Sargent John Blatner was drafted into the US Army in November 1966 and completed basic training at Fort Campbell, KY and Advanced Infantry Training at Fort Jackson, SC. He served in Vietnam from April 1967 to April 1968. John served with Co. B 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division in forward operating bases throughout South Vietnam in the Mekong Delta. The 60th Infantry was primarily an air mobile unit with most operations being transported in and out by helicopter. They also operated in and around the South China Sea with small fishing boats known as riverine operations. John served in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive January 30th, 1968, one of the largest battles during the Vietnam War. He finished 2 years of active duty at Fort Hood Texas with the 2nd Armor Division and then completed his military duties serving 4 years of inactive reserves, leaving with an Honorable Discharge.
I joined the military after the 9/11 catastrophe in 2001. The outrage over the terrorist attack inspired thousands of young people like myself to stand up for our country. I completed high school in May of 2002 and left for basic training June 10th. I was 17 years old and had to have my mother sign my military contract for me, but I knew this is where I was supposed to be. I graduated basic training as an element leader for Flight 548 in August of 2002 and graduated the Security Forces Technical Training School in November of that same year. I was so excited to start my career and be part of the greatest force on Earth. I arrived at my duty station, Whiteman Air Force Base Missouri, home of the B-2 bomber, in December and started my career in the Air Force. I climbed the ranks pretty fast and started putting in my resume for positions that held a high intensity level. I became a Senior Security Controller, Unit Security Manager, Unit Safety Manager, and finally the Personal Reliability Manager. I met my husband, SrA Brian Boxx of the 509th Munitions Squadron and we were married in 2007 and had our daughter the following year. As a military police officer, I was trained in hand to hand combat, received special training from Navy Seals for Global Exercises, and I was a marksman in both the M-4 rifle and the 9MM. I loved my career, it was exciting, stressful, and hard, which is what I liked the most. As a female in the military, you are stereotyped on a regular basis and this career made you work for your credit. In 2006, I was injured while on active duty and my left knee was damaged badly. This resulted in my having six surgeries on active duty over the next five years to try and save my knee. Unfortunately, my condition continued to deteriorate as a result of my injury and I was medically retired in 2011 and was a made a Wounded Warrior that same year. I was absolutely devastated that I was not able to be a “lifer”, but I did not let it stop me from continuing to climb, I just had to do it in the civilian world. I started The Painted Boxx Art and Photography in 2013 and have not slowed down since. I do not regret how my military career panned out, but I do miss the people. It is an incredible feeling to know you are standing next to people that will go to war with you and the unrelenting loyalty. I will forever be an Airman, and I will forever honor my brothers and sisters in arms.
Master Officer Matthew Doyle has served with the Naples Police Department since 2005 and is former Army Ranger from Bravo Company, 1st Battalion- 75th Ranger Regiment. He served from 1999 through 2004 achieving the rank of sergeant. In 2002, Matthew deployed to Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraq in 2003 for Operation Iraqi Freedom. During his combat service, he conducted numerous direct-action raids and other special operations missions as part of a task force for Joint Special Operations. On April 1, 2003, serving as a fire team leader, Matthew assisted in the well-publicized rescue of American Prisoner of War PFC Jessica Lynch and recovery the bodies of eight American soldiers.
Matthew’s awards consist of the Army Achievement Medal with oak leaf, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Service Medal, Iraq Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Airborne Wings, the Ranger Tab, Expert Infantryman’s Badge, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, and Czech Republic Jump Wings. His unit was awarded a Joint Meritorious Unit Citation and Valorous Unit Citation for their efforts during the Jessica Lynch rescue.
Served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. In WWII he was in CBI ( China, Burma and India) He was direct commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant as an engineer. He retired in 1968 as a Lt Colonel.
