Memorial Day 2013 - Looking Back and Moving Forward

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Memorial Day 2013 will mark the 10th Memorial Day that the United States has been involved in combat operations in the Middle East. Since 2003, more than 2 million soldiers have fought for freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan in Operation Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn, and Enduring Freedom (1). In that time, more than 6,500 soldiers have given their all for the greater goal of freedom and will not be returning home (2). For these brave men and women (most of whom were younger than 30 years old), we offer a hallowed moment of silence, appreciation, remembrance, and gratitude. For a list of Alaska’s fallen soldiers, scroll to the bottom of this article. 

For the veterans who have returned, a bright future awaits. The opportunities for veterans to pursue a higher education are better than ever thanks to the generous educational benefits of the Post-9/11 GI Bill.  This Memorial Day, we asked some of our student veterans to look back on their experiences as a veteran transitioning to student life and the process of going to school. Here’s what they had to say:

Transitioning from military to student life:

“It’s difficult. In the military, you’re used to structure. When you’re in school, when you study and how you handle your assignments is up to you. Being in the military for 23 years, I miss its predictability.” – Sheldon Rivers, Staff Sgt. E6, Lancaster Campus, Computerized Office Assistant Program

“In the Navy you learn that what you put into something is what you’ll get out of it. You’re focused on the goal ahead of you and you have to stay focused and have self-discipline to reach that goal. You need to be dedicated and punctual, and in school you need to be the same way.” – Terry Smith, Petty Officer 3rd Class, Lancaster Campus, Massage Therapy

How veterans can prepare for student life:

“Make a plan before you get out of the military! Try to get your education while you’re still in the military. When I got out of the military I started working, if I could do it over again I’d go to school first to set myself up for a job that will allow me to take care of my family.” – Sheldon Rivers, Staff Sgt. E6, Lancaster Campus, Computerized Office Assistant Program

“Be prepared to ask questions. Find out what funding you qualify for, but don’t expect people to just tell you. You’re going to have to ask.” – Terry Smith, Petty Officer 3rd Class, Lancaster Campus, Massage Therapy

Going to school as a veteran:

“The process has been fun. I don’t feel like people treat me any differently as a veteran. More often than not people just come up and say, “Thanks.” My classes feel like a tight-knit community and I enjoy meeting new people and building new relationships.” – Sheldon Rivers, Staff Sgt. E6, Lancaster Campus, Computerized Office Assistant Program

“Studying something you’re interested in makes it fun. Also, trying to use the experience you had in the military to choose what you should study in school makes it easier to transition.” – Terry Smith, Petty Officer 3rd Class, Lancaster Campus, Massage Therapy

Honoring Alaska’s Fallen Soldiers in Iraq & Afghanistan Since 2003

More than 175 service members of Alaska or based in Alaska have died in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003. Following are the names of those service members. (List courtesy of:

