2017 Healing Heroes

The 6th Annual Healing Heroes Benefits at Grace Chapel was held this past September 10th. Raven Cliff sing our National Anthem,a cappella, that alone was worth the $10 ticket. Songwriters Leslie Satcher Dan Demay, and Craig Morgan filled the night with tears, laughter and love.

Brian and I are so blessed to call Leslie Satcher, David Allen, Even and Korene Stevens our friends. To do this show year after year, when it takes months of planning, is truly a loyal friend and shows true dedication in supporting our USAF, Marines, Navy and Army. Thank you all!

PS. Jeannie and mama we know you are the glue behind the scenes.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

Levi Nuncio

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. Levi E. Nuncio.


Army Spc. Levi E. Nuncio

Died June 22, 2011 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

24, of Harrisonburg, Va., a combat medic assigned to 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; died June 22 of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with small-arms fire in Narang district, Kunar province, Afghanistan.

SP4 Levi E. Nuncio – In memory of our fallen brother

Military Times

Army Spc. Levi E. Nuncio
Army Spc. Levi E. Nuncio

The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, SP4 Levi E. Nuncio, who died in the service of his country on June 22nd, 2011 in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. The cause of death was listed as Small Arms Fire. At the time of his death Levi was 24 years of age. He was from Harrisonburg, Virginia.

The decorations earned by SP4 Levi E. Nuncio include: the Combat Medical Badge, the Soldiers Medal, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart,

SPC Nuncio was born in Laredo, Texas on September 10, 1986. He grew up in Harrisonburg, Virginia and enlisted in the United States Army on September 23, 2009. He received his Basic Combat Training in Fort Sill, Oklahoma and his Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas where he became a Health Care Specialist. He arrived to Headquarter and Headquarters Company, 2-35th Infantry on May 26, 2010. During his tenure in Cacti he held the position of Line Medic for 3rd Platoon, Charlie Company.

SPC Nuncio’s awards and decorations include: Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, and Combat Medical Badge.

SPC Nuncio died in action in support of Operation Enduring Freedom XII, Kunar Province, Afghanistan.
He is survived by both his parents Raul and Berta Nuncio, as well as his older brother Dan I. Nuncio.


(From The Washington Post)

Levi Nuncio, who was living in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley when he enlisted in the Army, “loved helping people”, his girlfriend said Sunday night. So when he had the opportunity to pick a specialty in the service, said Donnie Widdowfield, he became a medic.

Specialist 4 Levi E Nuncio, who listed Harrisonburg, VA as his hometown, was serving in Afghanistan on June 22 when he died in Kunar province of wounds suffered when his unit was attacked by small arms fire.

“He loved doing it,” Widdowfield said, “He was always excited when I talked to him”. Widdowfield, a resident of Elkton, VA, described Nuncio as real quiet and laid back.  In addition, she said, no matter what the circumstance, he could always put a smile on your face somehow.

Army Spc. Levi E. Nuncio
Army Spc. Levi E. Nuncio

Nuncio, 24, was energetic and determined. After dropping out of high school, Widdowfield said, he earned his GED. One reason he enlisted, she said, was to obtain the money needed for further schooling. When his service was over, Widdowfield said, he hoped to study to become a dentist.

Patriotism was also a motivation, said Mary Widdowfield, Donnie’s grandmother. Before Nuncio went to Afghanistan she said, he flew back to Virginia from Hawaii where he had been stationed. Then Donnie Widdowfield took him to the airport for the first leg of the trip that would eventually take him to Afghanistan.

“He was going toward the plane,” said the grandmother, and he looked back and said, “I love you, but I have got to go, this is my job.” According to the older Widdowfield, “He was a wonderful person.”

35th Infantry Regiment Association

Lucas Pyeatt

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 Marine Cpl. Lucas T. Pyeatt.


