Dane R. Balcon Memorial Park

 

Assigned to the 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 3rdBrigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas

SPC Dane Balcon was killed September 5, 2007, when an IED detonated near his unit. On the day that SPC Balcon was killed, Dane was scheduled to be off duty, but his commitment to his country and service led him to volunteer for the mission when his team needed another member. Army CPL William “Billy” Warford was also killed.

Born in 1988 at Luke AFB in Arizona, SPC Dane R. Balcon was destined to serve. It came as no surprise to his family that at only three years old, he told his mother he wanted to be a soldier as Dane was born to a family rich in service. He was fourth generation military. Dane had a great-great grandfather who served in WWI at the age of 20, two great grandfathers who served during WWII, a grandfather who served in Vietnam, and is the son of a father that served during the Balkans conflict and a Mother with a 22-year-long Air Force career.

In High School, Dane spent his time in the ROTC program to prepare for his future in the military, and in his senior year, served as the Drill Team Commander of his ROTC unit. He also had a love for playing the snare drum, despite not knowing how to read sheet music. Dane was never one to shy away from a challenge, especially when he believed in himself, so Dane used his passion to become the first-chair snare player on the drum line.

Dane graduated from High Sand Creek High school and enlisted in to the Army in 2007 after attending a semester of college classes. He attended Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma before deploying to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in Balad, Iraq on July 7, 2007 at the age of 19-years-old.

“There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of Dane and the ultimate price he paid and the supreme sacrifice he made for a cause he felt was far greater than himself,” his mother, Carla Sizer, said. “He truly believed in what he was doing and was so proud to have the opportunity to be a soldier and to serve his country.”

The Bronze Star recipient lived a passionate life, fighting earnestly for what he believed in, in the hopes that one day he would help provide the possibility of peace and the chance of a good life for those who had suffered.

When he was just a senior in high school, Dane was asked to write about his greatest fear in an essay, stating:

“When I go, I hope that they remember me and what I did. [I was] once asked what my fear was and I said that mine was failure which is true. But my greatest fear, the thing I fear most is being forgotten, because I will never forget what I have done. I will never forget those days in the sun… thriving in my moments with my brothers in hard earned glory.”

 

SPC Dane Balcon was 19 years old from Glendale, Arizona.

 

American Fallen Soldiers - https://americanfallensoldiers.com/army-spc-dane-balcon/

This park memorial also recognizes those who have served to protect us and the freedoms that we enjoy today.  Please come by to enjoy the park and honor those that sacrificed for us. 

DANE BALCON.jpeg

Balcon Park is owned and managed by Woodmen Hills Parks and Rec.  For park hours and support click the link above. 

Do you have additional information about the fallen soldiers on our memorial wall?  Click Here to email us your information and we will review it to add to our our database

