2023 Attendees

Honored Purple Heart/Combat Injured Warriors

Sgt Ben Bishop, USMC – Cincinnati, OH

Ben Bishop was born and raised in the West Side of Cincinnati. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 2004 after high school. He was stationed in Camp Lejeune, NC from 2004-2009. His primary MOS was an 1833 Amphibious Assault Vehicle Crewman, where he was a crewman, crew chief and section leader. During his career, he was deployed to Iraq (2004), Iraq (2006) and Afghanistan (2008). After he was honorably discharged in 2009, he attended College at Cincinnati State and then Northern Kentucky University and graduated in 2011 with a BS in Construction Management. After graduation he was hired at Turner Construction where he currently works. He has been married for 10 years to Danielle and has 3 boys, Jackson (7) Knox (5) and Charlie (3). In his free time he enjoys golfing, pick-up basketball, working around the yard, hiking, camping, hunting, and coaching sports.

SGT William Brooks, USA – Southhaven, MS – Purple Heart

William Brooks joined the Mississippi Army National Guard in 1999 as a member of the 155th Brigade Combat Team. In July of 2004 he was called to active duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF III) and deployed to the Middle East in early January of 2005.

On March 29, 2005, Sergeant Brooks was traumatically injured by a roadside bomb while on a convoy escort mission to Baghdad. The blast resulted in the loss of both legs above the knee. Sergeant Brooks then spent the next 13 months rehabilitating at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC before medically retiring from the military.

His military awards include The Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, GWOT Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (with M device) Navy Unit Commendation, and the Combat Action Badge.

Cpl (Retired) Clark Cavalier, USMC – Plaquemine, LA – Purple Heart

Cpl Clark Cavalier was born and raised in Louisiana. Growing up, Cavalier enjoyed spending time with family and the outdoors. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Infantry after high school in 2009. After finishing boot camp and infantry school, he was placed with 2nd Battalion 8th Marines Camp Lejeune NC. Cpl Cavalier deployed to Afghanistan in January of 2011. In April, while on a foot patrol, Cpl Cavalier stepped on an improvised explosive device, losing his legs. He was sent then sent to the National Navy Medical Center in Maryland. While at the hospital, Cpl Cavalier went through countless surgeries and many hours of rehab. After years of trials and tribulations, Cpl Cavalier retired from the United States Marine Corps in 2015. Now, he enjoys playing hockey, traveling, spending time with loved ones, and the great outdoors.

A1C Jamie Clayton, USAF – Manasquan, NJ

Air Force : Airman First Class Jamie Clayton (Disabled veteran / current emergency responder) Jamie Clayton was born and raised in Manasquan, New Jersey, a small beach town along the Jersey Shore, with her two older sisters and both parents. After graduating high school in 2005, Jamie went on to study sports medicine and athletic training at West Virginia University. Although, she will always be a mountaineer at heart in January of 2008, Jamie decided she needed a change of scenery and enlisted in the active duty Air Force to the complete shock of all who new her. After graduating bootcamp in June 2008 at Lackland Air Force Base located in San Antonio, Texas, she moved straight to Goodfellow AFB for training to become an Operations Intelligence Analyst (1N0X1). After graduating from tech school In November 2097, Jamie was stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base as a Russian Intelligence Analyst in the 614th Air and Operations Command , 14th Air Force, Stategic Command (STRATCOM). As a 1N0X1, A1C Clayton’s did the following:

  • Presented daily and weekly briefs to senior intelligence and staff officials of the Joint Space Operations Command (JSpOC), Joint Functional Component Command for Space (JFCC Space) and numerous intelligence agencies on current and future threats
  • Authored technical intelligence papers on foreign space threats delivered to three and four star Commanders
  • Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) representative to theater synchronization meetings; presented long-term and mid-term activity and threat forecasts for assigned countries of interest, threat briefings, strategic calendar and intelligence items of interest in support of geographical commands

After separating from the military in March 2011, Jamie Clayton move to San Diego where she gave birth to her daughter Parker Leigh in May 2011. In June 2012, Jamie moved back to the town. She grew up in with her daughter, and they still live there now Jamie attended school with the intent of going for nursing, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and classes being put on hold, she decided to take a risk and apply as a 911 dispatcher with the New Jersey state police. A risk that was well worth the reward since Jamie is happily employed there and looks forward to going to work every shift and serving her country in a new aspect, helping people in times of crisis and also keeping our law enforcement officers safe while they protect and serve our communities!

