Oklahoma Soldiers in Rememberance
Soldiers of the Iraqi and Afghanistan Wars



Cpl. Jeremy D. Allbau

Cpl. Jeremy D. Allbau
Services for Marine Cpl. Jeremy D. Allbaugh, 21, Whitehouse, are scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday, July 13, 2007, at First Christian Church of Blackwell, Okla., with 2nd Lt. Jason Allbaugh delivering the eulogy.  Burial will be in Blackwell Cemetery, Blackwell, Okla., with military rites by the United States Marine Corps. Arrangements under direction of Roberts and Son Funeral Home, Blackwell, Okla.  Marine Cpl. Allbaugh was killed on July 5, 2007, when the Humvee in which he was riding struck a roadside bomb in the An-Bar province of Iraq.  Marine Cpl. Jeremy D. Allbaugh was born on Jan. 17, 1986, in Traverse City, Mich., to Jon and Jenifer (Payne) Allbaugh. He grew up in Harrah, Okla., where he played baseball and graduated from Harrah High School in 2004. Immediately following his graduation he entered the United States Marine Corps. His first duty station was a security detail at Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland. He was then assigned to the 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Headquarters and Service Company where he served in the personal security detachment to Lt. Col. Bohm in the Al An-Bar province in Iraq. During his service Jeremy received the National Defense Medal, the Global War of Terrorism Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon and the Purple Heart. He had been a member of the Marine Corps for three years.   He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Marvin Allbaugh.  Survivors include his parents, Jon and Jenifer Allbaugh of Whitehouse; grandparents, Peggy Allbaugh of Wichita, Kan., John and Dorothy Payne of Tulsa, Okla.; sister, Alicia Allbaugh of Whitehouse; brothers, 2nd Lt. Jason Allbaugh of El Paso, and Bryan Allbaugh of Crowley.  Casketbearers are Jason Allbaugh, Bryan Allbaugh, Johnny Young, Kyle Burnett, Dustin Alred and Chris Cotrell.  The family requests that contributions be made to Freedom Alliance, care of Roberts and Son Funeral Home, 120 W. Padon, Blackwell, Okla. 74631, in lieu of flowers.


Col. Brian D. Allgood

Col. Brian D. Allgood
Col. Brian D. Allgood, the top American medical officer in Iraq, was the kind of commander who ate in the dining facility nearly every day and would sit and chat with anyone, regardless of rank. "I think this is what endeared him to his soldiers. He was personable and likable and he was always visible to his troops," said Maj. Andrew Corrow. Allgood, 46, who grew up in Colorado Springs, Colo., and had lately lived in Oklahoma, was killed Jan. 20 when his helicopter crashed in Baghdad. He was assigned to Heidelberg, Germany. After graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., in 1982, he went to Oklahoma University's medical school and became an orthopedic surgeon. He was a commander of the Army hospital at his alma mater and he spent two years in Korea, where he was in charge of military medical facilities. He also served as a medical officer in Panama, and parachuted into that country during the 1989 invasion. "He loved the military," said his uncle, Dr. Richard Allgood. "He knew the risks, but went willingly and without reservation." He is survived by his wife, Jane, and son, Wyatt.


Spc. William E. Allmon

Spc. William E. Allmon
Spc. William E. Allmon's death was confirmed Monday in a news release posted by the U.S. Department of Defense. The brief notice said Spc. Allmon "died April 12 ... of wounds suffered when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga. A spokesman with the Fort Stewart Public Affairs office said Allmon was a combat engineer on his second deployment to Iraq. Allmon is the second Ardmore soldier killed in the line of duty. Spc. Micheal "Pokey" Phillips, the 19-year-old son of Steven and Angelia Phillips, died on Feb. 24.
Source: The Ardmorite April 15, 2008


Spc. Jonathan Paul Barnes

Spc. Jonathan Paul Barnes
COWETA -- A soldier who grew up in Coweta was among three U.S. servicemembers killed over the weekend in a grenade attack in Iraq, a relative said Monday. Spc. Jonathan Paul Barnes, 21, died Saturday while guarding a children's hospital in Baqouba, 45 miles northeast of Baghdad, said Kim Riley, Barnes' sister. A married father of one, Barnes was a member of the 4th Infantry Division, which numbers between 16,000 and 20,000 troops, said his sister. "What are the odds that out of the whole the 4th Infantry, one of the three (killed) would be him" Riley said. She heard news of the attack Saturday, and military officials notified her family of Barnes' death Sunday, Riley said. He and two comrades were killed as a result of a grenade being thrown from a window of an Iraqi civilian hospital, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Defense. "He was assigned to follow the 3rd Infantry when they invaded Baghdad," Riley said. "But they went in and took over Baghdad so easily that just before he was shipped, his infantry ended up staying to guard the airport and radio and television stations as they were being rebuilt. "He was assigned to the children's hospital because they were storing weapons there." Barnes is believed to be the first Cowetan to die in the Iraq conflict. Eight soldiers from Coweta were killed while fighting in the Vietnam War. That number was the most for any town in the United States, on a per capita basis. Cowetan Dana Fransisco, who helped organize the sending of care packages to the local troops, said about 50 soldiers from the town have served in the war against Iraq. "He wrote several letters and always said there was nothing to worry about," Riley said of her brother. "He asked every time about his house because we were to take care of the grass and the bills. And he always asked about family." Barnes met his wife of three years, Amanda, in Anderson, Mo., northeast of Grove, Riley said. Amanda and her daughter, Michelle, who turns 3 next month, were staying in Anderson while Barnes was overseas, the sister said. Born in Muskogee, Barnes attended school in Coweta until about the 10th grade. Home-schooled thereafter, he eventually earned his high school equivalency test. He joined the military after a recruiting visit to Joplin, Mo., and underwent basic training in Fort Benning, Ga., Riley said. Barnes served in Korea and Kuwait before being sent to Iraq, she said. Having begun taking law enforcement classes in the service, Barnes had designs on becoming a member of the highway patrol, his sister said. "He wanted to find a way to better his education and also support his family better," Riley said. "He chose to join the military. He thought that way, not only would he have housing for them but that he would be a better provider." Barnes' body is expected to arrive in Fort Hood, Texas, next week, Riley said. His wife has requested that Barnes be buried in a cemetery in Anderson, Riley said.  Source: Tulsa World


Lance Cpl. Thomas A. Blair

Lance Cpl. Thomas A. Blair
Lance Cpl. Thomas Blair joined the Marine Corps in 1997, the same year he graduated from high school in Broken Arrow, a suburb of Tulsa, Okla. Teachers at Broken Arrow High School remembered him as a disciplined student who played drums in the band. As a sophomore, Blair sewed a military insignia to his band uniform.  

Marine Lance Cpl. Thomas Blair, 24, Broken Arrow, Okla.

Thomas A. Blair was a free spirit who tempered his shyness with a strong will, someone who would "give the shirt right off his back if he could help you," in the words of older brother Al Blair.  "He said he was proud of what he was doing, proud of where he was at, and he was doing the job he'd been trained to do, which was defend this country," said Al Blair, a Marine staff sergeant.  Blair, 24, of Broken Arrow, Okla., disappeared during fighting March 23, and was later confirmed killed in action.  Blair joined the Marines at 19 and was based in Cherry Point, N.C., a quick drive from his brother. He often visited Al Blair's family for home-cooked meals and the chance to play with his brother's children.  As a sophomore in the high school band, Blair sewed a military insignia to his band uniform, just like senior band members. "You'd give him an inch ... and he'd just want to take it to the next step," said Darren Davis, Blair's high school band teacher.


Staff Sgt. Melvin L. Blazer

Staff Sgt. Melvin L. Blazer
Before the 15 years of marriage, before the birth of their two children, Melvin and Dana Blazer were friends. "We were such wonderful friends for many, many years," Dana Blazer said. 'that friendship blossomed into a wonderful love. The stuff fairy tales are made of." The 38-year-old Marine from Moore, Okla., was killed Dec. 12 in Iraq's Anbar province. He was based at Camp Pendleton, Calif. 'to know my husband was to love my husband," Dana Blazer said. "Everybody loved him and admired him and respected him and held him in such high regard. He was a hero in his everyday life." Blazer chose the military as his career shortly after high school, and it was a commitment he believed would carry on even after his death, one of his comrades said. "He always had this theory that when you get to heaven, the streets will be guarded by the Marines," Master Gunnery Sgt. Melvin Waters said. Survivors include Blazer's children, Alyssa and Erik.Staff Sgt. Melvin L. Blazer of Moore, Oklahoma graduated from Moore High School in 1984 and it didn't take long for him to join the military and make it his career. As a Marine, he was proud to help the people of Iraq, but also told relatives he was glad to be in the country for another reason. Before the 15 years of marriage, before the birth of their two children, he chose the military as his career shortly after high school, and it was a commitment he believed would carry on even after his death. He always had this theory that when you get to heaven, the streets will be guarded by the Marines. He married his wife in 1989 and they had two children. He received the Purple Heart in November after being injured by shrapnel from an improvised explosive device. He enjoyed bowling, playing chess, fishing, boogie boarding, cook-outs and BBQ with the family. He is survived by his wife, parents, a daughter, a son, 2 brothers. Grandparents Wilburn and Billie Blazer and Dan Tatum preceded him in death. Melvin was killed by enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq at age 38.


Petty Officer 3rd Class Doyle W. Bollinger

Petty Officer 3rd Class Doyle W. Bollinger

Petty Officer 3rd Class Doyle W. Bollinger, 21, joined the U.S. Navy shortly after high school. He joined the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion, the Seabees. Bollinger, from Poteau, Okla., was killed June 6 when a piece of unexploded ordnance accidentally detonated in the area where he was working. "Wayne is a very special young man and is proud to be a Navy Seabee. He died defending his country. He is without doubt one of America's finest," a family statement said. His unit has been in the Middle East since January. The unit provides construction support to the Navy, Marines and other armed forces during military operations. "He marched to the beat of a different drum, and he was happy in his own little world," said Pat Eidschun, a retired teacher who taught Bollinger when he was in the seventh grade in Poteau.


Capt. John J. Boria

Capt. John J. Boria
In death, John J. Boria offered life to others. Boria, 29, of Broken Arrow, Okla., died Sept. 6 of injuries he suffered when a recreational all-terrain vehicle he was driving over sand dunes crashed near Doha, Qatar. He was based at Grand Forks. Boria was an organ donor and several of his organs were made available for others. "He was filled with valor and kindness. He was always doing something for somebody else," said family friend Marcia Allison. Boria graduated in 1993 from high school and his dreams of one day flying began to materialize when he joined the Air Force, graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs in 1998. While at the academy, he and other classmates had a special inscription put inside their graduation rings: "A friend that sticks closer than a brother." At his funeral, the song "I Believe I can Fly" was played and old photos were shown capturing him as a schoolboy in a flight uniform that was much too big. He is survived by his parents, John and Wanda Boria.


Spc. Adam Noel Brewer

Spc. Adam Noel Brewer
Spc. Adam Brewer of Dewey, Oklahoma was serving a second tour of duty in Iraq and was scheduled to be back in Oklahoma in the middle of March. He graduated from Bartlesville High School in 2000 and had hoped to become a police officer. He was proud to serve his country, proud when Baghdad fell and proud when victory was declared. He was a boy who left to join the Army, and the Army made him a man. The soldier's legacy will be that "not only did he defend our country but he defended the values of freedom that we hold so dear. Besides his wife, Molly, of Bartlesville, Brewer is survived by his mother, Karen Brewer of Tulsa; his father, Jeffrey and stepmother, Debi, of Bartlesville; and a sister, Jennifer Sullivan of Tulsa.

Oklahoma soldier killed in Iraq laid to rest
BARTLESVILLE, Okla. An Oklahoma soldier killed in Iraq made life better for the people there, his family and friends were told.  Army Spc. Adam Noel Brewer, 22, "was proud to serve his country, proud when Baghdad fell and proud when victory was declared," said the Rev. Rod MacIlvaine, who presided over Brewer's funeral at Grace Community Church on Monday.  Brewer was killed Feb. 25 near Taji, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated while he was on patrol. Brewer, who was based at Fort Hood, Texas, was serving a second tour in Iraq and was scheduled to return home this month.  "You looked forward to his return, and you were shocked when you heard the news of his death," MacIlvaine told about 350 in attendance. "I know his passing has been hard. But for the rest of your life, whenever you see his picture or mention his name, you can be proud.  "He was proud for what he did."  Brewer was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment. He joined the Army after graduating from Bartlesville High School in 2001 and was married in December of that year, MacIlvaine said.  "He was a boy who left to join the Army, and the Army made him a man," MacIlvaine said.  After being stationed in Germany, Brewer "was part of the original invasion that began in March 2003 in Iraq," the pastor said.  John Brewer, an uncle, said Adam was a hyper kid, just like his father, Jeffrey Brewer  "My heart just aches for Karen and Jeff," John Brewer said. "It just doesn't seem right that Adam had to leave so soon."Besides his wife, Molly, of Bartlesville, Brewer is survived by his mother, Karen Brewer of Tulsa; his father, Jeffrey and stepmother, Debi, of Bartlesville; and a sister, Jennifer Sullivan of Tulsa.his father, Jeffrey and stepmother, Debi, of Bartlesville; and a sister, Jennifer Sullivan of Tulsa.  The soldier's legacy, MacIlvaine said, will be that "not only did he defend our country but he defended the values of freedom that we hold so dear."It is soldiers like Adam who have made life so much better for those who have been liberated."



Spc. Kyle A. Brinlee

Spc. Kyle A. Brinlee
PRYOR -- A "squeaky-clean" preener who took 40-minute showers at home, Spc. Kyle Adam (Showler) Brinlee didn't mind the dirty work when it came to war, an officer said Wednesday. Before a estimated 1,300 people in the Pryor High School auditorium, Lt. Col. John C. Lile eulogized Brinlee as a self-achiever who was the first to volunteer for duties, a "standard-bearer of the young, military soldier." Friends, family and fellow soldiers remembered Brinlee in the Mayes County town in which he graduated from high school. The first member of the Oklahoma National Guard killed in Iraq, Brinlee died May 11 near Alasad when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device, the state Military Department said. He was 21. "We all have the capacity to make a difference," Gov. Brad Henry said. "Kyle made a huge difference." Henry, the commander in chief of the Oklahoma National Guard, said he spoke at the funeral at the request of Brinlee's father, Robert Showler. "He may not have been the leader in rank," he said of Brinlee. "But from what I'm told, he was the leader in morale-building." Reared in Adair and Pryor, Brinlee graduated from high school in 2001. He joined the Oklahoma National Guard that same year and was sent to Iraq in February as a member of the 120th Combat Engineer Battalion. He was the fifth Oklahoma soldier reported killed in Iraq in just more than a month. The National Guard posthumously awarded Brinlee two medals, the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, and promoted him to sergeant Wednesday. Brinlee was buried at Graham Memorial Cemetery in Pryor. Lile never met Brinlee. But he related anecdotes he got from the Guard member's relatives, drawing hearty chuckles from the audience. Nicknamed "Chubs" in the seventh grade, Brinlee matured into a good-looking young man who took primping to the extreme. He scrubbed his teeth with baking soda and peroxide and made girls jealous with eyelashes that he perfected with eyelash curlers, Lile said. Protective of his women kinfolk, he helped clean his grandmother's house, screened telephone calls from boys for his sister, Kaylee, and took great care of his mother, Tracy, who died Sept. 30 at age 38. In the field, he placed his comrades at ease with a keen sense of humor, Lile said. He reportedly made another Guard member laugh so hard during a sandstorm that the man swallowed a mouthful of the grains. Pryor police Sgt. Derek Melton said he had known Brinlee since Brinlee was 14. Melton, who is also a pastor of Pryor Creek Community Church, said Brinlee liked riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles and working on cars. Brinlee, who had an interest in carpentry, helped install the floor in the high school's new gymnasium, he said. "When you were around Kyle, he had a special way of making things better," Melton said. During a visit the day before his deployment, Brinlee told Melton how much he loved his family, Melton said. "Kyle knew the seriousness of war," he said. "I believe with all my heart he had made things right with God."
Source: Tulsa World
Published: 5/20/2004  


Staff Sgt. Kevin Brown

Staff Sgt. Kevin Brown
VINE GROVE BROWN, STAFF SGT. KEVIN RAY, 38, died September 25, 2007 in Iraq. Funeral: 11 a.m. Wednesday, New Salem Baptist Church. Visitation: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday; 9 a.m. Wednesday, Nelson- Edelen-Bennett

Staff Sgt. Kevin Brown

A decorated soldier from Harrah who was nearing the end of his career in the military is the latest Oklahoma casualty in Iraq, his family said Wednesday. Staff Sgt. Kevin Brown, 38, died Tuesday in Muqdadiyah, Iraq, after a bomb detonated near his vehicle, the Defense Department said. Brown was assigned to the 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, based in Fort Hood, Texas. He was deployed to Iraq in October and had been with the unit since April 2006, Fort Hood officials said. "He was looking forward to retirement, so he could be with his family forever," said his mother, Glenda Brown. "My son also wanted to go fishing with his dad again." ‘Loved to have fun'A Cavalry scout, Brown joined the military in 1988, a year after graduating from Harrah High School. He was inspired to join the military by his father, Richard Haynes Brown, a senior master sergeant who retired at Tinker Air Force Base after 22 years of service, Glenda Brown said. Kevin Brown's birthday was coming up on Oct. 12, and the family had just sent him a birthday package the day he was killed, his mother said. "He was fun to be around. He always made you laugh," she said. "He had the bluest eyes in the world bluer than the sky," his mother said. "He was never a grownup. He didn't smoke and he didn't drink. He was always a little boy at heart. He loved to have fun." Brown kept in contact with his family either by phone or e-mails, and they got to see him in February during a two-week leave, his mother said. He didn't talk much about Iraq, except to say he was doing his job, Glenda Brown said. It was his second time in Iraq, having also served a tour there in 2005, she said. Kevin Brown earned the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, among others. Besides his parents, Brown is survived by his wife, Lena, of Killeen, Texas; the couple's daughters, Maria, 13, and Charlene, 14; a sister, Brandy Ross of Moore; and two stepchildren, Jeremy and Pamela. A funeral will be held at the Brown family plot in Rineyville, Ky.
Published in The Oklahoman on 9/27/2007


Spec Derek Alan Calhoun

Spec Derek Alan Calhoun
Derek Alan Calhoun, 23, of Oklahoma City, was born on Sept. 8, 1983 in Oklahoma City and passed away on June 23, 2007 in Baghdad, Iraq while serving his country in the U.S. Army as an Army Specialist. Derek attended Moore High. After completing high school, he enrolled at Wright Business School where he received his Associate degree. In 2005, Derek heard his country's call and enlisted in the United States Army. Derek was a member of the South Lindsay Baptist Church in OKC. He enjoyed sports & the outdoors; watching and playing football, basketball, fishing and dogs. Derek's first love was spending time with his family, especially with his nieces and nephews. He is survived by his parents, Alan & Lou Calhoun of OKC; one sister, Lanesha Morris of OKC; grandparents, Jean & JoAnn Calhoun of Choctaw, OK; three nieces, Sierra, Cheyenne and Autumn Morris; and one nephew, Takoda Morris. Derek is preceded in death by his grandparents, Brooks & Eula Choate. Funeral Services are 11:00am, Tuesday, July 3, 2007 at South Lindsay Baptist Church, located at 3300 S. Lindsey in Oklahoma City. Pastor George Brock officiating. Interment will follow to the Moore City Cemetery, where Army Spc. Calhoun will be receiving Full Military Honors from the United States Army. Services are under the direction of the John M. Ireland Funeral Home & Chapel. In lieu of flowers, the family suggest memorial donations be sent to: The Muscular Dystrophy Association, 5601 NW 72nd Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73132 and/or the South Lindsay Baptist Church.
Published in The Oklahoman from 6/30 to 7/1/2007



Pvt. Cody M. Carver

Pvt. Cody M. Carver
Cody M. Carver was trickster who loved teasing his mother. "He liked to jump out and scare me," Pam Carver said. "He would put a piece of tape around the handle on the sprayer next to the kitchen sink, and then aim it so that it would squirt me when I turned on the water." Carver, 19, of Haskell, Okla., was killed Oct. 30 when his patrol was struck by an explosive and small-arms fire in Salman Pak. He was based at Fort Benning. "He was really outgoing," said his mother. "Everybody loved him. You couldn't have asked for a better child." Carver's father, Darrell Lee Carver, was wounded during the Vietnam War. That, along with the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, was Cody Carver's motivation for joining the Army, his mother said. "He had talked about joining the Army since the ninth grade. I guess it was about the same time 9/11 happened. That bothered him so bad, he just wanted to go and make it right," she said. He was very much a single man. "I asked him at Valentine's Day if there was anyone he wanted me to send flowers to," said his mother. "He said 'Mom, that would be too many flowers. You couldn't afford it.'"



