Saturday, December 31, 2011

Army Spc. Pernell J. Herrera

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Pernell J. Herrera, 33, of Espanola, N.M.

Spc. Herrera was assigned to 1st Battalion, 171st Aviation Regiment, New Mexico National Guard, Santa Fe, N.M.; died Dec. 31, 2011 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, after suffering a heart attack during PT.


Spc Herrera died cardiac arrest after physical fitness training.

Spc Herrera went to Espanola High School. He enlisted in the New Mexico National Guard in May 2006. He served as a signal support systems specialist

On his Facebook page, Spc Herrera wrote:

I am a Very Easy Going Dad of one Son, and one Daughter. They are the biggest joys of my Life! I enjoy Spending my free time with my Mom, and Brother, Family and Friends! I am currently in Afghanistan with the United States Army. I have served in the Military for Five years.

A news release says Herrera enlisted in the New Mexico National Guard in May 2006 and served honorably over the last 5 1/2 years.

Army Spc. Pernell J. Herrera passed away on 12/31/11.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Army Spc. Michael H. Bailey II

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Spc Bailey passed away December 29, 2011 in Temple, Texas.


Spc Bailey graduated from Southwestern Academy and later from Mott Community College with an Associate's Degree in Business.

Spc Bailey joined the Army in August 2008. He married his wife, Breanna, in June 2008.

Michael was most comfortable being outdoors. He enjoyed camping, swimming, fishing and traveling to new places. He also loved tattoos, music and his dog, Bentley.

Spc Bailey was laid to rest on January 12 in Great Lakes National Cemetery, in Holly, MI.

Surviving are his wife, Breanna, their son, Trenton and an unborn child; mother-in-law, Ranay.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Army Pfc. Justin M. Whitmire

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pfc. Justin M. Whitmire, 20, of Easley, S.C.

Pfc. Whitmire was assigned to 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas; died Dec. 27, 2011 in Paktya, Afghanistan, of wounds caused by an improvised explosive device. Also killed were Army Sgt. Noah M. Korte and Army Spc. Kurt W. Kern.


Pfc Whitmire was on a patrol mission with two other medics when their jeep ran over an improvised explosive device. He had only been in Afghanistan for 19 days.

Pfc Whitmire graduated from Hillcrest High School in 2010, where he was on the debate team. Pfc Whitmire joined the Army in September 2010. He reported to Fort Hood this September. He volunteered for this deployment.

Grandmother, Lora Whitmire, said that her grandson had always wanted to be in the Army. He had the chance to go to Harvard, but chose the Army instead. She said,

"...He was supposed to be in a safe location. But it appears that it is not safe anywhere over there."

Father, Donnie, said, "Justin was a 20 year old who loved to fish and had big plans for when he returned to Simpsonville. He said when I get back I have money to buy a brand new boat and go fishing all the time."

His father said his son's death shocked him because he thought his son was in a safe zone. "Never in a million years did we think we'd see that car pull up in that driveway," said his father. "You don't know whether to hurt, be mad. It's just a million emotions running through your head right now."

Mother, Jennifer said, "(Justin) was so excited to get to go. That was all he ever wanted to do. He was so smart he could have chosen any college he wanted to go to, but this is the route he wanted to go. Right now, I feel like I'm just in a bad dream and I need to wake up."

Younger sister, Jessica, "He said, 'don't call me a hero, I am just doing my job', but he is a hero. He's everybody's hero and he will always be my hero.

Family said it's never the bad ones that go, only the good ones.The family had just spoken with Justin via Skype on Christmas Eve. On Monday, Justin posted on his Facebook page, “Had a great Christmas talking to the family and the love of my life on Skype. Can't wait to be home with everyone again soon.”

"That made my Christmas. It was the best Christmas present I ever got," said mother, Jennifer Whitmire.

Pfc Whitmire's awards and decorations include:

National Defense Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon

Army Pfc. Justin M. Whitmire was killed in action on 12/27/11.

Army Spc. Kurt W. Kern

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Kurt W. Kern, 24, of McAllen, Texas

Spc. Kern was assigned to 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas; died Dec. 27, 2011 in Paktya, Afghanistan, of wounds caused by an improvised explosive device. Also killed were Army Sgt. Noah M. Korte and Army Pfc. Justin M. Whitmire.


