PO2 Daniel McCartney

2018-2-17 McCartney

Daniel McCartney, 34, was shot during a burglary call near Spanaway on January 7, 2018. He died from his injuries at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma.

McCartney graduated from high school in Loyalton, California near Reno, Nevada. He joined the Navy in 2002, where he served as an electronics technician 2nd class. He was deployed to Afghanistan with a security detail assigned to the Army before being honorably discharged in 2008.

McCartney worked as a detention officer at the Grays Harbor County Juvenile Facility and was a personal trainer at the Grays Harbor YMCA before joining Hoquiam Police in 2009. He transferred to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department on Aug. 17, 2014.

We honor you, Daniel McCartney.

(Submission by: Ninzel Rasmuson. #Repost @Seattlepi)

SPC Shoshana Johnson

2018-2-16 Johnson

Shoshana Johnson was an Army cook who was captured along with 5 other soldiers and held as a prisoner of war during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Johnson was shot in the ankles and held for 22 days before being rescued. Upon retirement from the Army, she went on to tell her experience and try to help others

Johnson was part of the 507th Maintenance Company from Fort Bliss that was ambushed on March 23, 2003, in Nasiriyah, Iraq. Her convoy came under heavy attack from Fedayeen paramilitaries and Iraqi soldiers after the unit made a wrong turn into an enemy urban stronghold.

The now retired Army specialist had turned 30 on March 18, 2003, five days before her convoy was attacked. Johnson and her fellow soldiers had joined the march into Iraq for the U.S. ground offensive, and soon they found themselves in the middle of a fierce firefight they never expected. Johnson was a cook in the support unit. Neither she nor the others were combat soldiers.

The former Army specialist, who prefers to describe herself as Panamanian-American, is the first African-American woman POW. She suffered incapacitating injuries after a single shot from an Iraqi passed through both of her ankles. “I was bleeding and my boots filled up with blood,” she said. “After my boots were removed, I couldn’t believe that the raw wounds with all the gore were really mine.”

On April 13, 2003, the Marines arrived on a rescue mission. “They showed up like in those action movies. They broke down the door and busted inside with their weapons aimed,” Johnson said. “They had everyone get down on the floor. They asked us to stand up if we were Americans. I knew then that we were going home.”

We honor you, Shoshana Johnson.

(Submission by: Ninzel Rasmuson. #Repost @WomensMilitaryMemorial and Military.com)

SSG Travis Mills

2018-2-15 Mills.jpg

Army Staff Sgt. Travis Mills served two deployments to Afghanistan without suffering anything close to a major injury. Then, in a second, everything changed.

On patrol during his third tour in April, Mills put his bag down on an improvised explosive device, which tore through the decorated high school athlete’s muscular 6-foot-3 frame. Within 20 seconds of the IED explosion, a fast-working medic affixed tourniquets to all four of Mills’ limbs to ensure he wouldn’t bleed to death.

“I was yelling at him to get away from me,” Mills remembers. “I told him to leave me alone and go help my guys.

“And he told me: ‘With all due respect, Sgt. Mills, shut up. Let me do my job.'”

The medic was able to save Mills’ life but not his limbs. Today, the 25-year-old Mills is a quadruple amputee, one of only five servicemen from any military branch to have survived such an injury during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Maria Tolleson, a spokeswoman at U.S. Army Medical Command. And instead of serving alongside his unit, he has been spending his days based at Walter Reed Medical Center, working on rehabilitation after the accident that dramatically altered the trajectory of his life.

“Just because stuff happened to me, I don’t think it makes me a hero,” he said. “I think it just makes me a guy that did his job, knew the consequences of what could happen and something happened.”

We honor you, Travis Mills.

(#Repost @

TEC 5 Richard Overton

2018-2-14 Overton

Richard Overton is a former American World War II vet who, at 111 years old, is the oldest war veteran and living man in the United States.

Born on May 11, 1906, Richard Overton is a World War II veteran who served in the U.S. Army. On May 3, 2016, he became the oldest living American war veteran after fellow World War II veteran Frank Levingston of Louisiana died. Overton became a supercentenarian on May 11, 2016.

Overton began his military career with the U.S. Army on September 3, 1940 at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He arrived at Pearl Harbor with his black segregated unit immediately after the bombing by the Japanese. Between 1940-1945, he toured the South Pacific — the last three of those years with the 1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion — and achieved a technician fifth grade rank by the end of his military service.

After the war, Overton returned to Texas and established his life in Austin where he worked in a variety of furniture stores before finding employment at the Texas Department of the Treasury. He has been married twice, never had children and has outlived his closest relatives.

