SGT Frank McKee


Frank McKee found out just how pugnacious his fellow paratroopers could be when he pulled MP duty in England and had to break up pub fights between the men of the 82nd Airborne and other units awaiting orders for D-Day. The night before the invasion, his plane dodged anti-aircraft fire, and he landed safely.

He wasn’t as lucky a month later, on July 4, when he “felt something like a horse kicked me in the back” during a skirmish with German troops. But he recovered from his wounds to parachute into Holland and fight through the coldest winter in Europe in 40 years, in the Battle of the Bulge.

We honor you, Frank McKee.

(#Repost @Veteran’s History Project)

MAJ Katherine Mary Doody

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Katherine was raised on a rural Maryland farm, went to nursing school and landed a job at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C. She had hopes of joining the Army to see the world, but was one inch too short for Army standards, so she joined the Navy.

Soon after, the Army lowered their height standards, she transferred in and was assigned to Tripler Army Hospital in Hawaii in September 1941. She was among 82 nurses on the base when Pearl Harbor was attacked and as a nurse, she worked 24 straight hours.

By 1944, the Army assigned her to Germany where she earned a Bronze Star for valor. In late 1950, she went to the 8063 Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, the first MASH in Korea. Kathryn retired from the Army in July of 1966 after 28 years of service.

We honor you, Katherine Doody.

(#Repost @The Chattanoogan)

Maj Gen John L. Borling

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John L. Borling was born in Chicago, Illinois in March, 1940. He graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1963, and received his pilot’s wings in 1964. By 1966 then-Lieutenant Borling was flying combat missions from a base in Thailand over North Vietnam. His F-4 Phantom was shot down on June 1, 1966 while flying his 97th mission. Borling spent the next six and a half years in enemy prison camps, including the notorious Hanoi Hilton. During the first few years as a prisoner of war (POW) he was kept in solitary confinement, subjected to torture and barely survived on a Spartan diet. In order to keep his mind active, Borling wrote poetry and passed it along to his fellow POWs by tapping them on the walls using a code system they developed themselves. Treatment of the POWs improved in the early 1970s. He and the rest of fellow captives were released on February 12, 1973.

Following his release, Borling received pilot refresher training, then was selected to be a White House Fellow from August 1974 to August 1975, serving during the Gerald Ford administration. He then attended the Armed Forces Staff College and following that he was assigned to the 94th Fighter Squadron, the famed Hat in the Ring squadron, which he soon commanded.  Borling attended the National War College, and he followed this with a tour at the Pentagon where he served as the chief of Checkmate Strategic Studies Group. In February of 1982, he was sent to Ramstein, West Germany where he commanded the 86th Fighter Group. He followed this assignment with a tour at the Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers – Europe (SHAPE) in Belgium.

In June of 1986 then-Colonel Borling was assigned to Headquarters, Strategic Air Command (SAC) at Offut Air Force Base, Nebraska. By June, 1987, he was the commander of SAC’s 57th Air Division, based at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. He followed this with senior level assignments in SAC before returning to the Pentagon as a Major General, serving as the director of operational requirements from January 1991 to January 1992. Major General Borling finished his military career with a four-year tour at Allied Forces North (AFNORTH), NATO in Norway, first as the Deputy Chief of Staff-Air, and then as the Chief of Staff for AFNORTH-Europe in Stavanger, Norway. He retired on August 1, 1996 after thirty-three years of service.

We honor you, John Borling.

(#Repost @Pritzker Military Museum & Library)

LTC Rutherford “Jack” Brice, II

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Brice went to Korea as a commissioned officer after serving as an aviation machinist in World War II. Brice saw action in three of the bloodiest battles of the Korean War as a company commander and platoon leader. One of his starkest moments came during the Battle of Heartbreak Ridge, a fierce fight at the top of a ridge that served as a vantage point to a broad valley. The well-fortified hill saw much back-and-forth fighting between American forces and the enemy. Climbing up the ridge was nearly impossible with all of the artillery placements built by the Koreans and Chinese. Brice’s unit finally took care of the hill, but not until many of his fellow soldiers died trying to take the hill.

We honor you, Rutherford Brice.

(#Repost @The Veteran’s Site)

SGT Ashly Lynn Moyer

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Moyer was killed when an explosion detonated the fuel tank on her vehicle, creating a fireball. Among the soldiers who responded to the bombing was Moyer’s boyfriend, Jake Wells, a member of her unit who tried to rescue her but was turned back by the flames and rounds of ammunition exploding in the heat. ”That’s what’s most heart wrenching to me,” said Moyer’s father, Michael Moyer. ”Can you imagine that? The girl you love is in there, and not being able to do anything.” ”I just talked to her last week,” her father said. ”They were coming home in June and planning two weeks in Pennsylvania and two weeks in Texas, where Jake Wells is from. They were coming here because he was going to ask me for her hand in marriage.”

Jane Drumheller described her daughter as a tomboy with a girlish side, as fond of dolls as she was of softball. ”She would always rise to the occasion.” She was serious when she needed to get a job done, but when it was time to have fun, she was a chuckle.”