Spc Kern was killed along with Sgt Noah Korte and Pfc Justin Whitmire when a bomb detonated while they were on combat operations in Paktia.

Spc Kern graduated from McAllen Memorial in 2006, where he played football. He joined the Army in September 2009 as a military police officer. He arrived at Fort Hood in September 2011.

Spc Kern volunteered with another unit when his original deployment was cancelled. He had been deployed to Afghanistan for less than a month when he was killed.

Spc Kern loved to cook and studied at the Texas Culinary Academy in Austin.

Older brother, Keith, said his brother was "proud to be a soldier and really loved his job. Ever since he was little, he wanted to be a soldier. He finally went for it and loved it."

Bill Littleton, McAllen Memorial Athletic Director, said, 'I just remember him as a hard working young man who played football for us here at McAllen Memorial and he was a good kid. I'm just sorry that it happened. I'm sure Kurt was doing what he wanted to do and I say that every time a young man loses his life doing what he loved. He tried to make this a better country so you appreciate what he's done.

Spc Kern's awards and decorations include:
National Defense Service Medal
Korean Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Overseas Service Ribbon

Spc Kern is survived by his parents and his brother, Keith.

Army Spc. Kurt W. Kern was killed in action on 12/27/11.

Army Sgt. Noah M. Korte

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Noah M. Korte, 29, of Lake Elsinore, Calif.

Sgt. Korte was assigned to 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas; died Dec. 27, 2011 in Paktya, Afghanistan, of wounds caused by an improvised explosive device. Also killed were Army Spc. Kurt W. Kern and Army Pfc. Justin M. Whitmire.


Sgt Korte graduated from California Lutheran High School in Wildomar in the early 2000s, where he played center and nose guard on the 8-man football team.

Sgt Korte joined the Army in 2003. He deployed to Afghanistan early December. This was his fourth deployment, having previously deployed to Iraq three times.

Dave Peter, who was an assistant coach at the time, said, “There was always a big presence among the kids thinking about getting into the military, and I know he for one saw it as a noble occupation."

In one of Korte’s posts on his Facebook page this month, he wrote: “To my beautiful wife and kids, daddy loves you very much, so be good and take care of mommy while I'm away.”

Sgt Korte's awards and decorations include:

Army Commendation Medals (4)
Good Conduct Metals (2)
Army Achievement Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Sgt Korte is survived by his parents, Terri and Mark; wife, Kristi, whom he wed in 2005, and two young children.

Army Sgt. Noah M. Korte was killed in action on 12/27/11.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Army Staff Sgt. Joseph J. Altmann

Remember Our Heroes

Army Staff Sgt. Joseph J. Altmann, 27, of Marshfield, Wis.

SSgt Altmann was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; died Dec. 25, 2011 in Kunar province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire.


SSgt Altmann graduated from Columbus Catholic High School in 2003, where he was on the football and baseball teams.He attended the University of Wisconsin-Marshfield/Wood County. While there, he met with an Army recruiter and learned that his interests would serve him and his country well as a military medic. He joined the Army in 2005 after one year of college.

SSgt Altmann just re-enlisted in October for another four years. He was expected to return home by March. He had previously been deployed to Iraq twice. He deployed to Afghanistan in April.

“This is what he wanted to do. He had just re-enlisted because he loved his job so much,” said father, John Altmann said.

“He was really good at what he did. We’re so proud of him. He was doing what he enjoyed."

“Joe was a quiet man but had a heart of gold. He was always willing to help out in any way he could,” said Aunt Krisann Mauritz, who added that her nephew was content to hang out with her and his uncle in their home.

“He would just show up on our doorstep and lay on our couch and watch movies with us. It’s times like that I wish I could get back,” Mauritz said.

Sam Klumb, friend of Joe’s since kindergarten, said, "He was quiet, but you knew you could count on him for anything. He was a genuine person that cared about other people.”

When they hung out with friends as teenagers, Klumb said, “Things would get quiet, and Joe was always the guy that could make everyone laugh and kept things going.”

