Ember Alt

by Wayne Thume on April 1, 2015

Since its inception, each month LHCP has honored a military service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Every box which is shipped from LHCP is labeled with information about the Honoree. The monthly Honoree’s story is attached to the box so others can read about those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. This month’s Honoree is Army Spc. Ember M. Alt.


Ember Marie Alt

 

http://www.dignitymemorial.com

Ember Marie Alt, 21, of Killeen died Tuesday, June 18, 2013 in Afghanistan while serving her country.
She graduated from Killeen High School in 2009 where she excelled in track. One of her crowning moments is where she helped lead her team to the State finals her senior year.
Ember joined the United States Army in 2011. During her service, SPC Ember Marie Alt received many awards for her accomplishments to include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart Medal and the Combat Action Badge just to name a few.
She was a vibrant and loving person who left a lasting impression on everyone she came into contact with.
Ember is survived by her parents; Chuck Alt of Killeen, Cynthia Merchant of Gulfport MS. and Rick and Jennifer Owens of Killeen. Grandparents; Charles Alt, Ruchanee Holmer, Mike and Bella Trowbridge and Marc and Theresa Nadeau. Godparents; Corey Daughtry, Cody Hall, Bryce Nadeau and Shannon Alt.
She will also be missed by her siblings; Kayla and Jacob Alt, and Bryce and Evan Owens and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Ember is preceded in death by her grandmother, Mary M. Alt and her grandfather, Roger Holmer.

 


 

Ember Marie Alt

U.S. Army Women’s Foundation

SPC Ember M. Alt, 21, of Beech Island, S.C. died June 18, in Bagram, Afghanistan along with three other soldiers, from wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their unit with indirect fire. She was assigned to the 32nd Transportation Company, 68th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 43rd Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division.

She graduated from Killeen High School in 2009 where she excelled in track. One of her crowning moments was when she helped lead her team to the State finals during her senior year.

Alt joined the Army in May 2011 and was deployed to Afghanistan for the first time on Nov. 26, 2012. She served as a wheeled vehicle mechanic. During the course of her military career, she was awarded the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.

Ember is survived by her parents; Chuck Alt of Killeen, Cynthia Merchant of Gulfport, MS, and Rick and Jennifer Owens of Killeen. She will also be missed by her siblings; Kayla and Jacob Alt, and Bryce and Evan Owens as well as her grandparents, godparents, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

 


 

Contributed by Kevin Posival of the Killeen Daily Herald

The Roo Nation is mourning the loss of another teammate and friend.

Spc. Ember Alt, a 2009 graduate of Killeen High School, was among the four U.S. service members killed by indirect enemy fire Tuesday in Bagram, Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced Thursday.

Alt, 21, was among the three killed who were assigned to the 68th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 43rd Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division from Fort Carson, Colo.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s attack. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said Wednesday that militants fired two rockets into the Bagram Air Base late Tuesday.

Alt, who ran track at Killeen High, is the second Roo athlete to die in a little more than a year. Dino Cannon Jr. was fatally shot and killed June 15, 2012, in Orlando, Fla., less than two weeks after he graduated.

Alt, a native of Beech Island, S.C., was a stand-out on the Lady Roos’ track team and entered the Army in 2011.

She was serving her first tour in Afghanistan at the time of the attack. She’d been deployed since November.

She was awarded the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and an Army Service Ribbon.

“I think it (the Army) was a good fit for Ember,” said former Killeen girls track coach Leah Cannon. “She wasn’t for sure what else she wanted to do. She was a very loving person. Always had hugs for everyone. I could see her serving her country and giving everything she had like she did here in school.

“This is last thing I ever thought about,” Cannon added. “When kids join, you just don’t think about (this happening). I know you should, but I never thought about that for Ember.”

Also killed from Alt’s unit were Spc. Robert W. Ellis, 21, of Kennewick, Wash., and Spc. William R. Moody, 30, of Burleson.

Sgt. Justin R. Johnson, 25, of Hobe Sound, Fla., who was assigned to the 10th Transportation Battalion, 7th Sustainment Brigade, Fort Eustis, Va., also was killed in the attack.