We honor you, Richard Overton.

(Submission by: Rob Prokop. #Repost @Biography.com)

CQM Raymond Barron Chavez

2018-2-13 Chavez

On December 7, 1941, Navy helmsman Raymond Barron Chavez was on duty aboard the USS Candor. The Candor was really nothing more than a San Diego-based fishing boat commandeered by the Navy to sweep for mines in Pearl Harbor.

“We used to sweep from midnight to 6 a.m. in the morning,” Chavez said.

It was about 3:45 a.m. when the crew made a startling discovery.

“We got a submarine here in protected water, not supposed to be here,” Chavez said.

They reported the Japanese sub sighting to the base, but nothing was done about it. The ship completed its rounds, and Raymond Chavez went back to his home adjacent to Hickman Field and told his wife he was going to bed.

“It seemed like five minutes after I fell asleep. She came over and told me, ‘Get up, get up, get up.’ I said, ‘What for?’ She said, ‘We’re being attacked,'” Chavez said.

Today, at age 99, the images are still vivid.

“Just then there was a Japanese torpedo plane flying right over our house. He was so low we could see who he was,” Chavez said.

Every year, he travels to Hawaii for the Pearly Harbor survivor memorial.

“Just to think about all the men who were lost and wounded, it just gets me every time I go over there,” he said. “It’s a good, good feeling to feel that you’ve helped just a tiny bit to win the war.”

We honor you, Raymond Chavez.

(#Repost @CBS8.com)

ENS George H. Gay

2018-2-12 Gay

As a 25-year-old Navy pilot, Mr. Gay flew a Douglas Devastator torpedo plane in an attack on Japanese warships near Midway Island on June 4, 1942.

All the planes in his squadron were shot down, and he was the only one of 30 men in Torpedo Squadron 8 to survive. Historians have credited the attack by his squadron as clearing the way for an attack by American dive bombers that eventually resulted in victory in the battle.

Wounded and wearing a life jacket, Mr. Gay watched the American dive bombers hurtle out of the clouds to attack Japanese aircraft carriers and found himself “cheering and hollering with every hit.”

After he was rescued by American forces, Mr. Gay made personal appearances for the Navy, spreading the news of the victory at Midway. That victory — achieved by an American fleet with only three heavy carriers against four heavy Japanese carriers and three light ones — was a turning point in the war in that theater.

Mr. Gay was a Trans World Airlines pilot for 30 years after the war. He also spoke to civic groups around the country, telling of his Midway experiences and calling for greater military preparedness.

In 1975, he was a consultant for the movie “Midway.” Kevin Dobson played his part. Mr. Gay toured the country with the film’s stars, Charlton Heston and Henry Fonda, to promote the film.

We honor you, George Gay.

(#Repost @The NY Times)

David W. Brown

2018-2-11 Brown

Enlisted Soldier David W. Brown was born on August 26, 1920 in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1943, four years after completing high school, and three days after he and his wife were married, Brown was drafted into the United States Army.

In 1944, Brown was deployed during World War II with the 490th Port Battalion, 226 Port Company European Theater, where he served as a technician 4th Grade. On D-Day, June 6, 1944, Brown landed on the shores of Utah Beach alongside 23,000 other men as allied forces stormed the beaches at Normandy. The following year, while still serving in Europe, he would travel to England, France and Belgium. In December of 1945, Brown received an Honorable Discharge from the United States Army. Following the end of the War, he returned to the United States and was discharged from the military in a ceremony at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Brown then traveled to St. Louis, Missouri, where he attended Maplewood Refrigeration, a vocational school. After completing training there in 1948, Brown worked as a refrigeration engineer. He also attended the Carrier Corporation, another vocational institute in Syracuse, New York, where he received further schooling in AC engineering. Brown went on to work as a refrigeration and air conditioning engineer at Beaumont Medical and System Air. He then established his own firm, Brown Industrial Corporation.

Brown was the recipient of many awards and honors. In 2004, he was the featured veteran in Studs Terkel’s production The Good War, showcased in Skokie, Illinois. Then, in 2009, after contributing to the History Channel’s program A Distant Shore: African Americans of D-Day, Brown was awarded an Emmy plaque from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. In 2010, during a ceremony in Northbrook, Illinois, he was awarded the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor medal, the highest decoration bestowed on those who have achieved remarkable deeds for France.

Brown passed away on June 13, 2015 at age 94.

We honor you, David W. Brown.

(#Repost @History Makers)