Picture
Name
Rank
Branch
History
Alex D. Wolfsie
AN
US Navy
Alex David Wolfsie passed away on March 10, 2014, as a result of a tragic accident. Alex entered military service with the US Navy on September 25, 2012. After completing basic training at Great Lakes Naval Station north of Chicago, he was sent to Pensacola, Florida to commence his training to be an Avionics Technician. His next stop was San Diego, California for additional training. Alex was then deployed to Guam, arriving there on October 16, 2013, and was undergoing final training before he was to be detached to the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard, based in Japan. Alex will be remembered fondly by his friends and family for his ever present smile, his ability to make anybody laugh and for brightening our lives. The saying there are no strangers, only friends he didn’t meet was never more true than for Alex. But perhaps the best way to put into words the life of someone who was taken from us much too young is to say that Alex wasn’t everybody’s best friend but he was the best friend everybody’s ever had. https://www.cargainfuneralhomes.com/home/index.cfm?action=public:obituaries.view&o_id=2456210&fh_id=10350
Andrew Mark Shaffer Council
SGT
US Army
August 3, 1990 - October 12, 2013 (age 23) Andrew Mark Schaffer Council, age 23, of Lakewood CO, passed away October 12, 2013. He is survived by his parents Karl Council and Pamela Schaffer. Interned at Fort Logan National Cemetery, Denver. https://www.horancares.com/obituary/Andrew-Mark-Schaffer-Council/Lakewood-CO/1304455
Blake A. Harris
SGT
US Army
Assigned to 1st Squadron, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas Army SGT Blake Harris was killed March 5, 2007, by a command-detonated improvised explosive device near his unit in Baqubah, Iraq. Also killed were SPC Ryan D. Russell and PVT Barry W. Mayo. SGT Harris was serving his second deployment to Iraq when he was killed. Blake Harris was born April 25, 1984, to parents John and Deborah in Denver, Colorado. He would be the couple’s first and only son. Blake had worked long and hard to be in the Army—After spending three years with the ROTC at South High School in Pueblo, Colorado, he enlisted in the Army after his graduation in 2002. His mother, Deborah, said her son made his decision after a recruiter came to campus. “He came home and said, ‘Mom, I’m going to join the Army. I’m going to serve my country,’” she recalled. “It was in his blood for sure.” Blake’s father had spent 11 years in the 1st Cavalry Division during Vietnam and Blake followed suit, serving in the 1st Cavalry just like his father. Blake was a self-described class clown. He was known in his close circle to be a ‘master barbecuer’ and his family often teased that he could take forever it seemed to barbecue a chicken, but at least he was good at it. Blake was also a talented wood-worker, but the favorite of his favorite hobbies, besides listening to music where he boasted a very large CD collection, was skateboarding. He had been among a group of teenagers who had lobbied City Council to create a skateboard park for the Pueblo youth. In the spring of 2010, city skate park was officially renamed the “Sergeant Blake A. Harris Skateboard Park.” At the parks re-naming, CPT Lisa Northway, a Fort Carson chaplain, praised Blake for being a role model for Pueblo’s young people. “They will be inspired by Blake Harris and his life,” she told the audience, which included more than a dozen skateboarders in T-shirts and jeans, who were perched on the park’s concrete ramps and steps to listen in the sunshine; it wasn’t hard for his family to imagine Blake among them. SGT Blake Harris is survived by his parents, John and Deborah Harris; wife, Joanna; and son, Jonah. https://americanfallensoldiers.com/army-sgt-blake-a-harris/
Brian D. Allgood
COL
US Army
By TOM ROEDER, THE GAZETTE A Colorado Springs native serving as the top American medical officer in Iraq died in a Sunday January 20, 2007 helicopter crash in Baghdad. Col. Brian D. Allgood, 46 and a 1978 graduate of Air Academy High School, was a doctor in the Army before becoming the command surgeon of Multi-National Forces Iraq, the American military command in Baghdad, his mother Cleo Allgood of Colorado Springs said. He was one of 12 soldiers killed when a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed at 3 p.m. Sunday in northeast Baghdad. The crash remains under investigation, but Iraq security forces leaders have said it was likely shot down by insurgents. The son of an Army doctor and Vietnam veteran, retired Col. Gerald Allgood, Brian Allgood decided in his junior year at Air Academy to follow the family tradition. He won an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point and excelled academically, earning a slot in the University of Oklahoma medical school. “He was very brilliant,” Cleo Allgood said. But Allgood wanted to be more than just a doctor. He was a top-notch soldier who served as a battalion surgeon in the 75th Ranger Regiment and parachuted into Panama in the 1989 Operation Just Cause. His mother said the stint with the Rangers, some of the nation’s toughest airborne troops, fit right in with Allgood’s competitive streak. The hard-charging Allgood tempered his personality with a quick wit and an easy smile, she said. “He had a very good, dry sense of humor,” his mother said. He rose through the military ranks, becoming a full colonel in 2002 and serving in top medical posts in Korea and Germany before he was ordered to Iraq. “He was looking forward to doing the job and from what we hear he was doing a great job,” Cleo Allgood said. Brian Allgood was married to another West Point graduate, Jane Allgood, who is living in Germany with their son, 11-year-old Wyatt. “Brian was a wonderful human being,” his mother said. “He was a wonderful brother, son, husband and father. He just was a giving person who served his country.” https://iraqwarheroes.org/allgood.htm
Caleb Medley
SSG
USMC
Sgt Caleb M. Medley Died: February 26, 2013 Marine Corps officials identified a Marine killed Tuesday in a parachuting accident in Perris, Calif., as Sgt. Caleb M. Medley, 26. Medley, of La Junta, Colo., was an assistant radio operator with 1st Reconnaissance Battalion at Camp Pendleton, 1st Marine Division officials said in a news release. The accident happened during military training at about 3 p.m. near Perris Valley Airport, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. “He ended up landing just north of the airport,” in a fenced-in storage lot, said Sgt. Lisa McConnell, a sheriff’s department spokeswoman. Firefighters responded to the scene, but he was dead when they arrived, McConnell said. Division officials are investigating the cause of the accident. No other details about the incident were released. Perris Valley Airport is located about 30 miles north of Camp Pendleton. Medley, an Iraq and Afghanistan combat veteran, enlisted in May 2005, according to the division. His military awards and decorations include the Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal with "V" and two Combat Action Ribbons. https://www.forcerecon.com/sgt-caleb-medley
Carl J Bryant
SGT
US Army
Christopher A. Anderson
HM3
US Navy
HM3 US Navy 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic, out of Camp Lejeune, NC A graduate of Longmont CO High School, he enlisted in the US Navy in August 2005. While awaiting his Navy school starting date, he competed with Navy SEAL candidates and excelled in Navy academics. At boot camp, he was the honor graduate, voted #1 in his class by his peers and senior staff, and went on to hospital corpsman medical training and advanced combat medical training. He was deployed to Ramadi, Iraq on September 6, 2006 and while there, he earned the affectionate title of "Doc", a title given to Navy hospital corpsmen that have impressed their US Marine Corps counterparts with medical excellence under field combat conditions. He died as a result of enemy action. He was promoted posthumously to the rank of US Navy Corpsman HM3. Interment on December 27, 2006. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/16925844/christopher-alan-anderson
Christopher R. Thibodeau
CW2
US Army
Chief Warrant Officer Christopher R. Thibodeau, 28, of Chesterland, Ohio, died May 26 in Paktika province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when his helicopter crashed during combat operations. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas. Thibodeau's awards and decorations include an Air Medal, two Army Achievement Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon and Army Service Ribbon. He was the beloved husband of LeeSandra of Copperas Cove, TX and the dear son of Robert and Doreen Thibodeau of Chesterland, OH. Chris was the dear brother of Nicole M. Vodicka (Nicholas) of Flower Mound, TX and Michael A. Thibodeau (fiancé, Alison Smith) of Chesterland, OH and the beloved grandson of Dora Walker of Dedham, MA. He was also survived by his Yorkie, Moony Love and his Akita, Nolan Ryan. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/70473959/christopher-r.-thibodeau
Christopher W. Rowland
SPC
US Army
Spc. Christopher W. Rowland, age 21, passed away August 16, 2009 in Teller County, Colorado. He was born on March 3, 1988 in Colorado Springs to William J. and Deborah K. Rowland. He was in the military from 2006 to present, serving in Iraq for 15 months. Army awards include Army Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Driver and Mechanic Badge, Weapons Qualification Badge and Overseas Service Bar. He was also an Eagle Scout. He graduated from Widefield High School in 2006. He is survived by his parents, grandmother, June Wallerstedt and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. https://obits.gazette.com/us/obituaries/gazette/name/christopher-rowland-obituary?pid=131609459
Clint H. Loughmiller JR
SSG
US Army
