SPC Blake W. R. Lee

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On July 24th 2006, a seemingly calm afternoon in the often Volatile Al Anbar Province, Ramadi, Iraq, my platoon who had been attached to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 35th Armor Regiment was tasked with a mission to link back up with our parent company, Bravo company, 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment to conduct a raid on a suspected improvised explosive device assembly location. Shortly after a happy reunion with our fellow soldiers of B Co 1-6 at their combat outpost, Warrior Strong Hold, we came under heavy rocket, mortar, and machine gun fire, unbeknownst to us as where multiple locations in a planned attack by Al Qeada forces throughout the area. An Iraqi Army Combat outpost bordering the west side of warrior strong hold came under machine gun fire first sending the Iraqi soldiers scrambling for cover in a fortified watch tower on the roof. The members of B CO 1-6 INF immediately took up defensive positions throughout the strong hold returning a heavy volume of fire in defense.

During the defense of the strong hold, while directing my saw gunners field of fire and returning fire, I was struck in the right knee by incoming enemy fire and was med-evacuated to camp Ramadi, where I was air lifted to Baghdad to receive an operation to clean the wound out.

The .30 caliber bullet had bounced around after striking causing multiple fractures, traveling up my right femur and finally coming to a rest just below my greater trochanter , where it remained until causing complications later in the year and was removed at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

We honor you, Blake Lee.

(#Repost @National Purple Heart Hall of Honor)

LTC Charles “Chad” Buehring

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Lt. Col. Charles “Chad” Buehring was commissioned as an Infantry Officer from The Citadel in 1985. His first assignment was with the newly formed 2-22nd Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division as a platoon leader at Fort Benning, Ga., and later as a company executive officer at Fort Drum, N.Y.

Graduating from Special Forces Assessment and Selection in 1989 and the Special Forces Qualification Course in 1990, Buehring served as an operational-detachment-alpha commander in 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), leading multiple missions to Botswana. He was one of the first U.S. military personnel deployed in support of the United Nations operations to Somalia in 1992.

In June 1994, Buehring graduated the Functional Area 39 course at Fort Bragg, N.C. with a follow-on assignment as a team leader in the 96th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne). While assigned to the 96th CA Battalion, Buehring supported the 15t Armored Division’s entry into the former Yugoslavia during Operation Noble Eagle.

From 1998 to 2001, Buehring served as detachment commander with Company A, 8th PSYOP Battalion, where he served at the detachment commander supporting Operation Desert Fox delivering more than two million leaflets into Iraq.

As the S3 of the 3rd Battalion (Dissemination), Buehring personally executed the delivery of print assets to South Korea and Guam, enabling a key component of PSYOP support to CONPLANs and OPLANs on the peninsula. He was also responsible for laying the foundation of what is now the Media Operations Center.

Finally, as the battalion operations officer, Buehring planned, resourced and executed global production, dissemination and distribution support to both active and reserve component PSYOP units.

In 2003, Buehring served as senior Psychological Operations planner for U.S. Army Central Command. In this capacity, Buehring represented the PSYOP Regiment by reporting directly to the commanding officer, Coalition Forces Land Component Command on all PSYOP supporting programs. These programs directly supported 5th Corps and 1st Marine Expeditionary Force combat operations in the opening days of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Upon the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime, Buehring was offered the opportunity to return to the United States with his unit; he volunteered to remain in Baghdad to establish a Military Information Support Team to support the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance.

During the early morning hours of Oct. 26, 2003, Iraqi insurgents launched a rocket attack targeting Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who was staying at the AI Rashid Hotel. As the first salvo of rockets impacted the AI Rashid, Buehring pushed a group of fellow Soldiers gathered in his room to safety in the hallway before returning to the window to engage the enemy. At that time a second salvo of rockets impacted the AI Rashid, mortally wounding Buehring. After his death, Camp Udaire in Kuwait was memorialized Camp Buehring, serving as the staging area for U.S. troops going into the Middle Eastern Theater Reserve.

We honor you, Charles “Chad” Buehring.

(#Repost @USASOC Fallen)

BG Joseph V. Medina

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Since the days of the American Revolution, the Armed Forces have served as a place in which conflicts of race could be put aside for the protection of the nation and its people. Through a career that spanned 31 years, Brigadier General Joseph V. Medina served his country with both dignity and honor.

General Medina is one of four Hispanic officers to ever obtain a rank of Brigadier General or higher in the United States Marine Corps, and was the first Marine to take command of a naval flotilla. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal for his command skills, as well as for the tremendous responsibilities Medina took on throughout his career.

During his service, General Medina was a vocal proponent of the recruitment of Hispanics into the Marine Corps. As of 2013,  approximately 157,000 armed servicemen – 11.4 percent of active duty members and 18 percent of the total Marine population – were of Latin-American descent. While debate rages on about immigration reform and national languages, it’s important to remember the role proud Hispanic Americans take in the defense of their home, be it adopted or not. General Medina is testament to that much.

We honor you, Joseph Medina.

