Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday Hero ~ 1SGT Jose San Nicolas Crisostomo

1st Sgt. Jose San Nicolas Crisostomo
1st Sgt. Jose San Nicolas Crisostomo
59 years old from Spanaway, Washington

Rest In Peace "Joe Sinbad"

August 29, 1949 - August 18, 2009

Army 1st Sgt. Jose S.N. Crisostomo, 59, of Inarajan, Guam, died Aug. 18 in Kabul, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. He was assigned to International Security Assistance Force Kabul, Kabul, Afghanistan.

U.S. Army

You can read Sgt. Crisostomo's story here.
And it is quite a story, indeed.

Farewell, and Walk with God, Joe Sinbad

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives
so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday.
For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday Hero ~ LT John Madea

Lt. John Madea
Lt. John Madea
U.S. Navy

Lt. John Madea holds his daughter as she is baptized with holy water from the ship's bell of the amphibious dock landing ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46). This is the fourth person baptized aboard Tortuga since the ship's christening in 1988, and her name will be inscribed inside the bell as a tradition of the U.S. Navy.

Photo Courtesy U.S. Navy
Taken By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Geronimo Aquino

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives
so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday.
For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Monday, September 21, 2009

Air Force Pararescue

The BEST article and extensive photographs of the Pararescue team and Afghanistan.


Friday, September 18, 2009

National POW/MIA Recognition Day


Our prayers are especially with the families of

Spc. Ahmed K. Altaie in Iraq

Pfc. Bowe R. Bergdahl in Afghanistan

Medal of Honor ~ SFC Jared Monti

Sergeant First Class Jared C. Monti -

Medal of Honor Operation Enduring Freedom

Official Narrative

In June of 2006, the 3rd Squadron of the 71st Cavalry Regiment (Recon), 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, prepared to execute Operation Gowardesh Thrust, a Squadron size operation in the Gremen Valley, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan.

The operation was designed to disrupt enemy operations in the Gremen Valley by denying the enemy freedom of movement and the use of critical staging areas near the border with Pakistan. The initial phase of the operation require

The operation was designed to disrupt enemy operations in the Gremen Valley by denying the enemy freedom of movement and the use of critical staging areas near the border with Pakistan. The initial phase of the operation required a 16-man patrol to infiltrate into the area of operations in advance of the Squadron’s main effort.

The patrol, consisting of snipers, forward observers and scouts, would maneuver north along a high ridgeline overlooking the Gremen Valley. From the high ground of the ridge, the patrol would provide real-time intelligence and help direct fires against enemy forces attempting to oppose the Squadron’s main effort.

On the evening of June 17, 2006, a convoy transported the patrol to a pre-established mortar firing position south of the village of Baz-Gal near the Gowardesh Bridge. The following morning, the patrol infiltrated on foot from the mortar firing position into their area of operation. For three days, the patrol moved north up the ridgeline through rugged mountain terrain. Due to the difficulty of the climb and temperatures near 100 degrees, the patrol moved mostly at night or in the early morning hours; stopping during the heat of the day to observe the valley below.

On June 20, 2006, the patrol leaders, Staff Sgt. Christopher M. Cunningham and Staff Sgt. Jared C. Monti, halted the patrol on the ridgeline of Mountain 2610, approximately 5 kilometers northwest of the village of Gowardesh. With an elevation of over 2600 meters, Mountain 2610 commanded a view of several enemy known areas of interest, including insurgent safe houses and the summer residence of Hadji Usman, an HIG commander, who was a vetted Combined Joint Task Force 76 insurgent target.

Staff Sgt. Cunningham and Staff Sgt. Monti selected a flat area on top of the ridge approximately 50 meters long and 20 meters wide, with a trail running along the eastern edge. At the southern end of the position, there were several large rocks, a portion of an old stone wall and a few small trees. The terrain sloped gradually upward to the north. At the northern end of the patrol’s position there was a line of dense vegetation composed of trees, heavy brush and smaller rocks. In between the large rocks to the south and the tree line to the north was a clearing approximately 40-50 meters in length. The terrain dropped off steeply on the eastern and western sides of the position. The rocks and trees around the position provided concealment and protection for the patrol as they observed the valley more than 1,000 meters below.

The patrol spent the night of June 20, 2006, observing from their position on Mountain 2610. The following morning the patrol was dangerously low on both food and water. A re-supply mission was scheduled for that day. The re-supply was originally coordinated to occur in conjunction with the Squadron’s main effort, which included a large air assault into the Gremen Valley. The heavy helicopter traffic associated with the air assault mission would have provided distraction for the re-supply; reducing the risk that the drop would compromise the patrol’s position. However, on the morning of June 21, 2006, Monti and Cunningham learned that the Squadron operation had been pushed back until June 24, 2006. The delay extended the patrol’s mission by several days, making re-supply critical; however, the absence of other aerial traffic increased the risk that the re-supply would compromise the patrol. Because of the critical shortage of water, it was determined that the re-supply would go forward as planned despite the risk of compromise.

The drop zone was located approximately 150 meters from the patrol’s position. Staff Sgt. Cunningham and Staff Sgt. Monti brought the majority of their patrol to the re-supply drop zone to provide security and to transport the supplies back to the patrol’s position. A smaller group remained at the observation position to provide security and to continue to survey the valley below. At approximately 1:30 in the afternoon, a UH-60 Black Hawk delivered food and water to the patrol. The patrol secured the supplies and began transporting them back to their observation position.

Spc. Max Noble, the patrol’s medic, was one of the Soldiers who remained at the observation position while the majority of the patrol picked up the re-supply. Spc. Noble was using a spotting scope to look down into the valley. Prior to the patrol’s return from the re-supply drop, Noble observed a local national male in the valley using military style binoculars to look up towards at the patrol’s position. Spc. Noble informed Cunningham and Monti as soon as they returned. They watched the man observing the patrol’s position for several minutes before he picked up a bag and walked away.

As dusk approached, the patrol established a security perimeter around their position and scheduled guard rotations. The patrol members then divided up the supplies and prepared for the night. Staff Sgt. Cunningham, Staff Sgt. Monti, and Sgt. John R. Hawes sat behind one of the large rocks at the southern end of the patrol’s position and discussing courses of action in the event that their position had likely been compromised. Pfc. Brian J. Bradbury, Pfc. Mark James, Pvt. Sean J. Smith, Spc. Matthew P. Chambers, Spc. Shawn M. Heistand, and Spc. Franklin L. Woods were at the northern end of the position, near the wood line. Sgt. Chris J. Grzecki, Spc. Noble, and Spc. John H. Garner were along the trail on the eastern edge of the position using spotting scopes to monitor the valley below.

At approximately, 6:45 in the evening, Spc. Woods heard the shuffling of feet in the wood line immediately to the north. Before he could react, the patrol’s position was hit by a barrage of rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), medium machine gun (PK) fire, and small-arms fire from the wood line. An enemy force of approximately 50 fighters was moving in under cover from two support-by-fire positions above the patrol to the north and northwest. Members of the patrol could hear enemy fighters giving commands as they moved through the wood line at the northern end of the patrol’s position.

