Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members

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Objective: Provide support to families who have lost loved ones to non combat death, homicide, and suicide. Prevent non combat death, homicide and suicide by providing an expedited transfer option to whistleblowers and those who feel like their lives may be in danger.

This is a small sample of the many soldiers that have died of non combat deaths, homicide, and suicide. It was hard for me to choose which ones to feature. Given the amount of families who have questioned a ruling of suicide while their loved one was serving in the US military, it’s fair to say that some suicide rulings should have a second look to determine if a homicide was ruled out. It’s important to note that if the cause of death is determined to be suicide, then the military never has to investigate again.

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Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Fort Campbell, Kentucky (US Army)

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*This research is not complete and includes combat deaths.

Fort Campbell is a United States Army installation located astride the Kentucky-Tennessee border between Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and Clarksville, Tennessee. Fort Campbell is home to the 101st Airborne Division and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. The fort is named in honor of Union Army Brigadier General William Bowen Campbell, the last Whig Governor of Tennessee. -Wikipedia

2017:

Dillon Baldridge, US Army: Died in Apparent Insider Attack, Afghanistan
William Bays, US Army: Died in Apparent Insider Attack, Afghanistan
Isiah Booker, US Army: Non Combat Related Incident, Jordan
Eric Houck, US Army: Died in Apparent Insider Attack, Afghanistan

2016:

Dhaifal Ali, US Army: Death Ruled Accidental Drowning
Seth Brabant, US Army Veteran: Homicide Victim
Jeffrey Cooper, US Army: Non Combat Death, Vehicle Rollover, Kuwait
MarStratton Gordon, US Army: Homicide Victim
Kyle Heade, US Army: Charged with Theft/Attempted Homicide
Zachary James-Earl Ponder, US Army: Charged with Homicide
Matthew Lewellen, US Army: Ambushed at Military Base in Jordan
Shadow McClaine, US Army: Body Missing, Homicide
Kevin McEnroe, US Army: Ambushed at Military Base in Jordan
James Moriarty, US Army: Ambushed at Military Base in Jordan
Marcus Rogers, US Army: Failing to Follow Military Orders
Deashawn Thomas, US Army: Homicide/Suicide
Katelyn Thomas, US Army Spouse: Homicide Victim

2015:

Zackery Alexander, US Army: Charged with Homicide
Joseph Bankston, US Army Dependent: Homicide Victim
John Dawson, US Army: Attacked by Small Arms Fire, Afghanistan
Liperial Easterling, US Army: Homicide Victim
Terrence Harwell, US Army: Homicide Victim
Cornell Hurley Jr, US Army: Homicide
Kevin Rodriguez, US Army: Preventable Training Accident Death
Chelcee Sine-Garza, US Army: Attempted Homicide Victim
Annely Turner, US Army Spouse: Attempted Homicide
Malcolm Turner, US Army: Attempted Homicide
David Wi, US Army: Charged with Homicide

2014:

Christian Martin, US Army (2014): Wrongfully convicted SoH Board Member

2012:

Robbie Knight, US Army: Homicide
Frederic Moses, US Army: Homicide Victim
Jeremy Priddy, Civilian: Homicide Victim
Nery Ruiz, US Army: Sexual Abuse/Sodomy of Child
Benjamin Schweitzer, US Army: Reckless Homicide

2011:

Michael Korolevich, US Army: Homicide
Kathleen McGee, US Army Spouse: Homicide Victim

2010:

Linzi Jenks, US Army Spouse: Homicide Victim
Robert Jenks III, US Army: Homicide

2009:

Ashley Barnes, US Army: Homicide Victim
Khaleefa Lambert, US Army: Homicide

2008:

Ryan Baumann, US Army: Vehicle encountered IED, Afghanistan
Tracy Birkman, US Army: Non Combat Death, Iraq
Donald Carwile, US Army: Vehicle struck IED, ambushed, Afghanistan
Jennifer Cole, US Army: Negligent Homicide, Iraq
Paul Conlon, Jr., US Army: Vehicle struck IED, ambushed, Afghanistan