Alt ran the first leg of the Lady Roos’ 1,600-meter relay team that finished seventh at the University Interscholastic League State Track and Field Championships in 2009.

Alt called the relay team the “Fantastic 4-by-4,” in an interview with the Killeen Daily Herald that year.

Cannon said Alt, who also was a regional qualifier in the 300-meter hurdles, had a love-hate relationship with the mile relay.

“Sometimes, she couldn’t decide if she needed to give it her everything in the 300 hurdles because she was afraid she would let her teammates down on the mile relay,” Cannon said, “but yet, she loved the 300 hurdles and she didn’t just want to not give it her everything, either.”

It was the relay that reached the pinnacle of Texas high school track — Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin.

Alt told the Herald in 2009 that she was glad she achieved that milestone with her teammates.

“Anybody can get to state as an individual,” Alt said. “It means more to go with your family. It’s an adrenaline rush. If I’m running (an event) by myself and I mess up, it doesn’t affect anybody but me. Having them out there makes me want to do better because how I do affects them.”

Ember Marie Alt

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James Steel

by Wayne Thume on March 2, 2015

Since its inception, each month LHCP has honored a military service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Every box which is shipped from LHCP is labeled with information about the Honoree. The monthly Honoree’s story is attached to the box so others can read about those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. This month’s Honoree is Air Force Capt. James Steel.

James Steel


Air Force Capt James M. Steel
KIA April 3, 2013
Operation Enduring Freedom
Assigned to 77th Fighter Squadron, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina

Air Force Capt. James Steel died April 3, 2013 in the crash of an F-16 near Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. While returning to the airfield from a close-air support mission, Capt. Steel was flying his F-16 low to prepare for landing but could not see the mountain in his flight path due to poor weather conditions. According to the crash investigation report, Steel’s plane had a low altitude warning that sounded before he crashed. However, his Predictive Ground Collision Avoidance System did not warn him about the mountain because it was not connected to the digital terrain database. Capt. Steel began to pull up when the PGCAS emitted an altitude warning, but not enough to avoid the mountain. Capt. Steel was on his first deployment to Afghanistan and was due to come home in just three weeks.

“He was always smiling, always happy,” James’ mother, Dee Steel, said, “He loved life. I think he lived two days for every one day. He just got the most out of every day.” Dee recalls that though James was not the oldest of his four brothers and one sister, he took the lead from the very beginning. Every Christmas, James told his siblings what gifts they would get their parents and how much they each owed him. James taught himself to play guitar, had a love for skydiving, working out, and fishing.

From as far back as Dee can remember her fearless son wanted to be an F-16 pilot like his father, retired Air Force Major General Robert Steel. James’ mother had also spent 4 years in the Air Force, as well as both grandfathers, who were Air Force veterans. James ran cross country and track in high school, graduated valedictorian and, like both his parents, went on to the Air Force Academy where he was commander of the same squadron to which his mom and dad belonged more than two decades before. Col. Clay Hall said, “Mano [Steel’s call sign] was proud of serving his country, proud of being an F-16 pilot and proud of being a ‘Gambler.’” Col. Shaun McGrath, 20th Operations Group Commander, honored Capt. Steel by allowing members of the 20th OG to wear 77th FS “Gambler” red and black t-shirts under their duty uniforms. On an internet post dedicated to James, the words “Once a gambler, always a gambler” appear next to his name.
Capt. James Steel was 29 years old from Tampa, Florida

http://americanfallensoldiers.com

JamesSteel3


 