At the time of the attack, the six patrol members at the northern end of the patrol’s position immediately dove for cover as the enemy opened fire. The attack came so quickly and with such ferocity, that many of the patrol members at the northern end of the position were unable to maneuver to get to their weapons. Others had their weapons literally shot out of their hands by the intense fire.

Spc. Heistand and Pfc. Bradbury were both near the wood line when the enemy opened fire. Heistand was armed with an assault rifle and Bradbury was a Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) gunner. Both hit the ground and began to return fire. However, they soon realized that their fire was drawing the enemies’ attention to their dangerously exposed position in the open area near the wood line. Spc. Heistand told Pfc. Bradbury that they had to fall back to the south where the large rocks would provide better cover. Spc. Heistand then jumped up and sprinted back towards the large rocks at the southern end of the position. Pfc. Bradbury was directly behind Spc. Heistand as they headed for the rocks, however, Pfc. Bradbury did not make it back to the rocks.

Pfc. James, Spc. Chambers, Spc. Woods, and Pvt. Smith were also in the area near the wood line when the enemy attacked. They also fell quickly back towards the large rocks to the south. Chambers, Woods, and Smith successfully made it to cover without injury; however, Pfc. James was hit by small arms fire in the back and wrist as he ran for cover to the south. Although wounded, Pfc. James was able to crawl back towards the rest of the patrol on the southern end of the position. As soon as he was close enough, other members of the patrol grabbed James and drug him to better cover behind the rocks. Spc. Chambers, who lost his weapon in the initial volley, then took Pfc. James to a safe position further back from the rocks and administered first aid.

From behind the rocks at the southern end of the patrol’s position, Staff Sgt. Monti, Staff Sgt. Cunningham, and Sgt. Hawes returned fire, attempting to cover for the patrol members falling back from the north. However, the intensity of the enemy small arms fire and frequent volleys of RPGs made it dangerous for the patrol members to expose themselves in order to accurately aim their return fire.

Sgt. Patrick L. Lybert was in a prone position beside the small stone wall which was slightly out in front of the larger rocks at the southern end of the patrol’s position. Although his position did not provide complete cover, it did provide the best vantage to place accurate fire on the enemy. From his position, Sgt. Lybert used aimed shots and controlled bursts to effectively slow the approaching enemy while other members of the patrol consolidated their position behind the rocks at the southern end of the position.

As the patrol fell back behind the large rocks, Staff Sgt. Cunningham and Staff Sgt. Monti took charge of the defense. They quickly set up a perimeter, posting Soldiers to guard potential approaches on their flanks. They directed return fire and cautioned their Soldiers to control their fires to conserve ammunition. Staff Sgt. Monti grabbed his radio handset and cleared the network to call for fire. He calmly informed headquarters that the patrol was under attack, heavily outnumbered, and at risk of being overrun.

Staff Sgt. Monti provided accurate grid coordinates of the enemy’s current positions and likely avenues of approach as RPGs skipped off of the rock above his head. Due to the proximity of the enemy forces, Staff Sgt. Monti’s call for fire was ‘danger close.’

While Monti was calling in the fire support mission, Staff Sgt. Cunningham moved along the rocks towards the eastern edge of the patrol’s position to take charge of the defense at that end of the position. Sgt. Hawes remained on the western side of the position to defend the western approach and to provide cover for Monti as he worked the radio calling for indirect fire. Sgt. Lybert was still out in front of the larger rocks returning fire from behind the stone wall. At some point, members of the patrol saw Lybert’s head slump forward and blood began to pour from his ears. Members of the patrol called out to Sgt. Lybert, but he did not respond. Spc. Noble, the patrol’s medic was on the western side of the position, near Sgt. Lybert, but was unable to get to Lybert to provide treatment due to the volume of enemy fire. However, Spc. Daniel B. Linnihan crawled out just far enough to grab Sgt. Lybert’s weapon and drag it back behind the rocks for use by the members of the patrol.

The enemy used support by fire positions to fix the patrol as they split into two groups to flank the patrol from the east and west. One group of approximately 15 fighters moved through the wood line towards the patrol’s western flank while a smaller group maneuvered across the trail to attempt to flank the eastern side of the position. The patrol members on either end of the position redirected their fires to protect their flanks. Patrol members with weapons traded off with unarmed members to ensure that the Soldier in the best position had a weapon to defeat the flanking maneuver. Pvt. Smith was along the trail on the eastern edge of the patrol’s position. From a covered position he killed several enemy fighters attempting to move up the trail to flank the patrol.

While still communicating with the Squadron headquarters, Staff Sgt. Monti periodically dropped the handset to engage the enemy with his rifle. At one point, he noticed a group of fighters closing in on the western flank and disrupted their attack with several bursts from his M-4. As the enemy closed within ten meters of the patrol’s defensive perimeter, Monti threw a grenade into their path. Although the grenade was inert, it’s presence disrupted the enemy advance and caused them to scatter and fall back, denying the enemy a position on the patrol’s flank. Staff Sgt. Monti then went back to the radio and continued to call for fire.

At this time, the initial volley of mortar fire began to fall on the advancing enemy, driving them back to a wood line north of the patrol’s position. The mortar firing position asked Staff Sgt. Monti to adjust the incoming rounds, however, the enemy fire from the wood line was so extreme that Monti was unable to even raise his head up to observe the incoming rounds.

As the enemy was driven back into the wood line, Staff Sgt. Monti and Staff Sgt. Cunningham took accountability of their Soldiers. They quickly realized that one Soldier, Pfc. Bradbury, was unaccounted for. Monti called for Bradbury several times and received no response. Finally, over the din of near constant enemy fire, they heard Pfc. Bradbury weakly reply that he was badly injured and unable to move.

Pfc. Bradbury, who was a SAW gunner on Staff Sgt. Monti’s team, lay severely wounded in a shallow depression approximately 20 meters in front of the patrol. The shallow depression prevented the patrol from actually seeing Bradbury, but it also protected him from enemy view. Other than the shallow depression, there was no other substantial cover near the wounded Soldier. The enemy in the wood line was as close as 30 meters on the other side of Pfc. Bradbury.

Staff Sgt. Monti recognized that Pfc. Bradbury was not only exposed to enemy fire, but also to the incoming indirect fire. He called out to Bradbury to reassure him that he would be alright and that they were coming to get him. Staff Sgt. Cunningham yelled across the rocks to Monti, that he would go for Pfc. Bradbury. However, Monti insisted that Bradbury was his Soldier and that he would go and get him.

Staff Sgt. Monti then handed the radio handset to Sgt. Grzecki and said, “you are now Chaos three-five,” which was Monti’s call sign. After tightening down his chin strap, Staff Sgt. Monti, without hesitation or concern for his own safety, moved out from behind the protection of the large rocks into the open, and into the face of enemy fire.

The wood line immediately erupted as dozens of enemy fighters focused their fire on Staff Sgt. Monti running towards his wounded Soldier. Patrol members reported hearing the distinct report of PK machine guns as soon as Monti left the protection of the rocks. Moving low and fast, Monti approached to within a few meters of Bradbury before heavy enemy fire forced him to move back and dive behind the small stone wall where Sgt. Lybert was located.

