorably discharged from active duty in 1992 and enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve.He enjoyed watching and following all of the Pittsburgh sports teams and playing golf. He will be remembered for his ability to make everyone laugh and always being the funniest person in the room.Mr. Huber will be missed by his family and dear friends.
A little bit about Richard:He enjoyed being with his family (me and the kids). He really loved that I would make his lunch the night before for work. He would write love notes on our bathroom mirror so that way I knew he loved me. He served in the Persian Gulf War. He was honorably discharged in December of 95. He enjoyed camping, going to beaches and music in the park. Every night I would pre make the coffee for him for the next morning but every time he made coffee on the weekends he would make it either too weak or too strong so I would dump it out and make a new pot then it would be perfect. I tried to show him many times how I made the coffee but he was always missing the key ingredient….LOVE. He was a big Seahawks fan and we would pick on each other and laugh and make bets when it was a Seahawks vs 49ers game. June 22nd I called him when he was on his way home to ask him to go to the store and buy a pregnancy test. He did, then came home and I went to go take one and he wanted to argue about being in the bathroom while I peed on a stick lol I won but as soon as he heard the toilet flush the door flew open not even 30 seconds later it came back positive. He was so filled with joy that he started to cry tears of happiness. He was a trucker for Becker trucking. August 4th we got married at the Kent courthouse just because we didn’t want anything major and big. We brought our team sweatshirts with us just to symbolize our marriage after we said I DO he put his on and I put mine on then we traded he wore mine and I wore his. Every morning he would send me a text saying “Good morning i love you my beautiful angel.” There isn’t a day that goes by I wake up in hopes to see that message again. I know I never will, but some days it just feels like what happened wasn’t real and it was just a nightmare. My last message from him was “I know how to make everyone happy, but just remember I love you and I always will my beautiful angel.” He sent that at 930 p.m. October 30th 2014. 5am October 31st 2014 he hung himself in our bedroom closet. They all say the first year is the hardest but I sometimes wonder if it will ever get better. So may he rest in peace. Now he is fighting on God’s army. Dear Richard,I just want you to know that I miss you every day. I forgive you. I may not understand why you thought taking your own life was what was going to make everyone happy or even our lives easier. It hasn’t done either. There are nights and times throughout the day that I break down crying because I miss you being around even on our bad days.It’s been a year now since you made the decision to leave this world, your family, and your friends. The effect it has had on me hasn’t faded, hasn’t gone away; I just simply figured out how to hide it most days.You are deeply missed and so very much still loved. I wish i could hear your voice again
Darrius Young Hoopes, 28, died April 18, 2011, in Denver, Colorado. (actual date April 15) He was born Oct. 25, 1982, in Laramie to Ronald and Kristine Hoopes. He had a normal childhood full of adventure and mischief. He was the youngest of six children and, as a result, quickly learned independence and perseverance. As a child, he attended Slade Elementary School and Laramie Junior High School. During his junior high years, he discovered a love for kayaking and would continue to enjoy this activity through his adult life. He began high school at Laramie High School and would eventually transfer to Job Corps and graduate from Anaconda High School in Anaconda, Mont., in May 2001. While attending Job Corps, he became a certified heavy equipment operator. Upon graduating from high school, he returned to Laramie and worked until he enlisted in the United States Army in May 2002. He attended basic training in Fort Knox, Ky., and graduated in August 2002. He was later stationed at Fort Riley, Kan. His rank was an E4 Calvary Scout. He served for a year as a Cavalry Scout Sniper during the Iraq War beginning in February 2005. While serving in Iraq, he completed 297 combat missions and survived two IEDs (Improvised Explosive Device). He was the recipient of several medals and letters of commendation. Upon returning from Iraq, he continued his service for three years in the Army Reserve. After serving in the Army, he returned to Wyoming and worked with his brothers for several years on drilling rigs. Prior to his death, he was living in and working on a rig as a derrick man in western Colorado. He was a wonderful son, brother and friend who brought much happiness into the lives of those around him. He had great wit and humor. He was kind, incredibly smart and was respected for his work ethic and ability to excel at the things he did. In his family, he was considered a peacemaker and spiritually brought much joy. He was also known to be a loyal person and a good friend. He was admired for his patience and tenderness toward his nephew, nieces and friends, who loved him very much. He had great calmness and an easy-going nature. He was admired for his patriotism and willingness to serve our country. He was a thoughtful and good man. He will be dearly missed. “High IQ…jokester among his siblings…brought a lot of joy to our family…highly spiritual…loved to shoot guns. Loved his truck…3 children have been named after him…very proud of his military service and most of all he missed his Army buddies…” (shared by his father, Ron) Birth: Oct. 25, 1982LaramieAlbany CountyWyoming, USADeath: Apr. 18, 2011DenverDenver CountyColorado, USA Burial:Freedom CemeteryFreedomCaribou CountyIdaho, USA#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
SGT (RET) Jeremiah Honaker, 38, of Chuckey, TN passed away December 31st 2014. He was a loving father, husband, and son. His sons are his greatest legacy; he beamed with light and love at their very mention.A proud veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Jeremiah served as both as a combat medic and a combat engineer in the United States Army Reserve and had been attached to both the 1st and 2nd Marine Divisions as a medic. He also served his community as a volunteer firefighter and first responder. Jeremiah’s contributions to his community include serving with the Nolichuckey Volunteer Fire Department. He was an EMT and had been a reserve police officer. He also served as an Extraction Instructor, performed Swift Water Rescue, Mountain Rescue, and Dive Rescue. He was a Master Mason.He was an avid and innovative fisherman and with his wife, Kat, a tireless advocate for wounded servicemen and women. Jeremiah’s greatest wish was that no injured service member would ever fall through the cracks and he embodied the principle of “no man left behind”.Jeremiah will be forever missed and loved by all who were touched by his deep belly laugh and warm drawl.“Your story saved my life brother. I am at a loss on this. You were my brother and your wife helped a lot of people and my family is hurting for all of you. I know the demons are gone now and hope you are at peace my brother. You fought a war much longer than many I know and we will meet once more in heaven. One beer for me one for you my fallen brother in arms. Rest in Peace brother Jeremiah. You will always be my “Doc”. “
Airbone Army Veteran Anthony Joseph Homnick, born June 23, 1983, in Brooklyn, New York. He was the beloved son of Priscilla Homnick. Anthony was a 2002 graduate of Berwick High School. In 2003, he joined the United States Army, 82nd Airborne Division, stationed at Fort Benning, GA, where he graduated BCT.In 2005, he deployed to Iraq in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Upon returning, he was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he did three tours, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the other in Afghanistan, retiring in 2013. He loved in-line skating as a teenager; he also loved drawing, fishing and lifting weights. Most of all, he loved his family and living life to the fullest. He loved his family, his wife and his 3 dogs. He especially loved his nieces and nephews, who he spoiled. He loved the Military just as much as he loved his family. He was also known for his glorious beard, of which he was very proud. He was a kind and gentle soul, who would do anything for anyone and never ask for anything in return. Anthony lost his battle with PTS, February 22, 2015. He was 31 years old.