“When he found out he liked [the medical field] and he could combine that with being a medic in the military, he found what he loved to do,” Klumb said.
Wife, Nikki, whom he married last February, said they had started talking about kids, a house and a dog once Joe returned from Afghanistan.

"We were planning it all," Nikki said. "We dreamed together and talked about it. He was my everything. It was crazy, because with him being in Hawaii and me in Texas, there was a lot of miles between us."

Nikki said her husband wanted a military burial and to be buried in Marshfield. "If something happens, he said, 'Take me home. I want you to know that I'm not afraid of dying. It's leaving you behind that scares me most,'" Nikki said.

"But I reassured him that I'm stronger than I look and that I pray to God he would come back. I told him to do what he loved, and I'm proud of him for that.""It's hard," she said. "I feel (his parents') pain because they're burying a son. And they feel mine, because I'm burying the man I love."

SSgt Altmann's wards and decorations include:

Bronze Star
Purple Heart
Army Good Conduct Medal (3)
Army Achievement Medal
Army Commendation Medal
National Defence Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Iraq Campaign Medal with Bronze star
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon
Army Service Ribbon
Overseas Service Ribbon
Combat Action Badge
Combat Medical Badge
Expert Field Medical Badge Combat
Special Skills Badge
Basice Marksmanship Qualification Badge
NATO Medal


Army Staff Sgt. Joseph J. Altmann was killed in action on 12/25/11.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Army Spc. Mikayla A. Bragg

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Mikayla A. Bragg, 21, of Longview, Wash.

Spc. Bragg was assigned to the 201st Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Knox, Ky.; died Dec. 21, 2011 in Khowst province, Afghanistan, of a gunshot wound.


Spc Bragg was shot and killed while on duty in a guard tower in Khowst province. She was killed days before she was due to return home.

Spc Bragg graduated from Mark Morris High School in 2008. She joined the Army shortly after graduation to earn money for her education.

Friends said she was classified as a sharpshooter with a rifle and was deployed in August as truck driver.

"She's always been a kind-hearted person," said step-mother, Amber Bragg. "She's always gone out of her way to help out other people in whatever way she could."


"She made everybody laugh," Bragg's best friend, Tiffany Holst said. "She was sweet and caring."

Tiffany said Bragg loved "goofy kid movies" like "Finding Nemo" and "The Spongebob SquarePants Movie," would always cry when Bambi's mother died when watching the Disney film.

"She was always like that," Tiffany said. "She loved animals."

Tiffany's mother, Linda Wheeler, said, "You would've had to have met her to know Mikayla," said Wheeler. "We watched her grow up into a mature, wonderful woman. She was a heck of a character, she would always help people smile. And she'd always let you know if you were doing something you weren't supposed to be doing. ... She died a hero in my eyes."

"She definitely had her own style," said Denae Smith, who once worked with Bragg at the Walgreen's drug store along Ocean Beach Highway. "She was the one with the crazy hair and crazy makeup. I wouldn't call her gothed out, but she was definitely wild."

Spc Bragg's awards and decorations include:

Army Commendation Medal
Good Conduct Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
War on Terrorism Service Medal

Army Spc. Mikayla A. Bragg was killed in action on 12/21/11.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Marine Maj. Samuel M. Griffith

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Maj. Samuel M. Griffith, 36, of Virginia Beach, Va.

Major Griffith was assigned to 4th Air-Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, Marine Forces Reserve, West Palm Beach, Fla.; died Dec. 14, 2011 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, while conducting combat operations.


Major Samuel Mark Griffith, US Marine Corps, age 36 and resident of Virginia Beach, VA, was killed in action in Afghanistan on December 14, 2011.

Sam leaves behind a wife, Cassandra, and two sons, Chad and Noah. He is survived by his father, Sam Griffith with his wife Cherie; his mother Kathleen Bischoff with her husband Donnie; two sisters, Renee Nickell and Kelly Griffith; one brother, David Griffith; and grandparents, Erma Griffith and Doris and John Marasco.

Sam was an Eagle Scout, a 1997 alumnus of Penn State University, and a member of Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity.