After pausing briefly to verify that Sgt. Lybert was dead, Staff Sgt. Monti again rose from his covered position and again moved out into a wall of enemy fire in his second attempt to save Pfc. Bradbury. This time, the fire was even more intense and Monti only made it a few steps before a volley of small arms fire and RPGs drove him back behind cover of the stone wall.

Unwilling to leave his Soldier wounded and exposed, Staff Sgt. Monti prepared to make a third attempt to get to the wounded Pfc. Bradbury. This time, Monti yelled back to the patrol members behind the rocks that he needed more cover fire. He coordinated with Sgt. Hawes to fire 40mm grenades from his M203 launcher onto the enemy position, while other members of the patrol would provide cover fire. Timing his movement to the sound of the exploding 40mm rounds, Staff Sgt. Monti, for a third time, rose from his covered position and moved into the open, knowing he again would be the focus of the enemy fire.

On his third attempt, Staff Sgt. Monti took several lunging steps through withering fire towards his wounded Soldier before an RPG exploded in his path. Before he could reach cover, Monti fell mortally wounded only a few meters from Pfc. Bradbury. Staff Sgt. Monti attempted to crawl back towards the stone wall, but was unable to move far due to the severity of his wounds. The patrol called out to Staff Sgt. Monti and tried to encourage him to remain conscious. Monti spoke briefly with the members of the patrol, telling them that he had made his peace with God. He then asked Staff Sgt. Cunningham to tell his parents that he loved them. Shortly thereafter, he fell silent.

By this time it was getting dark and the incoming mortar and howitzer rounds were falling with accuracy on the enemy position. Close air support was on station and the aviators dropped several 500lb bombs as well as two 2000lb bombs with direction from Sgt. Grzecki. The patrol members redoubled their efforts to beat back the superior enemy force. Under the weight of the accurate indirect fire, the enemy effort began to slacken.

As the enemy fire slowed, Sgt. Hawes low-crawled out from behind the rocks and made his way to Sgt. Lybert’s body. He took Sgt. Lybert’s ammunition and handed it back to one of the Soldiers fighting behind the rock. He then moved out to Staff Sgt. Monti’s body and confirmed that Monti had been killed while attempting to save Pfc. Bradbury. Sgt. Hawes took Monti’s weapon and ammunition and passed them back to the patrol.

Staff Sgt. Cunningham and Pfc. Smith then moved up along the trail to the east and made their way towards Pfc. Bradbury. They found Bradbury approximately 20 meters in front of the rocks. Pfc. Bradbury was alive, and although seriously wounded, he was able to communicate. Pfc. Bradbury reported that there were approximately 40 enemy fighters in the wooded area to the north. He was able to hear them talking and giving commands during the engagement.

It was completely dark by the time Staff Sgt. Cunningham brought Pfc. Bradbury back behind the rock so he could be treated by Spc. Noble.

The patrol remained in their position for the rest of the night. The next morning, they assessed the enemy position and found several blood trails and a bloody shoe, but no bodies. Later estimates put the enemy death toll at 15-20. The patrol moved on that day and made their way off of the mountain on foot.

Staff Sgt. Monti was posthumously promoted to Sergeant First Class on June 22, 2006.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Medal of Honor Winner Honored by 10th Mountain Division

3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment and 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment stand at attention during the rededication of Combat Outpost Monti, Sept. 17, in Kunar province, Afghanistan. Soldiers remembered the life and times of Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti as his family received the Medal of Honor posthumously in Washington, D.C.
Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Brandon Selver, Task Force Chosin

By U.S. Army Sgt. Rob Frazier
5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Sept. 17) - Thursday morning, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division Soldiers gathered to remember the life, sacrifice, and selfless service of Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti at the Combat Outpost that bears his name.

“President John F. Kennedy once said, ‘a nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but by the men it honors,’” said Chaplain Capt. Kevin Mucher, the chaplain for 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, of Ft. Drum, N.Y., at the beginning of the ceremony.

As a show of support and unity, Soldiers from Company C, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment and Troop B, 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, sat in their red chairs, filling the gaps between the walkways, at the center of the compound, to rededicate the COP nestled in the mountains of Eastern Kunar province.

According to the command sergeant major of 1st Bn., 32nd Inf. Reg., Command Sgt. Maj. James Carabello, a Boston native, the ceremony was “only fitting…and the right thing to do” for the Raynham, Mass., Soldier.

At the White House, Monti’s family, along with Service Members, past and present from 3rd Sqd., 71st Cav. Reg., were on-hand for another assembly as President Barack Obama posthumously bestowed the highest award for military valor to Monti’s family, the Medal of Honor.

“We honor him by continuing the fight and believing in the same things he believed in,” said the executive officer of 1st Bn., 32nd Inf. Reg., Maj. Pete Granger, who served as the Master of Ceremony for the tribute at COP Monti.

Those things, according to the Canandaigua, N.Y., Soldier, were, “his Soldiers, his friends, his family and his country.”
Monti’s name will forever be linked with the bravest of America’s Service Members including: Pfc. Jacob Parrot, the initial recipient in 1863, Dr. Mary Walker, the only woman to receive this honor; 1st Lt. Audie Murphy, the most decorated Soldier of WWII and Spc. Ross McGuiness, who was enshrined last year by President George W. Bush.

Monti is the sixth Soldier since 2001 to receive the Medal of Honor as a result of his actions displayed, while in support of the Global War on Terrorism encompassing both Iraq and Afghanistan.

“June 21, 2006, Sergeant First Class Monti, other forward observers and snipers were engaged in a firefight in the mountains near Gowardesh,” stated Staff Sgt. Matthew Wolfhanger, as he recounted the events of that evening. “We listened as Chaos3-5 (Monti’s call sign) called round after round on a seemingly endless enemy.”

According to several Soldiers who served with Monti, they state that in between calling for fire and directing his troops, Monti made the decision to retrieve Pfc. Brian Bradbury, who had been hit. After several attempts, Monti was mortally wounded when a rocket propelled grenade landed near him.

“When the team returned, they gave us the rest of the details of what had happened that night,” continued the Branchville, N.J. Soldier. “Sergeant First Class Monti had not only devastated the enemy with a mix of coolness and precision, but he had also made the ultimate sacrifice. He had given his life to save one of his own.”

1st Sgt. James Reese, who served as a Battle NCO with Headquarters, Headquarters Troop, 3-71 CAV, the night Monti died, said after three years the feeling of losing a Soldier never gets any easier, but he is comforted by the personal and professional memories he has of Monti.

“He was a Soldier’s Soldier,” added the Monroe, Wi. Soldier. “He epitomized what a noncommissioned officer should be, and he took great pride in training his troops and commanded respect from others.”

Granger implored his troops to remember that the actions of Monti went far beyond one firefight mission on June 21, 2006, and his enshrinement as a Medal of Honor recipient serves as a final tribute to a person who was always held in the highest regards by the men and women he served with.

“Please remember him as a hero for everyday he served his country and for how he lived his life,” added Granger. “There can be no higher recognition bestowed on any of us than to be remembered as a person of honor, a selfless leader, devoted son and dedicated friend.”