2007:

Alicia Birchett, US Army: Non-Combat Related Vehicle Accident, Iraq
Brent Burke, US Army: Homicide
Tracy Burke, US Army Spouse: Homicide Victim
Karen Comer, US Army Family: Homicide Victim

2006:

Steven Green, US Army: Rape/Homicide of Iraqi Civilian

2005:

LaVena Johnson, US Army: Death Ruled Suicide, Iraq

2003:

Hasan Akbar, US Army: Homicide, Death Sentence
Alyssa Peterson, US Army: Non-combat weapons discharge, Iraq

1999:

Barry Winchell, US Army: Homicide Victim

1996:

Laura Cecere, US Army: Homicide Victim
Max Roybal, US Army Spouse: Acquitted of Homicide

1994:

David Housler Jr, US Army: Homicide Conviction Overturned

Related Links:
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Iraq)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Afghanistan)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Other Areas)

Army 1st Lt. Jeffrey Cooper Died of a Non Combat-Related Injury in Kuwait Supporting Operation Inherent Resolve (2016)

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1st Lt Jeffrey Cooper, US Army

1st Lt Jeffrey Cooper, US Army, died of a non combat related injury in Kuwait on September 10, 2016. 1st Lt Cooper was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve on behalf of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. According to the Department of Defense, the incident is under investigation.

“Cooper was killed in a rollover vehicle accident while traveling from Camp Buehring in Kuwait to the Ali Al Salem Airfield.” -CBS News

Related Links:
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
DOD: U.S. soldier from Washington killed in Kuwait
Defense Department: Washington soldier killed in Kuwait
DoD identifies soldier killed in vehicle rollover in Kuwait
Fort Campbell soldier killed in car crash Saturday in Kuwait
Fort Campbell Soldier Dies In Non-Combat Crash
U.S. Department of Defense identifies 101st Airborne Division casualty

Violent Crime, Non Combat Death and Suicide at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (US Army)

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(Photo courtesy of http://www.reuters.com)

*Research not complete and includes combat deaths

Fort Bragg equips, trains, rapidly deploys, and sustains full spectrum forces supporting Combatant Commanders from a Community of Excellence where Soldiers, Families and Civilians thrive.

2017:

Roshain Brooks, US Army: Died while engaged in combat operations, Iraq
Huey Dyer, US Army Dependent: Homicide, Army soldier Matt Dyer’s dog
Christopher Harris, US Army: Vehicle-borne IED detonated, Afghanistan
Jarren Heng, US Army: Sentenced to 12 months probation for role in killing Huey
Jonathon Hunter, US Army: Vehicle-borne IED detonated, Afghanistan
Weston Lee, US Army: Died from Injuries while Conducting Security, Iraq
Marinna Rollins, US Army Veteran: Killed estranged husband’s dog Huey, suicide
Allen Stigler, Jr., US Army: Died while engaged in combat operations, Iraq

2016:

Iris Armstrong, US Army: Homicide victim, murdered by spouse
David Penix, US Army: Homicide Victim
Grant Shanaman, US Army: Found Dead in Off Post Home
Johnathan Simpson, US Army: Accused of raping fellow soldier
Ryan Walker, US Army: Charged with homicide of fellow soldier
David Winchester, US Army: Found Dead in Barracks

2015:

Javore Blackwell, Civilian: Charged with homicide of Fort Bragg soldier
Joseph Carreiro, US Army: Found dead in barracks, COD unknown
Jeanie Ditty, US Army: Accused of murdering child with boyfriend
James Groth, US Army: Died during training at Fort Bragg
Anthony Pantano, US Army: Accused of causing woman’s death, found dead
Nicholas Roberts, US Army: Killed in military training accident at Fort Bragg
Pablo Ruiz, US Army: Non Combat Related Incident, Afghanistan
Joshua Wheeler, US Army: Died from enemy small-arms fire, Iraq
Robert Williams, Civilian: Charged with homicide of Fort Bragg soldier