Staff Sgt. Lance M. Chase

Staff Sgt. Lance M. Chase

A former detention officer at the Oklahoma County jail was killed in Iraq when the tank he was riding in ran over a homemade bomb, the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday. Army Staff Sgt. Lance Chase, 32, and Pfc. Peter Wagler, 18, of Partridge, Kan., were conducting patrols when the bomb exploded, killing both men, the Department of Defense said. Both were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood.  "My son truly believed in the mission in Iraq and in helping the Iraqi people," Dana Chase said. "He always felt his heart warmed to know they appreciated what he was doing."  This was Chase's second tour of duty for Operation Iraqi Freedom, family members said. He returned to Iraq beginning in December.  "We're proud of him," said Chase's maternal grandmother, Lillian Haynie. "We'd liked to have kept him, but I guess God seen other things for him."  Chase's military duties were focused on the Abrams tank, Dana Chase pointed out. He taught recruits how to maintain and move it.  "He did it all on that tank," his mother said.  He also was an honored marksman, she said.  Chase leaves behind his wife, Kristen, and two sons, Brett, 11, and Trevor, 9.  "I don't even know where to start," his wife said. "He was just an all-around kind of guy."  A 1991 graduate of Midwest City High School, Chase spent 20 months working for the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office as a detention officer in 1994 and 1995. His father, Mike Chase, is a reserve officer and member of the sheriff's bomb squad.  Source: Tulsa World



Lance M. Chase's biggest joy in Iraq was seeing local children returning to schools. After his first tour, he got involved in sending books and hygiene items to the Iraqi people. "It was important to him," said his mother, Dana Chase.  Chase, 32, of Oklahoma City, was killed Jan. 23 by a roadside bomb in Baghdad. He was assigned to Fort Hood and was on his second tour.
"He would smile all the time and always had a joke for everyone," said his mother.  He was a 1991 high school graduate, where he played football and was a fan of NASCAR.  "We are devastated as anyone would be," said Capt. Kelly Marshall, of the sheriff's department. "We consider Mike and his family our family."  Relatives and friends bid farewell Thursday to an Oklahoma City soldier who was remembered for his courage and dedication to family.
Mourners filled Meadowood Baptist Church for the funeral of Staff Sgt. Lance Michael Chase, 32.  Music chosen by his relatives highlighted Chase's funeral, from Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying," a song about living life to the fullest, to Tommy Shane Steiner's "What If She Is An Angel," a Chase used to sing to his son Trevor, 9.  Those songs were among nine selected for a ceremony that included a uniformed contingent from the military and the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Department. Chase's father, Mike, has been a reserve deputy for more than 20 years.  Pastor Bob Rutherford called Chase a hero for his willingness to risk his life for others. Chase, who had been a soldier for more than a decade, didn't like to be away from his family but was honored to help the people of Iraq, Rutherford said.  After Chase started his second tour of duty, he noted improvements in the country.  "It wasn't just a job for him," Rutherford said. "He said, 'These people need what we're doing.'"  Rutherford said Chase's life was characterized by his love for his family.  Chase visited his grandmother before he left for Iraq just so he could tell her he loved her, the pastor said. He talked to his wife, Kristen, via the Internet before his final patrol.  Rutherford thanked Chase for deciding to join the Army and standing up for others.  "Your life, young man, will always be an inspiration to me," he said.  Source of Information from:
The Oklahoman


Staff Sgt. Lillian Clamens

Staff Sgt. Lillian Clamens

CLAMENS, LILLIAN L., 35, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army Reserve, Military Personnel Clerk for United States Southern Command, wife and mother of three, died in a mortar attack on Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq, on Wednesday, October 10, 2007. She was assigned to the 1st Postal Platoon, 834th Adjutant General Company in Miami. Lillian was born May 9, 1972, in the city of Omaha, Nebraska, to Dorothy Cobbin and Solom Bogard. She graduated from Central High School in 1990. Lillian served in the U.S. Army (Adjutant General Corps) as an Administrative Specialist from 1990 until 2007. She was stationed in Korea; Ft. Leonard Wood, MO; Vilseck, Germany; Ft. Sill, OK; and participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom. She attained the rank of Staff Sergeant (SSG). On August 14, 1997, she was united in marriage to Raymond J. Clamens in Omaha, NE. Lillian was affectionately known as "Lilly" and with her endearing personality, radiant smile and caring demeanor warmed the hearts of everyone that came in contact with her. At home she was a devoted wife, fantastic mother, and the center of the family. She loved taking care of soldiers and their families and touched so many people no matter where she was in the world. Lillian is survived by her husband Raymond, her daughters Lana and Victoria, her son Ayinde; her sister Dana; her mother Dorothy; and her mother-in-law Gemma. She is further survived by aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends. Funeral services for Lillian L. Clamens will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, October 19, at St. Brendan's Church, 8725 SW 32nd St. Miami, FL 33165. The Burial will be in Our Lady of Mercy Cemetery, 11411 NW 25th St. Doral, FL 33172. Relatives and friends are welcome for visitation at the Van Orsdel Funeral Home, 9300 SW 40th St. (Bird Rd.) Miami, FL 33165 on Thursday October 18, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. We would like to thank all of the staff of the FIU Army ROTC, USSOUTHCOM, and the 834th AG Postal Company for their help and support. VAN ORSDEL - BIRD RD CHAPEL 9300 SW 40 St. (305)553-0064 Family Owned Since 1924 To visit this Guest Book Online, go to www.MiamiHerald.com/obituaries.

Published in The Miami Herald on 10/17/2007


CWO Lawrence S. Colton

CWO Lawrence S. Colton
CWO Lawrence S. Colton won medals when he ran cross-country for his Oklahoma high school, and his picture still hangs on the wall, his ex-wife said. He was in the military for the long haul, too, said Shannon Daughtry, Colton's ex-wife. "He's been in the military for 12 years," she said. "He definitely planned on be a lifer." Colton, 32, of Oklahoma City, died April 11 along with another pilot when their helicopter was shot down near Baghdad. Colton was based at Fort Hood, Texas. He seemed to enjoy his military career, according to a news release from the 122nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment describing conditions in Iraq. "Life's not so bad here," Colton was quoted as saying. "We get some mortars here and there, but they're not that effective. We've got good flying and good maintenance. We're well-suited for the mission here." It was not clear when he made the comments. Colton leaves behind a wife in Texas and an 11-year-old son from his marriage with Daughtry.


Spc. Ryan S. Dallam


Spc. Ryan S. Dallam
NORMAN -- An Army soldier from Norman has died while serving in Iraq, according to his father. Cpl. Ryan Scott Michael Dallam, 24, died Friday in Baghdad along with two other soldiers, Dallam's father, Scott Dallam, said Monday. The federal Department of Defense had not identified Dallam as a war casualty as of Monday afternoon. Ryan Dallam was born in Norman and lived for a time in Arizona, where he graduated in 2002 from Show Low High School. He later attended Oklahoma City Community College. Dallam served in the Headquarters Company, 1st/18th Infantry, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division that was deployed to Iraq. He had been scheduled to return to Oklahoma next week on leave, his father said. Published in The Oklahoman on 4/9/2007


Mike Dawes
former Cherokee Nation marshal

Mike Dawes
TAHLEQUAH -- A former Cherokee Nation marshal killed by a suicide bomber Tuesday in Iraq was the kind of law enforcer who never backed down from dangerous conflicts, friends said Wednesday. Mike Dawes of Stilwell was killed in downtown Baqubah in the Diyala province north of Baghdad, reports say. He was in the dining area of police headquarters when the bomber walked in and detonated the explosives. Dawes was working as a privately contracted police liaison officer for DynCorp International of Irving, Texas, reports say. Braving such violent hot spots was nothing new for Dawes. In addition to his career with the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service, he worked in Kosovo several years ago as a peacekeeper under a United Nations contract. He also served in Vietnam as a member of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division, authorities said. "He was the kind of guy that when you went on a call you did not have to look around," said Pat Ragsdale, a former head of the tribal marshal service and now the director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. "He was going to be there." Funeral services are pending under the direction of Reed-Culver Funeral Home in Tahlequah. Dawes is survived by his wife and four children. Dawes was a Tahlequah police officer until Ragsdale hired him for the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service in the early 1990s. He held the job for several years, including the turbulent 1997. That was the year when marshals raided then-Cherokee Chief Joe Byrd's headquarters, investigating allegations of misuse of funds,according to reports. Byrd fired the marshals, instigated an impeachment of tribal justices and took control of the Cherokee Nation Courthouse. Dawes was with Ragsdale and others when they tried to storm the building in an Aug. 13, 1997, melee. Three people were arrested. The marshals were later reinstated, and Ragsdale never forgot Dawes' loyalty. "He was loyal to the Cherokee Nation and loyal to the Constitution," the BIA director said from Washington, D.C. "He never complained and he never wavered. "Mike was a steady, steady person." Dawes received the tribe's Medal of Patriotism in 2003 "in recognition of his service to the Cherokee Nation and his efforts to uphold the Cherokee Constitu tion," according to a statement by Chief Chad Smith.
"He devoted his entire life to protecting people," Smith said. "It is numbing when we lose someone of his stature in the service of our country." Dawes' portrait was included in a Cherokee photographic exhibit shown in 2001 at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. Cherokee County Sheriff Norman Fisher, who was the Tahlequah police chief during Dawes' time on the force, said he was not surprised to see Dawes in such tricky war zones as Kosovo and Iraq. "He was a good police officer," Fisher said. "Knowing Mike like I did, he didn't shirk his duties. He wouldn't back off any task." Dawes was honored several times during his 18-month stint in Kosovo, reports say. He served with an elite United Nations special operations unit, a tribal report said. He once helped arrest an Albanian caught with a hand grenade but moments later was protecting the Albanian from a mob of angry Serbs, reports say. 'their commitment to their prisoner was beyond expectations while foregoing their own safety," United Nations Deputy Station Commander Clinton Park said in commending Dawes and other officers at the time. 'the dangers they faced were clear and their bravery was admirable," Park added. Dawes worked for DynCorp helping to train Iraqis as police officers, according to reports. The company is working under a contract with the Department of State. Seven other people were killed in the Baqubah bombing. A U.S. soldier and five Iraqis -- four center employees and a police officer -- also died in the strike on the Diyala Provincial Joint Coordination Center, according to news reports.  Mike is survived by his wife Deretha Dawes, sons Mikeal and Daniel Dawes of the home; daughters, Lee (Randall) Studie of Ft Gibson; Kate (Josh) Sasser of Peggs; brothers, Lee (Joy) Keener of Tulsa and Sam (Dr Colleen) Dawes of Ann Arbor, Mi; sisters Callie (Dr. Jim) Hildebrand of Wamego, KS, Dr. Barbara (James) Martens of Cookson. Polly Boyer and Sherryl Dawes of Tahlequah; the Anderson Family, several nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends.
Services: 11 AM, Wednesday, August 31, 2005 Cornerstone Fellowship Church- Tahlequah, Oklahoma Clergy: Pastor Steve Hamby ~ Eulogy: Mr. Pat Ragsdale
Burial: Ft. Gibson National Cemetery ~ Ft. Gibson, Oklahoma 


Pfc. Jerod R. Dennis

Pfc. Jerod Rhoton Dennis
Army Pvt. Dennis was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Dennis died of wounds sustained during a firefight with enemy forces in the vicinity of Ne Shkin after his platoon was ambushed. Jerod graduated from Antlers High School in May 2002 where he was a popular and fun-loving student. He was quite an achiever “ one who went all out on anything in which he was interested whether it was winning championships in tennis or aggravating the teachers in that endearing way of his. His tennis skills won him trips to the state championships in high school; his pranks won him the record for being paddled by the principal and his fun-loving personality won him friends. Jerod liked his algebra teacher, but each day he tried to take the American flag from the classroom and was caught every time. When he was late for class, he would try to crawl in through a window. Teachers usually noticed the 6-foot teenager trying to fit through the window. He was also a member of the high school drama club and Bearcat band. He joked later that his band experience made the Army's close order drill a snap. One day, the military visited Antlers, Oklahoma and Jerod took a qualification test – he aced it. All of the military branches were hunting him down but he liked the Army's presentation the best and left for basic training a month after graduation. He proudly wore his Airborne Wings and the Combat Infantry Badge and shot expert in weapons qualification. His awards include the National Defense Ribbon and now, the Purple Heart. It was his goal to go to Ranger School when he returned from Afghanistan. Jerod is remembered as an all around great guy. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, country music, camping, basketball and baseball. He was proud of what he was doing and it is what he wanted to do “ he never wavered in his position. Jerod told his family, "You have to be proud of what we have in America."

 


Staff Sgt. John Doles

Staff Sgt. John Doles
Chelsea resident John Glen Doles died in an ambush Friday, Sept. 30, 2005 while serving overseas in Afghanistan. He was 29. Staff Sgt. Doles had fought in combat in both Iraq and Afghanistan and was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge. He graduated from Airborne School, Air Assault School, Ranger School, the Primary Leadership Development Course and the Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course. In 2000, Doles was assigned to Fort Beginning, Ga. for Basic Training and Airborne School. From 2001 to 2003, he was assigned to Fort Polk, La. as a member of B Company 1-509th Infantry (Airborne) OPFOR at the Joint Readiness Training Center. On March 26, 2003, he parachuted into Iraq as a member of the 173rd Airborne Brigade in the largest combat jump since WWII. From 2003 to 2005, he was assigned to Vicenza, Italy as squad leader in B Company 1-508th Infantry (Airborne) Brigade. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the national Defense Service medal, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Global War of Terror Service Medal, the Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal with Arrowhead Device, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Ranger Tab, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Parachutist Badge with Combat Star and the Air Assault Badge. Doles was planning to re-enlist in the Army as soon as he was able. Doles was born June 6, 1976 in Phoenix, Ariz. He was a graduate of Chelsea High School. Doles leaves behind his parents, Gene and Sonja Doles of Chelsea, and Susan Appleman of Colorado Springs, Colo., a wife, Heather (Jenkens) Doles, children, Logan and Breanna Doles, and several other friends and relatives. Services for Doles have been scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2005 at the First Christian Church of Chelsea. He will be laid to rest at Dawes Cemetery near Chelsea under the direction of Seaman-Blanke Funeral Service of Chelsea.
Source: The Claremore Daily Progress printed 2005/10/04


Sgt. Daniel M. Eshbaugh

Sgt. Daniel M. Eshbaugh

NORMAN - Amid huge sprays of red carnations and white gladioli tied with blue ribbons, a small paper wreath with the words "We Love You Daddy" was displayed Saturday above the casket of Sgt. Daniel M. Eshbaugh.
At the center of the wreath was a snapshot of Eshbaugh flanked by his son and daughter as they stood in front of an Army helicopter. Nearby was a pair of Eshbaugh's tan-colored combat boots.
Several hundred mourners, almost half of them dressed in military attire, gathered Saturday at CrossPointe Church to pay tribute to the soldier, who was killed in Iraq on Sept. 18.
Eshbaugh, 43, and two other soldiers died when their Chinook helicopter crashed 60 miles west of Basra, Iraq. Also killed in the crash were Chief Warrant Officer Brady J. Rudolph, 37, of Oklahoma City, and Cpl. Michael E. Thompson, 23, of Harrah.
They were members of a Lexington-based battalion of the Oklahoma National Guard. They were with Detachment 1, 2nd Battalion, 149th Aviation unit.
Military officials attributed the crash to mechanical failure, rather than hostile action.
Outside the church, dozens of Patriot Guard Riders parked their motorcycles and took up American flags to line the street when family members arrived for the service. They are members of the international patriotic group that often attends service members' funerals, said member Kim Drye of Oklahoma City.
Also standing at attention as their flags waved in the morning breeze were members of the University of Oklahoma ROTC.
Inside the church, family friend Jerica Southwell of Chickasha recited eulogies prepared by Eshbaugh's wife, Rachel, and Eshbaugh's mother, Bernadine, of Chicago. She talked about Eshbaugh's love of the Oklahoma Sooners, the Chicago Bears and his dog, Cheyenne.
Rachel's words brought a few chuckles as she noted that it appeared Eshbaugh "loved Cheyenne more than me sometimes."
Deacon Jeff Willard described Eshbaugh "as unremarkable as you and I. He was a common man who did common things.
"He never stood in front of a crowd and got to hear them roar for him," Willard said, inviting those attending to rise in applause - which they did.
It was announced during the services that Eshbaugh was being awarded the Bronze Star posthumously. Several other medals and awards he had won for service in Iraq and elsewhere were displayed.
Attending the service were Oklahoma's adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Harry M. "Bud" Wyatt III, and Lt. Gov. Jari Askins.
Following the Norman service, Eshbaugh's body was taken to Fort Sill for burial with full military honors.
Eshbaugh is survived by his wife, Rachel, son, Bryan, and daughter Jordan. He also has two other daughters, Ashley and Jessica of Kansas. (Source: Tulsa World, Sunday, October 5, 2008)


Steven Farley
State Department

Steven Farley
Steven graduated from Edmond Memorial High School in Edmond, Oklahoma in1969 and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1970. While in the Army, he was stationed in Korea but joined the Navy after receiving his master's degree from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1976. During his 34 years of military service he served in Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and Iraq and received numerous medals and awards. Those medals include the "Meritorious Service Medal", "Navy Commendation Medal"(5th award), "Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal", "Joint Meritorious Unit Commendation Award", "Navy "E", "Army Good Conduct", "Navy Expeditionary Medal", "National Defense Service Medal" (3rd award), "Armed Forces Expeditionary", "Southwest Asia Service Medal", "Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal", "Global War on Terrorism Service Medal", "Iraq Campaign Medal", "Sea Service Deployment Ribbon" (3 Bronze Stars), "Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Deployment Ribbon" (3 Bronze Stars), "Armed Forces Reserve Medal", "Navy Rifleman" (Expert), and "Navy Pistol" (Expert). Steven was mobilized shortly after September 11, 2001, and served on the staff of the U.S Seventh Fleet in the Western Pacific. He volunteered in Iraq, first joining The Surge with the Department of Defense in April 2007 and later signing with the State Department in April of 2008. He had been serving on a provincial reconstructive team helping citizens of Iraq to rebuild and revitalize their local government which took him to Sadr City. Only a week before his death, he told his son that his life was in danger after a member of the city council loyal to anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr was forced off the council. Because Steven was committed to making a difference in Iraq, he paid the ultimate price when a bomb tore through a district council building in the Shiite stronghold. He leaves behind his loving wife Donna and three sons, Brett, Chris, and Cameron.