SFC Jared Monti's parents will be awarded his Medal of Honor today at the White House
Tomorrow he will be inducted into the Hall of Honor at the Pentagon

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday Hero ~ PFC Thomas Lowell Tucker

This Week's Post Is Via Gazing At The Flag

PFC Thomas Lowell Tucker
PFC Thomas Lowell Tucker
24 years old from Madras, Oregon
B Company, 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division
June 16, 2006
U.S. Army

Flag Gazer has a great post up on the dedication of the PFC Thomas Tucker memorial.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives
so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday.
For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Monday, September 14, 2009

Face of Freedom ~ Chaplain Recalls 911 at the Pentagon

Face of Defense: Chaplain Recalls 9/11 Attack on Pentagon

By Susanne Kappler Special to American Forces Press Service

FORT JACKSON, S.C., Sept. 11, 2009 - Eight years ago, Army Lt. Col. Henry Haynes, Pentagon chaplain, had just come out of a meeting and was on his way back to his office when he heard the news: A plane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers in New York.

At first, he did not pay close attention to the events, said Haynes, now a colonel and the installation chaplain here. But when a second plane struck the other tower, people around the Pentagon started to realize the magnitude of what was happening. "One man said, 'I bet we're going to be next,'" he remembered. "I guess it was about a few minutes after that when all the sirens started going off in the building -- because we were next."

On Sept. 11, 2001, at 9:37 a.m., American Airlines Flight 77 struck the west wall of the Pentagon, killing 64 people aboard the plane and 125 people in the building. "When the alarms went off, everybody ran out of the building, and smoke was pouring out of the western side of the building," Haynes said. "There was total chaos and confusion, because nobody really knew what was going on."

Haynes and his fellow chaplains didn't have time to let what happened sink in. They set up an operations center outside the building to attend to victims, rescue workers and others in need.

"It was just a long, long day of trying to minister to and ... take care of people who were hurting," Haynes said.

In the days that followed, Haynes helped survivors and conducted prayer services. He also traveled across the country to attend memorial services for the victims -- many of whom he had known personally.

"There was one fellow -- we parked side by side every morning when we drove in to the Pentagon. And the reason I remember him so well was because he always read his Bible," Haynes said. "I would get in at about 6 a.m. each morning ... and he would be sitting there reading his Bible every morning. It really just sort of impressed me. "The fact that he was killed -- it was just really emotional because I knew he was a very good person and very spiritual," he continued. "But it was good to be able -- when the parents asked me, 'Did you know my son?' -- to say, 'Yes, I knew your son. We frequently spoke.' I told them that he read his Bible every morning and they liked that."

About six months after the attack, Haynes was organizing the Pentagon's National Prayer Breakfast and found himself in a tight spot when his keynote speaker canceled on short notice. "And a voice, like God, said, 'Ask Brian,'" Haynes said. Brian Birdwell, now a retired lieutenant colonel, had just been released from the hospital two days earlier. He had been wounded in the attack, suffering severe burns, which covered more than 60 percent of his body and required more than 30 operations. To Haynes' surprise, Birdwell agreed to speak at the event.

"And then [Birdwell] asked, 'Should I wear my uniform?' I asked, 'Brian, can you get into your uniform?' He asked, 'Do you want me in dress blues?' I said, 'Brian, we'll all be in dress blues. Come in your dress blues,'" Haynes recalled. "And so he came. He still had all the pressure bandages on and the grafts were on his body. He couldn't stand on his own; his wife had to help him. But he came. And when Brian told his story, there was not a dry eye in the place."

Despite all the evil that happened during 9/11, Haynes said, one of the positive results was the good it brought out in people. "It was just an outpouring of love from the American people," he said. "Everybody was just supportive of one another. I've never seen anything quite like that before."

Haynes said he feels privileged to have been in the Pentagon during 9/11 and serve those in need of spiritual support. Although it was a trying and tiring time, he said, his faith helped him meet the demands.

"I believe that God gives you strength. And I believe in the power of prayer. There was a lot of prayer going on," he said. "A lot of people just wanted to hear some positive words. I felt like that was my duty. I had to do that. I had to be strong for my fellow comrades and employees in the building. "I believe that God prepares us for stuff, and I believe that God had me there for a reason."

(Susanne Kappler works in the Fort Jackson, S.C., public affairs office.)

Pentagon Memorial Service and the Families

Crystal Scott, the daughter of Janice Scott, an Army civilian employee who died in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the Pentagon, reflects upon her mother's memory at the Pentagon Memorial following the observance ceremony today. DoD photo by Gerry J. Gilmore

Gloria Calderon, flanked by her children Jose Jr. and Vanessa, attend today's 9-11 observance ceremony held at the Pentagon. Gloria's husband, Army Sgt. 1st Class Jose Calderon, was one of 125 Pentagon workers who perished when terrorist-hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon's west wall on Sept. 11, 2001. DoD photo by Gerry J. Gilmore

Pentagon 9/11 Families Remember Lost Loved Ones

By Gerry J. Gilmore American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON, Sept. 11, 2009 - Family members of the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon gathered here today to remember lost loved ones.

"We were very close," Darryl Young said of his sister Lisa, an Army civilian employee who was one of the 125 people in the Pentagon who perished when terrorist-hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the five-sided building's west wall on Sept. 11, 2001. Fifty-nine victims aboard the airliner died in the attack. "I still think about her all the time," Darryl said of his departed sister.

Braving a chilly rain, Darryl and other surviving family members observed a wreath-laying ceremony at the Pentagon Memorial attended by President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Obamas personally greeted the families after the service. The president's attention "made me cry a little bit," Darryl said.

Gloria Calderon, accompanied by her 18-year-old daughter Vanessa and 11-year-old son Jose Jr., was misty-eyed as she recalled the loss of her husband Jose, an Army sergeant first class who died at the Pentagon. The wreath-laying ceremony "was very emotional," said Gloria, adding that it was "very nice" that the president and first lady attended the observance. "I'm glad that he was here, too, to support us in our loss," Vanessa said of Obama.

As she surveyed the memorial's grounds after the wreath-laying ceremony, Crystal Scott noted that the memory of her departed mother, Army civilian employee Janice Scott, is still fresh in her mind. It is important to "remember her and the rest of the members who lost their lives," Crystal said. The Pentagon Memorial is "a wonderful way to honor" the victims of the attack, Crystal said, adding that today "is a time for reflection."

Opened on Sept. 11, 2008, the Pentagon Memorial is the first dedicated national commemorative to honor those killed during the 2001 terrorist attacks. The memorial consists of 184 memorial benches honoring the 59 people aboard American Airlines Flight 77 and the 125 in the Pentagon killed in the attacks.

Friday, September 11, 2009

There Are No Words....

There Are No Words

there are no words there is no song
is there a balm that can heal these wounds that will last a lifetime long
and when the stars have burned to dust
hand in hand we still will stand because we must

in one single hour in one single day
we were changed forever something taken away
and there is no fire that can melt this heavy stone
that can bring back the voices and the spirits of our own

all the brothers, sisters and lovers all the friends that are gone
all the chairs that will be empty in the lives that will go on
can we ever forgive though we never will forget
can we believe in the milk of human goodness yet we were forged in freedom

we were born in liberty
we came here to stop the twisted arrows cast by tyranny
and we won’t bow down we are strong of heart
we are a chain together that won’t be pulled apart

written 9-11-2001 by Kitty Donohoe, Roheen Music BMI

September 11 Memorial at the Pentagon

The Pentagon Memorial

The interactive web site -

There is a remarkable video hosted by Gary Sinise,
preview hosted on the site.
It is available for purchase.
Also, available flags flown at the dedication.