Staff Sergeant Clint Loughmiller, age 29, of Colorado Springs, stationed with the US Army at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, passed away on May 7, 2011 in Fayetteville, NC. Clint was born on October 11, 1981 in Roswell NM. As a child, Clint enjoyed drawing, music, movies, reading, and spending time with his family. He was a brilliant artist and loved the outdoors. Clint graduated in 2001 from CIVA High School in Colorado Springs. Growing up, Clint had a love for his Japanese culture. He continued in the way of Samurai honor by becoming a master of both the making and wielding of weapons. Clint enjoyed shooting and became a very accomplished marksman. Clint was very talented, and whatever he did, he was a master of his craft. For Clint, becoming an Army Special Forces Green Beret was always his dream from early childhood. Clint joined the army as was a war hero. He served honorably and was decorated for his three war time deployments, two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. After his last deployment, Clint distinguished himself and was chosen to be a candidate for Special Forces Selection School. Clint was a born leader. He led by example demanding no more of anyone than he demanded of himself, which was perfection. People were instantly drawn to him. He had a fantastic sense of humor and was very intelligent and quick witted. Clint loved to travel and he was much beloved in every country he visited from Hungary to the Middle East. In 2003 Clint met the love of his life, Adrienn, and they were married on Valentine's Day 2004. After 8 blissful years of marriage, Adrienn gave birth to their daughter Emma Juliet. Clint was a loving and giving father. He provided for his family so that they would never have any worries or want for anything. He protected them and sacrificed for them. Clint is survived by his wife, Adrienn Loughmiller and daughter, Emma J. Loughmiller of Fayetteville, his mother, June Wigglesworth, grandmother Eiko Wigglesworth, brother William Loughmiller of Honolulu, HI, his father, Bill Loughmiller of Colorado Springs, and brother David Loughmiller of New York. https://obits.gazette.com/us/obituaries/gazette/name/clint-loughmiller-obituary?pid=150980409
Dane R. Balcon
SPC
US Army
SPC Dane R. Balcon was born on 27 April 1988, at Luke AFB, Arizona. In 2007, he enlisted in the Army as a Fire Support Specialist, following graduation from Sand Creek High School, Colorado Springs. He attended Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training with 2nd Platoon, Bravo Battery, 1st Battalion, 40th Field Artillery Regiment, at Fort Sill, OK. Upon graduation from AIT, SPC Balcon received his first assignment to 3rd Squadron 8th Cavalry Regt., 1st Cavalry Division, in Fort Hood, TX. He deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in Balad, Iraq on 7 July 2007 and on 5 September 2007 he completed his mission-doing what he loved - serving his country. SPC Balcon is survived by his mother Carla, her husband Larry Sizer, his brothers Grant and Quinn. Dane is also survived by his father John Balcon and his wife Claire, their children Samuel, Joshua, Brianna, and his sister Allegra, Grandparents CMSgt (ret) Stephen B. Thomas, Jr. (Suzanne), Cynthia B. Thomas, Ernesto Balcon (Yvonne), Kathleen Sizer, Alexie Sizer, Godparents CMSgt (ret) James Davis (Lt Col (ret) Bettye), his Uncle Steve (Trina), Aunts Debbie (Charles), Karen, and Yolanda (Eddie), and a host of great Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, friends, brother-in-arms, and a loving country. Awards and ribbons that SPC Balcon earned while serving his country include: The Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal, Combat Action Badge, National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War On Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Weapons Qualification Badge – Expert w/Rifle.
Daniel A. Bader
SSG
US Army
28 year-old SSG Daniel Bader of York, Neb.; assigned to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Tiger Squadron, Fort Carson, Colo.; killed Nov. 2, 2003 in an attack on a CH-47 Chinook helicopter near Fallujah, Iraq. He joined the National Guard shortly after graduating from high school, going through basic training when he was 17 and joining the Army when he was 18. “He loved it, absolutely loved the military,” his wife said. “He was excited. He wanted to serve his country. I was terrified.” He left with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment for Iraq on April 4. He specialized in anti-aircraft work but was sent to war against an enemy that lacked an air force. He and his troops adapted, learning security tasks that included guarding U.S. convoys. The soldiers of Predator Battery proved just as effective in their new role; not one supply convoy even had a rock thrown at it. It was the Fourth of July, and Predator Battery was going to hold a barbeque with whatever it could find. No one knows where Daniel came up with the 150 chickens, or the salad, or the baked potatoes. He was well known for caring for the troops under his command and took responsibility for providing dinner to 180 soldiers in Iraq. He is survived by his wife Tiffany and daughter. https://www.fallenheroesproject.org/?p=3108
David G. Richerson
SFC
US Army
David George Richerson March 19, 1985 - July 9, 2016 SFC David G. Richerson, a U.S. Army Engineer and Colorado native has died unexpectedly on July 9, 2016 in Washington. He is survived by his mother, Dorothy Lessem; his wife, Melanie Richerson; his son Tylor Richerson, his extended family, and many friends. David was born on March 19, 1985 in Denver, Colorado. After graduating from John F. Kennedy High School, David joined the U.S. Army and served his country proudly as an Engineer. In 2007 he married Melanie whom he had met while stationed in Germany. In 2008 they welcomed their son, Tylor. David was a devoted father, husband, soldier, and friend. He was a problem-solver who never shied away from the biggest challenges. He was also a thinker who appreciated time by himself in nature. David will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and everybody whose lives he touched. http://obits.dignitymemorial.com/dignity-memorial/obituary.aspx?n=David-Richerson&lc=7549&pid=180713032&mid=7013552
Forrest R. Eaton
SGT
US Army
Frank Buoniconti III
CW3
US Army
He died in a helicopter crash. Three other American soldiers were also killed. Frank graduated from Doherty High School in Colorado Springs. Frank followed his father into the military, serving three overseas tours. He joined up because he felt it was the right thing to do. Frank was an amateur chef and loved to cook. Frank is survived by many loving friends and relatives including his mother, Silvia Buoniconti and his father, Frank Buoniconti Sr.; his wife and their four children. https://sanctuaryofmary.blogspot.com/2011/12/frank-buoniconti.html
Garry Forkum
SGT
US Army
23 August 1949-22 December 1968 (19 years old) Garry Michael Forkum is the son of John Oliver and Ruth Forkum, his father being a career military veteran of World War II. By the age of 19 Garry was already a Sargent in Co. D, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 4th Battalion, U.S. Army. Garry, a member of the Baptist faith, died from small arms fire during a firefight in Binh Dinh Province, Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). He is buried in Spring Hill Cemetery, Nashville TN. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/116593154/garry-michael-forkum
Gavin B. Reinke
SSG
US Army
PUEBLO, Colorado. An Army soldier from Pueblo on his second tour of duty in Iraq was killed earlier this week when a roadside bomb detonated near his military vehicle, family and the Department of Defense said Friday. Staff Sergeant Gavin B. Reinke, 32, was one of two soldiers who died after the explosion May 4, 2006 in Baghdad. Also killed was Specialist Bryan L. Quinton, 24, of Sand Springs, Oklahoma. Both men were assigned to the 5th Engineer Battalion, 1st Engineer Brigade at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Reinke's wife, Carole Reinke, said she was told her husband died while trying to help fellow soldiers whose Humvee had been hit by an explosive moments earlier. "That's exactly the kind of person he was," Reinke said from her home in Saint Robert, Mo., where she lives with their 3-year-old daughter, Kayleigh. "He was an amazing man. As a friend, as a father, as a husband, and it carried over to being a soldier." She said her husband wasn't an outgoing person, but once people got to know him, he would do anything to help them. When they lived on base, he would take the time to mow the lawn of his neighbor, a single mother, when he had finished his own, she said. "Everybody that knows him is just as proud as they can be of what he did," Reinke said. Gavin Reinke was born in New Jersey, but his family moved to Pueblo in 1980, his father, Scott Reinke, said. He graduated from Central High School and joined the military in 1996. Carole Reinke said he loved his job and wanted to stay in the Army for at least 20 years. His second tour had begun in November, and his family believed he would have returned to the United States for a break in the summer. "He truly believed in what he was doing," his mother, Karen Reinke, said. When his work day was over, he relaxed by hunting deer, elk and turkeys, fishing and riding all-terrain vehicles -- basically any activity that could be done outdoors, Carole Reinke said. Usually, his young daughter was by his side. "He loved to go fishing with his daughter," Scott Reinke said as he looked at a photo of his son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter, with Kayleigh holding a large catfish. http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/gbreinke.htm
Glenn E. Luhnow
PFC
US Army
Glenn Eugene Luhnow was born on September 9, 1945. According to our records California was his home or enlistment state and San Diego County included within the archival record. We have El Cajon listed as the city. He was drafted into the Army. Entered the service via Selective Service. Served during the Vietnam War. He began his tour on September 5, 1967. Luhnow had the rank of Private First Class. His military occupation or specialty was Light Weapons Infantry. Service number assignment was 56704464. Attached to 25th Infantry Division, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry, D Company. During his service in the Vietnam War, Army Private First Class Luhnow experienced a traumatic event which ultimately resulted in loss of life on October 14, 1967. Recorded circumstances attributed to: Died through hostile action, small arms fire. Incident location: Ho Bo Woods, South Vietnam, Binh Duong province. Glenn Eugene Luhnow is buried or memorialized at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, San Diego County, California. This is a National American Cemetery administered through the Department of Veteran's Affairs. Glenn is honored on the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Washington DC. Name inscribed at VVM Wall, Panel 28e, Line 2. https://www.honorstates.org/index.php?id=285021
Grant A. Wichmann
SGT
US Army
