#HonorThem 2016 Giving Honor to Whom Honor is Due

Over the past month, we have collected your stories of honor and remembrance for the military service members and veterans in your life. Now we are sharing these stories and honoring these remarkable individuals for their service. Today, Nov. 10, 2016, we invite you to follow the Liberty University Office of Military Affairs on Facebook as we celebrate #HonorThem Online Engagement Day.

Click the button below to visit our page and leave a comment about the military loved one in your life. We would love to join you in honoring their service and sacrifice!

"A veteran - whether Active Duty, Retired, National Guard or Reserve - is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America', for an amount of 'up to and including my life.'" - Author Unknown

Melvin Crosby


“Melvin (my brother-in-law) is a dedicated father of three children, Evelyn (5), Jack (2), and Gwen (newborn), and husband to Leah. Mel is one of the most selfless people I have ever met, and truly has a heart for service. On Feb. 20th, 2015 his then 10 month old son Jack was diagnosed with leukemia, and has continued to fight his battle with cancer ever since. During this time Melvin has dedicated himself to his family, acting as an incredible spiritual and emotional leader for not only his family, but his entire extended family as well. Mel has balanced being in the military with being home for his wife and kids, while also spending an incredible amount of days and night in Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland with Jack during his treatments. Mel has continued to selflessly serve others, and maintain a remarkable attitude focused on God’s sovereignty for Jack and his family. Mel has begun taking courses towards his Bachelors in Accounting here at Liberty, and hopes to graduate and work as an accountant in the future.”

Submitted by current LU student, staff member, and Coast Guard Reservist Luke Charette (pictured top right).

Matthew Andrews

Retired Army Staff sergeant

“I am medically retired (SSG) from the US Army due to wounds that I received while fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. I am a Veteran, and I know exactly what it means to struggle with hopelessness and fear of combat traumas. I know without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus heard my cries for help and He reached into my heart and soul and began a healing journey in my life. I was lost and did not know how I was going to take care of my family after recovering from my injuries. Two years after my retirement, God opened the doors for me to attend Liberty University to obtain my Bachelor of Science Religion: Biblical and Theological Studies. I give all the glory to God for bringing me this far in my education. I know that I want to continue in my education so that I am well prepared to honor my God in ministry and my personal life.”

Matthew and his wife currently work full time in a Veteran outreach ministry in Montana, bringing hope and resources to active duty military and veterans.

Pam Folger

Navy Petty Officer 2nd class AND MILITARY SPOUSE

“My mom is one of my heroes. She worked as a nurse while she was active in the military, and in 1989, my mom drove an ambulance onto the San Francisco Bay Bridge after an earthquake hit California. She drove the ambulance onto the Bridge several times to rescue people who were trapped after the top deck of the bridge collapsed. She received a medal for her bravery.

My mom discharged from the military before I was born, but until I was 11, she was an active military spouse since my dad was still in the Navy. My dad was often gone from our family while he was in the military, and my mom still worked full time, took care of 2 children, and went to school to finish her Bachelors through Liberty University Online. When I was 16, my dad was still working in the Middle East, and my mom was diagnosed with cancer. Not only did she continue to work full time, take care of 2 children, and go to school online, but she also battled the cancer with such tenacity as I’d never seen before, and have not seen since.

My mom doesn’t usually tell people about her military service. Not because she is ashamed of it—quite the opposite. My mom, in addition to being one of the bravest people I’ve ever known, is also one of the humblest people I will ever be blessed to know. She deserves to be honored for the sacrifices she has made, both for her family and for her country.”

Submitted by current LU student and staff member Liz Folger.
"How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” —Maya Angelou

Douglas M. Beckman

U.S. Army, 1962-1964


Mr. Beckman's children include:

  • Sergeant David M. Beckman, USMC (Ret.). Wounded in Falluja, Iraq and recipient of the Purple Heart. (top right)
  • Warrant Officer Daniel M. Beckman, U.S. Army, Active Duty. Helicopter pilot with multiple tours of service in Iraq. (middle right)
  • Major Douglas M. Beckman, Jr., USAF (Ret.) with 22 years of service. (bottom left)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Chandra M. Beckman, USAF, Active Duty. Fighter pilot with 19 years of service. (bottom middle)
  • Sergeant Grace M. Beckman, New Mexico National Guard, Active Duty, with 12 years of service. (bottom right)

Cathy Merrill

Retired Navy COMMANDER

“My mom’s name is Cathy Merrill. She was awesome and my best friend. She was a Commander with in the Navy for 20 years up until 1998, and then went on to work for Homeland Security till 2015 when she retired. She was also a single mom for most of that time. She is the bravest person I know, being a single parent to two kids and a woman in the Navy. She passed away 8/15/2016 from liver cancer.”