Sam was commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1997, earned his wings in 2000, flew F/A-18D's with VMFA- 533, instructed Forward Air Controllers (FAC) and was most recently assigned with 4th ANGLICO.

Sam deployed 3 times both flying and as a FAC in support of operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and was 4th ANGLICO's detachment Officer In Charge in Afghanistan.

He loved Mustangs, especially his prize restored 1968 fastback.

Sam was a member of the Robert Burns Lodge No. 464, Harrisburg, PA, and an active member of Vineyard Community Church.

Sam was an honest, decent, hardworking man who loved his family, his God, and the Corps.

Marine Maj. Samuel M. Griffith was killed in action on 12/14/11.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Army Pvt. Jalfred D. Vaquerano

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pvt. Jalfred D. Vaquerano, 20, of Apopka, Fla.

Pvt. Vaquerano was assigned to 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas; died Dec. 13, 2011, in Landstuhl, Germany, of injuries caused by enemy small-arms fire while deployed in Logar province, Afghanistan.


Pvt Vaquerano was critically wounded in Logar Province and transported hosptial in Landstuhl, Germany. His parents and fiancee, Katie Madden, were at his bedside when he passed away. Katie and Jalfred were to be married soon.

Fiancee Katie wrote on Facebook:
"I'll never have a chance to walk down the aisle towards him...I'll never be able to have beautiful green-eyed babies with the love of my life. I'll never be able to grow old with the one person on earth who made me so happy… I've lost everything."

Katie wrote in a note to family and friends, "The last words I said to him were 'I can't wait to be your wife,' and his were 'Me either, I love you.'"
Pvt Vaquerano graduated from Forest Lake Academy in Apopka.

Pvt Vaquerano enlisted in the Army in January, 2011. He served as an infantryman.

His father, Carlos Vaquerano, thanked the scores of well-wishers.

"From His dad Carlos: thank you very much. Jalfred was the sweetest of all. I love you my son and I know I'll be with you soon. Jesus come soon please."

Pvt Vaquerano's awards and decorations include:

National Defense Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with a Campaign Star
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon

Army Pvt. Jalfred D. Vaquerano was killed in action on 12/13/11.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Army Spc. Ronald Wildrick

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Ronald Wildrick, 30, of Blairstown, N.J.

Spc. Wildrick was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; died Dec. 11, 2011 in Kunar province, Afghanistan, of wounds caused by an improvised explosive device. Also killed was Sgt. Christopher L. Muniz.


Spc Wildrick enlisted on June 18, 2008 as an infantryman. He spent two years in the Army's elite Continental Color Guard which is the official escort of the president and participates in military ceremonies across the nation. After leaving the unit, which has a time limit on service, Wildrick re-enlisted in the infantry.

Sister, Christie Berkey, said her brother was particularly proud of those two years adding that her brother was dedicated to serving the nation as part of the armed forces.

"He didn't want to leave," Berkey said. "It is such an honor."

Spc Wildrick deployed to Afghanistan in September.

Berkey said her brother never expressed regrets and believed deeply in what he was doing. She said he never saw his duty as anything heroic.

"He said it isn't something you enjoy being a part of because you're watching them struggle so much trying to learn how to take care of themselves, but he felt proud to be able to do it," Berkey said.

"He said 'this is something I need to do.' It made me so proud."

Berkey said her brother will be remembered for his sense of humor and dedication to his friends and family.

"He'd give you the shirt off his back, anything you needed," she said. "You could call him, and in a heartbeat he'd be there for you."

Ian McDonald, Wildrick's stepfather, frequently corresponded electronically with Wildrick from his home in Australia. Wildrick said his unit helped train Afghan soldiers and police to fight insurgents.

"He couldn't sleep longer than three or four hours because the insurgents would be firing at them again and again," McDonald said.

Family members knew Wildrick as "Uncle Ronnie." They described him as having an infectious personality that immediately drew others to him and made him friends wherever he went.

They said in one instance, a quick trip from a hotel room to find a corkscrew ended up taking an hour and resulted in Wildrick being invited to the wedding of a complete stranger and out to dinner with another.

