In Memoriam

Our family, friends, neighbors, and those we are inspired by, that have served
and are now gone or that paid the ultimate price.


click on the links to see their pages


One of the moms in our chapter received that phone call that every mother dreads. Her daughter, Lt. Haley Hamilton, had been injured. Haley was fortunate and recovered quickly with only minor injuries. Unfortunately, the IED killed two of the soldiers in her Humvee.

SPC Johnson and PFC Hotchkin

SPC Joseph Johnson, 24, of Flint, Mich., and PFC Gunnar Hotchkin, 31,of Naperville, Ill.,
died June 16 in Isa Khan, Kunduz Province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when their vehicle was attacked by an improvised explosive device.



MJR Richard "Dick" Winters, Ret.

Stephen Ambrose's 1992 book "Band of Brothers" followed the men of E Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. The group came to be known as Easy Company. One of Easy Company's officers was Maj. Winters, a charismatic and compassionate leader who entered Army service as a private and returned home after World War II as a major. Major Richard Winters has passed and his obituary is here.



The Four Chaplains       
LT. George L. Fox, Methodist

LT. Alexander D. Goode, Jewish

LT. Clark V. Poling, Dutch Reformed
LT. John P. Washington, Roman Catholic

Aboard the Dorchester, panic and chaos had set in. The blast had killed scores of men, and many more were seriously wounded. Others, stunned by the explosion were groping in the darkness. Those sleeping without clothing rushed topside where they were confronted first by a blast of icy Arctic air and then by the knowledge that death awaited.  
Through the pandemonium, according to those present, the four Army chaplains brought hope in despair and light in darkness.  



MST. SGT. Randy Gillespie

Randy became the friend of Joyce and Zen Martinsen through the sending of care packages.  After sending many boxes to Randy and getting some delightful emails back with photos showing what his life was currently like... the emails ceased and when getting ready to send another package and checking the address on the "" site, it became clear that something was terribly wrong.  Randy died from small arms fire on July 9, 2007 in Hewrat, Afghanistan just outside of FOB Camp Stone.

Randy's mother JoAnne and Zen have stayed in touch.  JoAnne said, "Many deer have been seen lying on his grave.  Randy would love that."



SGT. Eric M. Holke ~ Crestline

Sgt. Eric Holke, hungry for life experience, performed at Renaissance fairs, spent two years in the California wilderness and served with the Army and National Guard.  Holke, 31, was on his second tour in Iraq, serving with the California Army National Guard, when he died in a non-combat incident in Tallil. Family said he died when the Humvee he was in swerved and flipped when it tried to avoid hitting an Iraqi.



LT. Jared M. Landaker ~ Big Bear

1st Lt. Jared Landaker of Big Bear City was a Big Bear High School graduate and entered the Marine Corps in 2003 after completing his physics degree at the University of La Verne.  After stints in Virginia and at a Florida flight school, he was deployed to Iraq from Camp Pendleton.   Assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; died Feb. 7 when the helicopter he was flying in crashed while supporting combat operations in Anbar province, Iraq.



CPL. Frank Buckles

Cpl. Frank Buckles, America's last known World War I veteran, died Sunday, Feb. 27th at the age of 110.  Buckles died of natural causes at his home in Charles Town, W.Va., according to a family spokesman.

Buckles enlisted at the age of 16 by reportedly convincing an Army captain that he was older.  He was the last living American doughboy to have served in France during World War I and the last of 4.7 million U.S. troops who signed up to fight the Kaiser 94 years ago.  Buckles later spent three years as a Japanese prisoner of war during World War II after being captured in the Pacific while serving as a U.S. contractor.