Staff Sgt. Carl Eric Hammar, July 14, 2012
Pvt. 1st Class Nathan Tyler Davis, June 9, 2012
Pfc. Vincent J. Ellis, June 4, 2012
Sgt. Brian L. Walker, May 13, 2012
Pfc. Richard L. McNulty III, May 13, 2012
Staff Sgt.Thomas Kent Fogarty, May 6, 2012
Spc. Jeffrey Lee White Jr., April 3, 2012
Pfc. Dustin Paul Napier, January, 8 2012
Spc. James R. Burnett, September 16, 2011
Pfc. Matthew C. Colin, September 16, 2011
Sgt. 1st Class Johnathan B. McCain, September 13, 2011
Spc. Calvin Matthew Pereda, September 12, 2011
Spc. Ryan J. Cook, September 18, 2011
Pfc. Brett Everett Wood, September 8, 2011
Spc. Christophe J. Marquis, September 4, 2011
Spc. Douglas Jay Green, August 28, 2011
Pfc. Tyler M. Springmann, July 17, 2011
Master Sgt. Kenneth B. Elwell, July 17, 2011
Pvt. Ryan J. Larson, July 15, 2011
Cpl. Christopher Roger Bell, June 4, 2011
Sgt. Joshua David Powell, June 4, 2011
Spc. Devin Arielle Snyder, June 4, 2011
Pfc. Robert Lee Voakes Jr., June 4, 2011
Sgt. Jeffrey C.S. Sherer, June 2, 2011
Maj. David L. Brodeur, April 27, 2011
Capt. Charles E. Ridgley, April 11, 2011
Pfc. Renee Sinkler, January 19, 2011
Pfc. William B. Dawson, September 24, 2010
Pfc. Jaysine Petree, September 24, 2010
Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Eastman, July 18, 2010
Spc. James L. Miller, March 29, 2010
Army Sgt. Joel D. Clarkson, March 16, 2010
Sgt. 1st Class Jason O. B. Hickman, January 7, 2010
Spc. Julian Berisford, November 4, 2009
Cpl. Gregory Fleury, October 26, 2009
Spc. Michael S. Cote, September 19, 2009
Pfc. Matthew M. Martinek, September 11, 2009
Pfc. Zachary T. Myers, September 8, 2009
Pfc. Thomas F. Lyons, September 8, 2009
Staff Sgt. Shannon M. Smith, September 8, 2009
Staff Sgt. Michael C. Murphrey, September 6, 2009
Second Lt. Darryn Andrews, September 4, 2009
Staff Sgt. Kurt R. Curtiss, August 26, 2009
Army Pfc. Morris L. Walker, August 18, 2009
Staff Sgt. Clayton P. Bowen, August 18, 2009
Staff Sgt. Anthony S. Schmachtenberger, July 29, 2009
Pfc. Nicolas H.J. Gideon, July 6, 2009
Pfc. Justin A. Casillas, July 4, 2009
Pfc. Aaron E. Fairbairn, July 4, 2009
1st Lt. Brian N. Bradshaw, June 25, 2009
Spc. Jarrett P. Griemel, June 3, 2009
Staff Sgt. Timothy Bowles, March 15, 2009
Pfc. Patrick DeVoe II, March 9, 2009
Spc. Michael B. Alleman, February 23, 2009
Spc. Cpl. Michael L. Mayne, February 23, 2009
Spc. Zachary F. Nordmeyer, February 23, 2009
Staff Sgt. Daniel L. Hansen, February 14, 2009
Spc. Cody L. Lamb, January 25, 2009
Lt. William K. Jernigan, November 28, 2008
Chief Warrant Officer Donald V. Clark, November 15, 2008
Chief Warrant Officer Christian P. Humphreys, November 15, 2008
Pfc. Cody J. Eggleston, October 24, 2008
Pfc. Heath Pickard, October 16, 2008
Cpl. Jason A. Karella, October 9, 2008
Sgt. 1st Class Daniel R. Sexton, September 15, 2008
Sgt. Naquan Reinaldo Williams Jr., February 2, 2008
Staff Sgt. Carletta S. Davis, November 5, 2007
Sgt. Derek T. Stenroos, November 5, 2007
1st Lt. Thomas M. Martin, October 14, 2007
Sgt. Jason Lantieri, October 9, 2007
Chief Warrant Officer, Jackie L. McFarlane Jr., August 14, 2007
Spc. Steven R. Jewell, August 14, 2007
Staff Sgt. Stanley B. Reynolds, August 14, 2007
Staff Sgt. Sean P. Fisher, August 14, 2007
Christopher C. Johnson, August 14, 2007
Pfc. Jaron D. Holliday, August 4, 2007
Cpl. Jason K. LaFleur, August 4, 2007
Sgt. Dustin S. Wakeman, August 4, 2007
Sgt. Bradley W. Marshall, July 31, 2007
Spc. Daniel F. Reyes, July 31, 2007
Pfc. Jessy S. Rogers, July 23, 2007
Sgt. Shawn G. Adams, July 22, 2007
Michelle R. Ring, July 5, 2007
Sgt. Trista L. Moretti, June 25, 2007
Spc. Adam Herold, June 10, 2007
Sgt. Robert J. Montgomery, May 22, 2007
Cpl. Michael W. Davis, May 21, 2007