I Salute You; Air Force Captain James M. Steel
Mankato Times
Air Force Captain James M. Steel, 29, of Tampa, Florida died April 3 in the crash of an F-16 near Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.
Captain James M. Steel was assigned to 77th Fighter Squadron, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina and was serving during Operation Enduring Freedom.
Steel graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2006, completed pilot training and arrived at Shaw in June 2010. He was the chief of mobility for the squadron, which provides close air support for U.S. and coalition troops on the ground.
Steel is the son of retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Robert Steel, former commandant of the National War College in Washington. Steel’s mother, Dee, twin brother, Jonathan, and younger brother Christopher are also Air Force Academy graduates, according to an article from the Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., newspaper and the Air Force Times.
“Capt. Steel was an outstanding young officer who loved being a fighter pilot – it was obvious from the moment you met him,” said Col. Clay Hall, 20th FW commander. “He was well liked and respected within the Shaw community; subordinates, peers and supervisors alike. Mano [Steel’s call sign] was proud of serving his country, proud of being an F-16 pilot and proud of being a Gambler. He served his country with honor and made the supreme sacrifice. Mano will be missed, but not forgotten.”
“Capt. Steel was an absolute pleasure to work with as a student. I wish I had more students just like him,” said Sanetta Holder, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University-Shaw Campus. “He was a good student and a great friend. I’m going to miss him coming in the door smiling, telling me he’s ready to register for the next class.”
James Steel taught himself to play the guitar. He liked to sky-dive. “He loved to work out. He loved fishing,” Dee Steel said.
Steel is survived by mother, father, and five brothers and sisters.


JamesSteel2
Captain James M. Steel, I Salute You.

By Capt. Ann Blodzinski
20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
4/9/2013 – SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. — On April 5, 2013, Shaw AFB flags were slowly brought to half-staff at noon honoring a fallen 20th Fighter Wing combat Airman.

The Airman, 77th Fighter Squadron pilot, Capt. James Steel, died April 3, 2013, after his F-16 Fighting Falcon crashed in Afghanistan. He is the first 20th FW aviator lost in combat since 1945 during World War II in England.
The flags at Shaw AFB remained at half-staff throughout the weekend in observance of Capt. Steel’s final trip home.
“Capt. Steel was an outstanding young officer who loved being a fighter pilot – it was obvious from the moment you met him,” said Col. Clay Hall, 20th FW commander. “He was well liked and respected within the Shaw community; subordinates, peers and supervisors alike. Mano [Steel’s call sign] was proud of serving his country, proud of being an F-16 pilot and proud of being a Gambler. He served his country with honor and made the supreme sacrifice. Mano will be missed, but not forgotten.”

On Monday April 8, 2013, Col. Shaun McGrath, 20th Operations Group commander, honored Capt. Steel by allowing members of the 20th OG to wear 77th FS “Gambler” red and black t-shirts under their duty uniforms.
The 77th FS has been deployed since the fall of 2012. In total, Capt. Steel flew 85 combat missions; his efforts in combat saved American and coalition service members’ lives, according to Lt. Col. Johnny Vargas, 77th FS commander.
“He flew with great passion and as sad as his loss is, know that Mano died doing what he loved to do,” said Lt. Col. Vargas. “He died serving his country, protecting his fellow service members, and accomplishing our nation’s objectives. He died a fighter pilot. A hero.”

As a base, Shaw has had to keep moving forward, accomplishing the mission. However, you can see and feel the loss everywhere you go.

“Mano was the finest American and patriot warrior,” said Lt. Col. Scott Shepard, former 20th Operations Support Squadron commander. “He worked extremely hard enhancing the combat readiness of the 20th FW during his tour in my squadron as the chief of air-to-surface programs. Mano never said ‘no’ or ‘I can’t’ and never tried to deflect even the most difficult tasking. He was happy, friendly, funny, ever so patriotic, and loved flying the mighty F-16 Viper like you can’t even imagine. This young man was truly cream of the crop and there’s no explanation on this earth why he was chosen to depart this world early. He will be sorely missed.”
Capt. Steel, a 2006 U.S. Air Force Academy graduate, is remembered throughout base, not just the 20th OG. The exuberant pilot befriended everyone he met.
“Capt. Steel was an absolute pleasure to work with as a student. I wish I had more students just like him,” said Sanetta Holder, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University-Shaw Campus. “He was a good student and a great friend. I’m going to miss him coming in the door smiling, telling me he’s ready to register for the next class.”
The families of the Gamblers back home also mourn Capt. Steel’s loss, here in Sumter, as do those whose lives Mano touched at previous Air Force assignments. The news of the crash resulted in an outpouring of support from the F-16 community, the Sumter community and more.