Chad Scott Hogan, 37, of Fort Wayne, passed away Saturday, September 1, 2018, surrounded by his family. He was a dedicated soldier in United States Army and survived three deployments, where he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal (for heroic / meritorious service on the battlefield). He was a member of the Iron Workers local 147. Chad is survived by his loving wife, Bethany; children, Caleb, Alyssa and William Hogan; stepchildren, Celestial, Montgomery, Lydia, Theodore, and Abraham Hartman; parents, David and Crystal Biberstine; siblings, Zach (Brandi) Biberstine and Katlyn Biberstine; and nieces and nephews, Zoey, Macey and Liam. Chad enjoyed fishing, Harley’s, his kids and family, his Army family and iron works. He lived a free spirited life and loved travel.#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
CPL Cody S Higgins was born in Olympia on January 11, 1992. He was with the 101st Airborne 187th Infantry Regiment “The Rakkasans” stationed out of Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. He deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 and after returning home, he suffered from severe PTSD. No one could tell. On September 18, 2013, Cody committed suicide in his home in Clarksville, KY, leaving behind a wife and son.He enjoyed working on cars, target shooting, helping others, and most of all, spending time with his son.
Army Sergeant Spencer Levi Hiatt, born August 2, 1989 in Tucson, Arizona.Shortly after high school, Spencer joined the United States Army. He served a tour in Afghanistan and another in Kuwait. Spencer finished his time in the Army and returned home last April 2014. He received numerous awards, medals and recognitions for his honorable service. Spencer had an indomitable spirit, which served him well to move beyond the many difficult challenges he faced. He was honest, selfless and loyal. His family and friends were the most important things in his life. Spencer was going to have his first child this August (2015), he was so excited to be a Father and start a family.SGT Spencer Hiatt lost his battle with PTSD, January 26, 2015, in Orem, Utah. He was 25 years old.”http://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/a-band-of-brothers-fights-a-common-enemy-suicide/article_78d03380-67dc-5414-a1c8-8508ebb06800.html
SGT Richard Herman was a member of the American Legion, Combat Veteran’s Motorcycle Association and VFW. As a combat wounded veteran, he was a member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. SGT Herman proudly served his country in the US Army during the Iraqi War with the 42nd Infantry Division from NY. He was awarded the Bronze Star, three Army Commendations and the Conspicuous Service Cross. SGT Richard Herman loved photography, fishing, gardening, birdwatching, and spent most nights watching ‘How It’s Made’ on the couch while eating dry cereal out of a cup. He was happiest tinkering with, building, or riding one of his several Harley-Davidson motorcycles. SGT Richard Herman loved to pull pranks on his daughter, using ketchup as fake blood or throwing bread at her to attract seagulls at the beach. They spent their quality time together going on long drives, laughing and listening to ‘Fleetwood Mac.’ About the foundation SGT Richard Herman’s daughter, Gabrielle, founded in his memory:“For YOUR Glory” was founded on Veteran’s Day (2014) by the daughter of Richard Herman, a deceased Military Order of the Purple Heart recipient. On March 5, 2005, just five days before her birthday, he was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). On May 16, 2009, he lost his life to severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and war-related/service-connected injuries. The world hasn’t been the same since. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimated 22 veterans died of suicide each day, one per every 65 minutes. Young male veterans under the age of 30 are three times more likely to commit suicide. In 2013, Gabrielle was awarded first place in the Pennsylvania State University (Mont Alto) Academic Festival for her research on Family Separation and the Military Lifestyle. She has devoted her time to designing programs to implement that facilitate reintegration for soldiers and adjustment for children. She is now an Assistant Peer Counselor for the Office of Veterans Programs at Pennsylvania State University, University Park. “For YOUR Glory” is a foundation created to acknowledge the men and women who protect our country as more than just assets or resources. The goal is to one day put an end to long-term/extended deployment and a cap on the number of volunteered or required tours served by military personnel. A touching article about SGT Richard Herman, his military service and sacrifice as shared by his daughter, Gabrielle:https://issuu.com/valleymagazine/docs/valley2015springspreads Born in Brooklyn, NYResided in Middletown, DEFinal Rest:Delaware Veterans Memorial CemeteryBearNew Castle CountyDelaware, USA#22toomany#OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
Sergeant Brent “Hoss” Allen Hendrix, 35, of Cincinnati, Ohio, formerly of Rutherford County, North Carolina, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, April 23, 2020. Brent was born on November 11th, 1984 in Rutherfordton, North Carolina to Teresa Kimbrell and Carl Hendrix. He was a 2003 graduate of Chase High School in Forest City, North Carolina. Brent was a sophomore in high school when the United States was attacked by terrorists on September 11th, 2001. This event led to Brent’s desire to join the military. Brent joined the US Army as an Infantryman on February 22, 2003 as part of the delayed entry program. His Army training began in July of 2003 at Fort Benning, Georgia. Brent was assigned to the 172nd Stryker Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, stationed at Fort Wainwright, Alaska. He later deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While serving in Iraq, Brent was severely wounded on June 26, 2006, which resulted in the loss of his right leg. Brent was then sent to Walter Reed Army Medical in Washington DC where he spent the next 3 years working towards recovery and rehabilitation. Brent was medically retired from the US Army on the 3rd anniversary of his Alive Day. For his heroism and sacrifice, Brent was awarded the Purple Heart Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge. After leaving Walter Reed, Brent moved to Cincinnati, Ohio to pursue his college education. At the time of his passing Brent was a student at Xavier University. While at Walter Reed, Brent became a fixture in the wounded warrior community. His larger than life personality was an inspiration to everyone that he encountered. He often used the story of his recovery to aid in inspiring those around him to persevere regardless of their struggles. Brent never met a stranger and had the most infectious smile that could brighten any room he entered. In his free time, Brent volunteered with several military organizations and could often be found speaking to elementary school students as well as collegiate and professional sports teams. Brent was an amazing brother, uncle and friend. He selflessly put others before himself without expecting anything in return. Brent was an avid sports fan and loved the Carolina Panthers. Brent also enjoyed the outdoors and participated in skydiving and scuba diving. He was determined to prove that disabilities were not limitations. He was preceded in death by his parents, Teresa Kimbrell and Carl Hendrix and his godson, Jeffrey “LJ” Lynch. He is survived by his beloved sister, Michelle “Missy” Hendrix; brother, Mark Kimbrell; niece, Haley Rogers; nephews, Hunter and Zachary Rogers; and great nephew, Julian Rogers; all of Chesnee, SC; brother Jeff Lynch and wife Christy; and nieces, CateLyn, Emerson and Elianna Lynch; of Cary, NC; his surrogate fathers, Steve Lee of Cincinnati, OH and Michael Kuchinsky of Frederick, MD; and numerous friends across the globe. Due to the Covid-19 situation, a celebration of Brent’s life as well as his internment at Arlington National Cemetery, will be announced and take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the veterans charity of your choosing.#22TooMany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