September 11 Memorial at Arlington Cemetery

An honor guard stands beside the casket containing the cremated remains
of unidentified victims from the attack on the Pentagon during a group funeral
at the Arlington National Cemetery September 12, 2002.

184 people perished in the attacks at the Pentagon
64 are buried in Section 64 at Arlington - an area that looks at the Pentagon
A group burial of the unidetified remains took place
on September 12, 2002 in the same location
The marker for the remains is a five sided marker with each name

I have visited this section of Arlington. The Memorial is a gathering place for mementos, pictures, letters, painted rocks. It is a very powerful place.

Click on Pictures to read the names clearly

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lt. Col. Robert J. Hymel ~ I Remember

Lt Col Robert Joseph Hymel, USAF, Retired
August 13, 1946 - September 11, 2001

Lt Col Robert Joseph Hymel, United States Air Force, Retired, was murdered in the attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. He worked for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) as a senior management officer in the Office of the Comptroller, Deputy Comptroller for Force Structure and Management. He was responsible for DIA joint manpower issues that focused on military human intelligence management and organization.

Bob Hymel was born in New Orleans, Louisiana to Elsie and Sidney Hymel - a short man, 5' 6", and a cajun - what he lacked in height he made up for in character. He attended the University of Southwestern Louisiana and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1969. Like many in the military, he continued his education while on active duty and received his Masters Degree in 1974. He married his wife, Pat, in 1971, they met in Del Rio, Texas when he was going through pilot training at Laughlin Air Force Base. They have a daughter, Natalie, and two granddaughters, Lauren and Kayla. His church was important to him and he was a member of the Knights of Columbus. He loved to play golf, was an avid Redskins fan, and loved to tinker around the house. He was also a constant at his wife's school, Hoffman-Boston Elementary School in Arlington, where she is the Principal.

He went into the Air Force in December 1969 and was awarded his Air Force pilot wings in 1970. He flew B-52 bombers while assigned to the Strategic Air Command and was a decorated Vietnam combat pilot. In December 1972, his plane was hit by a missile over Hanoi. He got the plane back, but it crashed upon landing, killing sll but two members of the crew and critically injuring Hymel. They had elected not to bail out, because of not being sure the wounded gunner could bail out, who did survive. He recovered, after spending 1 1/2 years in the hospital, and had to stop flying, but spent another 20 years in the Air Force. His flying medals included the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal. He retired from the Air Force in September 1993 after obtaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Bob began his civilian career with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) on March 7, 1994.

Robert Hymel was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Secton 64 with the others from the Pentagon. During his service, a B-52 flew over and tipped its wings as hundreds watched in awe.

During the course of his 24-year military career, Bob was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Purple Heart, and the Meritorious Service Medal, among others. He was a veteran of two campaigns, Vietnam and Desert Shield/ Desert Storm.

Mr. Hymel is survived by his wife, Pat; daughter, Natalie, and her husband, Patrick Conners; granddaughters, Lauren and Kayla; mother, Elsie; brother, Clyde; and sister, Mary.

"E. G." Edmond Grafton Young, Jr ~ I Remember

"E. G." Edmond Grafton Young, Jr.
May 22, 1979 - September 11, 2001

Edmond Grafton Young, Jr, known as "E. G.", was murdered in the attacks on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. He was born in Annapolis, Maryland, the only son of Margaret and Edmond Young. He was only 22, yet had a job working for BTG, Inc at the Pentagon as a contractor, where he supported the DCSPER Army Division. When the plane hit, he was working on a General's computer.

E.G. was educated in Annapolis Schools - Harmony Elementary and Northern Middle and High Schools. His interest in computers led him to Calvert Career Center. He earned his Associate degree in Computer Applications and Network Administration at the Computer Learning Center in 1999. He had successfully completed two of the seven Microsoft certification exams. E. G. was a Helpdest Analyst for CACI and then for BTG, Inc. He was transfered to the Pentagon early 2001.

E. G. was involved in his church, Peters United Methodist Church, where he served as a Youth Choir and Usher Board member. He enjoyed mentoring teens, playing basketball and spending time with his friends. His son, Stephan, was the joy of his life. Stephan was born May 26, 1997. E. G. was a devoted and loving father.

His sister, Michele Young, preceded Edmond in eternal life. He leaves to cherish his memory his parents, Margaret and Edmond Young, Sr.; his son, Stephan Young; his sisters, Marvene and Markia Young; a nephew, Malik Tonkins; his grandparents, Helen and Maurice Creek, Sr. and Louise and William Young; friend, Jonette Ramona Mackall; nine uncles, Wilbur, Elmer and Maurice Creek, Jr., William, Russell and Cordell Young, Bob Adams, Alvin Jones, Sr. and Aaron Sollers; ten aunts, Gloria Wilkerson, Barbara Young, Mary Adams, Dorrine Jones, Angela Creek, Sarah and Rosia Young, Curley Gilbert, Regina Sollers and Doris Creek; Godmother, Dorothy Dorsey; and a host of cousins, relatives and friends.

Janice Marie Scott ~ I Remember

Janice Marie Scott
October 12, 1954 - September 11, 2001

Janice Marie Scott was one of the civilian employees at the Pentagon who was murdered when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. She worked for the Army as a budget analyst. She has just moved into her E Ring office that summer.

Earlier that morning, Janice had called her husband, Abraham, to tell him about the attack on the World Trade Towers in New York. The next thing he knew, he was hearing the same news about the Pentagon. He rushed from his office in the National Cemetery Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs to the Metro, which was no longer going to the Pentagon. He tried all day to get to the Pentagon, but was unable to get through the barriers.

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Janice Marie Scott was moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in her first year and to Colorado Springs, Colorado in her teen years. She graduated in 1972 from Harrison High School. In 1975, Janice met Abraham Scott, a 2nd Lieutenant to the 4th Finance Company at Fort Carson. They were married on December 27, 1976 in his home town of Beaufort, South Carolina.

The couple moved to Fort Benjamin Harrison and Indiana, Fort Rucker, Alabama. Janice earned her Associates Degree in Business Administration from Enterprise State Junior College in Enterprise, Alabama. In 1982, they moved to Heidelberg, Germany, where Janice continued her education at the Heidelberg campus of the University of Maryland. She also began work for the government as an accountant with the European Army Accounting Office in Lieman, Germany.

In the mid-1980's the family moved to the Washington, DC area. Janice continued taking classes at the University of Maryland, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1988. Her degree enabled her to get a job as a Budget Officer at the Pentagon. In June, 2001, she was promoted to be a Budget Team Leader with Resource Services Washington. She was a few credits shy of becoming a Certified Government Financial Manager, the government equivalent of a Certified Public Accountant.