Submitted by current LU student Jennifer Kunze, a junior pursuing a Bachelor degree in Health Informatics.

Lewis W. Layton III

First Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps

“I would like to honor my husband, 1stSgt Lewis W. Layton III as my military hero. He is a U.S. Marine, who has been deployed five times, three times to the middle east, and once while I gave birth to our first born son. He is the most humble, kind, good-hearted and most importantly, God-loving man I know. He not only is my husband, but my brother in Christ. He is always seeking out those in need, and looking for ways to give more time, money, and himself. I wish I could do more for him, or contribute to our family in some big way. I currently am finishing my degree at Liberty University Online and plan to home school our two kids.

My husband is known for his large size, yet his sweet personality and good nature is also notorious among his military colleagues. He has never-ending strength and faith, not only in God, but in himself, in his family, and in his Marines. He expects more out of all of us, and pushes us to be our very best. I am proud to be his wife, and when I voted this November I did so to honor his work, and the sacrifices he and his military brothers have made."

Submitted by current LU student Sarah Layton.
"The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.” —Patrick Henry

Harold C. Thompson

Army National Guard Sergeant

“This is my husband Harold C. Thompson. Harold has served in the United States National Guard for 18 years (Honorably Discharged). Thompson's unit was one of the first units to become mobilized during operation Iraqi Freedom. His only statement to us before he boarded his plane was, "Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand." This gave me a lot of confidence that he knew that God was going to take care of him and see that he came back to us the same way he left. He is now partially disabled and was recently affected by the Louisiana Oilfield layoffs. (What a bummer!) He is an awesome husband and father to our two sons. Harold is a one-of-kind person, he is always willing to give anything he has to anyone. His military experience has affected his life tremendously but through God's grace and mercy we are enjoying our lives together. He along with so many are so deserving of recognition and I am very appreciative to and for our military veterans.”

Submitted by current LU student Sherissa Murray-Thompson.

Nick McCall

Marine Corps Sergeant

“I was blessed to make it through two, pretty much back-to-back deployments during OIF3 in the western Al Anbar province. I don’t have enough space here to list some of my experiences while deployed, but I can tell you that I have been extremely blessed and fortunate to be in the shape I am in. It took me a little while to adjust, and prayer also, to realize how ignorant it would be for me not to take advantage of my GI Bill, so here I am, still pumping it out, and have been so blessed to make it this far in my degree completion of my bachelors, and I am almost finished!”

Nick is a current LU student who served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2003-2007.

Kyle Hicks

Sergeant in the U.S. Army

Photos have been altered to obscure military insignia and images trademarked by the Department of Defense.

“Here are several photos of me with my unit from serving in Iraq in 2005 and 2006. I was with the 144th ASMC, a medical unit out of Utah who was attached to the 48th BCT. I loved my family that I was stationed with. We fought each other a lot but like any family we stood together. SPC Kirts was my best friend and helped keep me together during the rough times. I can honestly say that I loved everyone I was with at CSC Scania all those years ago. For those who have never served there is no way to explain it. It just so happened that we got the worst of everything on Memorial Day. For those who were there, life will never be the same and that day has a much different meaning for all of us. All these years later I can honestly say I would not trade any of that experience for all the treasure in the world. HOOAH!”

Kyle is an LU alumnus, class of 2015.
"In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.” —Mark Twain

Alex Wannemueller

Airman First Class in the U.S. Air Force

“I would like to honor my husband Airman First Class Alex Wannemueller. He has been in the Air Force as a crew chief for almost 2 years now. I am so proud of him and all he has accomplished in this short amount of time. He absolutely loves his job and I could not be prouder to stand beside him and support him in all of his success."

Submitted by current LU student Brittani Wannemueller.


Virginia Army National Guard & U.S. Navy

“This first picture (on the left) is my father, Earl Jones, who served in the Virginia Army National Guard. The second picture (on the right) is my father-in-law, Frank Speelman, who served in the Navy. Both of their lives were claimed by cancer, Frank's in 1984 and my dad's in 2015. They loved their country and were proud to have served.”

Submitted by current LU student Jennifer Speelman.