“I have been stationed at a number of locations through my 17 years in the Air Force. I can honestly say that nowhere else have I felt more close and more cared for by a community than in Sumter,” said Lt. Col. Vargas. “The support that has been provided by our community to our Gambler family throughout this tragedy has been incredible. We cannot thank the Sumter community enough for helping us through our loss.”

As the Gamblers wind down their deployment, they look forward to returning home and celebrating Capt. Steel; he was the friend who always wore a smile and made you laugh, Vargas said.

“Mano will always be a part of our lives and I can tell you that from this day until our very last, every member of the Gambler family will hold him in a special place in their hearts.”

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Marilyn Gabbard

February 1, 2015

Since its inception, each month LHCP has honored a military service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Every box which is shipped from LHCP is labeled with information about the Honoree. The monthly Honoree’s story is attached to the box so others can read about those who have sacrificed their lives for […]

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Since its inception, each month LHCP has honored a military service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Every box which is shipped from LHCP is labeled with information about the Honoree. The monthly Honoree’s story is attached to the box so others can read about those who have sacrificed their lives for […]

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Since its inception, each month LHCP has honored a military service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Every box which is shipped from LHCP is labeled with information about the Honoree. The monthly Honoree’s story is attached to the box so others can read about those who have sacrificed their lives for […]

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Christopher Abeyta

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Since its inception, each month LHCP has honored a military service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Every box which is shipped from LHCP is labeled with information about the Honoree. The monthly Honoree’s story is attached to the box so others can read about those who have sacrificed their lives for […]

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Thanks From The Troops

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Since its inception, each month LHCP has honored a military service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Every box which is shipped from LHCP is labeled with information about the Honoree. The monthly Honoree’s story is attached to the box so others can read about those who have sacrificed their lives for […]

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Jason D. Lewis

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Since its inception, each month LHCP has honored a military service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Every box which is shipped from LHCP is labeled with information about the Honoree. The monthly Honoree’s story is attached to the box so others can read about those who have sacrificed their lives for […]

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2nd Quarter 2014 Newsletter

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Thalia S. Ramirez

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Since its inception, each month LHCP has honored a military service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Every box which is shipped from LHCP is labeled with information about the Honoree. The monthly Honoree’s story is attached to the box so others can read about those who have sacrificed their lives for […]

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Jacob M. Hess

July 31, 2014

Since its inception, each month LHCP has honored a military service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Every box which is shipped from LHCP is labeled with information about the Honoree. The monthly Honoree’s story is attached to the box so others can read about those who have sacrificed their lives for […]

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11th Anniversary “Ride For The Fallen”

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Sponsored by Marie Steinmetz 50/50 Poker Run Aug 23, 2014 Sgt Kenneth W. Harris JR.Ride Proceeds Support Landstuhl Hospital Care Project and VFW Post 4641 Dickson TN. Lineup at Dickson Union Cemetery, Ride ends at the The Coupe In Bon Aqua TN. If you can’t attend please forward event details. Thank you

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Sebring AmVets Truck Raffle

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Christiansburg, VA 5K Supporting Wounded Warriors

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Sponsored by AXA Advisors, LLC –Make Checks Payable to LHCP Organized by Dakota Shepherd https://www.facebook.com/dakota.shepherd.969?fref=nf Saturday, September 27th run/walk is $25 or $20 if you are a veteran. Race starts at 782 New River Road, Christiansburg, VA 24073.  If you cannot participate or donate please invite and share this event with any one that might […]

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Norwich Annual Poker Run

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Healing Heroes 2014

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Jennifer M Moreno

June 3, 2014
Thumbnail image for Jennifer M Moreno

Since its inception, each month LHCP has honored a military service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Every box which is shipped from LHCP is labeled with information about the Honoree. The monthly Honoree’s story is attached to the box so others can read about those who have sacrificed their lives for […]

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