Justin Wayne Haskins, 23, of Merrill, Oregon, passed away, May 17, 2014. Justin was born in Klamath Falls May 17, 1991, to Gerald and Debbie Haskins. He graduated from Lost River High School and then enlisted in the Army National Guard, where he accomplished the rank of Specialist (promoted to sergeant posthumously). While in the Guard, SPC Haskins served one tour in Iraq. Justin was a fisherman. He enjoyed long drives in the country, listening to, writing and playing music. Justin also enjoyed skateboarding. Friends affectionately referred to Justin as Steve or Otter. Remembrances from his sister, Marlana: “My brother and I had a difficult childhood. We basically raised each other: cooked for each other, walked to school together – we were really close and were always there for each other. Before he even turned 18 he got the process going to join the army guard. He was proud and we were proud of him. He WANTED to go overseas and he transferred from the Klamath Falls unit to Medford so he could. He met a girl and they were engaged and when he went to Iraq, things changed. Fast forward to when he was back. He was in a wreck and suffered a severe leg injury which resulted in a permanent and painful limp. Other aspects of his life were falling apart. He wanted to go back overseas but they wouldn’t let him. I think the way he felt about himself was a huge factor in why he made the decision that he did. In high school he was really into skateboarding, placing 3rd in Humboldt County at a competition.He grew up fishing; he loved music and sharing his music with others – he played a few different kinds of guitars and drums. He LOVED video games. Justin was definitely a class clown. He is loved and missed by so many.” Justin served with another of our soldiers, SPC Brady James Hammer.#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
Leon was born January 23, 1962 and lived in San Francisco, California. He joined the Army at the age of 18. He was stationed in Washington serving in the 75th Ranger Platoon. Later he was stationed in North Carolina with the Delta Force unit going into Afghanistan right after 9/11. He served in the Army for 22 years and retired a Master Sergeant. After retiring in Washington in 2005, he worked with different contract companies training soldiers on new equipment. He suffered from depression and lost his battle June 26, 2015, taking his life. He leaves behind his wife, his two daughters, three grandchildren, his brother and nieces, and many friends.
“Nicholas loved all animals and joined the Army when he found out that there was a position that would enable him to take care of animals used on military bases and in combat. Once he had signed up, he was told there were no such positions available; however, there were medic positions of which he would be qualified. He was terribly disappointed, but he worked hard and was able to complete all of the training necessary to become a Medic, and he was very happy and proud of himself. He never told his family what he went through while in the Army; however, I will be forever grateful for his fellow comrades that reached out after his death and made me understand the reason that so many they served with had died by suicide. The comrades I spoke with did not believe that Nick died by suicide, as they said that he was the strong one in Iraq and was funny and did dances when others were scared and hot. Always the comic, he tried to cheer them up even in the midst of 120 degree heat. After coming home after the Army, Nick followed his dream and went back to school to be a Farrier. He bought a truck and a trailer and started living his dream. Throughout the first year, he continuously said that he was so grateful to not be in Iraq; however, as time ran on, moodiness became far more frequent and while the family knew something was not right, we had no idea what was going on as Nick was very closed and did not communicate with the family. While I saw him fairly frequently, I no longer felt like I knew him. Despite all this, I was totally blindsided when he did not show up to work and did not return his calls. I sped over to his house and thank goodness, the police showed up before me and stopped me from going in. It has been almost 5 years; however, I try to keep his memory alive and share his story so that he would not die in vain.” Shared by his mother, Penny. She continues, “Nicholas died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. This came as a total shock and devastation to family as he never voiced his concerns or issues, other than speaking to the VA doctor about it. Nick said the doctor was not concerned and to let him (the doctor) know if it became a continuous issue. We had never heard of the high rate of suicide, which is why I try to share Nick’s story as much as possible. I am not sure anything would’ve been different had I heard of the 22 Too Many, but there are definitely further conversations that would have been held had I known.” Nicholas P. Handlin age 35 of Clinton died unexpectedly on Monday August 10, 2015 in his home. He was born September 22, 1979 in Elgin, IL. Nicholas graduated from Harlem High School, class of 1997. He continued his studies at Rock Valley and the Heartland Horseshoeing School in Lamar, Missouri. Nicholas enlisted into the U.S. Army and served in Iraq until his honorable discharge in 2011. He enjoyed fishing, golfing and family gatherings. Nicholas loved horses and established the Handlin’s Farrier Service that he owned and operated until his death. Nicholas will be remembered as a thoughtful helpful son, brother and friend. Hometown: Clinton, Wisconsin#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
Brady James Hammer, 24, residing in El Paso, Texas, went to meet his maker July 28, 2013. He made his grand entrance into this world Feb. 26, 1989, in Klamath Falls, Ore. From the beginning, it was evident that he had a strong spirit. While still in high school, he enlisted in the military with the Army National Guard at the age of 17. In 2009, he was deployed to Iraq with C Troop 1-82nd Cav Squadron Operation Iraqi Freedom 2009-2010. He also served as a Wounded Warrior at Fort Bliss, El Paso, from 2011-2013. During the seven years Brady spent serving his country, he formed many bonds with his brothers in the armed forces. He was known for his generous heart and amazing ability to make people laugh. He was a district bowling champion while in high school and when home on leave enjoyed Monte Carlo Bowling with family. He loved to put his mom on the phone while he sang her karaoke. He also enjoyed shooting guns, playing his guitar, dancing, country music and spending time with the people he loved. Brady is survived by his mother Marie, his sisters Kayla and Lacee; nephew Lucas, grandparents James and Sharon; several aunts, uncle and cousins, and many other family members and comrades of significant importance in his life.