Spc. Wilfred Flores

Cpl. Wilfred "Willy" Flores Jr.
LAWTON, OKla. A memorial service for Cpl. Wilfred Flores Jr. will be held at 3 p.m. April 15 at Frontier Chapel on Fort Sill, near Lawton, OK. Burial with full military honors will follow at 10 a.m. April 16 in the new Fort Sill National Cemetery near Elgin, OK. Flores, 20, died March 31 near Baghdad, Iraq, when his military vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. He was a Commando Brigade Soldier who deployed to Iraq with his unit in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The son of retired Army Sergeants First Class Wilfred Sr. and Vicky Flores, he was born April 10, 1986, at Fort Sill. He attended Eisenhower High School in Lawton and was active in the school's Jr. ROTC program. He was in the Army Delayed Entry Program prior to his enlistment. He also was a volunteer at Giddy Up & Go, a non-profit therapeutic horse riding program for disabled children and adults. After graduating from Eisenhower High School in 2004, Flores joined the Army as an infantryman after completing basic and advanced individual training at Fort Benning, GA. After initial training, he was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) at Fort Drum, NY. He is survived by his parents, Wilfred Sr. and Vicky Flores of Lawton, OK; sister, Theresa Siegrist of Lawton, OK; grandfather, retired USAF SSgt. Modesto Flores Jr. of Poth, TX; three nieces; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. A scholarship has been created in his name by his family, and memorials may be made to: Cameron University Foundation Inc., Attn: Willy Flores, Jr. Scholarship Fund, 2800 West Gore Boulevard, Lawton, OK 73505. 
Published in the Express-News on 4/13/2007

Sgt. Daniel Lee Galvan
Sgt. Daniel Lee Galvan, 30, with the United States Army stationed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, died August 12, 2004, during a mission in Afghanistan. Daniel is an honored hero who sacrificed his life protecting his country and the freedom it represents. Daniel is remembered, cherished, and loved by his wife, Sonya Denise Galvan and two children, Audrey and Joseph and his beloved dog, Teddi Galvan. He is also survived by: his parents, Blas E. and Nelda Galvan of Moore, OK; sister, Erica M. Galvan of Moore, OK; brothers, Marc A. and Michele Galvan of Sicklerville, NJ, Ernesto N. Galvan, of Moore, OK; niece, Erin Noelle Lee Galvan of Moore, OK; nephew, Brandon J. Martherus of California; maternal grandmother, Carmen Navarro Arteaga of Mercedes, TX; paternal grandmother, Consuelo Galvan, of San Juan, TX; great-grandmother, Angelita de la Cerda of Mercedes, TX. Daniel was preceded in death by his great-grandparents, Isabel and Eulalia Galvan, great-grandfather, Lucio de la Cerda, grandfathers, Blas G. Galvan and Jesus M. Garza all of Mercedes, TX. Daniel was also a loving member of the Torres Family leaving father and mother -in-law Cesario and Dolores Torres, brothers-in-law, Cesario K. Torres, Junior Sierra, Jesus Gaytan; sisters-in-law, Maria Sierra, Luisa Gaytan, Veronica Torres, niece, Alicia Torres and nephews, Andres Gaytan, Robert Torres and Justin Sierra. A rosary was offered at 7:00 pm, Friday, August 20, 2004 at Resthaven's Abbey Chapel with Deacon Ernesto Hernandez officiating. Funeral Services will be held at 2:00 pm, Saturday, August 21, 2004, at Saint Theresa Catholic Church with Bishop Placido Rodriguez officiating. Interment with Military Honors will follow at Resthaven Memorial Park under the direction of Resthaven Funeral Home, 5740 West 19th Street, Lubbock, Texas 79407. Honorary Pallbearers: Marc A. Galvan, Cesario K. Torres, Ernesto N. Galvan, Balerino Sierra Jr., Rolando Garza and Jesus Gaytan. Published in The Oklahoman on 8/21/2004


Sgt. James R. Graham III

Sgt. James R. Graham III
Graham died as a result of a vehicle-born improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations near Hit, Iraq. He was assigned to Marine Reserve's 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. As part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Graham's unit was attached to Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). Died on August 1, 2005.Betty Willhoite, a next-door neighbor of James R. Graham III, has fond memories of Graham playing with his boys. "He would always be out there showing the oldest how to kick a soccer ball into the net," she said. Graham, 25, of Coweta, Okla., died in an explosion Aug. 1. He was based at Broken Arrow. "I just hate to see this happen to such a nice, young family," Willhoite said. "He felt like it was his duty." Graham, best known as "J," started working at a Subway restaurant and eventually managed several others. "My first impression was J was irresponsible and wet behind the ears," said Graham's father-in-law, Bob Bratton. "My impression was wrong. At 18 and 19, he carried responsibility like many adults don't carry responsibility." Willhoite, who heard the news about Graham from his wife, said Graham was a hard worker and a good person. "He was very gentle and a great father, a little on the quiet side," Willhoite said. "I've never heard him raise his voice." Graham is survived by his wife, Melissa, and two sons, ages 9 and 6.



Pfc. Travis J. Grigg

Pfc. Travis J. Grigg
Before he went to war, Travis J. Grigg told his father that if the worst happened, he didn't want mourners to spend money on flowers. He wanted them to donate to Inola High School's athletic program. Grigg, after all, had virtually lived on sports. He was a good catcher in baseball, an all-county receiver in football and part of a powerhouse basketball squad that never lost a conference game. Principal Robert Kinnick called Grigg an "all-American kid." He talked about the young man's "subtle" demeanor in class and his smooth athleticism on the field of play. "I watched him play a zillion ballgames," Kinnick said. "He wasn't flashy because he was so smooth in what he did. He was just a natural athlete." Grigg, 24, of Inola, Okla., was killed Nov. 15 by a bomb blast near his vehicle in Taji. He graduated high school in 1999 and was assigned to Fort Campbell. Grigg joined the Army after working in construction and airplane maintenance. He told his father he wanted to join the Tulsa Fire Department. "that made me proud," said Barney Grigg, a widower and volunteer firefighter for 30 years.


Chief Warrant Officer Travis W. Grogan

Chief Warrant Officer Travis W. Grogan
Travis Grogan was born January 12, 1973 to Barbara and Lewis Grogan. He died November 27, 2004 while serving his country in Afghanistan. He was a Chief Warrant Officer II in the 25th Division, 3 4th Cavalry, Charlie Troop and a helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army. Before transferring to the Army he served his country as a Search and Rescue Swimmer with the US Navy. He was a graduate of Moore High School and attended the First Baptist Church of Moore. He is survived by his wife, Tracy and two children, Ashley and Austin, his mother, Barbara Grogan, his father, Lewis Grogan, grandmother, Wilma North, and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. A funeral service will be held 10 a.m. Thursday, December 9, 2004 at the First Baptist Church of Moore with burial to follow at 1 p.m. at Ft. Sill National Cemetery in Elgin, OK. GUARDIAN NORTH 11600 N. Pennsylvania 752-9292

Published in The Oklahoman on 12/7/2004


Maj Scott Hagerty

Maj. Scott A. Hagerty

Maj. Scott A. Hagerty was born on September 1, 1966, in Muskogee, OK to Don Hagerty and Shirley (Beyreis) Hagerty.  He was a trained civil affairs officer assigned to the 451st Civil Affairs Battalion, Pasadena, TX. He died in Zormat, Afghanistan when a roadside bomb exploded next to his military vehicle during a patrol Tuesday, June 3, 2008. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, June 13, 2008 at First United Methodist Church with the Reverend Henry Siems and the Reverend Mark Jones officiating. Interment will be in Sunset Memorial Gardens. Strode Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.  A resident of Stillwater, Hagerty graduated from Stillwater High School, and entered into the United States Army at the rank of specialist in Oklahoma City, during the fall of his senior year of high school in 1983. Upon graduation in 1984, he entered into active-duty service to be an infantryman.  Three years later, into his second enlistment, Hagerty changed his military occupational specialty to be a crewman in air defense artillery, serving as a newly promoted corporal.  At the turn of the next decade, he departed active duty and began his 16-year Army Reserve career as an infantry drill sergeant.  After nearly three-and-a-half years as an ROTC cadet at Oklahoma State University, Hagerty earned his commission in the spring of 1993, graduating with a bachelor's degree in political science.  In the same year, he completed the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course at Fort Sill, OK.  While assigned to the 1st Battalion, 291st Regiment in Stillwater, Okla., Hagerty held such positions as executive officer and executive training officer.  He then transferred to the Shawnee, OK-based Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 291st Regiment in 1995, where he served as a company commander twice and a battalion S4.  He was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant in 1996 and to rank of captain in 2001. Just after he completed his commissioned officer's advance course as a military policeman in 2004, Hagerty began his civil affairs career.  He transferred from the 291st Regiment to the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion located in Danbury, Conn., deploying with the battalion to Iraqi for one year.  In 2006, he transferred to the 413th Civil Affairs Battalion, Lubbock, Texas, in order to deploy in support of the Horn of Africa mission in Djibouti, Africa.  He returned to U.S. soil in the summer of 2007 and was promoted to the rank of major Nov. 4, 2007.  In February of 2008, Hagerty was assigned to the 451st CA BN, Pasadena, TX, and shortly thereafter he deployed with the unit to Afghanistan.  His military training includes Basic Combat Training, NBC School, Field Artillery Basic Officer's Course, Security Management Course, Company Supply Course, Military Police Advanced Officer's Course and the Civil Affairs Officer Course.  His military awards included two Meritorious Service Medals, Joint Service Commendation Medal, two Army Commendation Medals, six Army Achievement Medals, Good Conduct Medal, three Army Reserve Components Achievement Medals, two National Defense Service Medals, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, Korean Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with "M" (mobilization) device and numeral "2," the Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Combat Action Badge, Driver and Mechanic Badge with Driver Tracked Vehicle Bar and the Marksmanship Qualification Badge.  Hagerty's civilian education included a Bachelor of Political Science from Oklahoma State University, Okla. He married Daphne Drake on December 24, 1995 in Perkins, OK. He was employed by National Standard, an industrial wire products headquartered in Stillwater, Okla., working as a 29-line operator.  He was also a member of the Church of the Nazarene.  He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Virgil Hagerty and Ethel (Aliff) Hagerty; and his maternal grandparents, James Beyreis and Ruperta (Reed) Beyreis.  Major Hagerty is survived by his wife, Daphne of Stillwater, OK, and their two sons, Jonathan Barrett Hagerty and Samuel Aren Hagerty; his parents, Don and Shirley of Stillwater, OK; one brother, Mark Hagerty and his wife Kathy; and one sister, Lynne Farmer and her husband Bruce.  Memorial contributions may be made in his name to Jonathan and Samuel Hagerty Trust Fund, C/O Banc First, P.O. Box 1, Stillwater, OK 74076; OSU Foundation, Army ROTC Fund, P.O. Box 1749, Stillwater, OK 74076; or First Nazarene Church Children's Playground Fund, 1023 E. Will Rogers, Dr. Stillwater, OK 74075.


Christopher Michael Hake

Christopher Michael Hake
Christopher Michael Hake was born Aug. 17, 1981, to Peter M. Hake and Denice Y. Hake in Abilene, Texas. Chris went to Heaven to be with his Lord on Easter Sunday, March 23, 2008, in Baghdad, Iraq when he gave the "ultimate sacrifice" by laying down his life for his country in efforts to provide peace and freedom to all.Chris lived in Erick until age 2, when he moved to Enid with his father and two sisters, Shannon and Keri. While in Enid, the family expanded to include his stepmother, Jill, and two younger brothers, Zac and Skylar.Chris received his early education at Chisholm Elementary School where he enjoyed several close friendships and played football, basketball and soccer. After elementary school, Chris attended junior high and high school at Oklahoma Bible Academy. As Chris would reflect on his school years, he always mentioned the love he had for Oklahoma Bible Academy, his friends and the faculty. Throughout high school, Chris developed varied interests. He loved soccer, boating, skiing, music and having fun with family and friends, with whom he held a very close bond. Chris was always a very hard worker and during his high school years he held various jobs such as at Jumbo Foods and a local lawn care service.Chris developed his spiritual life throughout his school years at OBA and through his youth group at Grace World Outreach Center. Chris traveled to Mexico on a mission trip with the youth.Upon graduation from OBA in May 2000, Chris joined the Army. He was stationed at Ft. Benning, Ga., where he was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division. After his training at Ft. Benning, Chris was assigned to the "Old Guard" unit in Fort McNair in Arlington, Va. Here he defended Washington, D.C., and performed ceremonial services throughout Washington, Arlington Cemetery and the country. Chris marched in the inaugural parade for President Bush in 2001. Chris was in the Old Guard when the Pentagon was attacked by terrorists on 9/11 and was immediately called upon to clear the Pentagon after the attack. This was a startling glimpse of the true purpose he possessed to protect and defend his country.During Chris' tour in Washington, he came home on leave where his "match-making" cousin set him up with a date. This is where he fell in love with his "Oklahoma Sweetheart," Kelli Short. It was love at first sight 'the perfect match." Chris and Kelli later joined in marriage Dec. 21, 2004. Chris had chosen to re-enlist in active duty infantry and was deployed to his first tour in Iraq just weeks after he and Kelli were married. Their home base was Fort Stuart, Ga., and they lived close by in their new home in Allenhurst, Ga. Chris returned from his first tour in Iraq in January 2006. Ten months later, Chris and Kelli celebrated the birth of their beautiful baby boy, Gage Christopher Michael Hake, on Oct. 14, 2006. Gage was Chris' "Pride and Joy" there couldn't have been a more proud father.Chris worked hard and was promoted to staff sergeant. He was deployed to a second tour in Iraq and left Oct. 23, 2007. On Easter Sunday, March 23, 2008, Chris was called out on patrol as his base was being fired upon. As Chris and four other soldiers were patrolling in their Bradley in southern Baghdad they were hit by an IED which took the lives of Chris and three of his comrades.In recent e-mails Chris had written to his mom and dad that he was dedicating this tour to become closer to Christ. He also wrote, "If anything were to happen to me, Gage would always be able to know that his father died so that he could live in peace. I know Jesus did the same for me, so it is comforting. I don't have a nervous bone in my body this time. I am more at peace than I have been my whole life."Chris is survived by his precious wife Kelli and son Gage of the home; parents Pete and Jill Hake of Enid, and Denice and Russell York of Sayre; sisters Shannon Hake of Enid and Keri Hake Cotton and husband Andre of Midwest City; brothers Zachary and Skylar Hake of Enid; grandparents Martha Fuller of Oklahoma City, Sydney "Bilbo" and Frances Smith of Erick, and many aunts, uncles and cousins.Chris was preceded in death by his grandfather, Dr. Orin Hake, and step-grandparents Jim Fuller, June Crank and Donald Crank.Memorials may be given in Chris' memory to either the Gage Hake Education Fund or to the Chris Hake Memorial OBA Scholarship Fund through Ladusau-Evans Funeral Home, P.O. Box 3501, Enid, 73702.Funeral services for Chris will be 3:30 p.m., Wednesday at Oklahoma Bible Academy, Enid. Rev Garvie Schmidt and Dallas Caldwell will officiate. Burial will take place in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., Tuesday at 3 p.m. Arrangements are under the direction of Ladusau-Evans Funeral Home.For friends and family in the Stillwater area who would like to sign a memorial book for Mr. Hake, you can come by Strode Funeral Home at 610 S. Duncan from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday. Strode Funeral Home will also receive floral gifts for the family during this time. There is also a trust fund being set up for Gage and contributions may be made to the Family Memorial Fund, c/o Strode Funeral Home, P.O. Box 487, Stillwater, 74075.


Cpl. Nathaniel Hammond

Cpl. Nathaniel Hammond
Cpl. Nathaniel Hammond was a certified flight instructor who received language training in Arabic before being deployed to Iraq. Hammond graduated from Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology in 2003 and his father, Tom Hammond, said he wanted to re-enlist in the Marines and return to Iraq as a pilot. "He wanted to fly Apache helicopters," he said. Hammond, 24, of Tulsa, was killed Nov. 8, 2004 in an attack at Babil province, Iraq. His Marine reserve unit was based in Chicago. Hammond, who grew up in Springfield, Mo., was scheduled to return home in March when his 6-year commitment to the Marines was to end. Tom Hammond said his son told his family that despite the ongoing insurgency, most of his conversations with Iraqis were positive. Tom Hammond said family members got a letter from his son two days before he was killed. In it, he said he put himself in God's hands. "We know he is in heaven," Tom Hammond said. "We miss him. We love him."  2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division


Spc. Jared D. Hartley

Spc. Jared D. Hartley
OKLAHOMA CITY A 22-year-old soldier from Newkirk was killed Friday in Iraq when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle, family members confirmed on Sunday.  Spc. Jared D. Hartley was assigned to the 125th Forward Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, based at Fort Riley, Kan.  Hartley was a turret gunner aboard a Humvee that was targeted near Taji, his brother, Staff Sgt. Alex Hartley, 25, told the Associated Press in a telephone interview.  'that's probably why he got killed," Alex Hartley said. "Being exposed like that, he probably took the brunt of the explosion."  Jared Hartley was a 2002 graduate of Newkirk High School, where he played football and basketball, his brother said.  He joined the Army shortly after graduating high school and deployed for a 13-month tour in Iraq, Alex Hartley said.  "When he came back, he was going to get out of the military, but they told him they needed him," Alex Hartley said. "He said, 'No problem, I'll stay in as long as you need me."'  He returned for his second tour in March.  Hartley said his brother was committed to the military's mission in Iraq and pleased with the positive response he received from the Iraqi people.  "He said people he talked to were glad they were there," Alex Hartley said. "Protecting our country and helping people he felt good about his mission."  The sons of Doug and Kathie Hartley, the two boys grew up on a small ranch in Newkirk, where they raised show cattle, Alex Hartley said.  "He liked to ride four-wheelers and he had a Jeep," Alex Hartley said. "He liked the outdoors. He was a real free spirit. He got along with just about everyone you could imagine." 


Spc. Robert T. Hendrickson

Specialist First Class Robert Taylor Hendrickson
Specialist First Class Robert Taylor Hendrickson, 24, Broken Bow, passed away February 1, 2005, in Baghdad, Iraq. He was serving in the United States Army. He was born May 23, 1980. He is survived by his son; parents; sister; grandparents; niece; nephew; aunts; uncles; and cousins. Services will be 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 9, 2005, at Brumley Chapel, Broken Bow. Family will receive friends at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday night at Brumley Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Oklahoma Chapter, 500 N. Broadway, Oklahoma City, OK 73102. Under the Direction of Brumley Funeral Home, Broken Bow, OK .
2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division out of Fort Hood, Texas

BROKEN BOW, Okla. An Oklahoma soldier died in Iraq to help the people there gain freedom, his father said Wednesday.  Family and friends gathered at a private funeral to pay their final respects to Spc. Robby Taylor Hendrickson, 24.  Hendrickson died Feb. 1 in Baghdad when the military vehicle he was driving hit a barrier and toppled over. He lost consciousness after the accident and did not recover, his family said.  Hendrickson's father, Dave, said his son will be remembered as a hero.  "He died to help the Iraqi people achieve their freedom," Dave Hendrickson said. "He died for the Iraqi people and the war against terrorism so that his son might have a safer world to live in."  After the service, family members gathered in front of the funeral home as Robby Hendrickson's flag-draped casket was brought out. A military honor guard fired their rifles in tribute, and a bugler played ‘Taps'. A military official presented folded American flags to the soldier's family.  Robby Hendrickson had been in Iraq about a year with his Fort Hood, Texas-based unit. He told family he was scheduled to return home within a month.  Dave Hendrickson said his son looked forward to spending time with his own 6-year-old son, Dylan.  "He loved Dylan more than anything," he said. "My son was a good boy. He was a good man. He was a good dad."  Hendrickson also is survived by his mother, Pamela Herrington, and a sister, Krystal Bonner.