Sean and Melissa Kugler

U.S. Navy

“A little bit about me (Melissa): I joined in 2000 right after graduation and was stationed in Whidbey Island, WA for four years as a hydraulics mechanic on EA6B Prowlers and then on EP3's. I deployed to areas around the United States for training missions and to Bahrain during that time. I changed rates to a Hospital Corpsman and served again in Whidbey Island for another four years. From there I deployed as a single mom to Kuwait in 2007-2008. I truly loved my job. If I was not a mommy I would have stayed in for sure.

My husband Sean: He began as an enlisted rescue swimmer for 5 years. He was picked up for a program to become an officer so he went to school at Washington State University and was commissioned out of there. I met him in Whidbey Island and we got married shortly after I got out. He took a job in PAX River, MD and we lived there for 3 years. Then we were stationed in Bremerton, WA for 2 years. From there he was deployed 17 out of 22 months on the USS John C. Stennis in the Persian Gulf. During those deployments he missed all of the major holidays, birthdays, and the birth of our third child. We were transferred to Monterey, CA where he received his Master Degree in Systems Engineering and Analyst. I am quite proud of my man. He was separated involuntarily from the military due to budget cuts basically. We now live in Oregon where he manages a full-time job working with UAV's and he is a Naval Reservist. On his off time he spends time with his children and family while supporting me while I go to school. Without him, so much in our lives would not be possible. I am so grateful the God brought us together. Things have been hard at times. But we get through it.”

Submitted by current LU student Melissa Kugler.
"Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” – Billy Graham

Billy Joe Brown

Retired Air Force Colonel

Photos have been altered to obscure military insignia and images trademarked by the Department of Defense.

“My father, Colonel Billy Joe Brown served as a pilot in the US Air Force for 26 years. He was a highly decorated Vietnam Veteran and a man after God's own heart. As one of the founders of Faith Church in Grove, Oklahoma, he spent his final years serving widows and seeking to save the lost. He was laid to rest with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery Tuesday, November 2nd, 2016.”

Submitted by current LU student Shannon Brown Haskell.

Sergio Mercado

Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army

“This is my loving husband, soul mate, and best friend. I thank God every day that he allowed Sergio to come home, knowing so many of his soldiers and friends didn't return. Words cannot express how blessed our family is. He's our hero and we honor him!”

Sergio is a U.S. Army Infantryman with 4 tours in Iraq and a graduating senior at LU.

Submitted by current LU student Sarah Mercado.

Jordan M. Purcell

Staff Sergeant in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard

"You will never deploy; they’d have to send every Soldier in every other job before they’d send you."

"That is the statement which my recruiter told my mother and I to “seal the deal” of my enlistment at the young age of 17. I am in no way blaming my recruiter for what happened next, but he did misconstrue the facts. Shortly before Thanksgiving of 2003, I received notification that in a month my unit was being sent to Fort Dix, New Jersey to prepare for our deployment to Iraq. My mother was shocked and terrified. I was numb; reality did not set in at that point.

By March 2004 we were in Kuwait, adjusting to 80-90 degree temperatures. Ironic, considering mere days before in New Jersey, we were standing in knee-deep snow, bundled up like we were on the next mission to Antarctica. After a week of acclimation to the Middle East temperature and terrain, we were on a flight to Balad, Iraq, LSA Anaconda (known now as Balad Air Base). During the first few years of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Anaconda went by many names; Joint Base Anaconda, Logistical Support Activity Anaconda, and because the base took constant incoming artillery rounds from Iraqi insurgents, “Mortaritaville”. The first night in Iraq on Anaconda we were “sleeping” on cots in a large tent… We were awoken no less than three times by a barrage of artillery, landing within the compound where we were staying. If that would not have awoken me, the screaming sirens, alerting those to run to protection, would have. I remember running to the fortified concrete bunkers for protection in my full “battle rattle” (helmet, ballistic interceptor vest, and rifle), praying with others around me. Christian and atheist alike joined in, seeking guidance and protection for our Heavenly Father. As one could imagine, reality had set in at this point; Day 1 in Iraq and 19 years old, I had already experienced a potentially life or death moment. I presume they were not trying to offend, but upon our return to the tents, some of the more “seasoned” Soldiers were scoffing at our fear. They had endured this time and time again, now not even seeking shelter when the explosions went off and alarms sounded; almost daring fate to get them.