While Grant was growing up he enjoyed sports of all kinds and played on youth soccer and football teams. In the winter his interests turned to snowboarding and he was very good at it. Actually, Grant loved and enjoyed life and lived it to the fullest. He enjoyed music and was an accomplished guitarist, looking forward to pursuing this interest with his brother and friends on his return from Afghanistan. After much soul searching, Grant joined the army in September 2007. Soon after basic training he married his dream girl on December 22, 2007. Following additional, more specialized, training Grant was deployed to Afghanistan in mid-2009. Soon after he left his son was born on June 19, 2009. Grant came home on leave later in the year and, after meeting his son, reaffirmed his belief in all that he was fighting for. This young man was one that his fellow soldiers trusted their lives to and he never let them down. They gave him their friendship and respect; and Grant returned those feelings. Sergeant Grant Arthur Wichmann was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star in addition to previously earned military honors. Grant was the son of a Vietnam era Sergeant and both his grandfathers were veterans--Staff Sergeant Alvin Edward Wichmann, World War II, and Technical Sergeant James Morrow Noland, Korea. Sgt. Grant A. Wichmann, 27, of Golden, Colo., died April 24 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C., of wounds sustained March 12 when enemy forces attacked his unit using small arms fire at Out Post Bari Alai, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/51791243/grant-arthur-wichmann
Herman L. Knapp
COL
USAF
Herman Ludwig Knapp (born 11 April 1929) was a US Air Force colonel who was declared "missing in action" on 24 April 1967 during the Vietnam War. Herman Ludwig Knapp was born in Roselle, Union County, New Jersey in 1929, and he married Helene Knapp, a Colorado Springs resident, in June 1952. Knapp rose to the rank of Colonel in the US Air Force, and he served in the Vietnam War. On 24 April 1967, he and navigator Charles Austin flew from the Ubon Airfield in Thailand to bomb a five-span bridge four miles north of the city center of Hanoi, North Vietnam with the goal of severing the country's rail links with communist China. During their strike, their plane was struck by a flak burst, disintegrated, and fell to the ground in a fireball. The two men were declared "missing in action", as they were believed by some to have bailed out of their aircraft before the explosion, but, eleven years later, Knapp was declared legally dead. His wife Helene became an activist for the POW/MIA cause. https://historica.fandom.com/wiki/Herman_L._Knapp
James E. Kinnard
SP4
US Army
ARMY SPC ,CO C, 1ST BN, 8TH CAV, 1ST CAV DIV (AMBL) 03/07/1969, HAU NGHIA PROVINCE, VIETNAM. James Edward Kinnard was born June 12, 1948 in Cherry Point, North Carolina near Camp Lejeune. He grew up in a Marine Corps family that moved frequently across the country. https://www.fallenheroesproject.org/?p=14031&cpage=1
James E. Thode
SFC
USANG
James Earl Thode Jim was born in Show Low, Arizona, on September 27, 1965. He was killed while on active duty in Afghanistan by a roadside bomb on December 2, 2010 (Afghan time). Jim was a Sergeant 1st Class with the 118 Sappers of the Utah National Guard. At age three, Jim and his family moved to Tucson, Arizona, where he graduated from Catalina High School and the University of Arizona. Jim was a sergeant on the Farmington, New Mexico Police Department where he served for 14 years. He was awarded Supervisor of the Year in 2009. Jim is survived by his wife, Carla; daughter, Ashley and son, Thomas all of Kirtland, New Mexico; his mother, Eve and stepfather, Ron Taylor of Pagosa Springs, Colorado. He is also survived by his father, Ernest Thode and Mary Thode; his sisters both of Tucson, Arizona and his grandmother, Olive Myers of Payson, Arizona. https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/tucson/name/james-thode-obituary?pid=147098935
James Gregory Ryan Sartor
SGM
US Army
Sergeant Major James Gregory Ryan Sartor, age 40, was killed in action in the service of his country on July 13, 2019 in Faryab Province, Afghanistan. He was a dedicated husband, father, career Soldier, and a Special Forces Green Beret. Ryan resided with his family in Falcon, Colorado for 11 years and as a native Texan, maintained a permanent residence in Teague, Texas. At the time of his death, he was Sergeant Major of A Co, 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) out of Fort Carson, Colorado, where he was a leader who led with muddy boots. Ryan was born on September 23, 1978 to James Sartor and Mary Teresa (Terri) Pryor in Teague, Texas. He graduated from Teague High School with the class of 1997 where he was a standout football player. After high school, Ryan moved to College Station, TX to work and met the love of his life, Deanna Unger, in the fall of 2000. Ryan and Deanna began dating in February 2001 and were married on June 29, 2002 in Odessa, Texas. Ryan answered the call to serve and joined the Army in June 2001, becoming an infantryman in the 3rd Infantry Division where he quickly deployed to help lead the Invasion of Iraq in 2002. Upon completion of his first combat deployment he continued to advance and after being selected for the Special Forces Qualification Course he earned his Green Beret and was assigned to A Co, 2nd Battalion, 10th SFG(A) in Fort Carson, Colorado where he served for the next 14 years. During his career, Ryan defined the 10th Special Forces Group motto, “Quiet Professional,” and deployed numerous times to include additional combat operations in Iraq in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010-2011, Germany and Israel in 2008, Africa in 2012 and 2013, and Afghanistan in 2017 and 2019. Ryan always assured his combat stripes outnumbered his service stripes and in doing so became highly decorated. Ryan’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal, Presidential Unit Citation Award, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Valorous Unit Award with two oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Unit Citation with one oak leaf cluster and National Defense Service Medal, among others. He has been posthumously awarded the Purple Heart medal and Bronze Star medal. Ryan also earned the Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, where he earned the title of Honor Grad, Combat Infantryman Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, Special Operations Diver Badge and Dive Supervisor Badge. Ryan loved life to the fullest and was known and highly respected for his kind yet focused soul. He was a beloved friend, neighbor, and brother in arms who lived to be with his family in the outdoors; camping, hiking or finding an adventure. Ryan loved and was deeply loved in return as he lived a life of purpose many only dream about. He was an inspiration, a warrior, a mentor, but first and foremost a family man who left an indelible legacy in the world he left behind through his wife and three children. Ryan is survived by his loving wife, Deanna; his three beautiful children, Stryder, Grace and Garrett; his parents, Mary Teresa (Terri) Pryor and James Sartor; his sister, Crista Brooner; half-sister, Shae Sartor; and his grandmother, Patricia Pryor. He was preceded in death by his great grandmother, Mary Pryor, his grandfather Harold Pryor and his grandmother Carmie Sartor.
John A. Chapman
TSgt
USAF
John Allan Chapman (July 14, 1965 – March 4, 2002) was a Combat Controller in the United States Air Force who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor on August 22, 2018 for his actions in the Battle of Takur Ghar during the War in Afghanistan. He is the first airman to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War. Chapman was inducted into the Hall of Heroes on August 23, 2018, and posthumously promoted to Master Sergeant on the following day. Chapman was also the first Air Force Combat Controller to be awarded the Air Force Cross before the award was subsequently upgraded to the Medal of Honor. John Chapman was born July 14, 1965, in Springfield, Massachusetts, and grew up in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. In 1983 he graduated from Windsor Locks High School. The citation accompanying his upgrade to the Medal of Honor reads as follows: Technical Sergeant John A. Chapman distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism as an Air Force Special Tactics Combat Controller, attached to a Navy Sea, Air, and Land (SEAL) Team conducting reconnaissance operations in Takur Ghar, Afghanistan, on March 4, 2002. During insertion, the team's helicopter was ambushed causing a teammate to fall into an entrenched group of enemy combatants below. Sergeant Chapman and the team voluntarily reinserted onto the snow-capped mountain, into the heart of a known enemy stronghold to rescue one of their own. Without regard for his own safety, Sergeant Chapman immediately engaged, moving in the direction of the closest enemy position despite coming under heavy fire from multiple directions. He fearlessly charged an enemy bunker, up a steep incline in thigh-deep snow and into hostile fire, directly engaging the enemy. Upon reaching the bunker, Sergeant Chapman assaulted and cleared the position, killing all enemy occupants. With complete disregard for his own life, Sergeant Chapman deliberately moved from cover only 12 meters from the enemy, and exposed himself once again to attack a second bunker, from which an emplaced machine gun was firing on his team. During this assault from an exposed position directly in the line of intense fire, Sergeant Chapman was struck and injured by enemy fire. Despite severe, mortal wounds, he continued to fight relentlessly, sustaining a violent engagement with multiple enemy personnel before making the ultimate sacrifice. By his heroic actions and extraordinary valor, sacrificing his life for the lives of his teammates, Technical Sergeant Chapman upheld the highest traditions of military service and reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force. The ceremony took place Wednesday 22 August 2018.[15] On 23 August 2018, Chapman was inducted into the Hall of Heroes during a ceremony at the Pentagon, which was attended by family and teammates.[16] On 24 August 2018, Chapman was posthumously promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant and his name was added to the Medal of Honor wall at the Air Force Memorial. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_A._Chapman
Joshua B. Silverman
CW2
US Army