Staff Sgt. Jason R. Hendrix

Staff Sgt. Jason R. Hendrix
Staff Sgt. Jason R. Hendrix was born in Watsonville and lived here with both parents until their divorce in 1991. He attended Salsipuedes Elementary, E.A. Hall and Rolling Hills middle schools and went to Aptos High School his freshman and sophomore years.  His father moved to Oklahoma shortly after the divorce, and Hendrix followed him there a year later, when he was 16.  He enlisted in the Army Reserves when he was 17 and did tours in Korea and Saudi Arabia before going to Iraq.  Hendrix died a staff sergeant for the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Hovey, Korea. He is believed to have been heroically pulling fellow
soldiers from burning vehicles when he was killed in the Iraqi city of Ramadi.  Jason Hendrix made sacrifices for his men, once using nearly $2,000 of his own money to buy night-vision goggles, face masks and flashlights and giving up his Christmas leave so another man with a new baby could go home. "He was a protective big brother," said his aunt, Melanie Massera. "He was that way with his men. He cared for them in a very protective way." Hendrix, 28, of Claremore, Okla., died Feb. 16 in an explosion while trying to save a fellow soldier whose vehicle was under attack in Iraq. He was based at Camp Hovey, Korea. As the leader of a 25-man squad and the eldest of seven siblings, Hendrix knew the importance of setting a good example for others to follow. Hendrix was a popular teenager who loved to play basketball and break-dance. During his senior year, Hendrix became noticeably motivated and focused, said Mike Hinds, who attended high school with him in Claremore. "He decided to go into the military; he wanted to serve his country, and he put out a lot of effort for it," Hinds said. Hendrix is survived by his mother and stepfather, Renee and Danny Amick, and father, Russell Hendrix.


2nd Lt. Luke S. James

2nd Lt. Luke S. James
HOOKER, Okla. (AP) -- The mother of an Oklahoma soldier who died when a roadside bomb exploded south of Baghdad said he had an interest in the military from an early age and she was proud when he joined the Army. 2nd Lt. Luke S. James, 24, was one of three soldiers killed in the explosion Tuesday near Iskandariyah.  James grew up in this town of about 1,500 people in the Oklahoma Panhandle. His father, Bradley James, is a retired Army Reserves major. "We all just knew that's what he wanted to do," his mother, Arleen James, said in a telephone interview Friday. "He wore the Army fatigues. He enjoyed dressing in those. He'd just say 'I'm playing Army today.' We are talking when he was 3 or 4 years of age." James played football at Hooker High School and graduated near the top of his class. He graduated from Oklahoma State University, where he was in the ROTC. He earned a degree in animal science. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant on Dec. 13, 2002. He became a member of the 82nd Airborne Division and left Fort Bragg, N.C., for Iraq on Jan. 15. "We had a couple of e-mails from him," Arleen James said. 'things weren't too busy and it was cold and he said that he loved us and missed us. "We are very thankful for the communications we were able to have." She said her son enjoyed the camaraderie of the military. "He certainly died loving what he was doing," she said. "He always wanted to serve his country.  "We are very proud as parents that he had the attitude he had and wanted to serve. "It wouldn't have been this mother's choice, but you have to have young men and women willing to preserve the freedom we have. We are glad he was willing." James is survived by his wife, Molly James, of Fayetteville. Their son, Bradley, is 6 months old. He also is survived by a sister, Sharla, 17, and a brother, Kirby, 21.



Jeffrey S. Henthorn

Jeffrey S. Henthorn
SPC 4 Jeffrey S., 25, of Choctaw, OK was born December 3, 1979. He died February 8, 2005, near Balad, Iraq. Jeff was a Third Generation Soldier and served 6 years in the National Guard with the 58th Trans Midwest City, 2 years active Army with the 24th Trans Company, Ft. Riley, KA, and was serving his 2nd tour in Iraq. He is survived by his parents: Warren and Kay Henthorn; 2 sisters: Jayme Ivie and husband, Todd, and Shannon Austill; 2 sons: Chance, 7, and Brenden; 4 Grandmothers: Juanita Henthorn and Lillie Mae Graves: and many other family members and a host of friends. He is preceded in death by 2 Grandpa's: Harvey Stewart Henthorn and KB Myers; and Grandmother Bessie Myers. Services will be held on Friday February 18, at 2:00 pm, at Meadowood Baptist Church in Midwest City, under the direction of Ford Funeral Service, with burial to follow at Arlington Memory Gardens. Donations may be sent to the Army Emergency Relief Fund, for more information call 703-325-0189. Ford Funeral Service 305 S. Sooner Rd. 677-9990

Published in The Oklahoman on 2/17/2005

Pfc. Coleman Hinkefent 

Pfc. Coleman Hinkefent
Age 18, Hometown: Coweta, OK
Date of Death: 12/20/2008 in Baumholder, Germany
Branch of Military: Army
Unit 1st Battaliion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division
Unit's Base: Baumholder, Germany

Pfc. Coleman Hinkefent, a 19-year-old Army private first class from Coweta, died Saturday at an Army hospital in Homburg, Germany, after a short battle with acute leukemia led to liver failure.


Lt. Col. Daniel E. Holland

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Funeral services have been set for Wednesday for a Marlow-Duncan area soldier who was killed by a roadside bomb during combat operations in Baghdad, Iraq. Lt. Col. Daniel E. Holland, an Oklahoma State University graduate, was serving as a U.S. Army veterinarian when he was killed on May 18 along with three other soldiers. Holland, 43, was the youngest of 10 children and a religious man, said his sister Pat Nixon of Oklahoma City. He left behind a wife, Sheryl, and two children, Rachel, 13, and Garrett, 10, who live in Boerne, Texas, near San Antonio. Nixon said her brother had only been in Iraq for three weeks. "It's just still so unreal," she said. Military life was familiar to Holland. His father spent his 30-year Army career in various places and retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1975. The family finally settled in the Marlow-Duncan area, where Holland attended Marlow High School and raised sheep. Holland later joined Future Farmers of America and worked part time for a veterinarian, which influenced Holland's career path, Nixon said. He earned his doctorate of veterinary medicine at Oklahoma State University in 1988 and followed two of his older brothers into the Army. As an Army veterinarian, Holland and his family traveled the world. They lived in Germany, and he served tours in Bosnia and Haiti. Many of his missions were humanitarian -- including his tour in Iraq, Nixon said. When the call came to go to Iraq, Nixon said her brother didn't hesitate. He had a nephew, also named Daniel Holland, who recently returned after serving in Iraq. "Like all soldiers, he did not want to be away from his family, but he knew it was his job, and he always did his job to the very best of his ability," Nixon said. "He was a true American patriot, and if that's where the president and commander in chief said to go, he was going to go." Both of his children inherited his love for animals. Nixon said they're now raising goats and turkeys. "Every time he'd leave, he'd say: 'Glad you got to see me.' That was his trademark line, and we'd always laugh," Nixon said. "He did everything with gusto and lived life to the fullest. He spent as much time as he could with his family. "Everybody just thought the world of Daniel." Holland will have a funeral Mass at noon Wednesday at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in New Braunfels, Texas. He will be buried with full military honors at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio. The family requested that memorial contributions be made to The Christian Veterinary Mission, www.christianvetmission.org or any fund that supports wounded soldiers.


Fern Holland
Peace Corps volunteer

No one who knew Fern Holland was surprised when the 33-year-old Oklahoma lawyer decided to go to Iraq just two months after the official fighting ended in May. Worried, yes; surprised, no. After all, this was a woman whose adult life had been one adventure after another: traveling the world after college; living in a remote village in Namibia as a Peace Corps volunteer; investigating sexual assaults in a violence-plagued refugee camp in Guinea. For fun, she once descended into the ocean in a steel cage to see great white sharks up close. Even back home in the United States, she had a way of plunging into dangerous situations. In college, she went jogging alone at night, frightening her sorority adviser. "We always called her 'Fearless Fern,'" said LeAnn Harmon, a sorority sister at the University of Oklahoma. "We figured Fern would live through anything; it's everyone else with her you have to worry about." But Fern Leona Holland, the little girl from Bluejacket who became a spitfire lawyer and human rights activist on multiple continents, couldn't live through an ambush by five Iraqi gunmen determined to kill her. She died March 9 in a hail of AK-47 bullets that also claimed the lives of American colleague Robert Zangas of Trafford, Pa., and her Iraqi interpreter, assistant and close friend Salwa Ali. She was buried Saturday in the Bluejacket cemetery near the graves of her parents. While her four siblings and their children mourned back home in Oklahoma, word of Holland's death quickly spread to her many friends: school teachers and classmates from Miami; Delta Gamma "sisters" from OU; fellow Peace Corps volunteers; African refugees; lawyers in Tulsa and Washington. Leading feminists from the National Organization for Women, the Feminist Majority Foundation and the National Council of Women's Organizations issued statements praising Holland's work. Residents of a refugee camp in Guinea renamed the legal clinic she started there the Fern Holland Legal Aid Clinic of Nzerekore. The city council in Miami, where she grew up and graduated from high school, observed a moment of silence and then discussed a memorial to honor her. The Cherokee Nation, of which she was a member, passed a resolution saying she "died as a warrior." A life just 33 years long left a big wake.

Pfc. Jaron D. Holliday

Pfc. Jaron D. Holliday
Age 21, Hometown: Tulsa, OK
Date of Death; 8/4/2007, Hawr Rajab, Iraq
Army, 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25
Unit's Base: Fort Richardson, Alaska

At Christmas time, Jaron D. Holliday spent plenty of time with his seven siblings. "He spent a lot of time taking them places, doing things with them, showering them with gifts," said his mother, Kelly Holliday. "We didn't want to waste time going to an amusement park or sitting in a movie theater because you can't look at each other and talk to each other in those places. We decided to make memories by just being together." Holliday, 21, of Tulsa, Okla., was killed Aug. 4 in Hawr Rajab when his vehicle struck an explosive. He was assigned to Fort Richardson. "He loved people. He never met a stranger," said Kelly Holliday. "People were a very intricate part of his life. He loved life." Holliday had always wanted to be in the armed forces, and at age 11 he began researching which branch he wanted to go into, said his mother. In 2005, at age 19, he joined the Army. 'that was always his desire - to go into the military and serve," she said. "When 9/11 happened, he was 15, and he said, 'If I were old enough to serve, I would.'" He also is survived by his father, John.

Sgt. Buddy Hughie

Sgt. Buddy Hughie
The relatives and friends of Sgt. & Mrs. Buddy James Hughie are invited to attend the funeral services of the former in J. HENRY STUHR, INC., WEST ASHLEY CHAPEL, Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at Eleven O'clock. Interment, Live Oak Memorial Gardens. Friends may call at STUHR'S WEST ASHLEY CHAPEL Tuesday between five and seven o'clock.

Age: 25, Hometown: Poteau, OK
Date of Death: 2/19/2007 at Kamdesh, Afghanistan
Army, Unit: 1st Battalion, 180th Infantry, Oaklahoma Army National Guard
Unit's Base: Ada, OK
     


Sgt. 1st Class David R. Hurst

David Raymond Hurst
FLAG HURST David Raymond Hurst was killed in Iraq on Saturday, June 7, 2008. He was the son of M. Wayne Hurst and Lillian Hurst. Brother of Chris and Mark Hurst. He was preceded in death by his mother, Harryette Koch Hurst. He is also survived by a sister-in-law, nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends. He was a 1994 graduate of Ridgewood Prep School. He loved his country and served in the U. S. Army since 1996. He was a Sergeant First Class in A Company, Second Batalion, 30th Infantry, 4th BCT, Ft. Polk, and the recipient of The Bronze Star Medal (third award), Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (third award), Army Achievement Medal (fifth award), Army Good Conduct Medal (third award), National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, Iraqi Campaign Medal with a Bronze Star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War of Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Medal (second award), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, Weapons Qualification Badge, Drill Sergeant Identification Badge, Overseas Service Bar (second award) . He was a wonderful son, brother, brother-in-law, uncle and friend who will be deeply missed. Funeral Services will be held on Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 12:30 PM, in the Chapel of Schoen Funeral Home, 3827 Canal Street at N. Scott. Visitation will begin at 10:00 AM. Interment will be at Lakelawn Park Mausoleum. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the VFW post 3106, PO Box 1134, Leesville, LA 71496, or Helping Hands Fund, Office of the Installation Chaplain, Attention: IMSE-BRG-RS, 2175 Reily Road Stop A, Ft, Bragg, N.C. 28310-5000, Attention: Chaplain (Col.) David A. White. An online memorial and guest register is available at www.MeM.com.
Published in The Times-Picayune from 6/15/2008 - 6/17/2008


2nd Lt. Luke James

2nd Lt. Luke James
2nd Lt. Luke James, 24, of Hooker, Oklahoma was killed in action in Iraq, January 27, 2004. Memorial services will be at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, February 28, 2004 at the Hooker High School Gymnasium in Hooker, Oklahoma. 2nd Lt. James was interred in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia earlier in February. Roberts Brothers Funeral Home, Inc.. is in charge of arrangements.

HOOKER, Okla. - 2nd Lt. Luke Samuel James, 24, died Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2004, in Iraq. Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday in the basketball gym of Hooker School. Arrangements are by Roberts Brothers Funeral Home. Mr. James was born Sept. 12, 1979, in Liberal, Kan. He married Molly Kay Garlett in December 2002. Survivors include his wife; a son, Bradley of Fayetteville, N.C.; his parents, Brad and Arleen James of Hooker; a brother, Kirby James of Canyon, Texas; a sister, Sharla James of Hooker; and his grandparents, Bobby and Jo Dean James of Tyrone and Boyd and Eva Lee Cable of McAlester. The family suggests memorials be to Luke James' Memorial Scholarship Fund at First National Bank of Hooker, or a favorite charity, and may be sent to the funeral home, P.O. Box 745, Hooker, OK 73945.

Amarillo Globe-News, Feb. 25, 2004


Petty Officer 2nd Class Brian K. Joplin

Brian K. Joplin
Age: 32, Hometown: Hugo, OK
Date of Death: 10/4/2005, Central Persian Gulf
Navy, Petty Officer, 2nd Class
Unit: Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 15; Base: Corpus Christi, TX

The weekend before Brian K. Joplin left for Bahrain, he found Master Chief Jon Port, a neighbor and friend, with his head under the hood of his Jeep. He looked over Port's shoulder and said, "'You don't know what you're doing, do you"' He walked back across the street and came back with his tools," said Port, adding that Joplin's mechanical skills were second to none. "He told me, 'I'm not your sailor right now, I'm your neighbor and this is what neighbors do.'" Joplin, 32, of Hugo, Okla., was killed Oct. 4 when he fell out of a helicopter during a training mission. He was assigned to Corpus Christi and was a steadfast University of Oklahoma fan. The crowd at his funeral couldn't help but laugh when friend and co-worker Petty Officer Johnny Ramirez said Joplin loved to smoke, but pointed out he never had any cigarettes. "He'd say, 'Hey shipmate! Can I bum a cigarette"' Well, shipmate," Ramirez said, a single cigarette in his hand, "Here is your cigarette." Joplin is survived by 11-year-old Tori, 8-year-old Alicia and his wife of 12 years, Belinda.  lived in Corpus Christi since 1999 was killed Tuesday when he fell out of an MH-53 helicopter during a training mission in the Central Arabian Gulf.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Brian K. Joplin, 32, was assigned to Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 15, based out of Naval Air Station Corpus Christi. He was deployed to Iraq in June.A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. today at Wings Auditorium on the base.Public Affairs Officer Robert Torres said Thursday the accident still was under investigation but Joplin was on the rear ramp of the helicopter traveling through Bahrain while en route to Kuwait when he fell. It is believed there was a problem with his safety harness but details are unclear, Torres said.  Friends said Joplin was a talented mechanic. Before he was deployed, the Hugo, Okla., native spent his Memorial Day weekend working on a vintage B-25 Mitchell Bomber, much like one his grandfather, a decorated veteran, flew in World War II.  "He was an exceptional mechanic and gifted self-starter," said Master Chief Petty Officer Jon Port, Joplin's colleague, neighbor and friend. "Had he not given his time, (the B-25) would not have been repaired. But he had a strong commitment to his craft and the uniform. That was the kind of man he was."Joplin is survived by wife Belinda and two daughters, Alicia, 8, and Tori, 11, all of Corpus Christi. Torres said Joplin's remains were expected to arrive in Delaware Thursday evening but services were still pending.  Port, who described Joplin as a loving father and husband, said his friend also had a keen sense of humor. Joplin, an avid Oklahoma Sooners fan, took great pride in ribbing his friends before the Cotton Bowl.  "God bless him, he loved the Texas teams, but this weekend he would have been flying an Oklahoma flag out front," Port said.


Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey D. Kettle

Jeffrey D. Kettle
Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey D. Kettle, 31, was killed while serving in Afghanistan August 12.
Age 31; Date of Death: 8/12/2007; Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan
Hometown: Madill, OK
Army, 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group
Unit's Base: Fort Bragg, NC

Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey D. Kettle, 31, was one of three soldiers killed when their vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, on Sunday. The Defense Department lists Kettle's hometown as Madill. Kettle was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group based at Fort Bragg, N.C. FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, Aug. 13, 2007) An Army Special Forces Soldier died August 12 of wounds sustained when his High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle struck an enemy Improvised Explosive Device northeast of Forward Operating Base Khogyani, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan.  Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey D. Kettle, 31, a Special Forces Operational Detachment-Alpha senior engineer sergeant assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) was deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  Kettle was born in Texas City, Texas. He enlisted in the Army in November, 1993. Kettle completed the Special Forces Qualification Course in 2006 and was assigned to 2nd Bn., 7th SFG(A) in January 2007.  His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Valorous Unit Award, Army Superior Unit Award, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Ranger and Special Forces Tabs.  Kettle is survived by his wife, Brandi, and sons Jeffrey and Logan of Raeford, N.C.; and parents Ronald and Cynthia of League City, Tx. 