I would like to say that was the last encounter we had with the threat of insurgency, incoming artillery, and other improvised explosive devices, but again, that is not the case. We moved from base to base, convoy after convoy through towns, from Tikrit to Ba’qubah and as east as Khanaqin. I remember being so close to the Iran border, I could see mountains and the ruins of the Iran/Iraq War from the ‘80s. Our unit was family. We laughed and we cried together. We fought and we loved each other, but at the end of the day, we were still in a warzone where people die, get injured, or get shot at almost every day. Suffice to say that I too was “seasoned” by the time we left in January 2005, at the tender age of 20.”

Jordan is a LU alumnus who intends to pursue a Masters in Social Work in order to work for the Veterans Health Administration.
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” —John F. Kennedy

Charlie Taylor

Decorated Vietnam War infantry officer

Photos have been altered to obscure military insignia and images trademarked by the Department of Defense.

“Allow me to salute the spouses of veterans, most especially the spouses of combat veterans. I am the wife of a decorated infantry officer who served in Vietnam. While I was not physically in Vietnam during his fighting days, I have shared with him the trauma most combat veterans have since their days in the combat theater. I’ve been awakened by nightmares, left behind when he suffers a flashback, and I’ve kissed away his tears as he weeps for lost comrades and his own loss of innocence. I am blessed to have him and saddened by his memories. Together, my warrior and I, trust God for strength and endurance. So, to those spouses—I salute you. I encourage you. Stay the course. If you dwell “in the shelter of the Most High” you “will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” God is your refuge and your fortress (Psalm 91:1, 2).”

Submitted by current LU student Diana Taylor.

Courtney Joubert

U.S. Marine Corps

"Serving in Okinawa and fellow sister in Christ. #HonorThem.”

Submitted by current LU student Corrine Angela Perry

Eldon Pollard and Adrianna Pollard

U.S. Navy

Photo has been altered to obscure military insignia and images trademarked by the Department of Defense.

“I'd love to share with you about the veterans in my life that I am so proud of. The first is my husband of 23 years, Eldon. The second is my daughter, Adrianna. They both have not only made me so proud to be their wife and mom but proud to be a part of such a country as this.

My husband served for 24 years in the Navy aboard several submarines and retired in June. He spent his entire career serving the Navy, his family, his church and his community. Although it was hard for us to be separated, he made such a special effort to show us all his love and commitment to us when he could. He would leave notes, make arrangements for special surprises and most of all, pray for us while we were separated. The most important sacrifice he made was that he NEVER put his career before the family. Although he made choices that were not "career enhancing" the Lord always blessed his priorities and efforts. He made me proud to call myself Navy Wife because it meant I loved and supported such a wonderful man as he served his country.

Last year, after returning from studying a year abroad, my daughter, Adrianna, returned home and announced she wanted to join the Navy. Her main motivation was that she wanted to serve the country she loved so much after not seeing the same patriotism in the country she had lived in for almost a year. Her love for her country shows in her dedication to her training for her future job. She wanted to be a part of the World's Greatest Navy to serve the World's Greatest Country and to be a light to those around her of God's love for them."

Submitted by current LU student Rachal Pollard.
"This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” —Elmer Davis

Larry and La'Tashia Galler

U.S. Army

“Larry Galler is a SSG in the United States Army, who initially served in the National Guard for 11 years, but has now served on active duty for 9 years. During that time, he has been deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan for a total of 4 times. He loves being a soldier in the greatest Army in the world.

I (La’Tashia) began serving on active duty in the Army directly after high school in 2002. Although I was already enlisted in the DEP while in my junior year, when 9/11 happened during my senior year, it reignited my passion to serve my country even more. Between the 2 of us we have 6 deployments under our belt. He loves serving his country, as did I. He is flying solo now because taking care of the home front became my biggest priority after our family got bigger. I love this soldier to pieces, and he is one of my biggest heroes.”

Submitted by current LU student La’Tashia Galler.

Carlo Miller

U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy

“My husband, Carlo Miller. U.S. Marines (12 years) and U.S. Navy (8 years). Carlo grew up in the US military after being adopted from an Italian-Catholic orphanage by his wonderful parents. His highlighted service included HMX-1 Detachment, Marine One, for Ronald Reagan and Georgia H. Bush. After his twelve years as an outstanding Marine, I was blessed to meet my future husband. After our marriage, he re-enlisted in the Navy and off we went to Naples, Italy, where our son was born. Now we have a wonderful father-son connection that only God could have planned for us.

God has provided blessings upon blessings to this Christian former-Marine whom is so loved by his family.”

Submitted by current LU student Angela Miller.