Spc Wildrick's awards and decorations include:

Bronze Star
Purple Heart
Army Commendation medal
Army Achievement Medal
Army Good Conduct Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Started
Global War on Terrorism medal
Army Service Ribbon
Basic Parachutist Badge
NATO Medal
Combat Infantryman Badge

Funeral service will be held on January 12th.

Spc Wildrick will be laid to rest on Friday, January 13 at Arlington National Cemetery.

Spc Wildrick is survived by his mother, Sandra Osborne McDonald of Australia and stepfather, Ian; wife, Stephanie, daughters, Kaylee and Leah; maternal grandmother, Barbara; siblings, Christie, MSgt Joseph M. Osborne USAF, Debra and Susan. He was preceded in death by his father, Ronald H. Wildrick Sr.

Army Spc. Ronald Wildrick was killed in action on 12/11/11.

Army Sgt. Christopher L. Muniz

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Christopher L. Muniz, 24, of New Cuyama, Calif.

Sgt Muniz was assigned to 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; died Dec. 11, 2011 in Kunar province, Afghanistan, of wounds caused by an improvised explosive device. Also killed was Spc. Ronald H. Wildrick Jr.


Sgt Muniz graduated from Cayuma Valley High School in 2006, where he played football. He attended Hancock College were he played football as well.

Sgt Muniz joined the Army in November 2008. He served as a signal intelligence analyst. This was his first deployment.

High school football coach, Bill Charlton, said Christopher "Was like a son to me. I don't know how you could say anything as good as he actually was."

He recalled Christopher as being one of the strongest players he had and who would often help other youths in the gym and make them believe they were equally strong.

"He was just an all-around wonderful kid. He was a true leader," Charlton said.

Hancock College coach, Kris Dutra, recalled Muniz as being "a very, very physical type of guy", he's a good, solid linebacker.

Calling Christopher a "loyal, hardworing and a good athlete," Dutra added, "He was a good soldier in every sense of the word."

Sgt Muniz's awards and decorations include:

Bronze Star
Purple heart
Army Commendation Medal
Army Achievement Medal
Army Good conduct Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star
Global War on Terrorism Medal
Army Service Ribbon
NATO Medal
Combat Action Badge

Sgt Muniz's brother, Joe, who also serves in the Army, escorted his brother home.

Sgt Muniz is survived by his mother, Barbara; father, Joseph; wife, Lindsay; brother, Joe and two other brothers.

Army Sgt. Christopher L. Muniz was killed in action on 12/11/11.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Marine Lance Cpl. Christopher P.J. Levy

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Lance Cpl. Christopher P.J. Levy, 21, of Ramseur, N.C.

LCpl Levy was assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Dec. 10, 2011 of wounds sustained Dec. 7 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.


Lcpl Levy was shot in the head by a sniper while conducting an unpartnered patrol in the Kajaji district in Afghanistan. After being stabilized by emergency neurosurgery in Kandahar, he was transported to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany where his parents later made the difficult decision to take their son off life support.

Family pastor, Rev. Michael Barret said the attack happened in a region that has not been known for heavy combat. He said Levy was wearing a new protective helmet and goggles when he was shot.

Lcpl Levy, known as Jacob to his family and friends, is the oldest of three boys. He graduated from Eastern Randolph High School in 2009, where he ran cross-country for three years and was on the wrestling team for one year. He was an ROTC student from seventh through 12th grades.

Principal Stephanie Bridges said the marine was a popular student and well-liked.

Lcpl Levy joined the Marines in 2009, shortly after graduation. This was his second deployment, which he volunteered for. He served an infantry rifleman and machine gunner.

One of his former classmates described him as "everything you think of when you think of a Marine."

Lcpl Levy is a member of the Lumbee tribe of American Indians and was active in the Guilford Native American Association. He also participated in the Guilford One Spirit Native American dance group.

Levy's cousin, Tabitha Polanco, said Levy was proud of his Lumbee Indian heritage and had a fighter's spirit from birth.

"He was born a warrior," Polanco said. "He fought with his mom for about 36 hours while she was in labor. And he came out fighting and continued to do so. He was always a protector."

Characteristic of his spirit and reputation, Polanco says Levy earned the highest possible honor for a Native American: the Eagle Feather.