Sgt. Carl W. Lee

Iraq: Carl W. Lee

He died for 'freedoms that we all hold dear'
The Oklahoman; Dec 10, 2004

Family and friends crowded into a high school auditorium Thursday to pay tearful last respects to an Oklahoma City soldier killed during fighting in Iraq. U.S. Army Sgt. Carl W. Lee was remembered as a patriot who battled for freedom half a world away. "He fought for the freedoms that we all hold dear," chaplain Dave Pollok told the mourners gathered at the Crooked Oak High School auditorium. "He gave his life so that others may be able to live."   Lee, 23, was killed Nov. 28 in Ramadi, Iraq. Family members said his unit was on patrol when it encountered enemy forces and small arms fire, and Lee was shot in the upper torso and head.   Lee graduated from Crooked Oak High School in 2000 and joined the Army soon after. Family members believed he would leave the military when his three-year commitment was up, but he decided to make his career in the armed forces. The airborne infantryman loved playing video games and relished his time with his brothers, Pollok said.  "Carl loved everyone in his family," the chaplain said. "He would have done more if he could have."   Lee's services included a video slide show of photos of the soldier throughout the stages of his life. The images on the screen paired with music moved many to tears.   At the end of the slide show a recording of Taps was played, with two dozen soldiers standing to attention, clutching their fists at their sides.    Lee's body was taken to Sunnylane Cemetery for graveside services, where Maj. Gen. Dave Valcourt, commander of Fort Sill, presented Lee's mother, Claudie Lee, with an American flag at the services.


Pfc. Thomas Ray Leemhuis

Pfc. Thomas Ray Leemhuis

Binger Soldier Laid to Rest


BINGER, Okla. (AP) - A 23-year-old Binger soldier killed in Iraq was remembered as a fun-loving, outgoing man during a memorial service at the high school auditorium where he once played basketball.  About 500 friends, relatives and fellow soldiers attended the service Saturday at Binger-Oney High School Auditorium for Pfc. Thomas Ray Leemhuis, who was killed June 21 in Baghdad.  ``Freedom does not come cheap,'' Rev. Amos Harjo said during the service. ``There is a price to pay. There is a cost to defend freedom.''  Leemhuis and Sgt. Ryan M. Wood, 22, of Oklahoma City were among five soldiers killed when a roadside bomb detonated near their Bradley fighting vehicle.They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division based at Schweinfurt, Germany, according to the Defense Department.Leemhuis has been remembered by friends as a fun-loving, outgoing man who would do anything to make them smile. He played basketball for
Binger-Oney High School, where he graduated in 2002.For 10 minutes during the service, photos of Leemhuis' life flashed
on a screen accompanied by a song with the words, ``I'm going home to the place where I belong.'' In one picture, as a boy, Leemhuis smiled while wearing a blue shirt with a panda on it. In another he wore a red cap and gown for high school graduation.
In others, he's surrounded by family or friends, grinning ear to ear. It ended with Leemhuis' military photo.  Leemhuis was born in Lawton, wanted to make a difference in Binger when he left the Army and was extremely proud of the military and being a Native American, those at the funeral said.Tom Worcester, a relative, told mourners there was a great love but also a great feeling of sadness in the auditorium. He said he wanted his cousin to know that Leemhuis is in heaven.``He is not gone and he is not forgotten,'' he said. ``He will always be remembered, and he will always be loved.''  Leemhuis' family was given the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart
Source:
News From Indian Country 6/21/07

Capt. Torre R. Mallard

Capt. Torre R. Mallard
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A soldier with past Oklahoma ties and two others were killed when their vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device, the Department of Defense said Thursday. Capt. Torre R. Mallard, 27; Sgt. Phillip R. Anderson, 28, of Everett, Wash., and Spc. Donald A. Burkett, 24, of Comanche, Texas, died on Monday in Balad Ruz, Iraq, officials said. The defense department listed Oklahoma as Mallard's home state but didn't include a hometown. He, Anderson and Burkett were assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Hood, Texas. A call to Fort Hood's public affairs office wasn't immediately returned Thursday night. Mallard, a 2002 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., lived in Lawton when his father, Mose Mallard III, was stationed at Fort Sill. The Mallards last maintained an Oklahoma address about five years ago. Mallard's grandfather, Mose Mallard Jr., described Torre as the "finest young man in the world." "It broke my heart when I heard it," the Anniston, Ala., resident told The Oklahoman. "He played football and baseball, and he was just an outstanding student. (He) always got good grades. I was proud of him." Mose Mallard Jr. couldn't explain why the Department of Defense listed Torre Mallard's home state as Oklahoma. Mose Mallard III had a Lawton address briefly in 1986. Torre Mallard graduated high school in Slidell, La.


Spc. James Edward Marshall

Spc. James Edward Marshall
Though he was a world away, Spc. James Edward Marshall remembered to send a dozen pink roses to his mom for Mother's Day. He even called to make sure they arrived. Hours later, Pam Marshall learned that her son had died. The 19-year-old from Tulsa, Okla., was killed May 5 along with another soldier when their Humvee hit an improvised explosive device in Baghdad. He had been in Iraq for less than two months. As a child in a community karate program, Marshall was determined to be the best. "He was a young man who didn't know how to quit," said his teacher, police Officer Marvin Blades. Marshall, stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, joined the Army shortly after graduating from high school in 2002. His godfather, the Rev. M.C. Potter, spoke at his funeral. "God only gives us an allotment of time, and it's up to us to make it mean something," Potter said. "James certainly did that."
Obit from Tulsa World May 14, 2004
A funeral service and a high school band tribute have been scheduled for Army Spc. James Edward Marshall, 19, of Tulsa, who was killed May 5 in Iraq. The funeral service is scheduled at 11 a.m. Saturday at Antioch Baptist Church under the direction of Jack's Memory Funeral Home. The Rev. M.C. Potter, the soldier's godfather, will officiate. Burial will follow at Floral Haven Memorial Gardens in Broken Arrow. The Tulsa Central High School band will pay tribute to Marshall at 7 p.m. May 27 at the high school, the band director said. Marshall was a 2002 graduate of Central, where he played saxophone in the band.


PFC David Jeffery Martin

PFC David Jeffery Martin
PFC David Jeffery Martin, 21, died in service to his county on Oct. 31, 2005 in Iraq. He was born April 1st 1984 in Lewisville, TX. David was a proud and meritorious soldier with the 101st Airborne Air Assault team from Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. A graduate of Edmond North High School in 2002, he attended the University of Central Oklahoma and ROTC for 2 years prior to enlisting in the Military. Formal Visitation will be held at Matthews Funeral Home, 601 S. Kelly, Edmond, OK. from 6-8 p.m. on Monday Nov. 7th. Funeral Services will be held at New Covenant Methodist Church, 2300 S. Blvd. Edmond at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday Nov. 8th with burial following in Memorial Park Cemetery. Services are under the direction of the Matthews Funeral Home, Edmond, OK.

Army Spc. Dustin Knight McGaugh
A graduate of Tulsa Hale High School has died in Iraq of a non-hostile gunshot wound, the Department of Defense reported Thursday. Funeral services for Army Spc. Dustin Knight McGaugh are pending at Moore Funeral Home. Members of his immediate family weren't available for comment Thursday evening. The Defense Department said that McGaugh, 20, was assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 17th Field Artillery Brigade, at Fort Sill. He died Tuesday, the Defense Department reported. Rhonda Link of Tulsa, whose family corresponded with the soldier, said McGaugh graduated from Hale High School in 2001. He was deployed to Iraq earli er this year, she said. The circumstances of his death were unclear Thursday evening. "He was a good young man. The best. He had the attitude that what he was doing he was doing for his country," Link said. She said he would have been 21 in December. He saw the Army as a way to gain an education, Link said.

1st Sgt. Tobias C. Meister

1st Sgt. Tobias C. Meister
JENKS -- As a former U.S. Army drill sergeant of the year, 1st Sgt. Tobias C. Meister knew how to give an order. Pastor Eddie Stephens told more than 500 people who filled the First Baptist Church of Jenks on Friday about this ability. He recalled the two were eating lunch -- Meister was preparing to leave for Afghanistan -- and the subject was "if something happens." 'toby, in a sense, gave me my orders to do what was necessary (for his funeral), and I begrudgingly agreed, thinking that to say no, he might order me to drop and give him 50" pushups, Stephens said. The tale generated laughter among those in attendance at the 30-year-old soldier's funeral, which was the point of many of the pastor's remembrances. "(Toby) told me to be humorous today, so I'm trying," Stephens said. There were several opportunities to smile and laugh between the many tears shed for Meister during the service and later burial in the Veterans Field of Honor at Floral Haven Memorial Gardens in Broken Arrow. A visual projection of family photos showed Meister as a baby in playful outfits, then as a boy playing football, a teen performing martial arts and then competing in a kickboxing match. The photos progressed in time, showing him as a man, a soldier, a friend, a husband and a father. Meister was in dress uniform for his 2003 marriage to his wife, Alicia. He was in jeans and a T-shirt in a 2004
photo as he held up Will, his now 1-year-old son, whom he called his "little buddy." Meister was killed Dec. 28 near Asadabad, Afghanistan, when an improvised explosive device detonated near the Humvee in which he was traveling, military officials said. The Jenks soldier who joined the Iowa National Guard at 17 and later became a drill sergeant -- named the U.S. Army Reserve's best in 2002 -- decided in 2004 that after training men to go overseas for years, he should go as well. He joined the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne), as signed in Broken Arrow, and moved to the 321st Civil Affairs Brigade in San Antonio. The former employee of Horizon Natural Resources, an oil and gas firm in Tulsa, left for Afghanistan last summer and led an 18-soldier unit that provided support for Afghanistan's first free elections. Meister's team worked to "restore broken societies to natural operations," Maj. Gen. Herbert L. Altshuler told mourners and more than 50 U.S. Army personnel at the funeral. "As the grandson of a World War II veteran, Toby knew that freedom isn't free," Altshuler said. "And he knew these (freedoms) were worth fighting for and perhaps worth dying for. "Every generation has its heroes, and this one is no different. Toby Meister is a hero. We mourn his loss; we celebrate his life." Honors posthumously awarded to Meister and given to his wife included the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Meritorious Service Medal. His life was full of celebrations. He was an undefeated kickboxer who also won a middleweight Golden Gloves championship in Dallas at the Cotton Bowl. Many of his martial arts friends attended the funeral. 'to the black belts, the family wanted to say thank you," said Stephens, noting that Meister "got his heart" through martial arts. Meister weighed about "165 pounds, and you knew 100 pounds of it was heart if you saw him fight," Stephens recalled one competitor telling him. Following the burial, Staff Sgt. John Olson, 28, of Broken Arrow, recalled drill sergeant school, where 'toby was my drill sergeant leader, basically my teacher, my mentor." While Olson was there, Meister was selected drill sergeant of the year. This year, Olson -- also a drill sergeant leader -- was selected to participate in the same competition. He last spoke with his mentor before Meister left for Afghanistan. "I had to talk with him, because I figured that if anyone knew how to compete, it would be him," Olson said. "He was talking about his new unit, and he was excited, like he was about life and everything else." Stephens had gotten to know Meister in the last couple of years as his pastor at Christ's Community Church in Bixby. His friend had a "curious, unflinching faith in God, an admirable, earthy, raw faith," Stephens said. "He lived a life worth fighting for . . . He would want you to ask yourself: What's worth fighting for in your life" All of us, let's fight better, let's live better." Meister's life was full, providing many stories and prompting an unusual request from his father, Stephens said. "Dave asked me, 'Would you please apologize to everybody"' I asked what for, and he said, 'Toby was just so darn hard not to brag about.' "

MICHAEL WYKE / Tulsa World
Source: Tulsa World
 


Spc. Gary L. Moore

Cpl. Gary L. Moore
Friends and family members remembered Cpl. Gary L. Moore on Tuesday as a committed Christian with a big smile and a strong handshake who planned to get married this summer. Moore, of Del City, died March 16 when his vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Iraq. He was 25. Hundreds gathered at Southwest Baptist Church in Oklahoma City for Moore's funeral. The Rev. Jason Gaddis said he got to know Moore in 2003 when he was hired as the church's college and career minister. Moore had just graduated from high school. Gaddis choked up as he remembered his first summer with Moore and Randi Ivie, who would later become his fiancee.  "I can't think of Gary without thinking of Randi," Gaddis said. "It was during a college and career activity in 2003 that they met and became basically inseparable." Gaddis said when he and his wife began a relationship class in 2004, Moore and Ivie were regular participants. "I don't know that we've had a couple that took more to heart and took more seriously what we were trying to get across in that relationship class," Gaddis said. The two were in premarital counseling, planning to wed this summer. Moore was a member of the 978th Military Police Co., 93rd Military Police Battalion out of Fort Bliss, Texas. He planned to become a police officer when his service with the U.S. Army was up. Brig. Gen. David Phillips, chief of the military police corps, said Moore and his unit were making a difference in Baghdad. 'this past fall, when the elementary schools reopened, young girls were able to go to school," Phillips said. Phillips said many in Baghdad are getting back to normal life because of the work of Moore and his fellow soldiers. The Rev. Sam Davison, head pastor at Southwest Baptist, said Moore's church family recognized what he was doing and the sacrifice he made. "Gary was 38 years younger than me, but he was one of my heroes," Davison said. "I'm proud of the service that he rendered. I'm proud of his bravery. I'm proud of Gary."

Publication:The Oklahoman; Date:Mar 25, 2009;Page Number:5


Lance Cpl. Joseph L. Nice

 
Lance Cpl. Joseph L. Nice
Lance Cpl. Joseph L. Nice of Nicoma Park, Oklahoma lived with his grandmother, Mary Sneed in Nicoma Park, Oklahoma during his high school years graduating from Choctaw High School in 2003. He was a member of the soccer team and played saxophone in the marching band. He loved video games, fishing and hanging out with his friends. Joe enlisted in the Marines in December of 2002 and left for boot camp in San Diego, California in June of 2003. He seemed to be interested in everything. The straight-A student played the saxophone, was learning the drums, drew landscapes and played several sports. He dreamed of becoming a lawyer, and a Marine. He was fulfilling his dream. He stood his ground on what he wanted out of life. His grandmother often joked around with him, gently chiding Joe when he'd spend an hour in the bathroom to make sure everything was "just so." Joe used to cook for her. She was planning a belated birthday party for him upon his return. Joe was the son of Lloyd Lee Nice and Marilyn Ames Nice. Joe was preceded in death by his grandfather, Henry Sneed. He was killed at age 19 by enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq while serving his country in the United States Marines.Joseph Nice seemed to be interested in everything. The straight-A student played the saxophone, was learning the drums, drew landscapes and played several sports. He dreamed of becoming a lawyer _ and a Marine. "He fulfilled his dream," Lloyd Nice III said of his son. "He stood his ground on what he wanted out of life." The 19-year-old from Nicoma Park, Okla., was killed Aug. 4 in Iraq's Anbar province. He was based at Twentynine Palms, Calif. Mary Sneed often joked around with her grandson, gently chiding him when he'd spend an hour in the bathroom to make sure everything was "just so." "I mean this in a good way, but he was a nerd _ very polite, very easygoing," she said of the boy who used to cook for her. The two were planning a belated birthday party for Nice on his return. "I have been so proud of him," she said. "He just made my chest swell 200 miles every time I seen him." The Marine is also survived by his mother, Marilyn Nice.

08/09/2004  Governor Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Twentynine Palms Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph L. Nice.  Governor Schwarzenegger today issued the following statement regarding the death of Lance Cpl. Joseph L. Nice, of Nicoma Park, OK, who was stationed at Twentynine Palms, CA:  'today marks a day of sadness over the death of Lance Cpl. Nice. Joseph's service to our nation will be remembered by all whose lives he touched. Maria and I send our most sincere condolences to Joseph's family and friends."  Lance Cpl. Nice, 19, died Aug. 4 due to enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, CA.  In honor of Lance Cpl. Nice, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.

Tech. Sgt. Jason L. Norton

Tech. Sgt. Jason L. Norton, 31, of Miami, Okla., and Staff Sgt. Brian McElroy
Two U.S. airmen, one from Oklahoma and the other from Texas, were killed in Iraq when their vehicle struck an improvised explosive device while they were escorting a convoy near Taji, the Department of Defense said Tuesday. Tech. Sgt. Jason L. Norton, 31, of Miami, Okla., and Staff Sgt. Brian McElroy, 28, of San Antonio, Texas, died on Sunday. Both men were assigned to the 3rd Security Forces Squadron at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. Norton's wife, Cristina Norton, said he was devoted to their two children, a son, 7, and a daughter, 8. "He was the best father in the world, and I said that before anything happened," she said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "Family was his everything." "For all of us, this has hit home. These two were family to us," Chief Master Sgt. William Watson, manager of the on-base security forces unit, said at a news conference. "It was a very hard blow for us when news of their passing came to us." Cristina Norton wanted her out-of-state family here with her, so Elmendorf personnel took it upon themselves to take up a collection for plane tickets, according to Watson. "People emptied their pocketbooks," he said. Norton grew up in Miami and attended high school there and the military regards that as his hometown of record, but he has had several different postings. He joined the Air Force in March 1992. He was stationed at McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas, F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming, Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma and Anderson Air Force Base in Guam before landing at Elmendorf in 2002. The couple met when he was stationed at Tinker and she was a college student. Christina Norton said they both enjoyed Alaska, where she works as a school teacher. "We were hoping to finish out his career here," she said. Eve Knoll, Norton's sister-in-law, said Norton was an outdoorsman. "He was a big hunter," she said. "He got a bear last season. He loved to fish and hunt elk and deer." He was also fond of his military specialty. "He was a canine trainer for the Air Force and he loved working with the dogs," Knoll said. "He loved it." Norton was part of the 586th Expeditionary Mission Support Group, which has duties that include transportation and security, said Capt. Kelley Jeter, chief of external communications for the 3rd Wing. Norton, part of the security forces component of that unit, had been in Iraq since Nov. 11. Norton received the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart posthumously on Monday. He also had at least six other medals, including four Air Force achievement medals. Norton and McElroy were the second and third airmen from Elmendorf to die in recent combat. Airman Carl Anderson was killed in 2004. -- Jason L. Norton was 4,000 miles away in Alaska when longtime buddy Scott Miller, who was living in Oklahoma, lost his wife to cancer in March. "He made it a point to come down from Alaska and be with me and my family," Miller said. "He's a very outstanding guy in my book." Norton, 32, of Miami, Okla., was killed Jan. 22 by a roadside bomb near Taji. He was a patrol and K-9 officer assigned to Elmendorf Air Force Base. Norton wrestled and played football in high school, graduating in 1991. He joined the Air Force in March 1992, and served at bases in Kansas, Wyoming, Oklahoma and Guam. Norton's wife, Cristina Norton, said he was devoted to their two children, son Dalton, 7, and daughter Rebecca, 8. Norton was a fan of car racing, especially of Dale Earnhardt Jr., and his favorite football team was the Kansas City Chiefs. "He was a big hunter," said Eve Knoll, Norton's sister-in-law. "He got a bear last season. He loved to fish and hunt elk and deer."