Marine Cpl. Lucas T. Pyeatt

Died February 5, 2011 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

24, of West Chester, Ohio; assigned to 2nd Radio Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Feb. 5 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Story of a Cryptologic Hero Sgt. Lucas T. Pyeatt

Military Times

Marine Cpl. Lucas T. Pyeatt
Marine Cpl. Lucas T. Pyeatt

Sergeant Lucas T. Pyeatt was the epitome of a United States Marine. Raised in Newport News, Virginia, Lucas expressed from his earliest moments a keen interest in a wide range of topics and disciplines. Some might call him a Renaissance man. Growing up, whether he was pursuing the rank of Eagle Scout or expertly playing the stand-up bass, Lucas showed a unique passion and enthusiasm for life. In addition to using his many talents to accomplish many things, he lived his life in a way that would lead even a casual acquaintance to conclude that he was a person whose every action was characterized by kindness and consideration for others. For him, standing up for the little guy was a way of life. Among his many acts of benevolence toward his friends and family was taking the time to learn sign language in order to better communicate with a close friend who was deaf.

After high school, he would attend Old Dominion University for a short while, but Lucas was a young man in a hurry. He wanted something more out of life. In time, he would decide to follow in the footsteps of his father, a 30-year veteran of the United States military, and offer his service to his nation by enlisting in the United States Marine Corps.

Lucas put the same drive and devotion into being a Marine that he had exhibited in his formative

years. He excelled in his studies at the Defense Language Institute, becoming fluent in Russian. After training, he was assigned to the II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, at Camp Lejeune. 2011 would find him on the harsh unforgiving battlefields in southern Afghanistan.

While deployed, Pyeatt’s job was to translate, monitor and transcribe critical information in real time, with the aim of gaining intelligence on enemy insurgent operations and activities. During his brief but significant time in Afghanistan, Sergeant Pyeatt’s leadership and technical skills “were instrumental in the conduct of direction finding and enemy communications

in a contested region.” Sergeant Pyeatt had only been “in country” for two weeks when he

volunteered to participate in an important mission. While on his first foot patrol in February 2011, he lost his life due to an improvised explosive device.

Marine Cpl. Lucas T. Pyeatt
Marine Cpl. Lucas T. Pyeatt

During his life, Lucas T. Pyeatt was many things to many people. To his family, he was a devoted son. To his friends, he was someone they could always look to for help and support. To his nation, Sergeant Pyeatt was a loyal and dedicated member of the United States Marine Corps. His father said it best, noting his son had “accomplished more in his 24 years of life than most people accomplish in a lifetime.” In his service and sacrifice, Sergeant Pyeatt more than lived up to the motto of the Corps by being always faithful to his loved ones, his fellow Marines, and most of all to those principles and virtues that for over two centuries, have allowed our nation to remain free.

nsa.gov

 

 

Jordan Haerter

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 Marine Lance Cpl. Jordan C. Haerter.


Marine Lance Cpl. Jordan C. Haerter

Died April 22, 2008 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

19, of Sag Harbor, N.Y.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died April 22 of wounds sustained while conducting combat operations in Ramadi, Iraq. Also killed was Cpl. Jonathan T. Yale.

Marine Lance Cpl. Jordan C. Haerter remembered

The Associated Press

Jordan Haeter
Jordan C. Haerter

In his senior year yearbook, Jordan C. Haerter’s favorite movie was “Black Hawk Down” and his ambitions included “become a good Marine and successful in life.”

“I know everyone says it when this happens, but he was a nice kid,” said Ronn Pirrelli, who coached Haerter in Little League. “Some kids come and go. He was one of those kids you don’t forget.”

Haerter, 19, of Sag Harbor, N.Y., was killed April 22 by a suicide car bomb in Ramadi. He was a 2006 high school graduate and was assigned to Camp Lejeune.

Haerter enjoyed waging paintball battles and driving his beloved Dodge pickup truck on the beach. “He was a great, great kid,” said Principal Jeff Nichols. “He was really well-liked. It’s just very sad.”

His father, Christian Haerter, said his son was always a hands-on type of guy who preferred to be out in the real world working, “getting your hands dirty,” rather than in a classroom. “It’s not that he was disillusioned with school, he was very good in school,” said his dad. “But he liked the whole concept of apprenticeship.”

He also is survived by his mother, JoAnn Lyles.