2014:

Brian Arsenault, US Army: Died from enemy small-arms fire, Afghanistan
Adacia Bruton, US Army: Charged with homicide of Fort Bragg soldier
Michael Cathcart, US Army: Died from enemy small arms fire, Afghanistan
Michael Donahue, US Army: Died of Wounds Suffered from Enemy Attack
Girard Gass Jr., US Army (2014): Non Combat Related Incident, Afghanistan
James Groth, US Army: Died during training at Fort Bragg
Samuel Hairston, US Army: Died while engaging the enemy, Afghanistan
Matthew Leggett, US Army: Died while engaging the enemy, Afghanistan
Cory Muzzy, US Army: Injured in life-fire training accident at Fort Bragg
Joseph Riley, US Army: Died After Enemy Attacked Vehicle with IED, Afghanistan
Darrell Robinson, US Army: Cause of Death Unknown
Omar Velez-Pagan, US Army: Sentenced to 30 years for homicide
Jonathan Walker, US Army: Non Combat Related Incident, Qatar

2013:

Allen Thomas, US Army Veteran: Homicide-Suicide
Sean Wells, US Army: Homicide victim, case unsolved, cold case
Darron Wright, US Army: Killed in parachute malfunction accident

2012:

Christopher Blackett, US Army: Plead guilty to homicide, imprisoned, suicide
Kelli Bordeaux, US Army: Homicide victim by convicted sex offender
Sebastian Gamez, US Army: Charged with homicide, final outcome unknown
Joshua Eisenhauer, US Army: Attempted homicide
Nicholas Holbert, Civilian: Homicide of army soldier, sentenced to life
Giocondo Navek, Civilian: Reportedly killed girlfriend, colleague, & self
Wade Page, US Army Veteran: Murdered six people then killed self
Jeffrey Sinclair, US Army: Improper Relationships, Demoted & Fined

2011:

Seth Andrews, US Army: Murder-Suicide
Kenneth Clark, US Army: Acquitted of murdering Fort Bragg soldier
Brandon Mims, US Army: Acquitted of shooting death of Fayetteville man
Breon Smith, US Army: Homicide victim

2010:

Nicholas Bailey, US Army: Negligent homicide, Iraq
Mathew Golsteyn, US Army: Army reopens investigation into war crimes
Morganne McBeth, US Army: Non combat death, homicide

2009:

Tara Smith, US Army: Non combat related incident, Afghanistan
Jacob Swanson, US Army: Murder-suicide

2008:

Kyle Alden, US Marine Corps: Accessory in cover-up of homicide
Matthew Kvapil, US Army: Homicide of co-worker, sentenced to life
Edgar Patino, US Army: Homicide of soldier, sentenced to 16-20 years
Matthew Rhoads, US Army: Cause of death unknown
Christina Smith, US Army: Spousal homicide victim
Richard Smith, US Army: Spousal homicide, sentenced to life
Megan Touma, US Army: Pregnant, homicide victim
Holley Wimunc, US Army: Domestic violence, homicide victim
John Wimunc, US Marine Corps: Spousal homicide, sentenced to life

2007:

Alan Austin, US Army: Non-combat related accident, Afghanistan
Michael Barbera, US Army: Accused of war crimes, Army dropped charges
Sandy Britt, US Army: IED detonated near unit during combat ops, Iraq
Jesse Clowers, US Army: IED detonated near vehicle, Afghanistan
Joan Duran, US Army: Non-combat related incident, Iraq
Michael Fielder, US Army: Non-combat related incident, Iraq
Erick Foster, US Army: Insurgents attacked unit during combat ops, Iraq
Jordan Goode, US Army: Wounds suffered from IED, Afghanistan
David Heringes, US Army: IED detonated near unit during combat ops, Iraq
Jeffrey Kettle, US Army: IED detonated near vehicle, Afghanistan
Charles Kitowski, US Army: IED detonated near vehicle, Afghanistan
Joshua Morley, US Army: Insurgents attacked unit during combat ops, Iraq
Tracy Willis, US Army: Insurgents attacked unit during combat ops, Iraq
Donovan Witham, US Army: IED detonated near vehicle, Iraq