Died December 18, 2013 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom 35, of Scottsdale, Ariz.; assigned to 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.; died Dec. 18 in Now Bahar, Afghanistan, in a helicopter crash. Silverman, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joshua B. December 17, 2013 beloved husband of Tina Silverman; dear son of Barry and Susan Silverman; dear brother of the late Sarah Silverman; dear grandson of the late Edward and the late Sophie Silverman and the late Marvin "Murph" and the late Pearl Haffner; dear nephew of Nancy (Alvin Reiter, MD) Haffner Reiter, Randy Haffner and Michael Haffner; dear son in law of Frank (Wendy) Tyler and Linda Lemmer-Tyler; dear brother in law of Major Bruce L. (Lindsey)Tyler, Michael D. Tyler, Ashley (Brandon) Eaves and Hayley Tyler. Our dear cousin and friend. https://thefallen.militarytimes.com/army-chief-warrant-officer-2-joshua-b-silverman/6568538 https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/stltoday/name/joshua-silverman-obituary?id=2994679
Joshua J. Robinson
SGT
USMC
Sgt. Joshua J. Robinson, 29, of Omaha, Neb., died Aug. 7, 2011 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. The Marines were assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. Sgt. Joshua James Robinson, 29, died Sunday, August 7, 2011 in Sangin District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Joshua was born on October 28, 1981 in Hastings, at Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital to Steven A. and Misi Lea (Meyer) Robinson of Nelson. Survivors include his wife of Rhonda Robinson of Bennington and sons, Kodiak and Wyatt Robinson both of Bennington; mother and step-father, Misi (Robinson) Moser and Jim Moser, Honolulu, Hawaii; father-in-law and mother-in-law Robert and Ruth Zaruba of Bennington; grandparents: Eileen Robinson of Hastings, Dorothy Moser of Manhattan, Kan.; and grandmother-in-law, Rita Zaruba of Fullerton; sisters and families: Angela S. and Allen Johnson and , Dylan, Adam and Abby of Nowata, Okla., Stacy L. and Blake Horst of Vass, N.C.: step sisters and families: Julie and JR Streff and Taylor and Jenna of Topeka, Kan.; Tami and Carl Ellett of Hermosa Beach, Calif. Joshua was preceded in death by his father, Steven A. Robinson. Other survivors include: Nephew Andy Hard of Oakhurst, Calif., niece, Shonnie Hard of Oakhurst, Calif., Shannon and Brett Wilson and Riley and Kennedy of San Diego, Calif.; Monica and Mark Pardue and Stephanie and Samantha of Oakhurst, Calif.; Stephanie and Patrick Engelkins and Pierce, Mac Kinzie and Sydney of Colorado Springs, Col.; and Toni Benson and Adley and Aiden of Colorado Springs, Col. Sisters-in-law and families: Rachel and Patrick Michael and LeaAnn and Brandon of Omaha; Renae Zaruba of Omaha; Regina and Josh Lewis and Savannah and Lakyn of Hastings. Uncles and spouses: Greg and Coleen Meyer. Beatrice; Craig and Sheri Meyer, Grand Island; and Scott and Dawn Robinson of Hastings. Aunts and spouses: Susi Rinker, Hastings; Linda Robinson of Nashville, Tenn., and Anne and Barry Anderson of New Castle, Col. Also, numerous cousins, extended family and friends Josh grew up in the Nelson/Oak, Nebraska area until he was 9. The family moved to Aurora, Colo. area for 10 years. Josh graduated from Overland High School in 2000. The family moved back to La Vista, Nebraska in 2000. Josh attended Metro College for 2 years. Josh met Rhonda Zaruba a 1994 Bennington High School graduate and they were married in November of 2004. Josh and Rhonda have two sons, Kodiak age 5 and Wyatt age 4. He was also preceded in death by his grandparents, Al Robinson, Harlan and Kathryne Meyer and Glen Moser; step sister, Shonnie Hard; and uncles, Leonard Robinson and David Robinson. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/74658188/joshua-james-robinson
Justin Whiting
SSG
US Army
Staff Sgt. Justin R. Whiting, 27, was killed in action on Jan. 19, 2008 when his vehicle was struck by an IED while conducting combat operations 16 kilometers south of Mosul, Iraq. He was a Special Forces medical sergeant assigned to Company B, 3 rd Battalion, 5 th Special Forces Group (Airborne). He has had two previous combat tours to Iraq in 2004 and 2005 with 3 rd Bn., 5 th SFG(A), and was on his third combat tour in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Global War on Terrorism. Whiting was born in Texas and his military records list his home of record as Tennessee. He volunteered for military service and enlisted in the Army on Dec. 15, 1999. He would go on to earn the coveted “Green Beret” in 2000. Whiting’s military education includes; the Special Operations Target Interdiction Course, the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Course; Basic Noncommissioned Officer’s Course, Warrior Leaders Course, Basic Airborne Course, and Special Forces Qualification Course. His awards and decorations include; the Bronze Star Medal, two Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, two Army Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global on War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, two Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbons, Army Service Ribbon, Combat Medical Badge, Parachutist Badge, and Special Forces Tab. https://iraqwarheroes.org/whiting.htm
Kerry J. Brammer
SSG
CG, US Army
Born 28 November 1966 Died in line of duty 5 August 2005 (38 years old), Fairbanks AK Buried in Arlington National Cemetery Wife: Misty J Brammer, Colorado Springs CO https://billiongraves.com/grave/Kerry-Jack-Brammer/10352962 Staff Sergeant Kerry Jack Brammer was born on November 28, 1966, in Los Angeles, California to the late Anna Mae “Punk” Rollenhagen. He was raised in Grand Haven, Michigan in which he always referred to as home. After his mom passed, he maintained close relationships with his grandfather and two aunts, Charlene and Jackie Rollenhagen. He loved the Michigan water, piers and lighthouses. There is no doubt his favorite lighthouse always guided him home. At the tender age of eighteen, Kerry joined the United States Army. During his lifetime he also served in the Coast Guard and National Guard. After a break in military service, Kerry rejoined the Army in 2000 as a medic and his assignment was to Ft Wainwright, Alaska. He earned many awards and medals, gaining the respect of his commanding officers, those that worked for him and the local medical community. He was affectionately referred to as “Doc”. At his memorial, his commanding officer said no other unit was better trained or equipped for their first deployment as a result of Kerry’s work. His dedication as a soldier and deep concern for the safety and well-being of his unit was immeasurable. In the end, it was looking out for his soldiers that served as his last great act. Soon after arriving in Alaska, he met his “Alaskan Angel”, Misty J Brammer who later became his wife. He was a loving father of three, Kyle, Alek (“Little Big Man”) and Phoenix (“Goo”). Kerry and Misty raised two of Kerry’s three children. Now adults, his children describe him just as he was- loving, kind, loyal, hardworking, silly, wise and truly remarkable. While young at the time of his death, he left deep impressions on them of who he was and his values are forever in their memory. He now has grandchildren who his legacy will live through. Kerry lived life to the fullest. He loved music and listened to every genre of it. While we wish we could say his dancing was as good as his taste in music, we idolized his effort and the fun he had trying! He loved motorcycles and looked forward to buying his first Harley Davidson (a post deployment goal). He loved traveling and learning about different cultures and would try just about any type of food, but had a fondness for good cheese and pickles. As a surviving military spouse and his children, it’s probably customary for us to remember him best dressed in his Class A’s, but he’ll be better remembered wearing his oversized Shrek slippers running around the house. We miss his laugh, sense of humor, unconditional love, human kindness, willingness to be vulnerable and philosophical rantings of that beautiful mind. We know he is still watching over us. He will forever be a part of our hearts.
Kristopher B. Domeij
SFC
US Army
Kristoffer Bryan Domeij (October 5, 1982 – October 22, 2011) (29 years old) was a United States Army soldier who is recognized as the U.S. soldier with the most deployments to be killed in action; before his death he had fourteen deployments over ten years. He served four deployments in Iraq and at least nine in Afghanistan; he trained as a Joint Terminal Attack Controller and was recognized as epitomizing the Ranger motto "Rangers lead the way". After a distinguished and highly decorated career, he was killed by a roadside improvised explosive device, along with two other Rangers, in Kandahar Province in Afghanistan. He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Lacey, Thurston County, Washington, USA. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kristoffer_Domeij
Kyle W. Powell
CPL
USMC
Kyle W. Powell, age 21, was killed in action near Fallujah, Iraq, while on patrol with the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, on November 4, 2006. Kyle, son of David and Nancy Powell, and brother to Megan, is also survived by his grandparents, Horace and Betty Pfander, numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and caring friends. Kyle was born December 14, 1984, at Ft. Carson Army Hospital. He lived in Aurora, CO from October 1986 to August 1996, where he attended St. Therese Catholic School and began his scouting career in Cub Scouts. After returning to Colorado Springs, he attended Oak Creek Elementary, Broadmoor Elementary, Cheyenne Mountain Junior High, graduating in 2003 from Cheyenne Mountain High School. He had also attended the Pikes Peak Community College vocational Criminal Justice Program during his last two years of high school. Kyle was active in Boy Scout Troop 1, becoming an Eagle Scout and a member of the Order of the Arrow. As the son of two career Army officers, it seemed he was destined to join the military. He joined the Marines after graduation and attended boot camp in San Diego in the fall of 2003. After attending the Combat Engineering School at Camp Lejeune, NC, he returned to Camp Pendleton. His first overseas assignment was to Kuwait, also spending time in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Baharain and Iraq, working in multiple capacities. On his second tour, he was stationed in Ramadi, Iraq, attached to the 3rd of the 7th Infantry where he went on 120 missions in seven months. He received the Navy Achievement Medal for building a bunker he designed and constructed that withstood several rocket-propelled grenades, preventing the injury of the Marines inside. In August 2006 he deployed for the third time, this time to Fallujah, Iraq, attached to the 2nd and 3rd Reconnaissance Units. He knew it was dangerous duty but felt he was well trained and prepared. Kyle showed great courage and love for his fellow man. Kyle's friends said he was a great inspiration, never backing away from a challenge and was always seeking that greater thrill. He was a hero to us all. Semper Fi. https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/gazette/name/kyle-powell-obituary?pid=19894109