Janice was the mother of two daughters, Crystal and Angel. She was also the family geneologist and spent time combing the archives in Memphis for family information to share with her family. She was active in Blacks in Government, 5-Star Toastmasters Club, Association of Government Accountants, and the Burke-Fairfax Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated, where she held the positions of Historian, Program Director and Vice President. She was also a member of Greater Little Zion Baptist Church in Fairfax, Virginia.

Janice is survived by her husband, with whom she would be celebrating their 25th Anniversary in December and daughters Crystal Marie, 23, and Angel Marie, 15, at the time of the attack.

In her memory, the Janice M Scott memorial Scholarship Fund has been set up. It is for high school seniors to use for college. It is a very generous scholarship open to all high school seniors.

You can view and comment on Janice Marie Scott's Legacy Page

Janice Marie Scott is buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Section 64 with the other victims of the September Eleventh attacks.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Major Stephen Vernon Long ~ I Remember

Major Stephen Vernon Long
March 29, 1962 - September 11, 2001

Army Major Steven Vernon Long was murdered in the September 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon. He did not work in the Pentagon. He was there in place of a co-worker that day.

Maj. Long enlisted in the United States Army in July 1981. He went to Infantry Training and onto the Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning. He became a Ranger. He was assigned to Fort Lewis, Washington, to the 2nd Battalion, 75th Infantry (Ranger) Regiment as a gunner.

In 1983, SPC Long parachuted onto the island of Greneda as part of Operation Urgent Fury. He received a Purple Heart and the Army Commendation Medal for Valor. His wife, tina, tells the story of SPC Long floating down to the island and pleading with the enemy to miss him, "I'm really a nice guy. You wouldn't be shooting at me if you knew what a nice guy I am." He landed unharmed. Later in the conflict, during a rad on a Cuban military camp, several Blackhawk helicopters carrying Rangers, came under fire and crashed. His roommate and best friend was killed. Though injured, SPC Long continued the fight.

Long was selected for a three year ROTC Scholarship - the "Green to Gold" Program - and attended Augusta State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and receiving his commission at a 2nd Lieutenant with the Quartermaster Corps. He continued work on his Masters degree and was planning on a Doctorate and hoped to teach at Augusta State after graduation.

He was one of the first troops deployed to Dhahran, Saudia Arabia for Operation Desert Shield in August 1990 and remained for the Persian Gulf War with the 82nd Airborne Division, where he served as a platoon leader.

Eventually, due to injuries, Maj Long became part of the personnel division, the U. S. Total Army Personnel Command in Alexandria, where he was working a s secretary fo the general staff for the office of the commanding general.

Survived by his wife, Tina, two stepsons, David and Tryon Hopkins, and his mother, Sue Weaver.

Sue Weaver remembers, ""Stephen was quite a naturalist. He just loved planting and gardening. He originally wanted to be in forestry and even signed up for it at the local junior college, so it surprised me when he decided to go into the military instead. He planted white pines, blue spruces and red maples in our yard, as well as some wonderful azaleas. The place is just so beautiful. My husband and I have seven children between us, and Stephen planted seven white pines in the yard. Ironically, one of the trees is dying and will have to be removed. It was one of the tallest. Stephen was quite tall, too."

"It was just his love of his country," his wife, Tina said. "I know it sounds simple, but that's the way he was."

Major Stephen V Long is buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Section 64 with the other victims of September 11 at the Pentagon.

Maj Long's Legacy pages are available for viewing and for comment.

Tribute from the Pentagon Memorial Page:

Major Stephen V. Long was dedicated to his wife and family. He was a kind and generous man who loved God. He honored his country and his flag. He was a war hero even before September 11th, 2001.

Major Long enlisted in the United States Army in July 1981 and attended Infantry training and the Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. After completing training, he was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 75th Infantry (Ranger) Regiment at Fort Lewis, Washington.

In October 1983, then-Specialist Long parachuted onto the island of Grenada as part of Operation Urgent Fury, where he earned the Army Commendation Medal for Valor and the Purple Heart. After Grenada, he was selected for a three-year ROTC scholarship and was subsequently discharged from the Army to attend Augusta State University in Georgia. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and was commissioned in the United States Army in November 1989 as a second lieutenant with the Quartermaster Corps. After attending the Quartermaster Officer Basic Course, Lieutenant Long was assigned as a platoon leader with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

In August 1990 he deployed to Saudi Arabia as part of Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm where he served as a platoon leader. Upon his return to the 82nd Airborne Division in March 1991, he assumed the responsibilities of company executive officer and later as an assistant brigade logistics officer. In 1995, he graduated from the Combined Logistics Officer Advanced Course at Fort Lee, Virginia with a follow-on assignment as a battalion logistics officer and, later, as a company commander with the 601st Aviation Support Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, in Katterbach, Germany.

Captain Long was assigned to the U.S. Total Army Personnel Command in April 1998, where he served as an assignment officer in the Officer Personnel Management Directorate and, later, as the Secretary of the General Staff for the Command. He was promoted to major on November 1, 2000.

Major Long’s military training includes Infantry One Station Unit Training, the Primary Leadership Development Course, the Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course, Jungle Warfare School, the United States Army Ranger Course, the United States Air Force Survival Training Course, the Quartermaster Officer Basic Course, Combined Logistics Officer Advanced Course, Combined Arms and Services Staff School, and the Petroleum Officer Course.

Major Long’s awards and decorations include: the Legion of Merit, Purple Heart (one Oak Leaf Cluster), the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal for Valor (two Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Achievement Medal (one Oak Leaf Cluster), the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with Bronze Arrowhead and the Bronze Service Star. Service and campaign medals include: the National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal and the Armed Forces Service Medal. Major Long was also awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, the Ranger Tab, and the Parachutist Badge with Bronze Service Star.

Major Long is survived by his wife, Tina Long, and stepsons, David and Tryon Hopkins.

Colonel Canfield "Bud" D Boone ~ I Remember

Colonel Canfield "Bud" D Boone
February 2, 1948 - September 11, 2001

Colonel Canfield D. "Bud" Boone was murdered on September 11, 2001, when American Airlines Flight 77 was flown into the Pentagon. Col. Boone was the Army Gurad's personnel policy integrator for the Army's deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, Lieutenant General Timothy Maude. Col Boone was supposed to be out of the office that week, but he went in anyway, to his offices in the newly renovated part of the Pentagon, and was murdered with many members of his staff. He had recently been promoted to Colonel, the official notification arrived on September 14 and the ceremony took place postumously.

Bud Boone, born February 2, 1948, was from Milan, Indiana. He was a graduate of Milan High School, Class of 1966, and played on the legendary basketball team that won the 1954 Indiana State Basketball Championship (Hossiers). He also ran track.

He went to Butler University, majoring in in history and political science. He met his wife, Linda, there. After college, he sold insurance for the Prudential and was in the Army National Guard. In 1986, he went active duty with the Army. The family lived in Indianapolis form 1970 - 1991. In 1991, he moved his family to a two-story colonial in Little Rocky Run in Fairfax County. Boone worked at the Pentagon, Linda was a second-grade teacher at Virginia Run Elementary School and he had three boys, Chris, 23, Andy, 21, and Jason, 18.