Kenneth Earl Fernald served in the US Navy from 1944 to 1946 as Radioman Third Class aboard the Muliphen AKA61. He served in WWII campaigns including American Theatre and Asiatic-Pacific Theatre, and landed on Iwo Jima. He earned the WWII Victory Medal, the American Theatre Medal and the Asiatic-Pacific Medal. He is honored by Kena Yoke, Lake Yoke, Kirk and Laura Fernald, Doug and Shawn Keene
LTC Robert A. “Bob” Frazier
Born: Quincy Massachusetts
Currently: Naples Florida
SIMPLE MILITARY BIO
Born: October 12th, 1945
Entered Service Date: June 27th 1968
Last Assignment Date: January 27th 2008 and reentered retirement
Total credited Years of Service: 39 years and 8 months
Awards (abridged list)
Bronze Star Medal (BSM)
Army Commendation Medal (ACM) 4
National Defense Medal (NDM) 4
Global War on Terror (GWT)
Iraq Campaign Medal (ICM)
Humanitarian Service Medal (HSM)
Assignments (abridged list)
1-101 INF BN, 11C10, PVT
1-101 INF BN, 11C20, SGT @ OCS
Commissioned 2LT June 27th, 1970
1-101 INF BN, XO, Acting CDR, 1983 -1985
Director of Personnel, U.S. Army TNG Site Camp Edwards Massachusetts 1994 - 1998
U.S. Army Staff at the Pentagon, Sept, 2006 – January 2008 assigned to the,
ASST Chief of Staff, Operations and Training (G-3) TNG Division
Significant Events (abridged list)
Cold War Operational Deployments, Germany and Belgium (Classified)
Mobilized, 1991, First Iraq War
Retiree Recall January 28th 2006
Iraq Theater March – Sept 2006
Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) Paul Garrah retired in 2004 after serving 22 years in the US Army as an enlisted soldier, a non-commissioned officer and-after graduation from Officer Candidate School-a commissioned officer. His assignments include the Pentagon (Joint Chiefs of Staff), Panama, Korea, and Germany. Colonel Garrah participated in NATO peace-enforcement operations in Bosnia. His primary military career duties were in the Tactical Telecommunications and Foreign Area Officer for LatinAmericafields. During his last assignment at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Colonel Garrah performed duties as the Fifth U.S. Army Liaison Officer to Mexico while also serving in the Emergency Operations Center in support of the post 9/11, Global War on Terrorism. Colonel Garrah's awards include the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, three Meritorious Service Medals, and six Army Commendation Medals.
Branch of Service: Army
Conflict: None (closest I came was Bosnia but that was peace enforcement...not combat). It is funny because I was in a number of units that had just returned from war or just left for war after I transferred out. If my timing was a little different, I would have multiple deployments.
Years of Service: 1982-2004
Thomas G Hauck Sr. was born to Irish and German immigrants to the United States, June 28, 1928 in New York City. He grew up in Bronx New York and had two brothers and a sister. He went to school for engineering and became a safety inspector for a large insurance company working primarily in the Northeast region of the Country. Thomas volunteered for the Army during the Korean War in January 1950, and was stationed in Italy until 1953. He was a tanker while in the Army, and was promoted to the rank of Corporal before being discharged at the end of his enlistment. He was married to his wife Clair, for 63 years. The have three children, one resides in New York, one in New Jersey and the other in Naples Florida. He has seven grandchildren and one great grandchild. He had great interest in baseball, and was a diehard New York Yankee fan all of his life. Thomas was a historian whose area of particular expertise was World War II. Devoted husband, father, and patriot, Corporal Hauck died on August 29, 2015 with his family at his bedside. He was 87 years old.
Joe was born in the Bronx, NY on March 29, 1924. He grew up in a loving, Italian family that taught him faith, courage and moral values. These values have served him well his whole life. His early development prepared him for the man he was to become. Joe entered the war in March of 1943 and, after basic training, was sent to England as a member of the combat engineers. While stationed in Sherborne, there was an bomb explosion where he lost his hearing and several men in his company were killed. While in England, he met Noreen Burnham in Abbey Park, Leicestershire. They were married in August of 1945 and, their daughter, Dorothy was born there in 1946. During the war, he was given the task of taking strategic maps to General Patton. While, in the European campaign, he also was sent to France, Germany and Austria. After the war, he was sent back to the US and honorably discharged in January 1946.
Joe graduated from Fordham University in New York and went on to law school at St. John’s University. He graduated and was awarded Juris Doctor in 1951. Joe & Noreen raised six children in Greenwich, Connecticut where he practiced law from 1952 - 1987. He became town attorney in 1968. After many years in Greenwich, and once the children were off and grown, Joe & Noreen moved to Milford, Connecticut. He continued to practice law into his 80’s. During his illustrious career, he met some very interesting people, among them Charles Lindbergh and Helen Keller. Among his many accomplishments, he has had a book published of his memoirs. Joe & Noreen moved to Naples, Florida in 2003.
Wayne Lux enlisted in the US Air Force in 1964 and achieved the rank of Technical Sergeant before being commissioned as an officer. Captain Lux retired from the Air Force after 24 years of service in 1988 and continued to serve his country as a Systems Engineer working on defense contracts before retiring once again in 2012.
Ensign Martin H. Monahan
April 1943 enlisted in USNR V-5 AVIATION TRAINING PROGRAM
Jan 1945 graduated USNR V-5 program
commissioned Ensign USNR
classified as Naval Aviator
assigned to a torpedo bomber replacement squadron
March 1945 assigned to Air group 4
Top Hat dive bomber squadron
qualified as a carrier pilot
Nov 1945Honorable discharge
USNR non active reserve
Staff Sargent Joseph O’Keefe served from August 1958 to August 1961, just after the Vietnam War began. He completed Basic Training at Fort Dix, NJ then served at Nike base in Newhall, CA and Nike Base St. Bonifacius, MN. MOS 357.60, Joseph was a guided missile installation electrical equipment repairman. He was also in charge of the Motor Pool.