(#Repost @Chambers Primary School Hispanic Month Appreciation wall)

 

SGT Daniel Conley

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I was Medically Retired from the US Army Reserves in Dec. 2006 after 8.5 years of service with 4.5 years of Active Duty service. Deployed under OEF (Ft. Douglas, UT) in 2003 and OIF 2004-2005 (Camp Anaconda, Iraq). Awarded OIF Campaign Ribbon, GWOTX, and GWOTS. (As well as the customary service awards that accompanied my deployment).
I was assigned to the 321st EN BN C. Co. (21B Combat Engineer) 1998-2001/2003-2006 and the 652nd Transportation Det in Seattle, Wa (88N Transportation Management) 2001-2002 under the 70th RRC. I also served with the 889th TC Det Movement Control Reg (88N) 2002-2003 under the 96th RRC. I functioned as a Driver Trainer, Assistant Armorer, Assistant Supply Clerk, and as a Unit Level Skills Instructor.
I was deployed with the 659th ENGR Co in 2004-2005 as a 21V (asphalt/Concrete Technician) where our company was tasked with improving and repairing the roads around Camp Anaconda/Balad Air Force base and the surrounding area. During our deployment I functioned as the Communications NCO and Retention NCO (79V).
After being Medically Retired in 2006 I worked with VocRehab throught the VA to obtain a Bachelors of Science in Business Management and then went on to complete a Masters in Business Administration in 2015.
We honor you, Daniel Conley.
(Submission by: Melissa Sullivan; Written by: Daniel Conley)

SSgt John P. Jones

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Staff Sergeant John P. Jones was born March 12, 1977 and was raised in Enid, OK. He joined the United States Marine Corps in July 1995, and underwent recruit training at MCRD San Diego. He completed recruit training and was assigned to SOI west at Camp Pendleton, CA where he was assigned the MOS of 0331 Machine Gunner. After completion of his MOS School, he was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, Company “G” Weapons Platoon, where he was deployed to Okinawa, Japan in 1996. Upon completion of his tour with 2/7, he then transferred to 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, Company “C” in 1997 where he deployed again to Okinawa, Japan in 1999 and held security for the G-8 Summit and participated in Cobra Gold 2000. He then transferred to Marine Corps Security Forces Training Company where he was a Cadre Instructor and Non-Lethal Weapons Instructor.

In 2002, Staff Sergeant Jones was transferred to Bahrain where he participated in Operations Southern Watch and Operation Iraqi Freedom 1. He then transferred to 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, Company “C” again and deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom 2 in August 2004. During his deployment, SSgt Jones was severely injured when his hummer ran over a double-stacked anti-tank mine. SSgt Jones underwent 30 surgeries at NNMC Bethesda, MD attempting to save his legs. As a result of his injuries, SSgt Jones lost both legs below the knees.

SSgt Jones transferred down to BAMC San Antonio, TX where he rehabilitated his legs and gradually began the process of walking again with prosthesis. In 2005, he joined 4th Reconnaissance Battalion where he was assigned as the Operations and Training SNCOIC. SSgt Jones medically retired from the USMC in 2007, putting in a total of 12 years of service to his country. Shortly after retirement, SSgt Jones began training fellow wounded servicemen and women with the F.A.T.S. System (Fire Arms Training Simulator). He devoted his time and effort to help retrain service-members how to shoot their weapons effectively with their new disabilities. SSgt Jones had a 100% success rate to include graduation of various amputees, burn victims, and blind patients.

SSgt Jones was the Executive Director of Wall Street Warfighters Foundation.  Wall Street Warfighters Foundation helps disabled veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan find jobs in the financial industry.  During his time at WWSF he developed the training programs for the participants.  He was an intricate part of the development of the job hiring processes with various banks and financial institutions

SSgt Jones is working for the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, as a development officer and special projects. MCSF provides scholarships to the children of Marines and Navy personnel that have been killed in action, wounded in action, and for those that have served the US Marines and Navy Corpsmen whom are attached to the Marines.

We honor you, John Jones.

(#Repost @Halo Warrior Foundation)

SPC Dane R. Balcon

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SPC Dane R. Balcon was born on 27 April 1988, at Luke AFB, Arizona. In 2007, he enlisted in the Army as a Fire Support Specialist, following graduation from Sand Creek High School. He attended Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training with 2nd Platoon, Bravo Battery, 1st Battalion, 40th Field Artillery Regiment, at Fort Sill, OK. Upon graduation from AIT, SPC Balcon received his first assignment to 3rd Squadron 8th Cavalry Regt., 1st Cavalry Division, in Fort Hood, TX. He deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in Balad, Iraq on 7 July 2007 and on 5 September 2007 he completed his mission-doing what he loved-serving his country.

Awards and ribbons that SPC Balcon earned while serving his country include: The Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal, Combat Action Badge, National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War On Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Weapons Qualification Badge – Expert w/Rifle.

We honor you, Dane Balcon.

(#Repost @legacy.com)

LTC Matt Pollard

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Lieutenant Colonel Matt Pollard served his country with distinction, both as Soldier in the National Guard, but also as a public servant providing oversight within our national security community.

More importantly, Matt lived as true leaders do –Although brilliant, he served with humility and kindness to all; he put the needs of others before his own; and he built those around him up, even while holding them accountable.

Lastly, he was a very dear friend, true patriot and light to all who knew him–Echoing the words of Senator Burr, he will be greatly missed.

We honor you, Matt Pollard.

(Submission written by: Michael Isom)