Col Boone coached his sons in basketball and baseball and enjoyed golfing and boating with his sons. "It was a chance to be with his boys. They were the light of his life," said Linda Boone. He also loved cars. He had a car that his father had cherished. "He gave it to Bud because he knew Bud would keep it up. His dad was passionate about cars, and bush shared that love. he had the car repainted and found a radio for it and did the carpeting. He would only drive it in the summer. Whenever hsi mother came here, she'd want to ride in it. Now our middle son, Andy, has it; he used to go with Bud to all the car show. It's a connection that unites the Boone men over several generations."

The Boones belonged to the Centreville Presbyterian Church. Col Boone sang with the church choir and with a barbershop quartet. "He whistled all of the time. Sometimes, it drove me crazy. But, I'd give anything if I could hear it now," Linda Boone said. he was also know for his sense of humor.

"He was very patriotic. And I think he liked the order of if and the feeling that he was really doing something for his country," his wife said. "All of work under great pressure, but Bud was always cool and calm," said Lt. Gen Roger Schultz, director of the Army National Guard. "He had something special -- a sense of duty, a sense of pride and a sense of purpose."

"Bud was foremost a servant of his country and his family. He left a tremendous legacy in his three boys," praised Rev. Rob Bromhead, minister of the Centreville Presbyterian Church.

Col. Boone was laid to rest in Section 64 at Arlington National Cemetery.

Col Boone's Legacy pages are available for viewing and comment.

The Memorial for Col Boone in his hometown of Milan, Indiana.

Tribute from the Pentagon Memorial site:

COL Canfield D. Boone, USA

Colonel Boone had a wide array of both Command and Staff Assignments throughout his 31 years of service. Initially enlisting with the Indiana National Guard, Colonel Boone served with the 38th Infantry Division where he attained the rank of Staff Sergeant. After receiving a direct appointment as an AG Officer, Colonel Boone served in a variety of Personnel assignments including Assistant Postal Officer, 38th AG Company, INARNG; Equal Opportunity Operations Officer, 38th Division, INARNG; Battalion Adjutant, HHC 738th Maintenance Battalion, INARNG; and Company Commander, Company B, 738th Maintenance Battalion.

Colonel Boone began his Active Guard/Reserve career in 1986 where he served as the Assistant Professor of Military Science at Eastern Illinois University. His follow-on assignments included Personnel Staff Officer and Personnel Analyst, ARNG Personnel Directorate, Arlington, Virginia; ARNG AGR Assignments Officer, Personnel Secretariat, Arlington, Virginia; Chief, Military Personnel Services Directorate, Arlington, Virginia; and Army National Guard Advisor and Mobilization Integrator, Personnel Command (PERSCOM), Arlington, Virginia. Colonel Boone was assigned as the ARNG Personnel Policy Integrator in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel (ODCSPER), Army Pentagon, in August of 1998.

Colonel Boone attended a number of military schools including the Adjutant General Officer Basic Course, Adjutant General Officer Advanced Course, and the Command and General Staff College. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Butler University, and earned a Masters degree in Personnel Management from Webster University.

Colonel Boone’s awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal (one Oak Leaf Cluster), the Army Commendation Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters) and the Army Staff Identification Badge.

He is survived by his wife, Linda; his mother, Gail; his three sons, Chris, Andy and Jason; and his sisters, Gaye Demotte and Joy Caplinger.

Angelene C Carter ~ I Remember

On a bright and beautiful late summer morning, Angelene and her husband, Fred Carter, drove to the Suitland Metro station. They took the same train across the Anacostia River, then went their separate ways. It was the last time Fred would see Angelene. Later that morning, Angelene was on the phone with one of her daughters in Belgium, when the line went dead. No one would ever talk to Angelene again.

Angelene C Carter was born February 6, 1950. She grew up in Peachland, North Carolina. She took accounting classes at night to earn her degree. For 26 years, she was a devoted employee of the government, spending the last eight years in the Pentagon as a staff accountant for the Department of the Army. She died on that bright and beautiful morning of September 11, 2001, when a plane slammed into the Pentagon in an act of terrorism.

Angelene met her husband, Fred, at a Christmas Party. She asked him to dance. They were married two years later. She collected shot glasses from all of the places that she and Fred visited, though she did not drink. She was a member of the St Paul Baptist Church in Capitol Heights, Maryland - a member of the Adult Usher Board and various Bible Study Groups.

"She was an 'ordinary' person whose God-given vision and mission was to accomplish 'extraordinary' goals in life. Her philosophy on life was validated every day by her quiet character and conduct, by insuring that her work assignments and performance supported the level of services and expectations of her superiors and professional peers. She exhibited outstanding strength and leadership, which served as an example to her family, co-workers, church and friends." (DOD Release)

Angelene is survived by her loving husband, Fred A Carter (retired Army Sergeant); her mother Leona D Cash; two daughters, Angenette Cash and Freddye Jean Carter; three step-daughters, Venus Scott, Victoria Carter, and Cheryl Carter; two sisters, Linda C Reid and Deloise C Thorne; and two brothers Claude and Donnie Cash.

Angelene Carter is buried in the Arlingtion National Cemetery near the Pentagon Memorial.

Major Dwayne Williams ~ I Remember

Major Dwayne Williams
March 19, 1961 - September 11, 2001
US Army

Major Dwayne Williams was working in the Pentagon the day terrorists flew United Flight 77 into the side of the building. He is survived by his beautiful wife, Tammy, a son Tyler, 17, a daughter Kelsie,13. He is also survived by his parents, Pearl Williams and Horace Williams, and three brothers, Air Force Staff Sgt. Troy Williams in Germany, Army SFC Kim Williams in Arizona and Roy L Williams, a writer for the Birmingham News.

Major Williams was a paratrooper, a Ranger, served in the Persian Gulf War. He was in the Army for 18 years and had graduated from the University of North Alabama before enlisting in the Army in 1984. His awards and decorations include: Bronze Star, two Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal and the Army Good Conduct Medal. After his death, he was awarded the Purple Heart and the Medal of Merit.

But, there is more to the story of the life of Major Dwayne Williams. He was a man of deep faith and love for God. He loved his fellow human beings and reached out to help them and encourage them at all times. He loved his wife, his children, his parents, his brothers. He had a laugh that, once heard, would never be forgotten, and a smile that lit the path for all who saw it. He loved his antique green mustang. He spent time keeping in touch with his friends with email and IM. He reached out to all, bringing love, help, encouragement, humor and laughter to all around him. He filled his space in life with great things.

I have been honored to do this Fifth Anniversary Tribute to Major Dwayne Williams. Learning about him has been a blessing in my life, and I have learned so much about the goodness that you left behind in the multitude of lives you touched so deeply. I am a better person for knowing about you. My faith is deeper from learning about you and your family. I am only sorry that I will never know you in this life - I would have liked you very much. But, it is an honor to know you now. I will never forget you and I will always keep your family in my prayers. I have no doubt that you now walk with God.

Major Dwayne Williams - The Memorials

Major Dwayne Williams - A Family Remembers

Major Dwayne Williams - His Friends Remember

Major Dwayne Williams - A Final Farewell

Editor's Note - The tributes for Major Williams were written for the 5th Anniversay of the September Eleventh attacks, but I remember him each year.