Sgt. Brian D. Ardron, May 21, 2007
Staff Sgt. Shannon Weaver, May 21, 2007
Cpl. Ryan D. Collins, May 19, 2007
Sgt. Ryan J. Baum, May 18, 2007
Pfc. Victor M. Fontanilla, May 17, 2007
Sgt. 1st Class Jesse B. Albrecht, May 17, 2007
Spc. Coty J. Phelps, May 17, 2007
Spc. Matthew T. Bolar, May 3, 2007
First Lt. Colby J. Umbrell, May 3, 2007
Staff Sgt. Michael R. Hullender. April 28, 2007
Spc. James T. Lindsey, April 12, 2007
Spc. John G. Borbonus, April 12, 2007
Cpl. Cody Putman, April 12, 2007
Cpl. Clifford A. Spohn, April 9, 2007
Sgt. Adam P. Kennedy, April 8, 2007
Staff Sgt. Shane R. Becker, April 3, 2007
Spc. Lance C. Springer II, March 23, 2007
Sgt. 1st Class Christopher R. Brevard, March 16, 2007
Sgt. Daniel E. Woodcock, March 11, 2007
Pfc. Adare W. Cleveland, February 19, 2007
Sgt. Russell A. Kurtz, February 11, 2007
Staff Sgt. Jamie D. Wilson, January 22, 2007
Spc. Jeffrey D. Bisson, January 20, 2007
Spc. Toby R. Olsen, January 20, 2007
1st Lt. Jacob N. Fritz, January 20, 2007
Pfc. Shawn Patrick Falter, January 20, 2007
Sgt. Phillip D. McNeill, January 20, 2007
Pfc. Johnathon M. Millican, January 20, 2007
Sgt. Sean Patrick Fennerty, January 20, 2007
Sgt. Johnathan Bryan Chism, January 20, 2007
Cpl. Jason J. Corbett, January 15, 2007
Cpl. Jeremiah J. Johnson, January 5, 2007
Staff Sgt. Charles D. Allen, January 4, 2007
Pfc. Alan R. Blohm, December 31, 2006
Spc. Dustin R. Donica, December 28, 2006
Spc. Douglas L. Tinsley, December 26, 2006
Spc. Joseph A. Strong, December 26, 2006
Staff Sgt. Jacob McMillan, December 20, 2006
Sgt. Scott Dykman, December 20, 2006
Pfc. Shawn M. Murphy, December 10, 2006
Sgt. Brennan C. Gibson, December 10, 2006
Spc. Philip C. Ford, December 10, 2006
Staff Sgt. Henry Linck, December 7, 2006
Spc. Micah Gifford, December 7, 2006
Spc. James L. Bridges, November 4, 2006
Cpl. Michael H. Lasky, November 2, 2006
Sgt. Kraig Foyteck, October 30, 2006
Sgt. Nicholas Sowinski, October 11, 2006
Sgt. Jonathan Rojas, October 3, 2006
Sgt. David J. Davis, September 17, 2006
Spc. Alexander Jordan, September 10, 2006
Staff Sgt. Eugene H.E. Alex, September 2, 2006
Master Sgt. Brad A. Clemmons, August 21, 2006
Spc. Shane Woods, August 9, 2006
Sgt. Irving Hernandez, July 12, 2006
Sgt. Bryan C. Luckey, June 29, 2006
2Lt. John Shaw Vaughan, June 7, 2006
Sgt. Benjamin Mejia, May 31, 2006
Spc. Jeremy Loveless, May 29, 2006
Spc. Aaron P. Latimer, May 9, 2006
Staff Sgt. Mark Wall, April 27, 2006
Pfc. Raymond Henry, April 25, 2006
Cpl. Kenneth D. Hess, April 11, 2006
Spc. Joseph I. Love-Fowler, April 9, 2006
Spc. Shawn Creighton, April 8, 2006
Spc. Dustin James Harris, April 6, 2006
Spc. Joshua M. Pearce, February 26, 2006
Spc. Patrick W. Herried, February 26, 2006
Spc. Jeremiah J.Boehmer, February 5, 2006
Staff Sgt. Christopher R. Morningstar, February 5, 2006
Staff Sgt. Brian McElroy, January 22, 2006
Tech. Sgt. Jason L. Norton, January 22, 2006
1st Lt. Jaime Lynn Campbell, January 7, 2006
Spc. Michael Ignatius Edwards, January 7, 2006
Spc. Jacob Eugene Melson, January 7, 2006
Chief Warrant Officer Chester William Troxel, January 7, 2006
Pvt. Christopher Alcozer, November 19, 2005
Staff Sgt. Stephen Sutherland, November 11, 2005
Spc. Daniel D. Bartels, October 19, 2005
Spc. Lucas Frantz, October 18, 2005
Staff Sgt. Timothy J. Roark, October 2, 2005
Sgt. Kurtis Dean Kama-O-Apelila Arcala, September 11, 2005
Sgt. Matthew Charles Bohling, September 5, 2005
Lance Cpl. Grant Fraser, August 16, 2005
Lance Cpl. Jeremiah Kinchen, April 4, 2004
A1C Carl Anderson Jr., August 29, 2004
Capt. Eric Das, April 7, 2003
Sgt. Mason Douglas Whetstone, July 17, 2003




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