Lisa Cartwright

U.S. Army

Photo has been altered to obscure military insignia and images trademarked by the Department of Defense.

“I wanted to submit a quick story to honor all the Chaplains in the armed forces. I don't have the names of those who came alongside me many years ago, but when I was a new soldier, away from home for the first time, scared and alone, these servants of God made certain that all of those in basic training had a Bible and an opportunity to worship on Sunday. I am so grateful for that small Gideon bible and the peace I was given each Sunday. I knew that this was God's way of getting me to fully rely on Him during this time of uncertainty and He put just the right people in my path. So, I wish to honor all Military Chaplains for their selfless service.”

Lisa is a current student at liberty university and Army veteran.
“I think there is one higher office than president and I would call that patriot.” —Gary Hart

Martin Crawford

U.S. Army

“My husband, Mr. Martin Crawford served 22 1/2 years in the U.S. Army. Due to his MOS, he was often deployed stateside as well as overseas. When his unit was ready to deploy to Iraq several years ago, he never spoke a word of ill because he knew he had to defend his family and country. He kissed us and told me that this is not a goodbye, he will be back. The emotions of it ripped my heart because here stood a soldier, my husband before me being strong for us, knowing what he was going into.

I often worried about my husband's safety but I knew as well as he that God always had His hand on him. My husband made a way to stay in connection with his family, especially his children. When the worst days of war took toll, he did not once express this in our conversations because he was still being strong for us, regardless of his environment and all that he faced. When the time came for his return home, I was so elated yet sad for him because he carried the weight of the unknown to make us feel at ease.

I am so thankful to God that He brought him back to us. As I look at my husband 12-13 years later, I still see the bravery, the honor for his service given, even after retirement, the tears for his fallen service members, but most of all the honor that he show our Father while on his knees for allowing him to return to his family and friends. I love, honor, and respect my husband, Mr. Martin Crawford for allowing all that he stood for during his time in service to reassure us, his family that we will be safe, and his presence will always be there for us even in his absence.”

Submitted by current LU student Scherry Crawford.

Brandon Rhodes

Marine Corps Staff Sergeant

“It is an honor to serve the United States of America. I served in the United States Marine Corps from 2003 to 2009. I was deployed in support of the Operation Iraqi Freedom 4-7 in 2005. My unit was sent to the city of Fallujah in the Al Anbar province. At this time, Fallujah was one of the most dangerous cities in the world second only to the neighboring city of Ramadi, Iraq. It was there in Iraq that I had to grow up. I turned 21 years old halfway through our deployment.”

Brandon is a current lu student, pursuing his degree in Criminal Justice. He received the Combat Action Ribbon for his service in Operation Iraqi Freedom and currently serves in local law enforcement.

Alex hosler

Petty Officer 3rd Class in the U.S. Coast guard

“The name of the person I would like to honor is my husband, Alex. Alex is an AET3 (Avionics Electrical Technician, Petty Officer 3rd class) in the United States Coast Guard. He works on all the electrical components of the C130-J aircraft, including mission systems. He is also a basic aircrew member involved in SAR (search and rescue) from the Great Lakes to the Caribbean. He loves his job, and I love supporting him in it, but our lifestyle has not made my career easy.

I began my graduate studies with Liberty University two years ago. I am so grateful that Liberty provided me a discount as the spouse of an active duty service member. Without it, I don’t think I would be graduating with my M.Ed in School Counseling next May, but I think my husband deserves just as much credit for me making it this far.

I chose to maintain employment while completing this degree, a decision that has proven most challenging. Serving in 3 separate internship placements in addition to my consistent employment, course enrollment, licensure exams, and other day-to-day responsibilities has completely exhausted me. Even when my husband is deployed or away for training, he finds ways to keep me strong. His encouragement from afar and his help while at home makes me feel so loved. But that alone is not why I feel he should be honored.

In addition to helping me lessen the weight of my challenges, my husband carries much of his own. When returning from a search and rescue case that didn’t end as he had hoped, I know he feels it. I know he wants to save everyone that he can, but that is not always in God’s plan. It takes a special type of person to shoulder this burden, and I know he is the one for the job. This is why he is my hero. He truly embodies selflessness, always putting others’ needs above his own, including mine. He is kind, he is determined, and although he probably would not agree, he often exemplifies Christ’s love. What else could I want in a partner? I love him, and I am so honored to honor him for all that he is and does.”