2005:

Leroy Alexander, US Army: Vehicle struck by IED, Afghanistan
Jeremy Chandler, US Army: Died conducting training operations, Afghanistan
Charles Robinson, US Army: Vehicle struck by IED, Afghanistan
Jeffrey Toczylowski, US Army: Injuries sustained during combat operations
James Valentine, US Army Spouse: Murder-Suicide
Ronna Valentine, US Army: Victim of homicide

2003:

Andrew Baddick, US Army: Died in rescue attempt of another soldier, Iraq
James Lambert III, US Army: Struck by stray bullet during celebratory event, Iraq
Duane Longstreth, US Army: Non combat related injuries, Iraq

2002:

Sherman Cooley, US Army: Arrested for homicide of fellow soldier
Andrea Floyd, US Army Retired: Homicide Victim
Brandon Floyd, US Army: Homicide-Suicide
Cedric Griffin, US Army: Charged with first degree murder
Jacob Jarrell, US Army: Homicide victim
Jonathan Meadows, US Army: Attempted homicide
Rigoberto Nieves, US Army: Murder-suicide
David Shannon, US Army: Homicide Victim
Joan Shannon, US Army Spouse: Homicide
William Wright, US Army: Charged with murder, killed self awaiting trial

2000:

John Diamond, US Army: Homicide of USAF Officer
Frank Theer, US Air Force: Homicide Victim
Michelle Theer, US Air Force Spouse: Homicide of USAF Husband

1999:

Forest Nelson, US Army: Homicide

1995:

James Burmeister, US Army: Homicide of 2 People
William Kreutzer, US Army: Sentenced to life in prison for homicide
Randy Meadows, US Army: 3 years probation for role in homicides of 2 people
Malcolm Wright, US Army: Homicide of 2 People

1993:

Lisa Bryant, US Army: Homicide victim
Erwin Graves, US Army: Homicide of fellow soldier

1987:

Kimberly Ruggles, Civilian: Rape & Homicide Victim

1986:

Ronald Gray, US Army: Rape & Homicide; Death Sentence
Laura Vickery-Clay, US Army: Rape & Homicide Victim

1985:

Cara Eastburn, US Air Force Dependent: Homicide Victim
Erin Eastburn, US Air Force Dependent: Homicide Victim
Kathryn Eastburn, US Air Force Spouse: Homicide Victim
Timothy Hennis, US Army: Rape & Homicide; Death Sentence

1980:

Lawrence Hill, US Army: Died in parachute accident
Alvin Williams, US Army: Acquitted of death of military officer

1970:

Jeffrey MacDonald, US Army: Convicted of Homicide, Appealing

Related Links:
A War at Home
The Fort Bragg Murders
Fort Bragg’s Deadly Summer
4 Wives Slain In 6 Weeks At Fort Bragg
Rash of Wife Killings Stuns Ft. Bragg
Rash of Wife Killings at Ft. Bragg Leaves the Base Wondering Why
Army Instituting Broad Inquiry at Fort Bragg After 4 Killings
Army’s Malaria Drug Linked To Three Fort Bragg Wife Killings
Base Crimes. The military has a domestic violence problem.
A History of Shootings at Military Installations in the U.S.
Sikh shooting latest violent link to Fort Bragg
Fort Bragg, Page’s Army base had white supremacists
Fort Bragg soldier killed in skydiving accident
82nd Airborne paratrooper killed at Fort Bragg, the latest in a series of military training deaths
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2007)

Army CWO2 Billie Grinder Died of a Non Combat-Related Accident in Qayyarah, Iraq (2010)

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CW02 Billie Grinder, US Army

Army CW02 Billie J. Grinder, 25, died of a non combat related accident on February 21, 2010 in Qayyarah, Iraq. CW02 Grinder was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom on behalf of the 1st Squadron, 230th Cavalry Regiment, Tennessee Army National Guard in Louisville, Tennessee. CW02 Grinder died from wounds suffered when her OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter had a hard landing as a result of a helicopter systems failure. Her family sued the makers of the helicopter and settled.