Larry R. Smith
RD3
US Navy
Levi John Horn
SFC
US Army
23 May 1942-29 May 2003 (61 years old) Died in Colorado Springs CO. Buried in Fairview Cemetery, Fountain, El Paso County, CO. Served in Vietnam. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/31459945/levi-john-horn
Liam Nevins
SFC
US Army
09/11/1981 – 09/21/2013 OEF Company B, 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Sgt. 1st Class. Liam Jules Nevins, 32, of Denver, Colo., died Sep. 21, 2013, of wounds received from small-arms fire in Paktika Province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Company B, 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Fort Carson, Colo., and was deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan. This was Nevins’ third deployment to Afghanistan. Nevins was born on Sept. 11, 1981 in Middlebury, Vt. Nevins enlisted in the U.S. Army under the delayed entry program prior to his graduation from Bristol Borough High School. Upon entering active duty, he was assigned to Co. A, 2nd Bn., 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C. Shortly after being promoted to the rank of sergeant, he deployed with Co. A in 2003 as a rifle team leader in support of Operations Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan. He completed two more deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan in 2004 and 2005. After leaving active duty service, Nevins attended Metropolitan State College of Denver from Aug. 2006 to May 2009. At Metropolitan State College he received a Bachelor of Science in business finance. In May of 2009, he enlisted into the Colorado Army National Guard as a future Special Forces communications sergeant. Nevins attended the Special Forces Qualification Course at Fort Bragg, N.C. from Jan. 2010 until his successful graduation in Aug. 2011. He was then assigned to Co. B, 5th Bn., 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Fort Carson, Colo. His military education includes Basic Airborne Course, Primary Leadership Development Course, Advanced Leaders Course, Static Line Jumpmaster Course, Reconnaissance Surveillance Leaders Course, Ranger School, Arabic Special Operations Language Training Course, Special Forces Qualification Course, and the Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat Course. His awards include two Purple Hearts, three Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, Valorous Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, three Afghanistan Campaign Medals, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NATO Medal, two Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbons, Army Service Ribbon, Army Overseas Service Ribbon, Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, Colorado Meritorious Service Medal, and the Colorado Active Service Medal. He was posthumously promoted to Sergeant First Class. He is survived by his mother, his father, two sisters, and his fiancé. https://greenberetfoundation.org/memorial/liam-j-nevins/
Luis G. Serrano
SSG
US Army
Army Sgt. Luis G. Serrano died Sunday, March 4, 2012. He was assigned to a chemical reconnaissance detachment in the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne). He served three tours in Iraq and one in Djibouti, Africa. His decorations included the Army Commendation Medal and Army Achievement Medal. He was survived by his wife, Jocelyn, and two sons, D'Angelo and Davin. https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/tampabaytimes/name/luis-serrano-obituary?pid=156309953
Matthew A. Commons
CPL
US Army
CPL Matthew A. Commons, from Boulder City, Nevada, served with the 1/75 Ranger Battalion, A Company from April 4, 2001 until his death on March 4, 2002. CPL Matthew A. Commons, from Boulder City, Nevada, served with the 1/75 Ranger Battalion, A Company from April 4, 2001 until his death on March 4, 2002. CPL Matthew A. Commons completed basic infantry training and advanced individual training in the military operational specialty of infantryman at Fort Benning, Georgia. After basic infantry training, he attended a two-week school for the Javelin missile while awaiting his rotation into jump school. He attended Airborne School and Ranger Indoctrination Program (RIP) and completed his training at Fort Benning, Georgia. On April 4, 2001, he was assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment 1st Battalion, 1st Platoon, A Company at Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah, Georgia. Although he trained as a SAW gunner, Corporal Commons was a M203 Grenade Launcher Gunner while assigned to 1st Battalion. When 9/11 ripped America’s sense of security apart, there was a foreboding. Matt was hoping to attend Ranger School but instead begin training for war in earnest. December 10, 2001, Matt was given a 10-day pre-deployment leave. He could not tell his family where he was going; just that he was being deployed. A few days after Christmas 2001, the 1st Ranger Battalion, A Company, deployed to Baghram, Afghanistan. Matthew celebrated his 21st birthday in Afghanistan, just two weeks before his death. Matt was killed while fighting the Taliban and Al-Qaeda during Operation Anaconda, the Battle of Takur Ghar, in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He died March 3, 2002, in combat after enemy gunfire forced down a MH-47 Chinook helicopter, in which he and his fellow Rangers were aboard. Matt started life in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on February 18, 1981, and lived in Indianapolis, Indiana, Morrison, Colorado, and Boulder City, Nevada, where he called "home". Matt attended most of his grade school and all of middle and high schools in Boulder City. Playing soccer was one of Matt’s loves, which he started at the age of 5 and continued playing soccer until he graduated from high school. He played basketball for a year in middle school and played floor hockey, roller hockey, and baseball in elementary and middle school. Matt loved roller hockey and spent a lot of time in the penalty box for roughing opponents. He said that hockey was the only sport where you could legally fight and only get a penalty for it. Matt was competitive and loved sports. He loved playing computer and video games. As long as Matt was in the house, there was noise, music, talking and laughter. Matt loved his music and was always singing and dancing. Matt always wanted to be in the military. He talked about it all his life. In high school he wrote a paper that stated that he owed his country two things: to vote and to serve his country in the military. He was fascinated with special operations and so decided on the Rangers. He wanted action and challenge. After high school, Matt wanted to enlist in the military, but his parents talked him out of it. So he attended the University of Nevada, Reno for a year. He truly enjoyed college life and his freedom—especially snowboarding, and that's why he wasn't invited back after his first year. On July 7, 2000 he enlisted in the Army and selected the path to become a Ranger. As a Ranger, Corporal Commons distinguished himself as a member of the Army’s premier light-infantry unit and was a highly trained and motivated soldier. He was posthumously promoted to corporal from private first class. Matt was only with Battalion for a year. But he loved what he was doing, loved his Ranger Brothers, and was extremely proud to be an Army Ranger! https://arits.org/index.php/biographies/333-cpl-matthew-commons
Maximiliaan Van Bergen
SFC
US Army
Noah H. Harter
PVT
USMC
Noah Henry Harter, 25, died unexpectedly in Colorado Springs, Colo., on May 12, 2015. He was a Marine, a student, a son, a brother, grandson, friend and entrepreneur. Noah was born on Nov. 26, 1989, in Dayton, Ohio, to Mark and Kimberly (Krawiecki) Harter. He was a 2008 graduate of Rampart High School in Colorado Springs. He joined the United States Marine Corps and trained as a Field Radio Operator at Camp Pendleton and 29 Palms, Calif. He had two overseas tours in the Marine Corps — the first in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and later in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He attained the rank of Lance Corporal and is remembered by comrades as a trustworthy leader and a loyal friend. While serving his country in the armed forces, Noah achieved expert marksmanship in several weapon systems, and received numerous medals including the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Good Conduct Medal. Noah attended the University of Colorado–Colorado Springs pursuing a business and accounting major. Most recently he worked for Northwestern Mutual as a college financial representative. Noah also was co-owner of his own online business, EvoWear, LLC., which is a business for the evolution of winter wear. He had a love for music and composed many songs, complete with lyrics. He was an expert guitarist, and enjoyed snowboarding, bowling, golf and pool. Noah dearly loved animals, especially his canine companion “Melo,” the “marshmellow.” He was an excellent creative cook, wine connoisseur and fitness buff. He and Melo often would run up the Manitou Incline twice a day. He best will be remembered for his love of family, generosity, loyalty, sense of humor and his wonderful smile. Noah is survived by his parents, Mark and Kimberly Harter of Colorado Springs; his sisters, Joanna and Kristina Harter of Colorado Springs; his paternal grandparents, Wayne and Helen Harter of Jefferson, Wis.; and his maternal grandfather, Severin Krawiecki of Buckman, Minn. He also has numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by his beloved grandmother, Darlene Krawiecki. https://www.dailyunion.com/obituaries/noah-henry-harter-25-colorado-springs-colo/article_ca930fc6-fd6f-11e4-902e-b3ab7573c7ba.html
Nolan E. Stites
PV2
US Army
Nolan E. Stites, 18, of Colorado Springs Colo., died Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2000, at Ft. Leonard Wood, where he was engaged in basic training in an early-entry program. Pvt. Stites was an Army reservist with C Company 52nd Engineering Battalion. He was born Aug. 31, 1981, in Colorado Springs to Richard R. and Marilyn A. Stites, who survive. Mr. Stites was a member of Vista Grande Church, the Colorado Springs Muzzle Loaders and the NRA. Also surviving him are three sisters, Lara Rae Morris and Brenda and Trisha Stites, all of Colorado Springs; his paternal grandmother, Jessie Stites of Colorado Springs, a former Iberia resident; and his maternal grandmother, Jeanette Mertens of Union, Missouri. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/40358951/nolan-edward-stites