Submitted by current LU student Nicole Hosler.
“Never give in — never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” —Winston Churchill

Patrick Bain

Sergeant in the Mississippi National Guard

Photo has been altered to obscure military insignia and images trademarked by the Department of Defense.

“My boyfriend, Sgt. Patrick Bain is a veteran of the US Army, is currently serving in the Mississippi National Guard, and has been serving for 8 years. In 2012 he was deployed to Afghanistan for a year in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, while enrolled at Liberty University to complete a degree in Religion. He continues to display incredible leadership on and off duty as a committed soldier, loving friend, and dedicated student at Liberty (he'll finally be done in December!).”

Submitted by current LU student Kathryn Waggaman.

Aaron Labarge

Retired Army Sergeant

“I love what I do now and would not trade the rough nights, the lonely holidays, or anything else that brought me here. God has protected me and my family through many of things. And now that I cannot serve I am thankful for those who can. Keep up the good work and God Bless.”

Aaron is a current lu student who served 8.5 years in the U.S. Army, including service in iraq and South Korea. medically retired in 2015, Aaron currently serves as a Children’s Pastor.

Christopher Morello

U.S. Army

Photo has been altered to obscure military insignia and images trademarked by the Department of Defense.

“This is my son Christopher. He has devoted his last 12 years to the US Army. I am so proud of him, not only does he serve his country, he has earned his Bachelor’s degree through LUO and is currently working on his Masters. He wants to become a chaplain for the military. He is married and has 6 children and will have number seven in December. This photo was taken when he returned from his last deployment in the spring.”

Submitted by current LU student Teressa Corbit.
“Better than honor and glory, and History’s iron pen, was the thought of duty done and the love of his fellow-men. “ —Richard Watson Gilder

Stephen Miles, Geno Mills, & Hunter D. Hogan

U.S. Marine Corps

CPL Stephen Miles, USMC (top left); LCP Geno Mills, USMC (right); LCP Hunter D. Hogan, USMC (bottom left).

“I believe with all of my heart these three men deserve to be honored. All three served together in Helmand Afghanistan. Two of them didn't make it home. They were just a couple weeks away from coming home when they were sent to Helmand, one of the Afghan war’s most notorious hot spots. On the second day of being there the unit came under sniper fire. Both LCP Hunter D. Hogan (HD) and LCP Geno Mills were shot and killed. Geno was someone who could always make anyone smile and took care of his squad better than anyone. HD left behind his wife and father who both took his death and have gone on to help many people out of the sorrow. Both men died honorably in battle.

My husband, CPL Stephen Miles, was with them that day and survived. I do not have the time to write about everyone that was there and the honor that they deserve but my husband was there by their sides fighting with them. It is extremely rare for two men to be killed out of the same squad but it happened and it left the rest of their brothers to live with the memories of their deaths. CPL Stephen Miles fought and survived. He was injured in training, but still answered the call to serve during a second deployment after Benghazi. He was medically separated in 2015. He now fights the battle of surviving and the struggle with the VA.”

Submitted by current LU student Devyn Miles.

William Sweeney

Retired Air Force Senior Master Sergeant

"My dad, William Sweeney, served 26 years in the US Air Force and retired as a Senior Master Sergeant in 2012, the same year I completed my undergraduate degree at Liberty University. This photo shows Dad saying good-bye to his 5 month old baby girl (me) before he left on his first deployment in service of the Gulf War in 1990. Just one example of the sacrificial life he's led for me, my sisters, my mom, and our country! I love my dad and I'm so incredibly proud to be his daughter!"

Submitted by LU alumna and current staff member Amanda Mitchell.

Mark Worrell

Chaplain (CPT) in the U.S. Army

"This is my husband Chaplain (CPT) Mark Worrell. Mark joined the Army as a Chaplain in the Summer of 2008. His first duty station was at Ft. Bliss, TX. Weeks of training and a deployment got his "feet wet" right away. A few months after leaving Texas the Lord and the Army took us to Washington DC where Mark was a Chaplain for The Old Guard. During this time he also had the privilege of doing funerals at Arlington National Cemetary. We moved to Ft. Bragg, NC where Mark worked in a Civil Affairs Batallion and also had the opportunity to jump from airplanes as a paratrooper. After spending 5 months at Ft. Jackson, SC for school, the Lord has seen fit to bring us back to our Nation's Capitol where Mark is serving as the Deputy Garrison Chaplain/Chaplaincy Resource Manager at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Fort Myer, VA."

Submitted by current lu student shelly worrell.
"The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.”
—Jeff Miller
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