“One of the U.S. Army’s most advanced helicopters is unsafe and responsible for the deaths of two Tennessee troops, a lawsuit filed in Knox County Circuit Court claims. The suit alleges the failure of the Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC) system in a Kiowa OH-58D Warrior helicopter was a direct and proximate cause in the deaths of troops Marcus R. Alford Sr. and Billie Jean Grinder.” -Knoxville News Sentinel

Related Links:
DOD Identifies Army Casualties
Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Billie Jean Grinder
Knoxville, Gallatin Army pilots killed in Iraq chopper crash
Helicopter crash in Iraq kills South-Doyle graduate, Gallatin woman
Helicopter pilot with local ties killed in Iraq
Pilot was 1st female Tenn. guard death in Iraq
Albany couple’s niece, 25, perishes in chopper crash
South-Doyle grad 1 of 2 TN soldiers killed in Iraq
Remembering our fallen pilots
Tennessee ANG Soldiers honor wounded warriors, fallen comrades
Army investigating National Guard helicopter crash that killed 2 Knoxville pilots
Suit filed, chopper blamed in accident that killed 2 Tennessee pilots in Iraq
Helicopter Maker Fights Suit by Tennessee Soldiers’ Families Over Deadly Crash
Family of East TN army pilot, helicopter maker reach settlement
Bell Helicopter settles lawsuit with Tenn. family
Fallen aviators honored with Car, Truck and Bike Show

Army Captain Marcus Alford Died of a Non Combat-Related Accident in Qayyarah, Iraq (2010)

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Captain Marcus Alford, US Army

Army Captain Marcus Alford, 28, died of a non combat related accident on February 21, 2010 in Qayyarah, Iraq. Captain Alford was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom on behalf of the 1st Squadron, 230th Cavalry Regiment, Tennessee Army National Guard in Louisville, Tennessee. Captain Alford died from wounds suffered when his OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter had a hard landing as a result of a helicopter systems failure. His family sued the makers of the helicopter and settled.

“One of the U.S. Army’s most advanced helicopters is unsafe and responsible for the deaths of two Tennessee troops, a lawsuit filed in Knox County Circuit Court claims. The suit alleges the failure of the Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC) system in a Kiowa OH-58D Warrior helicopter was a direct and proximate cause in the deaths of troops Marcus R. Alford Sr. and Billie Jean Grinder.” -Knoxville News Sentinel

Related Links:
DOD Identifies Army Casualties
Army Capt. Marcus R. Alford
Body of Army helicopter pilot returned to Knoxville
Knoxville, Gallatin Army pilots killed in Iraq chopper crash
Helicopter crash in Iraq kills South-Doyle graduate, Gallatin woman
South-Doyle grad 1 of 2 TN soldiers killed in Iraq
Memory of soldier touches mourners
Remembering our fallen pilots
Tennessee ANG Soldiers honor wounded warriors, fallen comrades
Army investigating National Guard helicopter crash that killed 2 Knoxville pilots
Suit filed, chopper blamed in accident that killed 2 Tennessee pilots in Iraq
Helicopter Maker Fights Suit by Tennessee Soldiers’ Families Over Deadly Crash
Highway stretch honors pilot killed in Iraq crash
Family of Tennessee Army pilot awarded $290,000 in settlement
Fallen aviators honored with Car, Truck and Bike Show

Pfc Gifford Hurt, US Army, Died of a Non Combat Related Accident in Mosul, Iraq (2010)

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Pfc Gifford Hurt, US Army

Pfc. Gifford E. Hurt, Jr., 19, US Army, died of a non combat related accident on January 20, 2010 in Mosul, Iraq. Pfc. Hurt was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom on behalf of the 1st Battalion, 14th Field Artillery Regiment, 214th Fires Brigade, 4th Infantry Division in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. According to the Department of Defense, the circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation.