MilitaryTimes.com


Six Seconds Of Iraq Valor Saved Dozens

Six seconds. That’s all it took to turn a quiet Iraqi street into a moment both horrific and heroic.
Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter and Cpl. Jonathan Yale died so others would live. “You’re talking about two guys who gave up everything for their brothers,” Staff Sgt. Kenneth Grooms said.

Haerter and Yale

They were Marine brothers from very different worlds. Yale’s was hard-scrabble Virginia. From a troubled home, he hungered to belong. “He touched your heart as soon as you met him,” said Rev. Leon Burchett, who took Yale in. “He never had a whole lot, but he was thankful for what he did have.”

On Long Island, New York, Jordan Haerter grew from middle-class toy soldier into mature Marine.  “He had your back, without a shadow of a doubt,” said Grooms.

Last April, Yale and Haerter were guarding the entry to their platoon’s camp in Ramadi. Standing here, out of sight. It was 7:30 in the morning. They had just met.   Suddenly a suicide truck appeared. It contained 2,000 pounds of explosives, heading toward them – and dozens of sleeping Marines.  “That’s like staring at the biggest, ugliest thing you could … and standing there,” said Lance Cpl. Nicholas Xiarhos, a fellow Marine.

The Marines shot at the driver, killing him. But then the truck erupted – its force ending a videotape of the event. It was so powerful, the blast leveled a city block. Yale was dead. Haerter was dying.  But everyone else nearby – Marines and Iraqis – survived. “And they made a heroic choice,” Grooms said. “And it ended up saving, you know, 50 people.”

Even by Marine standards, the heroism was extraordinary. The top Marine general in Iraq personally interviewed Iraqi witnesses, then nominated the two Marines for the Navy Cross. “They made a lot of decisions in those six seconds,” Maj. Gen John Kelly said. “And one of them was to die.”  The tape showed an Iraqi policeman ran. He lived.

Kelly said: “They wouldn’t have stood there and done that unless they were Marines, all the way to their DNA.”  Haerter had a hometown hero’s return on Long Island – like Yale in Virginia.  Friday at the Marine museum in Virginia, the families of Hoerter and Yale got their Navy crosses.  “None of us will ever be able to know or experience that split-second brotherhood,” Grooms said.

They started the day strangers. Their shared valor made them brothers forever.

CBS News

 

Jonathan Yale

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 Marine Cpl. Jonathan T. Yale.


Marine Cpl. Jonathan T. Yale

Died April 22, 2008 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

21, of Burkeville, Va.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died April 22 of wounds sustained while conducting combat operations in Balad, Iraq. Also killed was Lance Cpl. Jordan C. Haerter.

Marine Cpl. Jonathan T. Yale remembered

The Associated Press

Marine Cpl. Jonathan T. Yale
Marine Cpl. Jonathan T. Yale

Jonathan T. Yale’s mother said he was the kind of guy who liked to make people happy.

“He was the class clown, even when he wasn’t at school,” Rebecca Yale said. “But he also didn’t mind sitting home with his momma to watch a chick flick with a box of Kleenex between us. He was the best boy you could ask for.”

Yale, 21, of Burkeville, Va., was killed April 22 during the explosion of a suicide vehicle in Ramadi. He was a 2006 high school graduate and was assigned to Camp Lejeune.

When he was little, Yale loved to hang out with his granddad “in the bush and the thicket,” his grandfather, William Sydnor Sr., said. “I used to call him ‘Wild Man.’ No matter how much he would get scratched up in the woods, he always wanted to go again next time.”

Mother and son were so close that when he got stationed at Camp Lejeune almost two years ago, she and his sister moved to North Carolina from Virginia to be closer to him.

Yale became an “awesome skateboarder” and “one of the top paintball players” in the area, according to his mother. She said he was setting up a Web site for a paintball team he had founded.

Military Times


UNSUNG HEROES: The Heroic Last Stand Of 2 Marines In Ramadi

Marine Cpl. Jonathan T. Yale
Haerter and Yale

Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter and Cpl. Jonathan Yale bravely sacrificed themselves to stop a suicide bomber, saving the lives of 150 comrades. On April 22, 2008, in Ramadi, Iraq, two Marine infantrymen, Cpl. Jonathan Yale and Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter, stood their ground and opened fire on a truck carrying 2,000 pounds of explosives as it barreled toward their post and the 150 Marines and Iraqi police inside the perimeter.