Moyer then deployed to Baghdad and Moyer took an instant liking to her job as a driver. Her father sent her rearview mirror dice and other gag gifts to dress up the interior of the armored vehicle. On the exterior, she mounted a toy Incredible Hulk head, which other soldiers would rub for luck before missions. Moyer’s father said his daughter believed strongly in the American cause and had recently extended her enlistment for a year. ”She really liked what she was doing,” he said. ”The MPs over there are a very close family.”

Listening to SGT Ashly Lynn Moyer’s family recall memories of her growing up, one thing above all else comes through: Moyer may have been a woman small in stature but she was huge in heart. Jean Garrison, Moyer’s aunt and Samantha Straude her cousin held back the tears as they talked about SGT Moyer. “She always thought she was so cool in those sunglasses,” pointing to a photo Moyer took inside her Army vehicle. The women spoke of Moyer’s sense of humor, how she loved to make people laugh no matter how ridiculous she looked. Moyer was someone who liked to give to others and wanted to make a difference, and who chose joining the military as a way to do so.

We honor you Ashly Lynn Moyer.

(#Repost @Fallen Heroes Project)

CW4 John William Engeman

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In August of 1978 John entered the U.S. Army as an enlisted mechanic. He was selected as a warrant officer (ordinance/maintenance) in 1988. He was promoted to chief warrant officer four on March 1, 2002.

John met and married his wife, Donna, while the two were stationed in Würzburg, Germany. They have a son and daughter-in-law, First Lt. Patrick and Mary Kirk Engeman and a daughter, Nicole Engeman.

John served on active duty for over 28 years. He deployed in support of Operation Desert Storm, Hurricane Andrew relief, Kosovo/Bosnia Peacekeeping, an assignment to Nigeria, and to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

He served multiple tours in Germany and Korea, and at Fort Knox, Fort Drum and most recently, West Virginia. At the time of his death, John was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 312th Training Support Battalion, 4th Brigade, 78th Division, based at Fort Bragg, and was serving on the Military Transition Team assisting the Iraqi people in establishing their own security forces.

Engeman was sent to Iraq in February as part of an embedded special transition and advise security forces for one year.

By 4pm Sunday, Engemen said she knew something was amiss: “He usually called by 1 o’clock my time, but I figured because it was Mother’s Day there was a backup.”

Later that night, when she heard news reports that two soldiers had been killed in southern Iraq, she pushed the thought out of her head that it could be John and went to bed. At 6:15 am Monday, she got the news when soldiers arrived at her home.

“John was dedicated to his career; he had done it for 28 years. It was what he did,” Donna Engeman said. Although she said her husband had contemplated retiring before being deployed to Iraq, he always was ready to serve.

“His unit needed him. He would never shirk from anything. He would never leave his unit in a lurch,” she said proudly.

We honor you, John Engeman.

(#Repost @Northpoint Patch and  Arlington National Cemetery)


MajGen James E. Livingston

While thousands of heroes have emerged since the inception of the U.S. Marine Corps on November 10, 1775, James E. Livingston has earned the title, “Leatherneck Legend.”  Growing up in the 1940’s on a 3,000 acre dirt farm in Towns, Georgia, Livingston learned the importance of hard work and determination at a young age.  After college, Livingston received an Army draft card, but instead chose to enlist in the Marines in 1962. Livingston’s career advanced through the ranks of command to Captain, and he was ordered to the Republic of Vietnam as Commanding Officer of Company E, the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade, known simply as E Company, in 1968.

With one devastating battle after another in Dai Do, E Company was sent in to assist another Marine company, which had been isolated the night before, when enemy forces seized the village. Skillfully employing screening agents, Livingston maneuvered his men to assault positions.  Despite being wounded twice by grenade fragments, Livingston refused medical treatment, and instead shouted words of encouragement to his men as they continued across the 500 meters of open rice fields, where they destroyed over 100 mutually supporting bunkers, driving the remaining enemy from their position and relieving the pressure on the stranded Marines. Having reestablished contact with the surrounded Marine Company, Livingston then learned of a third Marine Company leading an attack on nearby Dinh To village. Marshalling his resources, Livingston consolidated the two companies and led a support effort to halt the aggressive enemy counter attack from Dinh To. After being wounded a third time and rendered immobile, he remained in the combat zone and supervised the evacuation of these men.

Three days of a relentless battle of attrition with 800 Marines battling 10,000 North Vietnamese soldiers was finally coming to a victorious end for the United States. Livingston was dragged from the battlefield by two Marines as he continued to shoot at the enemy. Only after he was assured of his fellow Marines’ safety did Livingston allow himself to be evacuated.

For his gallantry, bravery and selflessness, he was awarded the Medal of Honor from President Richard Nixon in 1970. After 33 years of service, Livingston hung up his service uniform. Taking the expression: “Once a Marine, Always a Marine” to heart, Livingston looked to write the next chapter of service to America through his public service career. He authored the novel: “Noble Warrior: The Story of Maj. Gen. James E. Livingston.” He also serves on numerous volunteer boards and speaks on leadership and service to country.

We honor you, James E. Livingston.

(#Repost @Library of Congress Blogs)