Mark was born December 28, 1978 in Manchester, NH. He was raised in Londonderry, New Hampshire and graduated from Londonderry High School. In January of 1998, Mark joined the United States Army where he was an exceptional soldier and NCO. He was well respected and admired by his Army family. Mark served sixteen years and eight months with great pride and full commitment. Mark’s deployments were as follows: once to Korea, twice to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan. Mark’s home station and last duty station was at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Mark loved his New England sports teams: Bruins, Patriots, Red Sox and Celtics. He leaves behind a son and daughter, two brothers, three sisters, his parents, and many other friends and family who love and miss him so much. Final Rest: Arlington National Cemetery#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
“Tony was a devoted family’s man. Family was everything to him. So was football. He was a Raider’s fan from the NFL. His favorite sports to play was football and he loved to wrestle. His favorite color was red but he bled black and silver. Anything he set his mind to he made it happen. His favorite materialistic treasure was his Ford Mach 1. He was everyone’s biggest support and loved them all so hard.” Shared by his wife, Ruth Tony passed away on Sunday, April 1, 2018. He was born in Omaha and grew up in Minden, NE, Grand Island, NE and Omaha. He attended Northwest High School in Grand Island and graduated from Omaha South High School in 2010. Following high school he entered the United States Army. He quickly became a Sergeant and served his country in the United States Army Infantry for 7 years, including 4 years in the Honor Guard at Fort Meyers, VA. He was a team leader and squad leader throughout his years of service, and served overseas in Camp Buehring, Kuwait. Antonio was a loving and caring man. He is truly beloved, our beloved, the one whom we believe in faithfully devoting all of our love to, to forever cherish, better or for worse, with no limitations, death shall not part us. Remembrances shared:“When I became a squad leader he was my first and only choice for an alpha team leader. He was an amazing soldier and a better person. The world is truly at a darker place without his presence.” “Hey big sarge, thanks for being my mentor and showing me what you knew and holding me to the highest standard. You were the epitome of how a soldier/man should carry himself, on and off duty. You are a great father, husband, and friend, as true as they get. One hell of a dude, definitely one I’d have with me during a firefight. You’re attitude, charisma, and infectious enthusiasm would turn the darkest days into rays of sunshine, your resiliency was unmatched. You’re potential was unlimited and was constantly reaching new heights. I loved you like my own brother. Rest easy brother, we’ll see each other again in Valhalla.” “Still cannot believe this is real, my brother.. You Taught me so much about the Army and being a great leader. You were someone I considered a friend for life. One of the most charismatic, and fearless men I had the honor of knowing. We layed many, many, soldiers to rest my brother and now you can Rest In Peace now. DCo 1St Platoon Escort March!!” “Sergeant Guardiola was one of the fairest, most professional, and knowledgeable NCOs I ever had the pleasure of working with during my time in the Army. He led by example. He had integrity. He embodied each Army Value the way you would hope an NCO would. Although his death saddens me beyond belief, I can’t help but acknowledge the fact that I am a better man, and certainly was a better soldier, for having known him. Rest in peace. Delta Company forever. One Legion. Old Guard.” Final Rest: Omaha National Cemetery in Nebraska#22TooMany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
“My son was a preemie and was 3 pounds at birth. He loved star wars and playing (toy) guns when he was a child. His love of guns followed him. I always hated them. After his dad died, Steven picked up his father’s love of tinkering with cars. When Steven passed, he left behind his 1970 F150 that I signed over to his sister. It’s her prized possession now.He was an awesome young man and my pride and joy. He is missed every moment of every day. He was a hero to me.”
Veteran Nick Gregory, of Saint James, MO, died on Friday, December 18, 2015, at the age of 26. Nick proudly served in the United States Army with 17 Fires out of Fort Lewis (field artillery). He was a loving devoted father who enjoyed nothing more than spending time with his children and family. Nick enjoyed baseball, hockey, and football at Ft. Zumwalt South High School. Nick was the loving husband of Toni Gregory; beloved son of Tim and Linda Gregory; devoted father of Caden, Ryker, and Ares; and dear brother to many. He loved spending time with his wife and their children, playing outside with them, teaching them how to be the best men they could be. They definitely miss their daddy. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him
Hometown: Roanoke, Virginia Graduated high school at Jordan Matthews High School, Siler City North Carolina. Curtis enjoyed spending time with family and friends, classic rock & alternative music, surfing, baseball (White Sox), football (Virginia Tech, Tampa Bay Buccaneers), and he loved to travel. One night SGT Greene disappeared from their home outside Fort Riley, Kan. His wife, and the kids went to stay at her father’s house in Hernando County, Florida. When he called her to apologize for running out, he promised he would come home to Fort Riley. But he wasn’t about to return to Iraq. “Over my dead body are they going to make me go back.” On Dec. 6, he showed up for work, his uniform pressed, his boots polished. He sang cadence. That night, he was found hanging in his barracks. Sgt. Curtis Greene, 331st Signal Company, was 25. He asked about joining the military right out of high school in Siler City, N.C. Sgt. Greene enlisted in the Army in the fall of 1997 and met Lisset Rivera the following year. Both were stationed in Germany, she working supply, he in communications. They were married in a small civil ceremony in Germany early in 2000. Back in the states, Sgt. Greene took to Anthony, Lisset’s son from a previous relationship. It was long absences from Anthony, who lived with Lisset’s parents when she was stationed abroad, that convinced her to leave the military. Sgt. Greene stayed in. He told Lisset the Army provided him with structure and stability. “He loved the military,” she said. “He would praise it. “The family moved to Fort Hood, Texas, where as a member of the 16th Signal Battalion, Sgt. Greene earned a reputation as a strict taskmaster. The details of what Sgt. Greene experienced during his eight months in Iraq are unclear. Boggs, a fellow soldier, said he was stationed in Fallujah and Ramadi, while Sgt. Greene built communications networks near the Jordanian border. They talked often, but Boggs said his friend never went into detail about what he witnessed, just that he hated it there. Sgt. Greene told his stepfather that he had to kill a few people, and that the guilt was weighing on him. “Curtis seems to think that he was a murderer,” his stepfather said. “Curtis was raised to respect life; in the military you’re taught to take it. I think he struggled with that.” Lisset said her husband shared his worst experience: A soldier next to him was shot in the face and died instantly. He told her he screamed until he got to his destination, then watched as the man was placed in a body bag. He felt guilty because they had switched seats in the car shortly before the shooting. “He said they treated the body like a bag of trash,” she said. “He said that he was supposed to be in the passenger seat, and the bullet was for him.” Sgt. Greene’s family said he never talked to them about depression while he was deployed. But one thing is certain: He wanted out of Iraq. He got out of his Texas-based battalion after about eight months by re-enlisting in the Army, Lisset said. He was able to return to the United States by signing up for another three years with the 331st Signal Company, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, stationed at Fort Riley, she said. He seemed “normal” when he returned from Iraq in December 2003, she said. He finally met his newborn daughter, Laila, and couldn’t stop gushing about her. But after they moved to Fort Riley . . .”He changed; he changed,” Donald Greene said. “He was just in the ozone, so to speak. He was detached, in turmoil inwardly.” Lisset said he had nightmares and couldn’t sleep. He cried easily, but avoided talking about Iraq. “He just said it was ugly, and that you don’t know what it’s like until you’re there,” she said. “He always said he wouldn’t wish it on his worst enemy.” When the evening news reported deaths in Iraq, he would weep and ask her to turn off the TV. “He really cried, like it was someone he knew,” she said. “He’d say that we shouldn’t be there. He always wanted to know why we were there.” He was terrified.” Sgt. Greene did reach out for help after he returned from Iraq. He began seeing a psychiatrist – though he hid it from his wife. Lisset discovered prescription bottles of antidepressants and sleeping pills in their home. He told her he had started getting therapy and had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. She said he wanted out of the Army, but finances were tight. He took off in the middle of the night, leaving Lisset and the kids in Kansas. He drove to Virginia and told his family there that he had “gotten out of the military.” By the time he called Lisset, she had taken the kids to stay with her father in Spring Hill. She begged him to return to the base, worried he would be arrested for going AWOL. He did go back, and told her his punishment would be working extra duty. He called the next day, Dec. 6, and asked about their future together. Lisset said she loved him but thought he needed counseling. He agreed, but said he believed she would be better off without him. He hung up. She tried repeatedly to call him back, but there was no answer. Four hours later, fellow soldiers found him dead, hanging in his barracks. Sgt. Curtis Greene is buried at Florida National Cemetery near Bushnell.http://www.iraqwarheroes.org/greenec.htmhttp://pissedoffcombatveterans.com/id18.html#22toomany#OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
On January 20th, 2015, my son took his life. The demons of war finally won their battle. He had been a Gift of Life donor since the age of 16. This bequest was honored on the 29th of January. His organs went to many in need of hope. Again, not only was my son a hero serving his country but also to the people and their families who received these organs. Rest in peace, son! Remembering Specialist 4 Francis J. Graves III (Stoney) who passed away on Jan.29-2015 surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Wilmington Delaware October 13, 1982. He enlisted in the Delaware Army National Guard and served with the 153rd Military Police Battalion. Not long after his training, his unit was deployed overseas for combat duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom. After his one year tour he returned to Delaware. My son was a typical boy growing up in the country. He was our little hardhead and had more dents and scrapes than a lot of people I know. He grew into the nickname we gave him – Stoney – because my name was Rocky so Stoney it would be. He loved sports growing up and became a wrestler in high school and went on be very good at it. After high school he had the yearning to become a police officer or maybe even a FBI agent so he enlisted into the army and became a M.P. After his deployment for Iraqi Freedom he returned home and resumed his guard duties. My boy and me had quite a relationship – not only working for me but we went on building houses and renovated many more. My son could do anything with his hands and mind; he was very talented but don’t give him a paint brush. He was one sloppy painter! He was a prankster and anyone who knew him had a joke or two played on them. There is no doubt his fellow troops loved him for this and knew if the shit hit the fan they would want him on their side, manning the machine gun. He was all about that! Stoney had a lot of ups and downs in his life. The more these tribulations happened the harder it got for him to see life getting any brighter. My boy had never been a quitter but I believe the PTSD was becoming overwhelming at that point for him. My wife and I had been taking him to the V.A. Hospital here in Delaware for all the issues vets bring home with them from war. Pretty much 3 days a week he was seeing doctors and counselors at Behavior Health. Then to top it off he acquired an addiction problem which sometimes goes hand in hand with PTSD. These are some of the diagnosis from doctors he was given: Poly substance abuse, Depression Anxiety Disorder, Dysomnia (a form of Insomnia), Anti-Social Personality Disorder, PTSD Nightmares. This is the kicker – Flag Category1 High Risk for Suicide and later on we would find out he had attempted suicide in November but was unsuccessful with the drug Ambien and had taken 17 pills. He had been to Coatesville V.A. hospital, Perry Point V.A. hospital, Rockford Center for extended periods numerous times. On December 29, 2014 I had taken him down to Perry Point V.A. hospital for a 21 day treatment stay. He was released Jan.20th 2015 at 1030am with no phone call from him or a courtesy call from the hospital. All along we had been involved with his care and the hospital was aware of this. At about 430pm that evening my wife and I received a call from the Christiana Hospital telling us we needed to get to the hospital right away. All the rest is our worst nightmare….Stoney had OD’d on opiates. My son had taken his life. We would find this out later when we found a 4 page letter explaining his deep feelings. He stated in his letter: “I don’t know how these letters supposed to go. I have not given it much thought on how I would do this. To summarize what I am about to do – I want to emphasize these important points: 1. I love my family. I am sorry for what I am about to do. I am sorry for the pain I have caused. 2.I am extremely unhappy with my life. My relationship with my family is invaluable and I hold that above anything else. 3. I am not drunk high or out of my mind. I’ve given this a lot of thought. Probably over a year or more. I’ve been unhappy for a long time. So that’s that. I don’t want this letter to end. I know that once it does I have to actually do it. I’m scared. I realize what I am about to do is contradictory to my love for my family. But I think of this as pulling a tooth with no Novocaine. Yes it’s going to hurt like a mother! But the toothache will be gone and eventually you won’t even miss it. Wish you all a good life – I will miss you guys! Love Stoney” As you can see the demons were relentless with my boy and he gave in to this nasty thing we call PTSD. It is so sad we lose so many of our veterans each and every day. My wife and I at first thought how selfish he was to do what he did but after thinking back we realized how sad a state he had been in for a long time. He had fought a hard battle, but we pray now that he is finally safe and sound. My son died on his own battlefield. He fought against adversaries that were as real to him as his casket is to us. We shall remember not his death but his daily victories gained through his kindness and thoughtfulness. We shall remember not the years we thought he had left but the intensity with which he lived the years that he had. Our son, after 9 days on life support, went to be with the Lord. He was a Gift of Life donor. We granted his wishes and his organs went to many family’s loved ones who needed them to survive. Not only did my son serve his country in time of need, he became a hero for all the families who benefited from his good heart and thoughtfulness. Way to go big guy – May you rest in peace, my son!!!! Please let us learn that we all are in this together: doctors, counselors, and the families to make this fight against PTSD more successful. #22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