Father, Chris Levy said of his son, "He was a marine on Earth protecting our borders, and now he's a marine at the gates of Heaven. He knew the first time he went he could lose his life. He knew when he signed up that he could lose his life. And that didn't stop him."......

"I got to lay my hand on his chest, and I got to feel his heart beat," Chris said.

Even though Jacob physically didn't pull through, his father said Jacob's spirit will go on not only in his own heart but also, quite literally, in someone else's.

Lcpl Levy's parents honored their son's wishes to be an organ donor, "allowing his life and energy to rise as a Phoenix from the ashes to bring healing and remove pain from other suffering lives."

Lcpl Levy is survived by his mother, Amanda; father, Chris; siblings, Thunder, Payne, Elijah, Amanda, Joshua and Jade; paternal grandparents, Floyd Levy and Carol and Tony Goss; maternal grandparents, Gearlene and Harda Callicut and Nancy Sheek.

Marine Lance Cpl. Christopher P.J. Levy was killed in action on 12/10/11.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Army Spc. Jeffrey C. Bobon

Remember Our Heroes

Jeffrey C. Bobon of Marion passed away December 9, 2011 in El Paso, Texas. He was 20.


He was born October 27, 1991 in Cadillac, to Jeffery S. Bobon and Donna Sylvester. Jeffery married Cecy Lopez October 5, 2011 in El Paso, Texas.

SPC Jeffrey Bobon was serving in the US Army Echo Company 47 BSB 2nd BCT at Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas.

He enjoyed fast cars, snowboarding, motorcycles and adored his family and friends.

Jeffrey is survived by his wife Cecy Lopez, his mother Donna (Pete Ashby) Sylvester of Marion, father Jeffery S. Bobon of Summit County Colorado, sister Alyssa Shay (Jason) Jordan of Keesler Air Base, Mississippi, Brother Alex Bobon, of Marion, Sister Jamie Lee Sylvester of Marion, Justynn Bobon of Midland , grandparents , Bill and Ellen Scott of Sandwich , Mass, Ben and Rhonda Woods of Lin den MI, Pete and Betty Bobon of Marion, great grandparents, Roberta Desvoyaux of Middleboro, Mass, Jeffrey was preceded in death by his great grandfather Albert Desvoyaux, grandmother Barbara Woods.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Army Sgt. Tyler N. Holtz

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Tyler N. Holtz, 22, of Dana Point, Calif.

Sgt Holtz was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; died Sept. 24, 2011 in Wardak province of wounds caused by small-arms fire.


Sgt Holtz graduated from Mater Dei High School, a Catholic school in Santa Ana, Calif, where he played football for four years. He joined the Army in October 2007.

He graduated from the Army's Ranger program in 2008. He arrived at Lewis-McChord in July 2008, where he served as a rifleman and a Ranger Team Leader. This was his fourth deployment to Afghanistan. He died while leading his men in combat.

Sgt Holtz "was a courageous and incredibly talented Ranger who died while leading his men against determined insurgents," said Lt. Col. David Hodne, commander of the Lewis-McChord-based Ranger battalion. "Tyler Holtz personified the Ranger Creed to the final moments of his life and his actions inspire us to do the same."

Holtz "had the stuff from which legends are made and possessed the character which makes up the foundations that our Army and nation are built on," said Col. Mark Odom, commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment.

Sgt Holtz's awards and decorations include:
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart
Army Commendation Medal
Army Good Conduct Medal
National Defence Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Overseas Service Ribbon
Joint Service Achievement Medal Meritorious Service Medal
Ranger Tab
Expert Infantryman Badge
Combat Infantrymans Badge
Parachutist Badge
U.S. Army Expert Rifle Marksmanship Qualification Badge

Sgt Holtz is survived by his mother, Karen; father, Andrew; brothers, Luke, Hayden and Michael.

Army Sgt. Tyler N. Holtz was killed in action on 9/24/11.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Army Spc. Thomas J. Mayberry

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Thomas J. Mayberry, 21, of Springville, Calif.

Spc. Mayberry was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, Fort Bliss, Texas; died Dec. 3, 2011 in Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. Also killed were Sgt. 1st Class Clark A. Corley Jr., 35, and Spc. Ryan M. Lumley, 21.