28 years old, of Immokalee, Fla.; assigned to the 101st Special Troops Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.; died April 16 at Forward Operating Base Gamberi, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when an Afghan National Army soldier attacked her with multiple grenades.
After being stationed in Grafenwoehr, Germany, and Fort Campbell, Ky., she found she adored hiking and mountain-biking, too.
"She was adventurous," says 29-year-old Will-Rose Etienne, a cousin so close that Pierre considered her a sister. "She always wanted to try new things."
And she longed to see the world beyond Southwest Florida. Uncle Sam was an obliging travel agent.
"Being in the military and coming to Germany has done so much for me," Pierre said in that YouTube video. "I've been to Paris, I've been to Spain, I've been to Prague – things that I thought I'd never, ever get to do. I've seen things I never, ever thought I'd get to see. And I've gotten the opportunity to do this, by being in the military."
But when Pierre graduated from Immokalee High School in 2001, she envisioned herself in a white lab coat, not dress blues. For two years she attended Edison State College in neighboring Lee County as a pre-med student.
College, however, wasn't a natural fit. As far as Pierre's father was concerned, the Army was his daughter's destiny.
"I remember growing up, Dad used to say, 'Hon, I think you're going to be a soldier. I think you're going to be a soldier someday,' " she says on YouTube. "I used to look at him and laugh and say, 'Absolutely not, Dad. I won't even consider such a thing.' "
Lamour had long felt a kinship with the U.S. Army, despite his own lack of military service. He emigrated from Haiti in 1981, and after a few jobless months in Miami, he settled in Immokalee, where work in the produce fields and packing houses was bountiful.
Seminole for "my home" - is where he met Elvina Pierre, now 51 and also a Haitian-born farmworker – and where they raised six children. Linda was the third-oldest.
Despite her father's predictions, Pierre remained unsure about a military career, until her older brother persuaded her to enlist.
Her older brother, Army Staff Sgt. Jean Robert Lamour has served for a decade in the Marine Corps and Army. Now part of Special Forces, the 31-year-old was deployed to Libya four days after Pierre's funeral – his sixth tour of duty overseas.
As Pierre, a devout Christian, prepared for her own deployment, "she was a little worried, a little apprehensive," says Watson, her sister. "She talked to my brother, and she prayed, and then she was OK. She was going to go, and she'd be back in a year."
Even from Afghanistan, Pierre spoke almost daily on the phone or via Skype with her cousin. Initially, she kept the realities of the war to herself, says Etienne. But eventually, her fears began to seep out.
Trained as a human resources specialist, she talked about once finding herself the only female, and sole American, in a room with 30 of her Afghan National Army counterparts, and of being assigned to the lead vehicle in a convoy.
"She told me, 'If anything happens, I'll be the first one to go,' " recalls Etienne.
In the end, it wasn't a roadside bomb or rocket-propelled grenade that claimed Pierre. Death came disguised as an ally.
During a routine morning meeting between American soldiers and their Afghan partners at Forward Operating Base Gamberi, a suicide bomber wearing an Afghan army uniform entered the room. He detonated himself, killing five U.S. soldiers, four Afghan army personnel, an American civilian contractor and an Afghan interpreter.
"I guess certain people still harbored ill will for Americans," says Watson. "And here we are."
Pierre often downplayed her bravery, joking with Etienne that if she was to learn she'd won a Purple Heart, she would know her cousin was telling stories.
At her funeral, the army posthumously awarded Pierre both a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. "And I didn't have to tell stories," Etienne says.
Richard Ryan enlisted in the US Air Force in 1957 and served three tours of duty in Vietnam. He retired from the Air Force after 27 years of honorable service in 1984. He continued working as a radar site manager for ITT Industries for 18 years before falling victim to cancer in 2005.
Worked at Trial Section headquarter command western base USFET. Then moved to Staff Judge Advocate in Paris France. Don was a Tech 4 Sargent during WWII.
Born in 1921 and raised in New York City Bernard Reiter Silver served in the Army Air Corps from 1942 to 1945 as Sargent Mechanic/Draftsman with the 351 Bomb Group in Waton, England. He later worked for RAU Fastener Company in Providence, Rhode Island as VP of Manufacturing until retiring in 1992. Married since 1950 to Lila (nee Troy) Silver, he enjoys boating, fishing, and automobiles as well as his 3 children, 5 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. He currently resides in Boynton Beach, FL.