Sgt. Justin L. Noyes


Fairview Cemetery at Vinita, Oklahoma
Above picture taken by Jean Terwilliger
(used by permission)

Sgt. Justin L. Noyes
CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa (July 14, 2006) -- Marines and sailors paid their final respects to Sgt. Justin L. Noyes July 10 during a memorial service at Camp Hansen's West Chapel.  Noyes, an explosive ordnance disposal technician, was killed in the line of duty July 3 by an improvised explosive device in Anbar province, Iraq, while assigned to EOD Company, 1st Marine Logistics Group.  Those in attendance remembered Noyes for his willingness to help others and his desire to be the best at whatever he chose to do.  "One thing that stood out about Justin is he never complained once in the field," said Maj. Ben A. Cacioppo, the III Marine Expeditionary Force EOD Officer. "He was always ready to serve anyone who needed anything."
Cacioppo also read eulogies from Marines who served with Noyes in Iraq but could not attend the service.  "I'm a better man for being able to call him my friend, and a better Marine for having been able to work beside him," wrote Sgt. Christopher M. West, an EOD technician with 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd MLG.  Noyes was a fun and spontaneous individual who almost never became angry with others and devoted himself fully to his work and his wife, said Staff Sgt. Alexander P. Mazza, an EOD technician with 9th ESB, 3rd MLG.  "He never took life for granted," Mazza said. "He (lateral) moved into an MOS that has every risk of death and only the reward of keeping your fellow Marines alive. Let us not remember him only as a loving husband or friend, but as a hero to all. They say only the good die young - Justin was only 23. Rest in peace, brother."

printed : Okinawa.USMC.mil, July 14, 2006


Sgt. Justin L. Noyes of Vinita, Oklahoma graduated from Vinita High School, where he played football and baseball and he was fiercely dedicated to anything he undertook including his service of the nation. He joined the Marines in 2000, the year he graduated. He met his wife Sarah met while he was undergoing training at North Carolina and they were married on May 15, 2005, in Florida in a ceremony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. In addition to his wife and his mother, Stacey Noyes, he is survived by his father and stepmother, Mark and Karen Noyes; brothers Jeremy Norsworthy and Chris Barnes; and sisters Hannah and Rachel Noyes. A sports enthusiast, he played football and baseball throughout his high school career. Justin joined the Marines in 2000, a day before his 18th birthday and at the time of his death was serving his second tour in Iraq. While undergoing additional training at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida he met and fell in love with Sarah Furtado. The two were married in a small outdoor ceremony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico on May 15, 2005. They resided in Florida until Justin received his orders for a three year tour in Okinawa, Japan. After taking a month long road trip to visit family and friends, the couple left from California in August of 2005. A devoted husband, son and brother, Justin is survived by his wife, Sarah Furtado-Noyes, originally of Lisbon, Conn.; mother, Stacy Turner Noyes; father and stepmother, Mark and Karen; brothers, Jeremy and Chris; He was 23.
Marines, 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Okinawa, Japan 


Sgt. Schuyler Brent Patch

Sgt. Schuyler Brent Patch
GALVA
- Sgt. Schuyler Brent Patch, 25, of Galva, Ill., died Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009, while serving in Kandahar, Afghanistan.  Schuyler was born Feb. 17, 1984, in Kewanee, Ill., the son of John Lang Patch and Colleen Diane (Gorey) Stevens.  He graduated from Wethersfield High School in 2002. He joined the Oklahoma National Guard in March 2005 and transferred to the Illinois National Guard in November 2007. He was attached to the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team.  Surviving are his father, John and Amy Patch of Neponset, Ill.; his mother, Colleen and Rick Stevens of Owasso, Okla.; one sister, Amber Patch Troxell and her husband, Brandon, of Kewanee, Ill.; two brothers, Seth Patch of Neponset, Ill., and Garrett Patch of Owasso, Okla.; two stepbrothers, Zach and Blake Stevens of Oklahoma; paternal grandparents, Dan and Joan Patch of New Boston, Ill.; maternal grandparents, David Gorey of Davenport, Iowa, and Mary Gorey of Claremore, Okla.; and two nephews, Logan and Cole Troxell of Kewanee.  Also surviving are Schuyler's aunts and uncles, David and Kathy Patch, Jeff Patch, Jeff and Lori (Patch) Martin, Curtis Gorey, David and Trudy Gorey, James and Pam (Gorey) Fairchild and Kevin and Theresa Gorey; and his fiancee, Amber Spaniel of Bradford, Ill.Schuyler was preceded in death by his great-grandparents, Clyde and Melba Lang, Wilbur and Esther Patch, Dean and Lucille Gorey and Arvel and Emily Petty; and many other loved ones and fallen brothers in arms.  Schuyler enjoyed hunting, fishing, golfing, playing Texas Hold'em and going to concerts. He loved spending time with family and friends and going to Mission Beach, Calif., was an avid Cubs fan and enjoyed being outdoors. He will be sadly missed by his family and a host of friends.  Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 7, 2009, at Wethersfield High School Gymnasium. Chaplain (Capt.) Jon Prain will officiate. Burial will be in the Pleasant View Cemetery in Kewanee, Ill. There will be no visitation, however, the school will be open at 9 a.m. for the community to pay their respects. The family will not be present at that time.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Schuyler Patch Memorial Fund, c/o Community State Bank, 409 Tenney St., Kewanee, IL, 61443, or the Bank of Oklahoma in Owasso, Okla.  The Schueneman-Tumbleson Funeral Home in Kewanee, Ill., is in charge of arrangements


Spc. Joshua Michael Pearce

Spc. Joshua Michael Pearce
GUYMON, OKLA. - Spc. Joshua Michael Pearce, 21, died Sunday, Feb. 26, 2006, in Iraq while serving his country. Services will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday in First Baptist Church with the Rev. Derek Cox, pastor, officiating. Full military rites will follow in Elmhurst Cemetery. Arrangements are by Henson-Novak Funeral Directors.Mr. Pearce was born Nov. 23, 1984, in Johnson, Kan., the son of Rebecca Widows and Michael D. Pearce. He graduated with the Guymon High School Class of 2003, where he played on the Guymon Tiger baseball team and was voted Senior Favorite "Life of the Party."Survivors include his parents, Becky and Rick Hilliard of Guymon and Michael and Mary Pearce of Salina, Kan.; two sisters, Heidi Barncastle of Chillicothe, Mo., and Shanese Hilliard of Guymon; two brothers, Sgt. Jeremy Pearce of Guymon and Brandon Widows of Bentonville, Ark.; a stepsister, Michelle Torres of Topeka, Kan.; and his grandparents, Delomia and Roger Hurst of Johnson, Kan., Darby and Richard Widows of Pueblo, Colo., Theda and Dennis Pearce of Blackwell, Okla., and Leola Hartley of Guymon.The family suggests memorials be to the Spc. Joshua Pearce Memorial Scholarship, in care of Henson-Novak Funeral Directors, P.O. Box 1306, Guymon, OK 73942.

Amarillo Globe-News, March 4, 2006


Sgt Ross A. Pennanen

Sgt Ross A. Pennanen

Services for Ross A. Pennanen are 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 at Resthaven Funeral Home in Oklahoma City. Reverend Ron Ham of Shawnee, OK will be officiating. Sgt. Ross Pennanen was born on November 28, 1966 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He graduated from McLoud High School in 1985. Ross entered the Army in 2001. Sgt. Pennanen deployed with the 2nd Battalion 5th Field Artillery from Ft. Sill, OK in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom on April 12, 2003. Sgt. Pennanen was killed in action on November 2, 2003. He was aboard a CH47 Chinook Helicopter when it was shot down while enroute to Baghdad. Ross' awards include, BSM, Purple Heart, AAM, NDSM, ASR and Expert Marksmanship Badge with Rifle Bar. Sgt. Pennanen is survivedFiancé, Raquel Johnson of Lawton, Stepmother, Linda Pennanen of Midwest City, a stepbrother and stepsister, nephew Stephen Pennanen of Okla. City, Gage's Mother, Francisca Pennanen, and many other loving family members and friends. Graveside services in the Resthaven Garden of Serenity will be conducted by the U.S. Army Full Military Honors Team. RESTHAVEN FUNERAL HOME S.W. 104TH AT WALKER 691-1661
Published in The Oklahoman on 11/11/2003


Staff Sgt. Erickson H. Petty

Staff Sgt. Erickson H. Petty
Staff Sgt. Erickson H. Petty of Fort Gibson, Oklahoma grew up in Fort Gibson and married to his high school sweetheart, Kim Langton, who graduated from Fort Gibson High School a year before him. He died the day before his 29th birthday. He never complained and never showed the slightest bit of fear, a real warrior and the epitome of a combat leader. Eric could have stayed on as a recruiter, but his deep love of his country led him to take a position on the front lines. If not for his leadership, many more would have lost their lives. He had served three years as an Army recruiter in Grand Junction before volunteering to go to Iraq. Petty's father, Ron, has been in the National Guard for 34 years and his brother, Kyle, is in the Air National Guard. He also has a 9-year-old son, Colton. He was 28.


Spc. Micheal "Pokey" Phillips

Spc. Micheal "Pokey" Phillips
Spc. Micheal "Pokey" Phillips, the 19-year-old son of Steven and Angelia Phillips, died on Feb. 24.  He was in the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airbborne, out of Ft. Campbell, Kentucky.


Pfc. Joshua F. Powers

Pfc. Joshua F. Powers
Pfc. Joshua F. Powers of Skiatook, Oklahoma kept boredom at bay in many ways. He collected swords and knives. He made lye soap. He even was handy holding a needle, stitching his own buttons and mending pillowcases and sheets. In fact, when he arrived at basic training at Fort Benning, Ga., one of his first requests to his family was to get him a sewing kit so he could do some repairing. Josh like to fish and hit golf balls into the pasture. Indoors, his penchant for reading and learning enabled him to earn his GED with only a month's study before joining the Army in July. He ate his favorite food, Chinese, with chopsticks and always bought fireworks for the Fourth of July the first day they went on sale. As for video games, he was a master. There were very few games he could not win. He made lye soap to give to the "old folks" at Christmas, and often fixed his mother's frozen pipes before she asked. He also worshipped his dog, Spunky, which had been a pet since he was a kindergartner. When Powers was shipped off to the Army, he fretted for his furry friend. He often served as peacemaker between his brothers, Michael and Jonathan. He thought he would die of old age before he got home. The Army presented Powers posthumous commendation and good-conduct medals, and honored him with a 21-gun salute and the playing of taps. He was 21.


Spc. Bryan L. Quinton

Spc. Bryan L. Quinton
It didn't seem fair that the sun should be shining so brightly on such a sad day.On Wednesday, hundreds of mourners gathered at Green Hill Cemetery to bury a fallen soldier, a local hero, Spc. Bryan L. Quinton.  As his flag-draped casket was removed from the hearse just before noon, a bagpipe played the sweet, mournful hymn " Amazing Grace."  Brig. Gen. Todd Semonite of the U.S. Army spoke about Bryan, calling him " an American hero."  Semonite shared that Quinton had been stationed in downtown Baghdad, one of the most dangerous areas of the city. Bryan's team went out first thing each morning to clear the road of explosive devices. Everyone waited for a call from Bryan to know if the roads were safe. Nothing worked until Bryan's call,  he remembered. " Civilians and soldiers are alive today because of Bryan."  A lone trumpet played as six soldiers slowly folded the flag that draped Quinton's casket. Semonite placed the folded flag in the hands of Quinton's widow, Cyndi, and seemed to offer comforting words in a hushed voice.  The Rev. Steve Farmer then read the 23rd Psalm as the wind whipped through the many American flags that encircled the drive and canopy of the cemetery.  "I'm impressed by the show of community support. It shows how much they have put their arms around this family's shoulders and embraced them," Semonite said.  In a funeral service held earlier that morning at Sapulpa's First United Methodist Church, sounds of laughing and crying were heard in unison as several speakers recounted the life of a soldier whose life ended too soon.  The Rev. Steve Farmer urged the congregation not to feel the sadness but to celebrate Quinton's life.  'this is our opportunity to hurt," he said.
In a series of eulogies, Quinton was remembered as a young man small in stature with a huge heart. Never one to back down from a friendly wrestling match, a lieutenant from Quinton's battalion remembered him as a young soldier who learned every day from those around him. Constant references to Quinton's infectious smile and affinity for dancing reminded the mourners of a young man who loved life and, above all, loved his family.
Older brother Brent painted a picture of Quinton as an irresistibly lovable kid brother whom he had grown to look up to. "You are the man," Brent said to his brother's casket. " Semper fi." Quinton died May 4, 2006 in Iraq as a result of injuries sustained from an improvised explosive devise attack. At the time of his death, he was assigned to Bravo Company, 5th Engineer Battalion.  Quinton's awards included the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, the Iraqi Campaign medal, the Global War on Terror Service medal and the Combat Action badge.
He leaves behind a wife, Cyndi; one daughter, Pyper; his parents, Timothy and Kristi Quinton; brothers Garth Quinton and Brent Quinton and his wife, Alison, nephew Clay Quinton; grandmother Barbara Weaver; and grandfather Grady Quinton. The Bryan Quinton Memorial Fund has been established at SpiritBank. Visit any SpiritBank location to donate to the fund
.

Sapalpa Daily Herald writers Jami Mattox and Heather Sleightholm contributed to this story


Staff Sgt. Jack D. Richards

Army Staff Sgt. Jack D. Richards
BROKEN ARROW -- A funeral will be held Monday for a Broken Arrow soldier who was found dead last Sunday at his home near Fort Bragg, N.C., where he was recovering from an injury sustained three years ago in Iraq.
Services for Army Staff Sgt. Jack D. Richards, 39, will be at 10 a.m. at Liberty Church, 7777 S. Garnett Road, followed by burial at 1 p.m. at the Fort Gibson National Cemetery. Richards nearly lost his leg in a roadside bomb explosion in Iraq in 2004 and was still undergoing treatment at Fort Bragg. He was found dead at his Fayetteville, N.C., home, according to military officials. The cause of his death is still pending with the North Carolina Medical Examiner's Office. Survivors include his wife, Janey Richards; a son, Titus Ryan Richards; his parents, Jack and Lois Richards; and sisters Sandy Laney and Pam Schultz.

Tulsa World Published: 8/2/2007  


Lance Corporal Trevor Roberts

Lance Corporal Trevor Roberts
Lance Corporal Trevor Roberts, 21 of Oklahoma City, died March 24, 2007 while serving his country in Iraq. Services are pending at this time. In lieu of flowers, Memorial Contributions may be made to Eagle Heights Church, Trevor Roberts Mission Fund, 12000 S. I-44, Oklahoma City, OK 73170. The family invites you to visit www.MeM.com to offer your written tributes of Trevor.
Published in The Oklahoman on 3/27/2007 


Staff Sergeant
Carlo Montell Robinson

Army Staff Sergeant Carlo Montell Robinson
TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS COME - GREETINGS:
WHEREAS: Army Staff Sergeant Carlo Montell Robinson, born on June 18, 1975, was a dedicated and courageous soldier, deeply loved by his family and many friends, died January 17, 2009, while serving his country on combat duty in Afghanistan; and WHEREAS: Carlo was the beloved son of Jennifer Robinson of Hope, Arkansas; the devoted brother of Christal Robinson of Emmet; a loving father to his children, Carneshia, Destiny, and Da'Karia; the cherished grandson of Martha Witherspoon; as well as a loyal friend to scores of people from across the world; and WHEREAS: Carlo graduated from Hope High School in 1993, where he was known a "quiet type" who loved sports, joining the National Guard and active service a year later, and was currently serving his first overseas deployment after 13 years in service to his country; and WHEREAS: As a Staff Sergeant, Robinson sacrificed his life during combat operations near Kabul, Afghanistan, as a member of the Army's 1st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade out of Fort Polk, Louisiana; and  WHEREAS: All Arkansans and United States citizens owe Carlo a lasting debt of gratitude for his bravery and his heroism and should pay tribute to his faithful service; and WHEREAS: Citizens of this State and Nation extend deepest sympathy to the family and loved ones of Staff Sergeant Carlo Montell Robinson; NOW, THEREFORE, I, MIKE BEEBE, Governor of the State of Arkansas, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the laws of the State of Arkansas, in tribute to the memory of Carlo M. Robinson and as an expression of public sorrow, do hereby direct that the United States flag and the state flag of Arkansas be flown at half-staff on Monday, January 26, 2009.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Arkansas to be affixed this 23rd day of January, in the year of our Lord 2009.

Army Staff Sgt. Robinson was assigned to the 1st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Fort Polk, Louisiana. He died in Bagram of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Kabul. Carlo graduated from Hope High School in Hope, Arkansas in 1993. As a student, he was the quiet type and enjoyed playing sports. A year after graduation he joined the National Guard and a year after that he went active duty. After being in the military for 13 years, Carlo was on his first overseas deployment when he was killed. This dedicated and courageous soldier leaves behind one daughter and one son in Hope, Arkansas, and a second daughter in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

(bio by: Brenda Normandin) 


Corporal Jeffry Alan Rogers

Corporal Jeffry Alan Rogers
Corporal Jeffry Alan Rogers, USMC, 21, of Yukon, Oklahoma, died November 16, 2005 while conducting combat operations against enemy forces during Operation Steel Curtain in Ubaydi, Iraq. Rogers died as a result of enemy small arms fire. He is the son of Jim and Janet Rogers also of Yukon, Oklahoma. Rogers graduated from Putnam City North in May of 2002 and joined the Marine Corps upon graduation. Cpl Rogers' personal awards include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon. Rogers is survived by his father and mother, Jim and Janet Rogers, grandmothers, Billie Doling and Helen Rogers, aunts and uncles, numerous cousins and a multitude of friends. Rogers was preceded in death by grandfathers Francis Doling and Bruce Rogers. Cpl Jeffry A. Rogers' life celebration and military honors will be held Friday, November 25, 2005 at 2:00 p.m. at NewChurch, 9201 N. Rockwell, Oklahoma City, OK 73132. Family visitation is set for Wednesday, November 23, 2005, 5-7 p.m. at Chapel Hill Funeral Home, 8701 NW Expressway, Oklahoma City, OK 73162. Cpl Rogers will be buried at Chapel Hill, 8701 NW Expressway, Oklahoma City, OK 73162. The family has established the 'Jeffry Rogers, Education Memorial Fund' to be used to help both military and non-military youth attend college. Funds may be made to NewChurch, 9201 N. Rockwell, Oklahoma City, OK 73132 and designated to the memorial.