Quincy Johnson
CPT
US Army
Richard Ferguson
MSG
US Army
Army Master Sgt. Richard L. Ferguson 45, of Conway, N.H.; assigned to the 10th Special Forces Group, Fort Carson, Colorado was killed March 30 while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom when the military vehicle he was riding in rolled over in Samarra, Iraq. Ferguson was assigned to the Army’s 10th Special Forces Group based at Fort Carson. Ferguson grew up in Coventry, R.I., where his father, Lee Ferguson, still lives. “He was military all the way,” the father told Rhode Island television stations. “He did what he had to do.” MSG Ferguson had served in Bosnia, Germany, Iraq, and elsewhere, but his missions and deployments were often kept secret. “What went on, he left at work or with the guys,” said his father. “When he came home, he laughed, he joked, he went camping with the kids, he went on trips, he worked around the house.” He joined the Army, becoming a career military man. “Once he got in, he loved it and he stayed with it. That was his home,” he father said. He was also a history buff, and spent 20 years putting together a family tree tracing his roots back to the 1700s, the family said. In his early days in the Army, Ferguson had premonitions about his death. He’d wake up in a cold sweat after bad dreams, his brother recalled. Ferguson’s Rhode Island family members remember him for his dedication and bravery. “He was strong-willed,” his father recalled. Despite being a member of an elite military force, Ferguson was humble, more often found in fatigues than in his dress uniform. He turned down a promotion that would have taken him out of the field, his father said. “He wasn’t a person to stand out there and say, ‘Look what I did,’ ” his father said. “He liked being in the field. He was behind the scenes. He was a team leader.” His father would sometimes spot his son on television, recognizing Richard by the way he walked or moved his hand or held a cigarette. Master Sergeant Richard L. Ferguson is survived by his parents, his wife, a brother, and a sister, who all still reside in Coventry, and his 4 children. http://48sfa.org/Taps/Ferguson_Richard_L_MSG.php
Richard McShan
CPL
USMC
Marine Corporal Richard McShan, formerly of Colorado Springs, Colorado, beloved son of Paul and Angelika McShan. Cpl Richard McShan passed away while on active duty with the United States Marine Corps. He was with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Fox Company based out of Twentynine Palms, California. An excerpt from Marine Parents: Ricky McShan, who had been deployed once to Iraq and once to Afghanistan, had recently re-enlisted. He was scheduled to join a company preparing for deployment to Afghanistan. Busy with the process of leaving Twentynine Palms, he did not attend the suicide-prevention session. His memorial service at the base chapel reflected the heightened attention suicide is getting among the troops. It was more a warning than a remembrance. “My sole purpose in being here today is to keep someone else from feeling this pain,” McShan told the gathering of Fox Company, in which his son had served. He stood before pews of Marines in camouflage uniforms and told them that standing at his son’s bedside in the hospital and watching him die “is the most miserable feeling you can have. Don’t let what I feel now happen to your parents.” Cpl Richard McShan lost his battle with PTS on April 1, 2009. He was 23 years old. https://www.lutzlivetotell.org/richard-mcshan-23/
Rob L. Nichols
SPC
US Army
Spc. Rob L. Nichols, 24, of Colorado Springs, Colo., died July 23, in Soltan Kheyl, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device. They were assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga. SPC Rob Lee Nichols, United States Army, age 24, a resident of Colorado Springs for 20 years, passed away on July 23, 2013 during an Active Duty tour in Afghanistan. He was a loving son, grandson, brother, and friend. Rob was born on December 29, 1988 in Rapid City, South Dakota. He was a 2007 graduate of Sand Creek High School and a graduate of WyoTech in Laramie, Wyoming. He enlisted in the United States Army in 2010 and was stationed at Fort Stewart, Georgia. Rob served in two overseas deployments: a tour in Iraq beginning March 2011 and most recently in Afghanistan beginning February 2013. Rob loved the outdoors! He enjoyed riding dirt bikes and ATVs, four wheeling, camping, snowboarding, and playing ice hockey. He is survived by his mother, Donna (husband, Robert) Ribisi of Colorado Springs; his father, Bruce (wife, Jeanne) Nichols of Denver; his brother, Chad Ribisi of Colorado Springs; his sister, Molly Nichols of Denver; and his grandparents: Shelby and Judy Moore; and Neil and Beverly Nichols. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/114355339/rob-l-nichols
Robert "Mike" Shetler
SSG
US Army
While assigned to 748th ordinance company of the 71st Ordinance Group at Fort Carson, SSG Shetler drowned in the Skagway Reservoir in May 2011. He was 27 years old. https://www.denverpost.com/2011/05/31/fort-carson-soldier-drowns-in-skagway-reservoir/
Robert J. Long
Capt
USAF
Capt Robert J. Long was born on 7 November 1967 to Michael and Charlotte Long in Tishomingo, OK. He graduated from Wheat Ridge High School, CO in 1986. Robert attended the University of Colorado Boulder where he became a member of the Pershing Rifle Team. He graduated in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He was commissioned as an Air Force 2nd Lieutenant in May 1990 by Lieutenant Colonel Corry Mordeaux. Capt Long attended training at Tyndall AFB, FL, and Tinker AFB, OK before going to his first operational assignment at the 961st Airborne Air Control Squadron, Kadena AB, Japan, where he served as a Weapons Director and instructor from November 1991 to May 1995. Capt Long deployed to Panama several times to fight the President’s War on Drugs and coordinated deployments to Cope Thunder, PACAFs largest war-fighting exercise. In September 1992, he commissioned his sister, Kathleen Long, as an Air Force 2nd Lieutenant. Capt Long upgraded to Senior Director and then transferred to the 962nd Airborne Air Control Squadron, Elmendorf AFB, AK. He loved the outdoors and organized several adventures in his short time in Alaska, including trips to remote Forest Service cabins. Captain “Cowboy” Long was Senior Director on Yukla 27. He, along with 23 other flight crew members on board, perished on 22 September 1995, when the starboard side engines of their flight suffered a catastrophic bird strike. His military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (Posthumous), the Aerial Achievement Medal (First Oak Leaf Cluster), the Air Force Commendation Medal, and the 18th Wing’s 1992 Top Gun award. https://www.colorado.edu/afrotc/about-us/remembering-our-fallen/captain-robert-john-long
Ronald L.Barley
TSgt
USAF
Ryan E. Reed
SPC
US Army
11 November 1983-29 April 2004 (20 years old, in Iraq) PFC Ryan E. Reed of Colorado Springs, Colorado joined the Army in September looking for a better life and some money for college so he could become a teacher. He entered combat a few months later. Ryan was supposed to return to Germany the month before, but stayed in Iraq after a growing insurgency stopped military plans to move troops out as fresh ones arrived. Alicia Reed said she knew something was wrong when her husband of four months didn't call on April 30. He called nearly every morning from Iraq or e-mailed her. She was about to e-mail him when the officers came to the door. He was as serious about his faith as he was about his humor. The two met in high school. In addition to his wife, Ryan is survived by his mother, Mary K. Reed. He was 20. Army: 4th Battalion - 27th Field Artillery Regiment - 1st Armored Division - Baumholder, Germany https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/15156715/ryan-e-reed
Ryan P. Hall
Capt
USAF
Sasha M. Finan
SPC
US Army
On 08/01/2013, Sasha Marie Finan passed away and was 28 at the time. Colorado Springs, CO, is where Sasha Finan had lived. Sasha's last occupation is listed as a US Army 88M (Truck Driver) at Fort Carson, CO. https://www.mylife.com/sasha-finan/e15767263867056
Thomas E. Testorff
SP4
US Army
Thomas Edward Testorff was born on August 31, 1949. According to our records Missouri was his home or enlistment state and Jackson County included within the archival record. We have Kansas City listed as the city. He was drafted into the Army. Entered the service via Selective Service. Served during the Vietnam War. He began his tour on July 1, 1970. Testorff had the rank of Specialist Four. His military occupation or specialty was Light Weapons Infantry. Service number assignment was 498541897. Attached to 101st Airborne Division, 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry, B Company. During his service in the Vietnam War, Army Specialist Four Testorff experienced a traumatic event which ultimately resulted in loss of life on March 17, 1971. Recorded circumstances attributed to: Died through hostile action, artillery rocket mortar. Incident location: South Vietnam, Quang Tri province. Thomas Edward Testorff was the son of ichard Lee Testorff and Georgie Mae Kincaid. He graduated from North Kansas City High School in Clay County, Missouri. Thomas Edward Testorff is buried or memorialized at Memorial Park Cemetery, Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri. Thomas is honored on the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Washington DC. Name inscribed at VVM Wall, Panel 04w, Line 57. https://www.honorstates.org/index.php?id=301483
Thomas J. Gramith
Capt
USAF
8 October 1981-18 July 2009 (27 years old) Air Force Capt. Thomas J. Gramith, 27, of Eagan, Minn. was assigned to the 336th Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. He died July 17, 2009 in an F-15E crash near Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. Also killed was Capt. Mark R. McDowell. Capt. Gramith died when his F-15E Strike Eagle crashed near Ghazni Province. Also killed was Capt. Mark R. McDowell, 26, of Colorado Springs, Colo. Both men were assigned to the 336th Fighter Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. A military spokesman at the base said the crash was not caused by enemy fire. The crash happened about 3:15 a.m. while Gramith and McDowell were providing air support to ground troops. https://livinglegendteam.blogspot.com/2009/07/air-force-capt-thomas-j-gramith.html
Todd A. Rizzo
SGT
US Army
Wounded in Afghanistan. Died in an automobile accident in the US in 2014. Wife Christina Rizzo a recipient and advocate for Angels of America’s Fallen. https://vimeo.com/235637376
Tomas L. Avey
SFC
US Army