Staff Sgt. Joseph Granville, 27, of Vandling, PA., died Saturday, December 18, 2010He was a 2001 graduate of the Carbondale Area High School and attended Lackawanna College’s Honesdale campus. He was an Army veteran having served in Bosnia during Operation Joint Forge and served in combat in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was currently attached to the Pennsylvania National Guard A1-109th Infantry in Honesdale as a Training NCO. He was formerly employed as a corrections officer at SCI Waymart. He was a member of the VFW, Post 531 in Honesdale.Joe was a devoted husband and father. He was an avid and passionate Pittsburgh Steelers fan. He was honored to faithfully serve his country and he loved the military and being a professional soldier.http://www.army.mil/article/92762/ Guard wounded warrior, Afghanistan veteran advocates suicide preventionBy Sgt Ashley Curtis KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (Dec. 11, 2012) — Twin brothers Earl and Joseph Granville were brothers by blood as well as brothers in arms. They were bunk mates in basic training and deployed twice together overseas. But everything changed after retired Army Staff Sgt. Earl Granville’s third deployment with the Pennsylvania National Guard. “This time I cut the cord and went by myself,” Earl said. He deployed to Afghanistan with the 1/109th Infantry Regiment in December 2007, and lost his left leg to a roadside bomb. “Of everyone in my family, my twin brother took it pretty hard,” said Earl. “After I got hurt, he was told he couldn’t go to Iraq on a deployment he already had orders for. They sent his wife instead and it was just a downward spiral from there.” On Dec. 18, 2010, Joseph, a staff sergeant, took his own life. “The signs were there. I just didn’t realize there were signs until he left,” said Earl. Suicide rates across the military have been on the rise for the past decade with the Army reporting the highest rates, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The foundation also noted that deployed and previously deployed Soldiers have the highest suicide rate of all active duty service members. Earl recently took a trip to Afghanistan as part of Operation Proper Exit. The operation allows wounded Soldiers to go back to the combat theater they were medically evacuated from to check progress in the region and leave on their own terms. During the visit, the wounded warriors spoke to Soldiers at Camp Nathan Smith, located in the middle of Kandahar City. Most of the service members told stories about their injuries and the long recovery process. After briefly introducing himself and his injury, Earl began to tell his brother’s heartbreaking story to the group of young Soldiers, much like the Granvilles themselves. “When the Soldier talked about his brother taking his own life after he got injured, it made me realize that I need to be thankful for the people in my life,” said Cpl. Gavin Ching, a Hawaii Army National Guard Soldier deployed to Kandahar province. “I made sure to call my family the next day to wish them happy holidays and let them know that I love them.” Earl shared his experience with the Camp Nathan Smith Soldiers an many others throughout the trip, in hopes that those they will be more vigilant and take steps to see the potential signs of suicide. The Army has implemented several programs to reduce its suicide rates and keep Soldiers resilient, and is now working to consolidate those programs into a more streamlined pool of resources according to Jackie Garrick, the interim director of the Defense Suicide Office. Garrick told the Defense Health Board she wants to focus on outreach more than emphasize a reduction of the perceived stigma of seeking help. She also noted that programs using veterans as counselors have had a successful track record. “Is it good enough to put a poster on a wall and wait by the phone,” she asked. “I don’t think so. We have to turn this paradigm around and get in front of this problem.” Earl attributed much of his post-injury recovery to counseling, and is now going to school full time to become a counselor focused on veterans’ needs He urges rank-and-file Soldiers, or “Joes,” currently in the combat theater to get help while they’re deployed if they feel like they might be in trouble. “Leaders, look after your Joes and look after yourselves as well,” he said. “See those signs. If somebody’s having a bad day that turns into a bad month, encourage them to talk to someone.”*
“My story is actually the continuation of her story. I’ve heard it said that only a handful of people are ever lucky enough to meet their soulmate. I was blessed in that my soulmate was my younger sister whom I had in my life for all 38 of her years. My name is Sara. I grew up the oldest of three girls in a military family. I was 18 months older than my middle sister Paula, but she and I could have been twins. She was my confidant, my supporter, my encourager and my best friend. After graduating college, Paula joined the Army Reserves. During her time in the service she was deployed on two separate occasions. Once to the Persian Gulf and once to Iraq. She was promoted to the rank of Major during her service and received a bronze star medal. While deployed she suffered and fought with depression and suicidal thoughts. As she had a high security clearance, she suffered quietly and spoke only to her most trusted confidants. After returning to civilian life she continued to struggle with her experiences overseas, however continued to refuse treatment for fear of losing her rank as she was employed at Ft. Lee. She spoke to me often about her experiences as I am licensed professional counselor, however I could not provide the therapy or treatment she desperately needed. She went to a primary care physician for guidance and began to be prescribed medications to include antidepressants, sleeping pills, benzodiazepines and opiates. Against my advice, she continued to take these medications even though her depression worsened. Her personal life began to take a toll as she went through a divorce and faced the challenges of being a single parent. She began to turn to alcohol as a means of escape. On September 18, 2015 she sent me a text message telling me exactly how she planned to end her life. As a mental health professional, I did what I thought was best at the time and called the authorities. The police came to her home and she was able to convince them that she was ok and was not in need of services. Her work found out about the police involvement and she began to worry that she would lose her security clearance and that she would not be eligible for the job promotion for which she had applied. She was very angry with me and told me that I did not understand how the military operated. On September 19, 2015, after enduring several hours of radio silence from my sister, I got the dreaded phone call from a local police officer. She had followed through on her suicide and ended her life exactly as she had described to me. My entire world fell apart. A part of me died. My heart was ripped wide open. I have never before or since experienced pain to that intensity. I was ready for my own life to end. I could not imagine continuing in this world without my soulmate. Without my best friend. Without my sweet sister. There were several times I came close. I can barely remember that first year.As people in my community and the military community learned of the story of my sister, I began to better understand the struggles and difficulties facing our military personnel. I began to understand the stigma of