Mayberry was posthumously promoted to the rank of Specialist.

All three soldiers were killed when an IED exploded directly beneath the mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle they were in.

Members of 2nd Platoon rescued the platoon medic and the interpreter and pulled Mayberry from the gunner’s hatch. The soldiers attempted many times to extinguish the fire that started and to rescue Corley and Lumley.

"Our nation lost three heroes," Capt. Eddie Rogers said. "The legacies of these men are certain: service to the nation, to the unit and to each other."

Chaplain Hartenberg, during memorial service for the three soldiers, said, "Once again, we are reminded that our soldiers deserve to be honored with the highest, utmost respect," he said. "It is this honor that we give them that helps us in our mourning process. We will miss them and they will be lost and remembered forever."

Spc Mayberry attended school in Clovis, CA from the 6th grade up until the middle of his sophomore year. He transferred to Porterville High School, then graduated from Citrus High in November 2008.

Spc Mayberry joined the Army in January 2009. He was described as "a great warrior who loved being a soldier." He served as an infantryman. After serving a year in Korea, he was reassigned to 2nd Bn, becoming a machine gunner.

Staff Sgt. Steven Rossler, the second platoon weapon's squad leader, said, "Specialist Mayberry…he was one of the hardest working [Soldiers] out in the field, but one of the biggest pains in garrison."

"When he showed up to our company, right away I knew this kid was something special. His motivation and drive to be the best in weapons squad showed every time we had a field problem or just were out back in the motor pool doing crew drills. This world is a lesser place without him in our lives," Rossler said

Aunt Julie Sierker said, "He wasn't going to let anything in his past hold him back," recalling his parents losing custody of him and his brother and that in his early years in Clovis and Porterville, her nephew bounced from one continuation school to the next.

"He came from a rough road. The boys were having a rough time with just Grandma raising them," said Siefker.

His aunt said that what changed him was the Army.

"He wanted to be deployed. He wanted to go fight for his country. He made something of himself and he was so proud of it. He is my hero. Absolutely my hero," said Siefker.

Spc Mayberry's awards and decorations include:

National Defense Service Medal
Korea Defense Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with a Campaign Star
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon

Army Spc. Thomas J. Mayberry was killed in action on 12/03/11.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Clark A. Corley

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. 1st Class Clark A. Corley, 35, of Oxnard, Calif.

SFC Corley was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, Fort Bliss, Texas; died Dec. 3, 2011 in Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. Also killed were Spc. Ryan M. Lumley, 21 and Spc. Thomas J. Mayberry, 21.


All three soldiers were killed when an IED exploded directly beneath the mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle they were in.

Members of 2nd Platoon rescued the platoon medic and the interpreter and pulled Mayberry from the gunner’s hatch. The soldiers attempted many times to extinguish the fire that started and rescue Corley and Lumley.

"Our nation lost three heroes," Capt. Eddie Rogers said. "The legacies of these men are certain: service to the nation, to the unit and to each other."

SFC Corley was remembered as a mentor who always inspired troops to be the best. "He shared his motivation with everyone he knew," Staff Sgt. Daniel Archbell said.

SFC Corley joined Army December 1995. He served as an infantryman.

1st Lt Brian Page, platoon leader for 2nd Platoon, said, “Sergeant First Class Corley was the first soldier I met when I came in as a platoon leader. I leaned on him a lot in the beginning… his opinions were invaluable. He shared a lot about how much he loved and cared for his son and he shared great wisdom about what deployment would be like, the challenges and adjustments I would encounter when I would return home."

“Prior to deployment, Corley ensured all the guys were taken care of as a soldier along with their families," said Page. "While deployed, Corley was a constant mentor to me and always had the guys straight and aware.”

SFC Corley's awards and decorations include:

Army Commendation Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters
Army Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters
Army Good conduct Medal (4)
National Defense Service Medal
Korea Defense Service Medal
Iraqi Campaign Medal with campaign star
Global War on Terrorism Service medal
Army Service Ribbon
Overseas Service Ribbon
Combat Infantryman Badge
Expert Infantryman Badge

Army Sgt. 1st Class Clark A. Corley was killed in action on 12/03/11.