Related Links:
DOD Identifies Army Casualty
Army Pfc. Gifford E. Hurt Jr.
Army Pfc. Gifford E. Hurt honored in dignified transfer Jan. 22
Elmsford soldier’s body returns home
Gifford E Hurt Jr | Fallen Heroes Project
Pfc Gifford E. Hurt Jr. | Our Fallen Soldier
PFC Gifford E. Hurt, Jr. (1990-2010)
Gifford E. Hurt, Jr., PFC, US Army, KIA 1-20-2010, Iraq – Flags for Fallen Military
Honoring the Fallen: US Military KIA, Iraq & Afghanistan/Pakistan – January 2010

Spc. Adrian Avila, US Army, Died of a Non Combat Related Accident in Khabari Crossing, Kuwait (2009)

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Spc. Adrian Avila, US Army

Spc. Adrian Avila, 19, US Army, died of a non combat related accident in Khabari Crossing, Kuwait on October 29, 2009. Spc. Avila was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom on behalf of the 1343rd Chemical Company, 151st Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Battalion, 115th Fires Brigade of the Alabama Army National Guard in Fort Payne, Alabama. According to the Department of Defense the incident is under investigation.

Related Links:
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Army Spc. Adrian L. Avila
Opelika soldier dies in Kuwait accident
Alabama Guardsman who died in Kuwait to be buried
Alabama soldier who died in non-combat Kuwait accident remembered for his pride, service
Soldier death: Spc. Adrian L. Avila, 19, of Opelika dies of non-combat related injuries
US troops killed in Iraq and Kuwait
Adrian L Avila, Opelika, Alabama, October 29, 2009

Army SSG Alicia Birchett Died of Injuries Suffered From a Non-Combat Related Vehicle Accident in Baghdad, Iraq (2007)

Alicia Birchett

SSG Alicia Birchett, US Army

Army SSG Alicia Birchett, 29, died of injuries suffered from a non-combat related vehicle accident in Baghdad, Iraq on August 9, 2007. SSG Birchett was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom on behalf of the 887th Engineer Company, 326th Engineer Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. At the time of the Department of Defense August 15th press release, the incident was under investigation. According to media reports, her family said Alicia was fatally injured when the brakes of a military truck failed while she changed a tire.

Related Links:
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Army Staff Sgt. Alicia A. Birchett
Sgt. Alicia Birchett: 101st Airborne soldier dies in Iraq 8-07
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2007)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Iraq)
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Fort Campbell, Kentucky (US Army)

Army Captain Jeremy Chandler Died Conducting Training Operations at FOB Ripley in Afghanistan (2005)

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Capt. Jeremy Chandler, US Army

Army Captain Jeremy Chandler, 30, died while he was conducting training operations at Forward Operating Base Ripley in Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan on August 11, 2005. Capt. Chandler died while he was preparing for combat operations in Afghanistan. Capt. Chandler was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom on behalf of the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. At the time of the Department of Defense press release, the incident was under investigation.

Related Links:
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Honor the Fallen: Army Capt. Jeremy A. Chandler
Special Forces: Capt. Jeremy Allen Chandler
Green Beret Foundation: Jeremy A. Chandler
The last word he would use to describe himself was hero’
4th annual Captain Jeremy Alan Chandler Memorial scholarship
Jamie Alden, A Warrior’s Request for Memorial Day
August: U.S. Department of Defense Casualties Report (2005)
DoD: Flag for a Friend