Tomas Luke Avey, 34 of Ft. Walton Beach, Florida passed on to be with the Lord on March 29, 2015 in Columbus, Georgia while on temporary duty at nearby Ft. Benning. Tomas’s passing was due to heart failure brought on by prolonged complications from wounds suffered during his multiple deployments to Afghanistan. He was lovingly surrounded by his family in those final hours. Tomas is a beloved son, brother, father, nephew, friend, soldier and Godly man. Born in Omaha, Nebraska on February 9, 1981 Tomas Luke was the son of the late Tomas Lee Avey (Chief Petty Officer, U. S. Navy , retired) and the then Pamela Dowell Avey. They lived in Nebraska, Texas, and Virginia. Following her marriage to Philip Stemple in 1989, Tomas’ many travels continued to include Maryland, Oklahoma, Virginia. Tomas graduated from Harrah High School in Harrah, Oklahoma in 1999 where he was an All-State middle linebacker on the football team. He then attended the University of Central Oklahoma. In the year 2000 Tomas enlisted in the 45th Infantry Brigade (Thunderbirds), Oklahoma Army National Guard. He later served in the 48th Infantry Brigade, Georgia Army National Guard. In January 2002 Tomas married the former Dana Grammer of Ardmore, Oklahoma. In February 2002 Tomas transferred to the Regular Army and he and Dana began their journey at Ft. Drum, New York with the 10th Mountain Division in Company B, 2d Battalion, 87th Infantry. He served there for six years to include graduation from the U.S. Army Ranger School and two deployments to Afghanistan. Their daughter Isabel Rain Avey was born on March 5, 2004. The second tour in Afghanistan was for 16 months serving as a Squad Leader, being wounded in action, and as a Sniper School trained Sniper Team Leader engaging strategic targets. Each time he went into combat the enemy paid a heavy price. He was decorated with the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, and the Army Commendation Medal with “V” Device for Valor. During these six years he was promoted three times rising from Private First Class to Staff Sergeant. From 2008 to 2010 Tomas was a Drill Sergeant at the U.S. Army Infantry School at Ft. Benning, Georgia. On multiple occasions he was awarded the coveted Drill Instructor of the Cycle Award. He was promoted to Sergeant First Class during this time rising to the ranks of the senior Non-Commissioned Officer Corps at the very rapid rate of only seven years of active duty. From 2010 – 2013 Tomas was assigned to the 2d Brigade, 4th Infantry Division at Ft. Carson, Colorado. This service entailed a third deployment to Afghanistan as a Platoon Sergeant. For action in close combat against the enemy he was decorated with an Oak Leaf Cluster (second award) to his Bronze Star. From the summer of 2013 until the time of his death Tomas was assigned to the 6th Ranger Training Battalion at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. As a Ranger Instructor (“RI”) Tomas and his cohorts were responsible for developing the young leaders of the Army as they pursued the coveted Ranger Tab at the most challenging school American warriors can attend – U.S. Army Ranger School. He performed this duty, as he has all of his others, in a way that left those he came in contact with better for having served with him. Quick to smile and slow to anger, Tomas was known by family, friends and fellow soldiers alike as a selfless and light hearted man who never bowed to pressure, who always had a reassuring comment or a joke to ease someone else’s day and who could be counted on to perform above and beyond what was expected when the chips were down. Since boyhood, Tomas loved the beach and especially paddle boarding in the surf. Riding his Harley was another one his favorite things to do. Spending time with his daughter Isabel, who he loved very much, always brought a smile to his face. Tomas sought God’s guidance on a daily basis and set an example for all others to emulate in looking to the needs of others. Tomas is survived by his daughter Isabel Rain Avey, his mother Pam Stemple, his stepfather Phil Stemple, his sisters Rachel and Andrea Stemple, his former wife Dana Avey, his brother Seth Avey, his sister Samantha Avey, his uncle Bobby Dowell, his uncle Teddy Avey, his grandfather Maynard Avey, his grandfather Robert Dowell and friends and other family members too numerous to mention. https://www.dignitymemorial.com/fr-ca/obituaries/colorado-springs-co/tomas-avey-6397037
Will D. Lindsay
SFC
US Army
Sgt. 1st Class Will D. Lindsay Died March 22, 2019 Serving During Operation Freedom’s Sentinel 33, of Cortez, Colorado, died from wounds sustained in combat operations in Kunduz province, Afghanistan, on March 22, 2019. Spc. Joseph P. Collette was also killed in the incident. Lindsay was assigned to the 10th Special Forces Group. Lindsay's deployments include five tours to Iraq, one to Tajikistan and Afghanistan. Lindsay’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, a Purple Heart, the NATO Medal, the Special Forces Tab, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Military Free Fall Jumpmaster Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge and the Chilean Airborne Wings. The Pentagon has released the identities of two U.S. soldiers from Fort Carson, Colorado, killed in northern Afghanistan Friday. Sgt. 1st Class Will D. Lindsay, 33, and Spc. Joseph P. Collette, 29, died from wounds sustained during combat operations in Kunduz province, Afghanistan. Both soldiers were killed as a result of small arms fire, according to U.S. Forces-Afghanistan. Lindsay, a Green Beret from Cortez, Colorado., was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group. Lindsay enlisted in the Army in July 2004. He graduated Special Forces Qualification Course in July 2006 and was assigned to 10th Group, according to Lt. Col. Loren Bymer, an Army Special Operations Command spokesman. Lindsay’s Special Forces "family is deeply saddened at the loss,” Col. Lawrence Ferguson, 10th Group commander, said in a statement provided to Army Times. “Will was one of the best in our formation, with more than a decade of service in the Regiment at all levels of noncommissioned officer leadership," Ferguson said. "We will focus now on supporting his family and honoring his legacy and sacrifice.” Lindsay’s deployments include five tours to Iraq supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn; to Tajikistan in 2016 supporting a counter-narcotics terrorism mission; and Afghanistan supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Lindsay attended static-line and military free-fall parachute training. He also graduated from a range of other special operations training programs, including Special Operations Target Interdiction Course and Special Forces Intelligence Sergeant Course. Lindsay’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, a Purple Heart, the NATO Medal, the Special Forces Tab, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Military Free Fall Jumpmaster Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge and the Chilean Airborne Wings. Lindsay is survived by his wife and four daughters. https://thefallen.militarytimes.com/sgt-1st-class-will-d-lindsay/6568770
William F. Hecker III
MAJ
US Army
Major William F. Hecker, III lived and died by one of his life mottoes. "He was very impressed with Theodore Roosevelt, and Teddy Roosevelt used to say 'you have to get into the fray,' and that was sort of a motto of his," said Evelyn Fox, a McLean resident and close family friend of Hecker. Hecker, 37, was killed in action in An Najaf, Iraq on Jan. 5, 2006. According to a United States Department of Defense press release, Hecker and four other soldiers, one of whom was Capt. Christopher P. Petty, 33, of Vienna, were killed when "an improvised explosive device detonated near their HMMWV during convoy operations." The soldiers were assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, TX. "It's very sad, but he was-and his mom really wants everyone to know-a soldier, and he loved what he did," said Fox. Hecker graduated from McLean High School in 1987. He was a career military officer and literary scholar who authored numerous articles. In addition, he was the editor of "Private Perry and Mister Poe: The West Point Poems, 1831." He is survived by his wife of 13 years, Richelle, and their four children, Alexandra, Victoria, Cordelia and William of Harker Heights, TX; by his parents retired Colonel and Mrs. William F. Hecker, Jr. of Vienna, and by his brother, 1st Lt. John Hecker (USMC) of Okinawa, Japan. "He was a wonderful husband, son and father," said mother, Nancy Hecker, whose tour company Custom Group Tours has led the McLean Community Center tours for many years. "He was the light of our life, he was a solider and a scholar, he loved his country and he loved his family." It was just six months ago that Evelyn Fox last saw Hecker and his family. "They were here this summer," said Fox. "I saw him and then we took his children and went to Reston Farm Park and fed all of the animals." Born in Colorado Springs, Colo., Hecker grew up the oldest child of a career military couple. Subsequently, he lived in locations such as Redstone Arsenal, Ala., Heidelberg, Germany and McLean, where he resided from 1984-1987. After graduating from McLean High School, he accepted an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. While there, he earned a B.S. in Engineering Management and sang with the Cadet Glee Club. From 1991-1998, Hecker served in various field artillery assignments at Fort Sill, OKkla., in Germany and in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2000, he earned a master's degree in English from the University of Oregon, and then returned to West Point where he served as an instructor and assistant professor of English, teaching composition, rhetoric and literature. Hecker published articles and spoke at national and international academic conferences about subjects ranging from Mark Twain to baseball, to theories of rhetoric. In June 2004, he presented a paper at the Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, arguing for the connections between patriotism, the army and baseball. His facsimile edition of Edgar Allen Poe's 1831 West Point Poems, "Private Perry and Mister Poe," was published by the Louisiana State University Press in the spring of 2005. Hecker completed the U.S. Army's Command and General Staff College in 2004. He was deployed to Iraq in November as the Operations Officer of the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery in the 4th Infantry Division. His military honors include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart Medal, and the Combat Action Badge. https://groups.google.com/g/alt.obituaries/c/pZH-AYAqF54/m/7OV-U1l6i34J