The truck stopped just shy of Cpl. Jonathan Yale and Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter, its windshield and the driver behind the wheel both blown away in a hail of gunfire. Then it detonated, killing the two Marines and leveling a city a block. The attack, the Marines’ final stand, and their sacrifice all took place in a matter of seconds.

Haerter and Yale, were posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for their actions, which were later recounted by Iraqi police present that day and captured on a security camera, according to Business Insider.

Before that day, Yale and Haerter had never met. They came from different backgrounds and deployed with different units, with Yale preparing to head home with the rest of 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, and Haerter just beginning his seven-month tour with 1st Battalion, 9th Marines. But their final act of courage, defiance, and selfless sacrifice bound the two together forever.

According to a 2009 CBS News report, 21-year-old Yale had a rough upbringing in Virginia, and Haerter, who was 19 when he was killed, came from a middle-class family in Long Island, New York. If it wasn’t for the Marines, it’s likely that the two never would have met. But, they did meet and that same day they made a split-second decision to stand, fight, and ultimately die together.

Marine Cpl. Jonathan T. Yale
Jonathan T. Yale

“I was on post the morning of the attack,” said Lance Cpl. Benjamin Tupaj, a rifleman with 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, in a May 2008 article released by the Department of Defense. “I heard the [squad automatic weapon] go off at a cyclic rate and then the detonation along with a flash. It blew me at least three meters from where I was standing onto the ground. Then I heard a Marine start yelling ‘we got hit, we got hit.’”

Shortly after the attack, Gen. John Kelly, the commander of all American and Iraqi forces at the time, met with those present that day, which he later described in a speech at the Semper Fi Society of St. Louis, Missouri, published by Business Insider. “By all reports and by the recording, they never stepped back. They never even started to step aside,” Kelly said in the speech. “They never even shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could work their weapons. … Not enough time to think about their families, their country, their flag, or about their lives or their deaths, but more than enough time for two very brave young men to do their duty … into eternity. That is the kind of people who are on watch all over the world tonight — for you.”

Task and Purpose

 

Phyllis Pelky

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 Maj. Phyllis J. Pelky.


Air Force Maj. Phyllis J. Pelky

Died October 11, 2015 Serving During Operation Freedom’s Sentinel

45, of Rio Rancho, N.M.; died Oct. 11 at Camp Resolute Support, Kabul, Afghanistan, in the non-hostile crash of a British Puma Mk2 helicopter. She was assigned to the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Air Force Academy Major Who Died in Afghanistan Remembered for Service

The Gazette, Colorado Springs, Colo.|Oct 27, 2015|by Tom Roeder

Phyllis Pelky
Maj. Phyllis J. Pelky

Hundreds of people packed a funeral service Monday for an Air Force Academy major killed in an Afghanistan helicopter crash.

Eulogists said Maj. Phyllis J. Pelky was a patriot who left a teaching job in New Mexico to enlist in the Air Force after 9/11. She also was described as a loving mother of two and a devoted wife who balanced a life of service with family. “She gave the ultimate sacrifice, her life, for all those she loved,” said chaplain Capt. Don Romero, who led the service. “One thing is certain: She saw life that way, with every moment a precious opportunity to serve others.”

Pelky died in Kabul on Oct. 11 in the crash of a British chopper. Born in Evergreen Park, Ill., Pelky attended the University of New Mexico and taught in Rio Rancho, N.M. She was commissioned in the Air Force in 2004. She was posthumously awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for her work in Afghanistan, which included advising on personnel operations and organizing monthly Afghan air force women’s forums, according to the citation.

Phyllis Pelky
Phyllis Pelky

The 45-year-old taught German at the academy and served as an aide-de-camp to Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson, academy superintendent, before her deployment.

Johnson and two other generals spoke during Pelky’s service. “My days were long, but hers were longer, and no matter how good or bad her day had been, Phyllis gave 100 percent of herself,” Johnson said. Johnson said the major won’t be forgotten. “She will always remain part of our story,” Johnson said. “It will be our duty to keep her story alive.”