Published in The Oklahoman from 11/22 to 11/23/2005


Chief Warrant Officer
Brady Joe Rudolf

Chief Warrant Officer Brady Joe Rudolf
Chief Warrant Officer Brady Joe Rudolf , 37, of OKC, passed away Sept. 18, 2008 while proudly serving his country in Iraq. Brady was born April 9, 1971 in Durant, Oklahoma to Larry and Nathalia. Brady graduated from Durant High School in 1989 Southeastern Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma School of Pharmacy. Brady has been in the Oklahoma National Guard for 20 years spending 11 years as a Chinook pilot. Brady deployed in 2003 to Iraq, serving 4 months in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Brady was a conscientious pilot who enjoyed taking care of people either in air or as a pharmacist. Brady was a faithful member of the Southern Hills Baptist Church. A proud father, loving husband, wonderful son, and devoted brother and soldier, Brady will be greatly missed by everyone he touched. He was preceded in death by his father, maternal and paternal grandparents. Brady leaves wonderful memories with his loving wife of 13 years, Jennifer his 3 sons, Braden (8), Ty (5), and Nate (1) his mother, Nathalia Flowers and husband, Doug of Durant brother, Dustin Lee Rudolf and wife, Tammy of Durant niece, Brittany nephews, Alec and Gavin in-laws, Randy and Cindy Tadlock of Coleman sister-in-law, Samantha Manning and husband, Bryan of Caney and countless extended family members and friends. A memorial service to celebrate his life is scheduled for 2:00 pm, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2008, at Southern Hills Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. In lieu of flowers, the Brady Rudolf Memorial Fund has been established at the First United Bank.
VONDEL L. SMITH & SON Mortuary & Heritage Burial Parkat South Lakes, 4000 SW 119 St.OKC, OK 73173 * 405-692-5503

Published in The Oklahoman on 9/26/2008


Spc. Sonny Gene Sampler

Spc. Sonny Gene Sampler
Spc. Sonny Gene Sampler was born December 19, 1980 in Altus, OK to Gene and Kim Sampler. He was killed Thursday, July 8, 2004 while serving in the United States Army, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment in Samarra, Iraq. Sonny met his destiny in life early by giving his country everything he had and we are humbled by his sacrifice. His friends and family remember a young man full of joy and laughter and was truly loved by all who came in contact with him. He was especially devoted and loyal to his parents. He rests now as a hero to us all. Sonny is survived by his parents, Kim and Gene Sampler; brother, Rellon 'Skeeter' Lee Sampler and his wife Jennifer; sisters, Gina Renee Reinke, her husband Randy and their daughter Brooke, and Vicki Lynn Sampler; grandparents, Rellon and Doris Lore and Margarette Sampler; great grandmother, Gwenneth 'Jo' Jones; aunts, uncles, cousins and best friend, Dylan Toombs and his wife Lisa. Funeral services will be held 10:00 a.m. Friday, July 16th at Guardian North Chapel with burial to follow at Memorial Park Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to: Blue Star Mothers, Sonny Sampler Memorial, P.O. Box 2306, Tulsa, OK 74101. This is a wonderful organization that sends 'Freedom Boxes' filled with daily care items, clothes, snacks and literature to our troops. GUARDIAN NORTH 11600 N. Pennsylvania 752-9292


Published in The Oklahoman on 7/15/2004


SSG William 'Daniel' Scates

SSG William 'Daniel' Scates
SSG William 'Daniel' Scates was born on March 8, 1976, in Oklahoma City, OK. He is survived by his beloved wife, Raquel Vega Scates and two beautiful daughters, Jade Alexis and Kendra Renee' Scates; his mother Moreana Whitson; step-father, Randy Whitson; sisters, Shannon and Courtney; and many relatives as well as many very dear friends. Daniel proudly served his country with courage and gave his life on August 11, 2007, in Arab Jabour, Iraq, while serving his 3rd tour of duty in Iraq. Visitation will be from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 23, 2007 at Sunset Funeral Home West with a Rosary at 7:00 p.m. The Funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, August 24, 2007 at St. Michael's on Fort Bliss. Interment with Full Military Honors will be at 11:30 a.m. on Friday at Fort Bliss National Cemetery. It was at Daniel's request that he be buried at Fort Bliss. A Memorial Service will be held in Oklahoma City, OK at a later date. A Tree Dedication Ceremony will also be held in Daniel's honor at Fort Stewart, GA in September. Services entrusted to Sunset Funeral Home-West, 480 N. Resler, El Paso, TX 79912, (915) 587-4408. Please visit our online register book at www.sunsetfuneralhomes.net


Published in The Oklahoman on 8/22/2007


Spc. Stephen M. Scott

Spc. Stephen M. Scott
Spc. Stephen M. Scott and his wife went to high school together in Lawton, Okla., and both joined the military. They had recently celebrated their first anniversary. "We talked about what we would do if something ever happened to one of us," said Marie Scott, 19. "I decided I would become a nun. There's just no other guy who can compete with him. He's perfect." The 21-year-old Scott died Aug. 23 near Fallujah, Iraq, of a gunshot wound in a non-combat incident. Scott was a cook and stationed at Fort Carson a member of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment


Cpl. Bryan Scripsick

Cpl. Bryan Scripsick

WAYNE - An Oklahoma Marine was killed Thursday in Iraq, the man's family said. Marine Corps Cpl. Bryan Scripsick of Wayne was killed Thursday by a suicide bomber north of Baghdad, family members confirmed Friday. Scripsick joined the Marine Corps Aug. 22, 2004, one day after his 19th birthday. He graduated in 2004 from Pauls Valley High School. Funeral services are pending.


Published in The Oklahoman on 9/7/2007


Danton 'Kyle' Seitsinger

Danton 'Kyle' Seitsinger
Danton 'Kyle' Seitsinger was born in Oklahoma City October 4, 1974, to Dan and Jo Seitsinger. He died serving his country in Afghanistan on January 29, 2004. Kyle graduated from Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, MO, in May of 1993. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps on December 7, 1993. During his six and a half year tour of duty, Kyle guarded U.S. embassies in Brasilia, Moscow and the consulate in Rio de Janeiro. At each of his stops, men of his company gave spontaneous awards to Kyle for his leadership style. Kyle was also an expert marksman and rifle instructor at Camp Pendleton. He was named 'Top Gun' at his embassy school graduation in Quantico, VA. Of the 150 Marines who started the program, only 50 graduated, including Kyle. Kyle enrolled in Oklahoma Christian University in the fall of 2000. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves when he enrolled in OC, and was a senior when he was called into active duty in November 2003, just 12 months short of his graduation with a dual major in journalism and Spanish. While at OC, Kyle worked for the Talon, the student newspaper, serving as an editor for two years. In 2002, Kyle was selected as one of sixteen student journalists to participate in the Summer Institute in Journalism sponsored by the Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities. His assignments included interviews with the Colombian president as well as U.S. representatives Ernest Istook and J.C. Watts. In 2003, Kyle spent six months in Costa Rica in a program designed to immerse the learner in the Spanish language. He had expressed an interest in a career of service in the U.S. diplomatic corps in South America and was an aspiring photojournalist. Kyle's adventurous spirit blended well with the Marines, who showed him the world. He grew from a tempestuous child to a disciplined, confident young man. His college newspaper columns covered everything from world affairs to his opinion of the 'ridiculous' logo his university adopted. Kyle embraced a journalism career and aimed high, with hopes of being a photojournalist and a foreign war correspondent, perhaps even winning a Pulitzer Prize or two. Meanwhile, he enthusiastically covered high school games and worked as a copy messenger at The Oklahoman, realizing he had dues to pay before getting there. Kyle made many friends at The Oklahoman who remember him fondly. Kyle's down to earth, gregarious personality attracted friends of all kinds. In Brasilia, he 'adopted' two young poor girls and urged his family to send them gifts. He rarely missed a chance to practice Spanish or Portuguese with natives. Despite their cultural differences, Kyle always knew what to say and how to keep them talking. Kyle wasted no time, rising early to explore the many cities he visited. It's as though he knew he needed a faster pace to complete his life. We'll cherish the many stories that surround Kyle's antics, his cleverness and his special kind of audacity. We'll miss you, Kyle, always. Our solace comes in knowing that you have invigorated our souls and taught us that love is stronger than death. Kyle is survived by his father, Dan, his mother, Jo, and two sisters, Karla Seitsinger of New York City and Penny Owen Cockerell of Dallas. In lieu of memorials, the family requests that donations be made to Wentworth Military Academy, 1880 Washington Avenue, Lexington, MO, 64067 and the Gridiron Club, c/o Don Schmidt, 330 N. Country Club Terrace, Mustang, OK 73064, which provides journalism scholarships.


Published in The Oklahoman on 2/7/2004


Chief Warrant Officer 2 Steven Earl Shephard

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Steven Earl Shephard
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Steven Earl Shephard, age 30 of Purcell, died Monday, June 27, 2005 serving his country in Taji, Iraq. Funeral services are will be 10:00 AM Wednesday, July 6, 2005 at the First Baptist Church in Lexington, Ok. Arrangements by Wilson-Little Funeral Home in Purcell.


Published in The Oklahoman on 7/6/2005

Spc. Joshua D. Sheppard

Spc. Joshua D. Sheppard

A 22-year-old soldier from Quinton was killed in Baghdad last week, the Department of Defense announced Tuesday. Spc. Joshua D. Sheppard died Friday of wounds suffered when his patrol came in contact with the enemy using small arms fire.Sheppard was assigned to the 642nd Engineer Support Company, 7th Engineer Battalion, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.

Published in The Oklahoman on 12/26/2006


Corporal Jared Shoemaker

Marine Corporal Jared Shoemaker
SHOEMAKER -- Marine Corporal Jared Shoemaker, 29, of Tulsa, OK, was killed Monday, September 4, 2006, in the Al Anbar province in Iraq. Jared was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 25th Marines, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, called to active duty in December, 2005. He was deployed to Fallujah, Iraq in March, 2006. Jared was born April 22, 1977, the second son of Ken and Linda Shoemaker. Graduated from Edison High School, in 1995, a three year letterman in football, with area coaches naming him to the Oklahoma All-State team. He continued his football career while attending Northeastern State University, earning a degree in Psychology and a minor in Criminal Justice. Following graduation from NSU, Jared found two new loves, the game of rugby and Kari Harrison, of Broken Arrow, OK, an outstanding soccer player at Oral Roberts University. Kari and Jared were well suited and known for their ferocious competitive spirit. They were married, December, 1999 and the first of Jared's three great loves was realized. While waiting funding for a new Tulsa police academy, with the support of his wife, Kari, Jared joined the U.S. Marines. As a Marine reservist, he was accepted into the Tulsa Police Academy January, 2005, and graduated 1st in his class, academically, July, 2005. He was a Patrol Officer until his deployment in December, 2005. At the Marine Corps Ball in November, 2005, Jared received the Albert Schwab Award, for Marine of the Year. Jared will never be forgotten by family, friends, fellow police officers and Marines. The desire of his heart was to serve and protect people. Jared is survived by wife, Kari; his parents, Ken and Linda Shoemaker of Tulsa; brother, Steve Shoemaker of Tulsa; brother and sister-in-law, Ben and Kristen Shoemaker and their daughter, Ellie of Charlotte, NC; grandparents, Forrest and Gloria Shoemaker, Tulsa; Betty Ellsworth of Albuquerque, NM; Howard and Christa Ellsworth of Albuquerque; uncle, Stephen F. Shoemaker and family of Tulsa; mother-in-law, Darla Harrison of Broken Arrow; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. Service to be held at 10 a.m., Friday, September 15, 2006 at First United Methodist Church Tulsa. Interment will be at Floral Haven Cemetery, Broken Arrow, with full military honors. A Memorial fund in honor of Jared, has been set up with Young Life, a Christian high school ministry to fund annual summer camp scholarships. Gifts and donations can be directed to Jay Robinson at (918) 665-8525 or mailed to Young Life, P.O. Box 33176, Tulsa, OK 74153, attention Jay Robinson. The family thanks the TPD, Marine Corps and especially the men and families of 1st Battalion 25th Marines WPNS CO and the community for their outpouring of their love and support."Well done, good and trustworthy servant. Enter into the Joy of your master. Semper Fi. Floral Haven, 252-2518.


Sgt. 1st Class Brandon K. Sneed

Sgt. 1st Class Brandon K. Sneed
Sgt. 1st Class Brandon K. Sneed January 17, 1972- October 10, 2005

HOUSTON, TX...
Sgt. 1st Class Brandon K. Sneed, 33, went home to be with the lord on October 10, 2005. SFC Sneed, US Army, was killed when an explosive device detonated near his military vehicle during operations in Iraq. In Iraq, he commanded an M2A2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, which he was aboard when the improvised bomb exploded Monday, killing him and another soldier. Both men were assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division in Fort Benning, GA. SFC Sneed joined the Army 15 years ago following graduation in 1990 from Alief Hastings High School in Houston. He met his wife Lori while the two were both in the Army and stationed in Arizona. SFC Sneed leaves his wife, Lori, three children, Christopher, Brandee, and Brandon, Jr. (BJ); parents, Alvin and Gloria Mann of Houston, and a host of relatives and friends. Funeral services will be held Saturday, October 22, 2005 at 11:00 am at Southwest Community Baptist Church, 14880 Bellaire Blvd, Houston. Interment will follow at Greenlawn Memorial Cemetery, Port Arthur, TX. Serenity Mortuary, 8619 Windswept Ln. 713-789-6448.

Published in Columbus Ledger-Enquirer on 10/21/2005


Derek Stanley

DEREK STANLEY
1985 - 2006
Funeral services for Derek Stanley, 20, of Tulsa, OK. will be held at 11:00 A.M. Thursday, June 15, 2006 at the Millsap Funeral Service Chapel in Fort Gibson with Chaplain Charles Leggett officiating. Burial will be in Fort Gibson National Cemetery. Derek was born November 25, 1985 at Claremore, OK. and died Monday, June 5, 2006 in Afghanistan. Derek grew up in Tulsa, OK with his mother, Darlyn Smith and brother, Aaron Stanley. He attended and graduated from the Thunderbird Youth Academy in Pryor, OK, Cycle 21 Class of 01-03, Alpha Company. He was loved and honored by the Academy. He joined the Army in 2004 and trained at Fort Leonardwood, MO. After basic, he remained at Fort Leonardwood and trained an additional 19 weeks in the Chemical Brigade. He was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division August, 2004. He was a member of the 10th Mountain Division out of Fort Drum, New York. His unit deployed March 15, 2006 to Afghanistan. Derek always conducted himself honorably and was a much loved son, brother, grandson, uncle, cousin and nephew. He was his mother's protector, strength and friend. He loved his family deeply. Survivors include his mother, Darlyn Smith of Boise, ID; father, Faron Stanley of Tulsa; brother, Aaron Stanley of Tulsa; grandparents, Winnie Young of Boise, ID, R. C. Smith of Borger, TX, Leona Weesner of Turley, OK.; great-grandfather, Otto Smith of Okmulgee, OK; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.


Published in The Oklahoman on 6/14/2006


Staff Sgt. Clint J. Storey

Staff Sgt. Clint J. Storey
A 30-year-old Enid man became the latest Oklahoman to die in the war against terrorism. U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Clint J. Storey was killed by an improvised explosive device under his Humvee on Friday in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, Defense Department officials said Sunday. "He was extremely proud of his job," said Melissa Storey, about her husband, Clint Storey, on Sunday. "I'm very happy I had eight years with him." Clint Storey grew up in Enid and frequently visited his mother there, Melissa Storey said. She said she always will remember her husband because no one could make her laugh the way he could.  Their daughter, 4-year-old Adela, "was the absolute apple of his life," she said, adding that Clint Storey left her a "wonderful gift" the last time he was home in June. Melissa Storey is pregnant again.  Adela will gain a sibling in February, Melissa Storey said. "I have letters and e-mails to show the baby," she said. "You find comfort in the little things."  Melissa Storey said Friday's explosion follows another one that occurred about two weeks ago. In the earlier incident, an improvised explosive device went off under the engine of Storey's truck. Storey was hurt, but he survived and continued to fight, she said. "I didn't think lightning could strike in the same place twice," Melissa Storey said. The explosion Friday was directly under the soldiers, she said. "I take comfort, because he was not alone," Melissa Storey said. "It was instantaneous, and I do not think he knew what happened."


Published in The Oklahoman on 8/7/2006


Michael Eyre Thompson

Michael Eyre Thompson
Michael Eyre Thompson, 23, of Kingston, Oklahoma passed away Thursday, September 18, 2008 in Iraq. He was born in Midwest City, Oklahoma to Kory Michael Thompson and Angela Francis Word Perry on May 5, 1985. Michael moved to Buncombe Creek/Kingston area in 1993 where he lived until he graduated from Kingston High School in 2003. He enlisted in the United States Army and served for 2 tours of duty. He was happiest with a gun or a fishing pole in his hand. Michael never met a stranger and would give anyone the shirt off his back and his last dollar out of his pocket. His greatest joy was being with his family and friends. Mikey you are deeply loved, greatly missed and will never be forgotten. He is survived by father & step mother, Kory Thompson and wife, Dawn, Harrah, Oklahoma mother & step father, Angie Perry and husband, Richard, Kingston, Oklahoma his sissy, Jami Stephens, Kingston, Oklahoma brothers, Hunter Perry, Heath Walker, Thomas Thompson sisters: Amanda Thompson, Heather Walker, Johnna Perry nieces: Taylor and Kassie Bailey nephew, Logan Stephens. Michael was preceded in death by his grandparents, Buddy and Pat Word, grandfather, P.B. Thompson and grandmother Laurice N. Suiz. Funeral service will be Saturday, September 27, 2008 at 1:00 pm at the Kingston High School, Kingston, Oklahoma. Mike Stephens, Don Daniels and SSGT. Tracey Friend will be officiating the service. Interment will be at the Shay Cemetery, Shay, Oklahoma. Services are under the direction of Watts Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Madill, Oklahoma. Condolences may be sent to wattsfuneralhome.com. Casket Bearers: Buddy Moody, Hunter Perry, Adam Navarrett, James Pickett, Michael Anderson, Adam Mitchell, United State Army National Guard.


Published in The Oklahoman on 9/25/2008


Cpl. Stephen Scott Thompson

Army Cpl. Stephen Scott Thompson
Army Cpl. Stephen Scott Thompson, 23, was killed on Feb. 14 in Baghdad, Iraq, according to the Rev. Larry Delay, pastor of Bixby's Crossroads Fellowship. Delay told mourners gathered at Asbury United Methodist Church that Thompson was a wonderful young man who loved to hunt and fish, but most of all loved to be around people. The pastor said Thompson had joined the military to make something of himself, and "he did that," noting that the soldier had even decided to make a career out of the military. Delay opened the service by asking those who knew Thompson to comment, and several spoke. A staff representative from Memorial High School, where Thompson graduated from in 2004, was one of those, saying "We're all proud of him." Among them was Sara Wilson from Fort Hood, near Killeen, Texas, who considered the young soldier a member of her family. "He was an amazing young man," she told mourners. She noted that Thompson and her husband, Sgt. Joseph Wilson, were very close, and both were serving together in Iraq when he was shot in Baghdad. Thompson was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division based at Fort Hood. The unit had deployed to Iraq last March and was due to return home in a matter of weeks. Brig. Gen. Ross Ridge, deputy commander at Fort Sill, said he never had the honor of knowing Thompson, but others who did spoke highly of him. Ridge said Thompson enlisted in the Army on June 27, 2006, and completed his basic training soon after at Fort Sill. The general said Thompson "constantly exuded enthusiasm," and he had a deep respect for duty and love of country. Ridge said Thompson was promoted to corporal last October. He described that moment as a "seminal event" in the young man's career. The general noted that most of the soldiers around Thompson were ranked as specialists, with hopes someday of leadership roles by rising to sergeants. "Stephen was the exception," Ridge said, noting the promotion to corporal. "He relished in the opportunity to lead men," Ridge said, "and he sought more responsibility." To his comrades, Ridge said, Thompson "was an instant friend and confidante." "He was a person everyone loved to be around and everyone enjoyed being with" him, Ridge said. "He made people laugh, and it was probably that infectious smile that drew people to him," Ridge said. Ridge noted Thompson's commitment to his comrades during his leave from Iraq just before Christmas. Even while he was at home with his family, Thompson's thoughts were thousands of miles away to his fellow soldiers, still in harm's way, and he felt the need to return to them quickly, Ridge said. "Sadly, Stephen has joined the multiple ranks of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. "Let us remember how he lived," Ridge said, "how he made us stronger for knowing him, and his commitment to this great nation." Under a cloudy sky and a chilly, buffeting wind, mourners gathered at Floral Haven Memorial Gardens and watched silently as Army pallbearers from Fort Sill escorted Thompson's flag-draped coffin to its grave site. An honor guard from Fort Sill then fired off rifle volleys in his honor, followed by the playing of taps by an Army bugler. Ridge ceremoniously folded two flags and presented to Thompson's mother, Tresa, and then to his father, Philip. In addition to his parents, the soldier is survived by brothers Austin and Christopher, both of Tulsa. Thompson's awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and Overseas Service Ribbon.
Tulsa World Published: 2/24/2009  


Pfc. Jerimiah Veitch

Army Pfc. Jerimiah Veitch
Army Pfc. Jerimiah Veitch, 21, was killed Thursday when the vehicle he was riding in was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade just outside of Baghdad.