talking about depression and mental illness. I began to understand the desire for secrecy. I became involved with a taskforce and started to participate in 22 mile rucks to raise awareness for Veteran Suicide. I began to post my journey with #missherloveher on every step I took. The first 22 mile ruck I completed I did so in her shoes. I wanted to literally, walk in her shoes and understand her pain. The harder I worked my body the more my heart began to heal. Paula was an avid runner and completed several marathons. I had never completed anything beyond a 5K. I was asked about completing the 42nd MCM in 2017 and laughed at the idea. When I looked into it however, I discovered that it was going to be held in Arlington, VA which is near where she is buried in Quantico, VA. The determining factor however was the date of the MCM, October 22, 2017. The 42nd MCM was to be held on what would have been her birthday. I made the decision that I had to do it. For me and for her. I again posted my journey with #formeandforher as I prepared for the marathon. I set a goal for myself to complete this marathon, knowing that quitting was not an option for me. I am proud to say that I did successfully complete the marathon and received my finisher’s medal on my sister’s birthday. For me and for her. As I mentioned, I wish I had known about this organization (22 Too Many) before the marathon so that I could have further honored her and promoted further awareness. My story continues and I am going to continue to share the story of my sister. My hope is that another family be spared the pain and devastating grief associated with veteran suicide.” Shared by Paula’s sister, Sara Paula was an incredibly loving mother who cherished her son, Liam. She was a beloved daughter, sister, and friend. Paula was born in Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated from Brooke Point High School, class of 1995 in Stafford, VA. Paula went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from George Mason University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Columbia Southern University. Paula was a Major in the United States Army Reserves. She was a proud Veteran having served her country in the Iraq War. Her decorations include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, and the Reserve Components Medal. Paula also worked in Civil Service. She was a Budget Analyst at the Combined Arms Support Command in Fort Lee. In her free time she enjoyed running and participated in many marathons. She attended Enon Baptist Church in Chester, VA. Final rest: Quantico National Cemetery#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten
News article:Soldier took his life, family mourns with angerPosted: Jun 23, 2012By Courtney Collen Trevor Gould at 25 years old was an active member of the United States Army out of Fort Hood, Texas.He was job hunting in his hometown of Fulda, MN, for the summer but would head back to school in Mankato in the fall.“Everybody loved him. He had a heart of gold. He always wanted to be a leader,” Sheri Johnson said.Sheri Johnson is Trevor’s mom. After Trevor served overseas in 2010, his mom said he changed, he had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.Just last week, he took his life which is fifteen years after his dad took his.After Trevor died, Sheri looked through his military paperwork and shocked by what she saw.“I found out he had talked to doctors in the Army saying he was suicidal. They didn’t contact me, they didn’t send him to help, they just pushed the paperwork through. That’s the only way I found out is through military papers,” Sheri said.She’s angry because she claims nobody back home was told about what Trevor was going through. Brother-in-law Chad Deblieck was also in the military and tells us it’s no surprise that Trevor kept to himself.“A lot of soldiers that come back and don’t acknowledge the issues are involved with PTSD. Trevor was a strong guy, he didn’t want to admit there were issues, just like every other soldier is expected to be strong,” Chad Deblieck said.And he believes the Army should have tried to do more.“There’s a lot of help out there. There’s just no connection between them lining anything up when he comes home. He was just expected to go out and do it himself, and most of them won’t,” Deblieck said.The family says the state of Minnesota never got a copy of Trevor’s health records when he returned home. If it had, they believe it could have made a difference.“There’s a huge part of me that’s gone, that’s just gone and won’t come back,” Sheri Johnson said.Sheri’s now looking into making a change, which is why the family took part in Saturday’s ‘Helpline Center’s Step Forward to Prevent Suicide’. She believes no family should go through this. And she would give the world to tell her son one more thing.“I love you baby. Why didn’t you come to your mother? I would have turned the world upside down for him but now it’s too late,” Sheri Johnson said.If you or anyone you know is suffering from depression, PTSD or shows suicidal signs: contact the Helpline Centerhttp://www.helplinecenter.org/ Posts from Trever Gould Memorial Facebook Page:3/8/13I’m just a single mother that hurts like hell because she lost her son to combat PTSD and wishes that there would have been someone like me out there fighting for things to change and give help to our veterans before my son had to die!! Some way for me to realize that there were ones yelling out about PTSD suicides I know if I would of really knew what PTSD was and that it was real I would of know what to do to save him. Trever was such a great man and would have given the shirt off his back to anyone. He had a heart of gold that was broken down to the point of no return. He was a giver and did not get the same in return. Every time we lose a veteran we failed and for dam sure the system failed him. I sit and wonder how people would feel in my shoes. I also feel like I am failing them and Trever when I can’t get people to listen and help stop this from going on. Really sit and think 1 veteran or active duty military dies every 65 minutes, so when you’re watching a movie or your favorite reality show and maybe on your computer we have someone that was willing to give their life for us dying inside and taking their own life. The pain is just too much. I know Trever did not want to die, he had even told me that one time, but he still took his life because the pain was too much. I would live on the street if it would give my son a chance to live his life like he deserved to. I would even give my life if it would bring him back. But there is no chance for him and there is a chance for others and I will give every penny and every second I can to help those heroes their chance to living a life without the hell they are in. I wish everyone would realize every dollar makes a huge difference for their lives. Every dollar goes to get our veterans and active duty military, doctors, treatment, service dogs, and all the other programs we have. I cry every time hear we lose another veteran and feel that we need to even work faster than the fast forward mode we are already doing. Everyone 1 veteran is 1 to many to lose and it’s up to us. From February 2013:I spend hours every day on making a difference and praying I can at least help even one Hero! I get maybe 3 to 4 hrs. a night to be able to even sleep. It is worth it to me though because I give a damn! Look at my son in the pictures below and see he is real and he is gone, because he could not get the help he needed. He even went to his higher ups and just got ignored! Well I will not ignore or be afraid to hit this epidemic head on. When I spend hours working on this mission along with my job, school and training the service dog, I just pray that sometime someday it will reach across the nation and some special individuals will see it and want to help and join in with the battle on PTSD. We have so many great people out there doing their thing