Major Dwayne Williams ~ The Memorials

Major Dwayne Williams was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, in Section 64, in the shadows of the Pentagon, where he lost his life.
You can read more at this Memorial Site.

The first monument erected in memory of an individual lost on September Eleventh, was erected in Major Dwayne Williams hometown of Jacksonville, Alabama on September 11, 2002.

Major Dwayne Williams ~ Family Remembers

When terrorists flew a plane into the Pentagon on September Eleventh, 2001, the life of a family was permanently rearranged. This family, forever changed by their tragedy, reached into their grief and found the strength, through their deep and abiding faith in God, to give us all a way to share in the wonderful life that Dwayne Williams lived.

Dwayne's mother, Pearl Williams, wrote this beautiful book, A Hero Called Fish. Written for young people, she shares his childhood and his adult life with us. It is illustrated with pictures from his childhood, college years, army years to the memorial services held for him. It is a wonderful book to help explain September Eleventh to young people, but thoroughly enjoyable for adults as well. It is a tribute only a mother could make. Why Fish? Dwayne learned to swim when he was four and loved to swim. It became his nickname.

Roy L Williams, Dwayne's brother, wrote an amazing testament to Dwayne's life, loss and to faith and God in 911, God Help Us. The subtitle is "How Losing a Brother in the September 11 Terrorist Attack Transformed a Reporter Into a Witness for God." This is a powerful book about Dwayne's life and about his family after his death. I was able to share in the power of faith and God in the grieving process of this family. I was humbled by the depth of their faith, the closeness of their family, and the resolve they had to honor Dwayne. When I got this book, I was so caught up in it, I sat up all night reading it.

Kim Williams, another of Dwayne's brothers, released a CD of original music, including the title song My Brother. It is a beautiful tribute to the closeness they shared. I listen to this CD often. It is so full of love, that it always makes me smile.


Each, in their own way, celebrates the joy that Dwayne brought into their lives and shares the wonderful man he was with each of us. I thank them for letting me share their love, their joy, their sorrow, their faith in God.

The Epitaph in A Hero Called Fish:

Weep not for our fallen hero for he did not die in vain. Rejoice in his memory and live life as he did with courage, humility, love and peace.

Not only a Persian Gulf War Veteran who received a host of military honors including the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Legion of Merit, but Dwayne was a loving son, a faithful husband and a devoted father. His devotion to God, family and country stands as a testament of his life's achievements.

We shall not mourn his passing but shall stand in the light that he created.

Dwayne served the Lord faithfully for many years. Fish is now a soldier in the army of the Lord.

Major Dwayne Williams ~ Friends Remember

Learning about Major Dwayne Williams has been a journey I will never forget. Along the way, I found so many tributes written to Dwayne ~ floating in the space of the Internet, like many little silent prayers. I am sure there are many more that I have not seen, in addition to the many silent prayers sent above. They seem to combine to create a large prayer for a man much loved, much remembered and much missed. I will share a few of them here.

You were always a good family friend and a strong role model for myself and your son. I know that you are in Heaven now serving the Lord...thank you for your service to our country. You are and always will be missed. God bless you and God bless America.
--2dLt Jason Constantine

MAJ Williams:
You knew me as CPT McGinis when I was one of your Advance Course students. Now, I'm a Major! But, I wouldn't be here if it weren't for you. Remember when we were out in the field and you simulated a gas attack. I started running first instead of putting on my gas mask. My eyes burned so bad, so I closed them. But, I forgot to stop running and put my mask on. So I ended up being clothes-lined by a wire supporting a telephone pole. I ended up straight on my back. I was praying no one saw me. But during our after action report of the simulation, YOU BROUGHT IT UP! I was so embarrassed, but it was so funny! You just kept looking at me laughing and shaking your head from side to side. You also told me that Tammy, your wonderful wife, would watch my kids on a day we had to be in class and my boys were out of school. I said, "Don't you want to ask her first?" You told me no, it's alright. and sure enough my boys had a great time with Kelsie and Tyler. Thank you so much. I miss seeing you on AOL and telling you where I am and what has been going on. Rest in peace my dear friend.
--MAJ Claudia (McGinnis) Jefferson

We lived next door to the Williams family for almost three years. I can't tell you how many times Dwayne helped us. My husband Jerry traveled a lot and Dwayne was always ready to help. He planted trees in my back yard, raced my dog Sassy up and down the fence line almost daily (for the mutual exercise benefit he said), came over at midnight to get a dead mouse from my closet (I'm afraid of mice), always mowed our lawn when Jerry was out of town and I could fill up a book with many more acts of kindness. We saw daily what a good husband, father, friend and Army officer he was. Jerry or I chatted with him via Instant Message almost every day. We will always love and miss him. We are both better people because we knew him and his family.
--Debbie & Jerry Alley

I had the great opportunity to know and serve with Dwayne. Though his time in this world was short, he made the world a better place. Dwayne taught me quite a lot of things over the years, but most importantly, he taught me what a true friend was. Though it has been six months, I still feel like I will get online on Saturday morning and he will be there to answer me. Dwayne was a true servant to his country and was proud of what he did. I doubt that I will ever know a finer person than him. I will miss him, but will rejoice in the fact that he is now with God. God bless him and his family. Rangers Lead The Way!
--Michael Saunders

I first met Major Williams when he became my Commander at Ft. Jackson. He was by far my best commander. I was an instructor at the school and he was always caring and concerned about his Soldiers whether they were cadre or students. I remember how he would come to my classroom and ask about students who were having a difficult time with the course and what could be done to help them succeed. I also remember seeing and greeting his lovely family at Daniel Circle. he always talked about this family and how much he loved them. His other love was his green mustang which I used to see him driving around Ft. Jackson. I was so saddened to hear of his departure, but my heart rejoices to know that he is in his eternal home and watching over the ones he left behind. Major Williams' death has made it personal for me and will never forget him of the family he left behind.
--Denise Humphrey-Parker, SFC/USA Retired

Dwayne and I commanded together at Fort Jackson, SC and from the very first time I met him; I knew he was a caring person. From that time on, he was always the same way: A Giver. I knew him to be the kind of person who always gave of himself in order for others to excel. One of my favorite scriptures that remind me of his heroic acts during 911 is: John 15:12-13 "This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, than a man lay down his life for his friend." I will always remember the heroic act of my true friend. Tammy, Tyler and Kelsie, you may have thought that Dwayne was taken from you, but he was given to God, to do his work in heaven. Continue to trust God, because one day, God's gonna ask you to come work for Him in heaven, too. What a great reunion that will be.
--MAJ Michael & Rita Davis

MAJ Dwayne Williams, then my Battalion XO, took me under his wing and guided me through very difficult moments. I am certain I had a very successful company command thanks to the wisdom, knowledge and leadership that MAJ Williams shared with me. I was not able to personally thank him for all he did for me, but I am sure that he knew how much I appreciated every moment I spent learning from him. Tammy, you lost a great husband, the Army
lost a great officer, and I lost a great mentor.
--CPT Elliot Q. Gomez