Pelky was buried at the Air Force Academy service after the funeral. Along with her husband, Dave, and two sons, Pelky is survived by six siblings.

Academy dean Brig. Gen. Andy Armacost said Pelky was a strong teacher and mentor for cadets.  “She made a lasting impact on those with whom she worked, the faculty and cadets alike,” Armacost said. “The stories of Phyllis and her amazing contributions to our faculty and our academy will endure.”

The third eulogist was Brig. Gen. Steven Basham, who was Pelky’s boss at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. He said as a new lieutenant in 2004, Pelky showed maturity and wisdom that took superiors by surprise.  “Phyllis Pelky was the mentor — she was the one who provided the best guidance,” Basham said. “She took care of us on a daily basis.”

Pelky was one of five people killed in the crash, which has been deemed an accident by British authorities. The five represented three nations of the NATO coalition working to help the struggling Afghan government battle Taliban insurgents. Two Royal Air Force airmen, two American airmen and a French contractor died.

The other American in the incident was Master Sgt. Gregory T. Kuhse, 38, of Kalamazoo, Mich., who went to Afghanistan from Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

At the academy, Pelky will be remembered for giving her all to her family, her students and her nation, Romero said. “That’s what love looks like and that’s the best of the Air Force spirit,” Romero said.

Military Times

Military.com

Christopher Drake

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. Christopher R. Drake.


Army Spc. Christopher R. Drake

Died May 26, 2013 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

20, of Tickfaw, La., assigned to 1084th Transportation Company, 165th Combat Support Sustainment Battalion, 139th Regional Support Group, Louisiana National Guard, Reserve, La.; died May 26 of injuries caused by a rocket-propelled grenade in Bagram, Afghanistan.

Louisiana National Guardsman from Tangipahoa killed in Afghanistan

Army Spc. Christopher R. Drake
Army Spc. Christopher R. Drake

A Louisiana National Guardsman from Tangipahoa Parish was killed in Afghanistan during the weekend. Spc. Christopher R. Drake, 20, of Tickfaw, died Sunday from injuries he suffered when the vehicle he was in was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade, the Defense Department announced Tuesday.

The statement does not say whether the attack happened Sunday, or earlier. His fiancé has told reporters that he manned a gun atop an armored vehicle. Relatives of the fallen soldier announced word of his death before the Defense Department confirmed it.

Drake was assigned to the 1084th Transportation Company, an Army National Guard unit based in Reserve that specializes in transportation and in convoy escorts.

According to the Louisiana National Guard, Drake enlisted in September 2011 as a truck driver and completed basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. In Afghanistan, Drake served as a gunner on a Mine Resistant-Ambush Protected vehicle, according to National Guard.

He was one of about 115 soldiers based in the River Parishes who are in the early stages of a yearlong deployment. The National Guard gave the 1084th a send-off ceremony in February, in LaPlace.

According to news reports, Drake was the father of a 3-year-old and was engaged to be married. He was a 2011 graduate of Independence High School, in Independence, La. Family members on Tuesday were traveling to Delaware, where the bodies of U.S. troops killed oversees arrive in the United States.

The Times-Picayune

Military Times


 

Christopher R. Drake
Christopher R. Drake

Soldier Killed By Rocket Propelled Grenade In Afghanistan

Louisiana National Guardsman Spc. Christopher R. Drake, 20, was killed May 26 in Bagram, Afghanistan when a rocket propelled grenade hit his vehicle. The Department of Defense reports Drake was assigned to the 1084th Transportation Company, 165th Combat Support Sustainment Battalion, 139th Regional Support Group, Reserve, Louisiana.

According to Drake’s Facebook page, he lived in Tickfaw, Louisiana and was recently engaged to be married. On May 14, he posted the lyrics to the song “Drink One For Me” by Jason Aldean:

You don’t know how bad,
I wish I was home
Can’t wait to get back,
But while I’m gone
Y’all carry on.
Drink one for me, for all the old times
We tore up that town, raised hell alright
Tell the boys, thanks for having my back
Some of the best memories I’ve ever had
So go on and get crazy
And drink one for me

KPBS