and way to help our heroes, but it all takes money. I hold nothing back and am a very honest person I am here to tell you since I am in school I have a job that I only make a little over $9 hr., but I take every spare penny I have or don’t have to help our veterans. So don’t think every penny doesn’t matter, because it does. I will be on the radio on March 6th and in Iowa to speech with other parents that have lost their babies. When I need the strength to keep going all I have to do is look at Trever’s pictures and the pain I have realize once again why I am doing this. From Feb 2013Ok everyone I am going to spill my heart out here. In hopes that maybe some of you will understand what I say, how and what I feel! I started this mission 20 minutes after I found my sons lifeless body. I had already closed his eyes said my OMGs repeatedly as I was trying to think of ways to solve this and make him better. Because it’s our job as a mother to make things better for our children no matter what the problems is. I was in shock and thought I was having a more then life like dream, because my son would never do this. Then it hit me that OMG my son was so hurting inside that he couldn’t come to me and that he hated life so much he didn’t even want to be alive. That tore me up so much inside that there are no words to describe it. Trever and I were so very close anytime I had a problem he was there for me to help me through it. I did the same for him and I know he knew I loved him and I knew he loved me. BUT here comes the big problems after deployment and getting out of the service. You come home and every one of your friends has no clue what you have gone through over there. They have all moved on with their lives, but the veteran has had his or her life on hold for at least 4 years. So they all have girlfriends or boyfriends and maybe even children already. So number 1 you have nobody around you that you can talk to or even understand were your head is at. Number 2 everyone went on with their lives and expectedly so. Then they go to try and find a job that is another chop on the ego, because nobody wants to hire someone that in the last 4 years was in the military and no work references, because who are they going to call to check you out. So they want the ones that have stayed around and have checkable work references so you are broke and think you are worthless and hurt like hell because you were willing to die for these same people that will not hire you. Then they get into relationships and fall deeply in love with the one, but you have no job or a crappy one if you do that puts a huge strain of a person. Then the parents in no shape or form think you are good enough for their child because they will make more money then you will so you are given choices if you want to stay with them. So you have hardly any money and the one you are seeing has nothing best the best attitude. Where are they to turn, because they feel so much older after they have been gone sees old friends with families and feel by now you should long ways down that road also, but you were married to the military and missed out of a normal life. The person you love is talking with another person and you are afraid you are going to lose them to the other one or they cheated. There’s another slug in the gut. So no job, no money, in a messed up relationship, you feel you have nobody to talk to. You can’t sleep at night because of the night terrors and sweats. The flashbacks are so life like you are scared to death, you feel just worthless thanks to things that are out of your hands. All you do is think so badly of yourself and feel that is never going to get better. You don’t want to bring your family down, feel like a coward if you ask for help or put them through hell like you think you already have. You just want it to stop right there and at that minute. Knowing my son went through all that I knew right there I had to do something to stop this dam problem we have for our veterans. I will not get Trever back but I will be dammed if I don’t bust my butt trying to save others from dying. I will give my all and all I ask is for your help to do it! Help me save a veteran or active duty troops with PTSD! They depend on us. If I can give my all I think you all have my back and our veterans back. A comment from Keri at 22 Too Many: “As long as I’ve known Sheri, which was shortly after Trever died, she has been working tirelessly, and still is, to help our veterans, our military members, and their families. She gives herself daily to this crucial cause. Thank you, Sheri.” #22TooMany#OurHeroes are #Neverforgotten
My husband, Josh was one of the best people I have ever known. He was so full of life. One of the things he loved most was to make people laugh. He loved being outdoors fishing, camping, anything. He was proud to have served in the Army even though at the time, he was looking forward to getting out. His country meant so much to him. Most of my favorite memories include him in some way. We were married for less than a month when I lost him, but it was some of the best days of my life. The world lost a great man the day he left and I wish that I could have done something to help ease his pain. But I know that he is always, and always will be, with me. (shared by Tiffany)
Shared by Adam’s wife, who has now organized a non profit organization – “Operation Bear Hug” – for our soldiers and veterans.“My husband passed last year. He was active duty army stationed at Fort Bragg. A decorated soldier with a heart of gold. I’ve been trying to honor him for a year now but in my area he’s just a number. Not a brother, a son, a husband, a soldier, an uncle, or a friend.”“Last August, I lost my husband who battled PTSD. Unfortunately, there is no cure. You learn to live with it and some never do. 22 veterans and 1 active duty service member takes their own life a day. That is the number. With my non-profit I want to change that. I want try to change that number by reaching out to military service members past and present and let them know we as civilians care and appreciate all they have done. I will be giving them a teddy bear, sounds silly, but it stands for a hug from us. I will also be giving them a journal where there will be a personal message and important numbers to call in case they need them. I will also make a Facebook forum page and a personal email account where if at any point they need to talk I am here. I will also be trying to battle the VA to get better mental health care for veterans. I am always open to suggestions and help on this. Anyone interested shoot me an e-mail. This is near and dear to my heart and I will incredibly grateful to embark on this journey.” Blog: Amanda and Adam’s story / PTSDhttps://strahgilliamsblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/25/ptsd-from-a-different-perspective/ SGT Adam Kyle Gilliam was born on 6 September 1985 in Mason City, Iowa and raised in Morristown, Tennessee. After completing One Station Unit Training as a Cavalry Scout at Fort Knox, KY, he travelled to Schweinfurt, Germany. There he served with the 91st Cavalry Squadron, 173st Airborne Brigade, deploying to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Upon redeployment, SGT Gilliam was assigned to Fort Knox as an instructor with the 15th Cavalry Regiment. While serving at Fort Knox, SGT Gilliam met his wife, Amanda, and they were married in May 2009. SGT Gilliam was then stationed in Camp Ederle, Italy. During that time he completed his second deployment to Afghanistan. Following redeployment, SGT Gilliam received orders to Fort Bragg, NC where he was assigned to Bravo Troop, 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, as a Vehicle Gunner. SGT Gilliam’s military awards include the Combat Action Badge, Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Service Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Non Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal and Parachutist Badge.