Army Sgt. Ryan Sharp

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Ryan Sharp, 28, of Idaho Falls, Idaho

Sgt Sharp was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.; died Dec. 3, 2011 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Landstuhl, Germany, of wounds suffered Nov. 21 at Kandahar province, when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.


IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -- After arriving in Idaho via charted aircraft on Sunday, the body of U.S. Army Sgt. Ryan David Sharp was laid to rest at Rose Hill Cemetery in Idaho Falls on Monday afternoon.

Sharp died Dec. 3 from injuries sustained in an I.E.D. attack during his third tour of duty in Afghanistan.

At Monday's service, Sharp's sister Michelle Harrison delivered his "Life Sketch." She spoke of a boy who grew up loving childhood.

Harrison spoke of her brother's close relationship with their grandmother, who would often call him, "My Ryan."

Army officials also spoke at the service. Brigadier General Alan Gayhart said Sharp was helping a fellow soldier, Sgt. First Class Murray, when an improvised explosive device detonated Nov. 21.

"Everyone knew Cpl. Sharp," said Gayhart during the service.

Sharp's rank was upgraded from corporal to sergeant after his death.

Graveside, Idaho Governor Butch Otter paid his respects. Flags were presented to Sharp's two young daughters, 8-year-old Sarah and 6-year-old Mia.

The other soldier's in Sharp's company returned home to the U.S. this week. Harrison said the timing was bittersweet, but that Sharp's family is glad his brothers are coming home safely.


Sharp planned to be honorably discharged in May 2012

by Associated Press
KTVB.COM

IDAHO FALLS -- Roughly 200 people gathered at the Idaho Falls Airport to honor the return of a fallen soldier.

Army Sgt. Ryan D. Sharp's body was returned to his family in a ceremonial transfer on Sunday. Family spokeswoman and Sharp's sister-in-law, Karen Sharp, said the family was impressed and overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the community and the Army.

Sharp was serving in Afghanistan when he was injured by an improvised explosive device on Nov. 21. Doctors put him in a medical coma and transferred him to a hospital in Germany for treatment, but he did not survive his wounds. Funeral services were scheduled to begin Monday morning.

Army Spc. Ryan M. Lumley

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Ryan M. Lumley, 21, of Lakeland, Fla.

Spc. Lumley was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, Fort Bliss, Texas; died Dec. 3, 2011 in Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. Also killed were Sgt 1st Class Clark A. Corley Jr. and Spc. Thomas J. Mayberry.


All three soldiers were killed when the vehicle they were riding in ran over an IED in the Wardak Province.

"Our nation lost three heroes," Capt. Eddie Rogers said. "The legacies of these men are certain: service to the nation, to the unit and to each other."

Spc Lumley was born in Greensboro, N.C., and grew up in Cedar Key in Levy County. He moved to Lakeland, Florida a few years ago.

Spc Lumley graduated from Cedar Key High School in 2008, where he still holds the school shot put record. He joined the Army in 2009 and served as an infantryman.

Family and friends described Spc Lumley as "a big guy with a big heart," easy-going, a volunteer by nature and a loving husband and son who always smiled no matter what.

He enjoyed the outdoors, fishing and building forts in the woods.

"He was a good kid … just a good kid," said Lumley's father, Mike Lumley. "He enjoyed helping others."

Chaplain Hartenberg, during memorial service for the three soldiers, said, "Once again, we are reminded that our soldiers deserve to be honored with the highest, utmost respect," he said. "It is this honor that we give them that helps us in our mourning process. We will miss them and they will be lost and remembered forever."

Spc Lumley's awards and decorations include:

Bronze Star
Purple Heart
National Defense Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with a Campaign Star
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Combat and Special Skill Badge Basic Marksmanship Qualification Badge
Bar Weapon: Rifle (Inscription Rifle) Expert
Army Service Ribbon

Spc Lumley is survived by his mother, Jodi; father, Mike and stepmother, Kari; wife, Kimber; siblings, Joshua, Ethan, Camryn.

Army Spc. Ryan M. Lumley was killed in action on 12/3/11.