PURCELL -- More than 300 people attended the funeral Monday for a Dibble soldier killed in Iraq. Pfc. Jerimiah James Veitch Sanchez, of Dibble, was killed June 21 in Baghdad when a rocket-propelled grenade struck his vehicle. The 21-year-old"s life was celebrated at the 2 p.m. service at his church, Union Hill Baptist west of Purcell. Those who knew him well said he was a loyal friend who could do more than his 5-foot-4-inch frame suggested. During his high school years, Veitch placed second in the state weight lifters" competition and played football at Dibble. He graduated in 2004. He was employed by Southwestern Roofing and Sheet Metal before joining the United States Army. Gen. Vincent Boles represented the Army Chief of Staff at the funeral. He said he knows Veitch was a good soldier because his fellow soldiers said they could always depend on him. Veitch's sacrifice is important to his fellow soldiers and to every American, Boles said. Veitch even volunteered when he didn't have to, he said.  He went because our freedom is precious, and because our freedom is precarious, Boles said as he stood behind Veitch's flag-draped coffin. Veitch was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, based at Fort Carson, Colo. His immediate commanding officer, Sgt. Daniel Salazar, said Veitch could be described as a guardian. 'that man would take care of you like he was your brother," Salazar said. Veitch"s friend and roommate in Iraq, Pfc. David Rosas, said there was nothing too tough for Veitch to handle. "He was a good friend, the type of person you could trust with your life, the kind of person you don't meet every day," Rosas said.  Family members shared written memories about Veitch. When he was 2, his Aunt Mary would sing him "Jeremiah was a Bullfrog." "And he would tell me, "No, I'm not," his aunt said. "When I told him it was just a silly song, he would say, "Don't sing it, I don't like it." But no matter what you call him, his aunt said, he is a hero. The Rev. Edward Stewart, a family friend, presided over the services. He said Veitch saw God"s big picture. If he hadn't, he wouldn't have been on that battlefield," Stewart said. He told the family to have faith, because Veitch is now spending eternity with his creator. Stewart told the story of little girl Jesus brought back to life by saying "Get up." This is what happened to Veitch, too, Stewart said. "The minute the physical life left him, Jesus said, "Get up, get up, you got a new road," Stewart said. Veitch's coffin was carried out of the church by a military guard. His body was interred in Dibble Cemetery.

From the Norman Transcript
 


Cpl. Scott M. Vincent

Cpl. Scott M. Vincent, USMC
Vincent, 21, of Bokoshe, Okla. died April 30 due to hostile action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. Vincent was assigned to 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, at Camp Lejeune, N.C. 

KOTV6 -- An Oklahoma Marine killed in action in Iraq, receives a high honor. The family of Marine Corporal Scott Vincent accepted the Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Valor on his behalf, in Vincent's hometown of Bokoshe. Fellow Marines spoke of the 21-year old corporal's bravery and leadership in several enemy encounters, until his last, when a suicide bomber crashed into his transport vehicle April 30th. Family members say it's a comfort knowing he died doing what he wanted. Judy Vincent, Cpl Scott Vincent's Mother: "He loved his country, he loved his family and he loved God. That says a lot for a young person." Corporal Vincent first served in Afghanistan and had volunteered for a second tour in Iraq. Friends say he was destined to be a US Marine; his chosen motto for the high school yearbook was 'Semper Fi.'


Pvt. Jason Ward

Pvt. Jason Ward
Army Pvt. Ward was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 70th Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Division, Fort Riley, Kansas, as a tanker. Ward died of non-combat related injuries (illness). As a teenager, Jason talked about joining the Army, but shortly after graduation in 1997, he and his wife Jordan welcomed the first of two sons. He put the Army on a backburner because he didn't want to be away from his boys all the time. Then he and his wife started talking about it again, and they thought it would be a good thing for them. He joined the Army in April 2002, planning to make it his lifelong profession. His unit was sent to the Middle East in March. In October, Jason became ill and during the last several weeks, his illness (stomach and intestinal problems) seemed to worsen. According to a phone call he made to his mother, the Army was sending him back to the United States, presumably for treatment. Jason was a great husband and a great guy. 


Cpl. Joshua J. Ware

Cpl. Joshua J. Ware
APACHE - Today's powwow at Apache High School will be far more solemn than originally planned.  As Mariah Carey's "Hero plays on the sound system, girls from the Native American Club will sign the lyrics in traditional sign language. Then a Pendleton blanket will be carried through the room, never touching the floor, and donations for a grieving family will be placed on it. The song, the signing, the money, the ritual - none of it was supposed to happen. But as news of a tragedy raced through the community Wednesday, the lighthearted powwow, which had been planned for weeks, took a more serious turn. Marine Cpl. Joshua J. "Josh" Ware, 21, who attended the school until his senior year, perished Wednesday in an ambush in Iraq. A hometown hero had fallen. By all accounts, Ware couldn't have been much prouder of his country or his Corps. A spokesman for Ware's family said Ware graduated from Roland High School in May 2003, then enlisted in the Marines on May 27 - just two days after his birthday. In March 2004, he was stationed in Iraq as a member of Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Division. Serving in the infantry, Ware fought in the second battle of Fallujah. "It will probably go down in Marine Corps history as one of their biggest battles ever, maybe even the biggest in Iraq, said family friend Lenny Asepermy, who served in Vietnam. "He was a grunt, an infantryman, so you know he was in the thick of things. Ware returned home in October 2004, then went on a training trip in July, Asepermy said. Ware went back to Iraq last month as a member of Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division (Marine Expeditionary Force), stationed at Camp Fallujah. Wednesday, Ware and others had just entered a farmhouse when an explosion went off, Asepermy said. At least one Marine was injured or killed, and when others tried to recover him, rebels inside the house attacked with guns and grenades. Several Marines and rebels were killed, Asepermy said, citing a conversation he and Ware's mother had with military officials Thursday. The Defense Department would not confirm details Thursday. About 4 p.m. Wednesday, Ware's family learned the terrible news. The tragedy struck a family already reeling from a recent family emergency. Last week, friends said, Ware's stepfather suffered a stroke, and Ware's mother, Alicia Momaday, was left with the dual responsibilities of visiting her husband at a Lawton hospital and tending to three school-age children. 'the family's really, really having a hard time, said Donna Watts, who leads the Native American Club, which counted Ware among its members a few years ago. 'the mom has been going back and forth, and then this happened yesterday. The family is just devastated. Ware's sister, Randi Momaday, 16, was notified of her brother's death by her basketball coach during practice. "Naturally, she's having a hard time with it, Watts said. His brothers, Dustin Ware, 23, Sky Momaday, 13, and Daniel Momaday, 6, also are stunned by Ware's death, Asepermy said. 'the mother is just beside herself, he said. Karen Rodenberg, Apache principal, said counselors and teachers are trying to ease the loss for all the students, especially those who knew Ware or went to school with his siblings. "You hear about the war every day, Rodenberg said, "and you hear about the soldiers, but it doesn't really affect you until it happens to someone in your community. That's why the powwow plans were changed. 'there will be some honor there for that boy, Rodenberg promised. "It will be a positive thing.

Published: November 18, 2005 By Ken Raymond


Pfc. Nachez Washalanta

Pvt. Nachez Washalanta and Sgt. Jason Cook
08/26/2004

Governor Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Deaths of Camp Pendleton Marines - Sgt. Jason Cook and Pfc. Nachez Washalanta

Governor Schwarzenegger today issued the following statement regarding the deaths of Sgt. Jason Cook, of Okanogan, WA, and Pfc. Nachez Washalanta, of Bryan, OK, both of whom were stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA:"Sgt. Cook and Pfc. Washalanta laid down their lives to protect the freedoms that we so often take for granted. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten. Maria and I send our condolences to Jason and Nachez's loved ones during this difficult time."Cook, 25, and Washalanta, 21, died Aug. 21 from injuries received due to enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. They were assigned to 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, CA.In honor of Cook and Washalanta, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.

Pfc. Nachez Washalanta of Bryan, Oklahoma attended schools in Ardmore and Silo. After taking his GED, he joined the circus and eventually the Marines where he blossomed. He went from a scared little boy to a very proud young man. Nachez joined the Marines after family members talked to him while in the circus. His father also served in the military. He was serving his second tour of duty in Iraq. He'd been there since February. Washalanta has an older brother and sister. He died at age 21 from injuries received due to enemy action.

 Services with full military honors for USMC Pvt. Nachez Washalanta II, 21, will be at 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27, 2004, at Heritage Hall with the Rev. Thomas O'Toole officiating. Interment will follow at Gene Autry Cemetery. Washalanta was born Nov. 19, 1982, in Ardmore, Okla. He died Aug. 22, 2004, in Mosul, Iraq. He attended Jefferson Elementary School in Ardmore and later Silo High School. He joined the Marine Corps in April of 2002 and had been stationed at Camp Pendleton.
Chez was happy to serve his country and died a hero as the result of a roadside bomb explosion.  Survivors include his mother, Carol Caldwell, and stepfather, Russell Caldwell; brother, Benjamin Loughridge; sister, Kesha Pierce; grandmother, Margaret Chastain; grandfather, Emmett Loughridge Sr.; a stepbrother, Russell Lee Caldwell Jr.; and stepsister, Bonnie Mae Caldwell.
Visitation will be from 8 a.m. until noon Friday at Harvey-Douglas Funeral Home. 
Source: Daily Ardmoreite


 Col. Theodore S. Westhusing

Col. Theodore S. Westhusing
A funeral service and burial for Army Col. Theodore S. Westhusing, who died of noncombat injuries June 5 in Iraq, will be held Wednesday at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., his brother, Tim Westhusing of Tulsa, said Monday. An Army spokesman said the colonel's death is under investigation. The married father of three children was stationed in Baghdad after having gone to Iraq late last year, the family said. The funeral service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Most Holy Trinity Chapel at West Point followed by a graveside service. Westhusing's family said he volunteered for service in Iraq, where he was helping train the Iraqi army and working in a counterterrorism and special operations unit. He previously had been on the senior faculty at West Point. Westhusing, 44, a 1979 graduate of Jenks High School, is the highest ranking officer to have died in Iraq, the Army said. The son of Terry Clark of Tulsa and James Keith Westhusing of Laramie, Wyo., he graduated from West Point in 1983. The colonel's wife, Michelle Westhusing; daughter, Sarah; and two sons, Aaron and Anthony, live in West Point. Other survivors include his brothers, Tim Westhusing of Tulsa and Tom Westhusing and Thad Westhusing, both of Seattle; and two sisters, Kathleen Foster of Oklahoma City and Kara Westhusing of Seattle. Westhusing was born in Dallas and attended junior high school and high school in the Tulsa area. He was a Merit Scholar at Jenks High School and an honor graduate at West Point.
Source: Tulsa World
Published: 6/14/2005


Staff Sgt. Aaron Dean White

Staff Sgt. Aaron Dean White
Former Shawnee resident Staff Sgt. Aaron Dean White, 27, of Oceanside, Calif., died Monday, May 19, in a helicopter crash in Al Hillan, Iraq, while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was born Feb. 29, 1976, in Holdenville to Darrell and Karen White. He attended Sasakwa High School for his freshman and sophomore years and Shawnee High School for his junior and senior years, graduating in 1994. White served as the crew chief on a CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter. He served nine years in the Marines. He married Michele Nicole Linn on April 10, 1998, in Shawnee. Survivors include his wife, Michele (Linn) White; daughter, Brianna Nicole White; parents, Darrell and Karen White of Shawnee; sister and brother-in-law,
Sgt. Patricia LaBar and Spc. Ryan LaBar; maternal grandmother, Reba Hale; sisters-in-law, Jeanette and Colleen Linn; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Dr. David K. Linn and Terri Linn; and many aunts, uncles and cousins. Services will be 10 a.m. Friday at the chapel of Walker Funeral Service with the Rev. Wesley Martin officiating. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery in Wewoka. Arrangements are under the direction of Walker Funeral Service. Memorials may be made to the Benefit Fund for Aaron White at Bison Federal Credit Union, 2 W. MacArthur, Shawnee, OK 74801.
Source: Shawnee News-Star May 29, 2003 Section: Obituaries


Sgt. Steve White

Sgt. Steve White
Army Sgt. White was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 4th Battalion, 42nd Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas, as a truck mechanic. He was mortally injured when his M113 armored personnel carrier, part of a four-vehicle convoy, hit an antitank mine near Tikrit. Steve grew up in Fruitvale, Texas, and attended Fruitvale High School where he worked on the yearbook. He belonged to the FFA, the History Club, the Spanish Club, the Beta Club, and De-Fy-It (Drug Free Youth in Texas). Steve was highly regarded by his classmates who elected him prom king during his senior year. During his time in the military, he was awarded two National Defense Service Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, the Army Service Ribbon, and a Good Conduct Medal. In addition to his wife, Laniece, Steve is survived by four children ranging in age from 12 years to 16 months. 


Sgt. Clint William

Sgt. Clint Williams
KINGSTON -- An Oklahoma soldier, who was president of his high school class before joining the U.S. Army, has been killed by a roadside bomb while serving in Iraq, family members said. Sgt. Clint Williams' family, which lives in the Cryerville community, west of Kingston, was notified by the military Thursday afternoon that he was killed in Baghdad.
Williams, 24, was injured in combat two months ago, but had since returned to duty. His tour in Iraq was to end in four months. Williams graduated from Kingston High School in 2001. He was senior class president and played for the school's baseball team. Wayne Sampson, Williams' shop teacher in high school, said he kept in contact with his former student. "He was just a joy to be around," he told Sherman, Texas, television station KXII. "He was just one of those people that liven a room just by walking into it." Word of his death Thursday came just one day after a National Guardsman from Kingston returned home after being wounded in Iraq. National Guard Spc. Matt Herndon has two gunshot wounds, a broken arm and a fractured wrist. He was wounded by an improvised explosive device and small arms fire in Mosul, Iraq. He will now enter months of physical therapy. He said Thursday he'd rather be in Iraq fighting with his fellow soldiers. "I'm praying for them, and I hope they all come back safely," Herndon, 23, said. "I wish I was still there. I miss my friends over there, and I worry about them a lot." Herndon was one of five Oklahoma National Guard soldiers injured on Aug. 23. Also injured were Sgt. Kelsey Birdsall of Marietta, Spc. Christon Stone of Midwest City, Sgt. Larhonda Johnson of Marietta and Spc. Jacob McNeely of Gainesville, Texas. Johnson and McNeely were treated and returned to duty. Stone is recovering in San Antonio and Birdsall is recovering in Iraq. The unit was escorting a convoy when it struck two roadside bombs, Herndon said. The soldier does not remember how his group survived.
"I didn't even know I got shot until I got to Germany," he said. "Everything happened so quick. It was definitely a close one."


Published in The Oklahoman on 9/15/2006


Lance Cpl. Lamont N. Wilson

Lance Cpl. Lamont N. Wilson
Lance Cpl. Lamont N. Wilson of Lawton, Oklahoma joined the Marine Corps in June 2003 to make his father, Lanny, proud. The three words Lamont Noel Wilson would use in his letters from the Iraqi warfront summed up his feelings about his service to his country: "Sleep Well, America." "He believed in what he was doing, and he felt like he wanted to do what he could do so we could live in peace, comfort and happiness," said Debra Jordan, who went to church with Wilson. The 20-year-old from Lawton, Okla., died Sept. 6 in a car bombing in Fallujah, Iraq. He was based at Camp Pendleton. Wilson was born in Germany, where his father served in the military, and his older siblings also signed on with the Air Force and the Army. In a letter to his mother from Iraq, Wilson said he knew he was "in God's everlasting arms. Tell my church family I feel safe whenever I go out on a mission because I can feel their prayers." Florence Wilson said her son knew the risks but was willing to sacrifice his life. 'the only thing he said was, 'Mom, I have to go someday,'" she said. "He was prepared for that." Wilson is also survived by his father, Lanny Wilson.


Lance Cpl. Jordan D. Winkler

Lance Cpl. Jordan D. Winkler
Governor Schwarzenegger today issued the following statement regarding the death of Lance Cpl. Jordan D. Winkler, of Tulsa, OK: "Jordan was a noble soldier who served his country and made the ultimate sacrifice. His death is an enormous loss felt by all who knew him. Maria and I express our deepest condolences to his loved ones and will continue to keep Jordan in our prayers." Winkler, 19, died Nov. 26 due to a non-combat related incident at Camp Fallujah, Iraq. He was assigned to Combat Service Support Battalion 1, Combat Service Support Group 11, 1st Force Service Support Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, CA. In honor of Winkler, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.
Press release:12/01/2004


Sgt. Ryan M. Wood

Sgt. Ryan M. Wood
An Oklahoma City Army sergeant was among five soldiers who died after the Bradley vehicle in which they were riding struck an improvised explosive device bomb in northeast Baghdad. Sgt. Ryan M. Wood, 22, a member of the Army's 1st Infantry Division, 26th Battalion, Charlie Company , was in his second tour of duty in Iraq.
Published in The Oklahoman on 6/24/2007

Services for Army Sgt. Ryan M. Wood, 22, of Oklahoma City will be 10:30a.m. on Monday at the Church of the Servant in Oklahoma City, followed by a burial at the Yukon city cemetery.
Pulished in The Oklahoman 6/28/2007 Page 19
 


Hatak Yuka Keyu Martin Yearby

Hatak Yuka Keyu Martin Yearby
Hatak Yuka Keyu Martin Yearby was remembered in funeral services as a small town boy who balanced his Choctaw tribal heritage and his military life. He did traditional American Indian dances with grace, compassion, discipline and free spirit 'the way he lived his life," the Rev. Timm Emmons said Monday. "He had a desire to be in the military since he was a young boy. And he believed in what he was doing. He was a warrior, and he was a hero and he finished the course." Yearby was killed by a roadside bomb, along with fellow Lance Cpl. Jose S. MarinDominguez Jr., in the Al Anbar province of Iraq, two months after he arrived in that country. Friends and family, fellow American Indians, teachers and classmates filed past his open casket for an hour after the funeral while a U.S. Marine Corps honor guard stood at attention. About 1,000 people attended a funeral service meant to celebrate the life of the 21-year-old newlywed from Overbrook in southern Oklahoma's Love County. Those who spoke in the packed Marietta High School auditorium talked of how he loved to hunt, but never came back with anything. He played tricks, won dancing awards at powwows and appeared on a recruiting magazine for Upward Bound because of a headdress he made from a T-shirt. Nine of his friends stood on stage to remember Yearby. Jake Barber spoke for them, pausing several times to regain his composure. "Many great words describe Hatak.  The only real word you need to say is 'brother'.  He will always be known to us as the ace of spades, the most important card in the deck. He touched us so dearly that words cannot explain,".


Spc. Stephen G. Zapasnik

Spc. Stephen G. Zapasnik
A memorial service is planned for a Broken Arrow soldier who was killed on Christmas Eve in a vehicle accident in Iraq.The service for Army Spc. Stephen G. Zapasnik will be held on Friday at Centennial Middle School in Broken Arrow. Burial with full military honors will be held on Jan. 6 at Arlington National Cemetery.The military says Zapasnik was one of three soldiers killed on Dec. 24 when their Humvee rolled over in southern Iraq after the road collapsed under the vehicle.  All three were assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, based at Fort Carson, Colo.  Zapasnik joined the Army when he was 17 and completed his basic training at Fort Sill. He had been scheduled to return home on leave on Jan. 15.
Sources used:
http://www.defenselink.mil/releases/

Obituaries from Various Newspapers



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