Sgt Joseph Dietzel, USMC – Buffalo NY – Purple Heart

Sergeant Joseph Dietzel, born in Taipei, Taiwan and primarily raised in Boston, MA and Buffalo, NY, is a combat veteran who dedicated much of his life to serving both his community and country. He grew up alongside his two siblings, Maggy and Edmund Dietzel, who have always been a source of support and inspiration.

In June of 2005, Sergeant Dietzel made the decision to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. He began his military journey with an open 0300 Infantry contract, embracing the challenges that lay ahead. After successfully completing his training as a rifleman (0311) at Camp Geiger, NC, he further honed his skills by attending the LAV Crewman’s School in Camp Pendleton, CA, specializing in armored vehicle operations.

Following his training, Sergeant Dietzel was stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC. Throughout his military career, he found himself deployed to various locations, including Iraq in 2006 and 2008 and Afghanistan in 2011.

In addition to his combat deployments, Sergeant Dietzel also engaged in humanitarian missions. In 2008, he deployed with the Marine Corps Training Advisory Group to Tanzania, Africa where he played a vital role in training and supervising UN peacekeepers, fostering stability and promoting peace in the region.

Sergeant Dietzel has been recognized with numerous awards and decorations, including the Purple Heart, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon (x2), Navy Unit Commendation (x2), Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal, National Defense Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (x3), Armed Forces Reserve Medal, and NATO ISAF Ribbon.

Since retiring, Sgt Dietzel has pursued various jobs including working as an Emergency Medical Technician in the city of Buffalo, NY and as an information systems specialist for U.S. department of Homeland Security. Outside of his military service, Sergeant Dietzel finds solace and strength in his loving family.

HM3 Ronald Dotson, USN – Middletown, OH – Purple Heart

Ron served in the US Navy and USMC from 1965-1969. He was stationed in Vietnam from 1967-1968. He served as a Psychology Technician with the Veterans Affairs from 1979-1983. He later went on to work at the US Postal Service from 1984 until he retired in 2005. He is Married to Stacey Dotson , and has five children. He is a volunteer Chaplain in hospital and nursing home ministry, and his hobbies include traveling, reading, listening to music, watching sports, and walking his dog. Ron was inducted into the Ohio Military Hall of Fame May 1, 2009.

A1C Margarita Escobar-Kleinsmith, USAF – Lady Lake, FL – Combat Injured

(Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran) Margarita Escobar-Kleinsmith grew up in the Orlando, Florida area with her two brothers and one sister. As a child and into her young adulthood she looked up to her well decorated, WWII hero grandfather who survived the Normandy Invasion on D-Day, and who served in the US Army for 32 years in Special Forces (Green Beret) as an instructor.

A1C Escobar-Kleinsmith served in the US Air Force as a 436th Supply Group Fuels Specialist at Dover AFB, DE. She also served in Dover AFB Honor Guard (TAPS player) for Mortuary Services after the September 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon/Flight 77. She graduated Honor Flight (Training Flight 007) on Veterans Day 2000 at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, TX and graduated Technical School at Shepherd AFB in Wichita Falls, TX. A1C Escobar-Kleinsmith earned her Air Force BMT ribbon, Global War on Terror Expeditionary Service Medal, Airman Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Gallant Unit Citation, Air Force Outstanding Unit award, Air Force Honor Graduate ribbon, and Air Force Meritorious Unit award. Her flight was awarded the American Petroleum Institute trophy for 2000 and 2001. A1C Escobar-Kleinsmith chose to continue her education in the area of Communicative Sciences and Disorders (Speech Language Pathology/Audiology) and in Logistics. She currently works part-time for Amazon and volunteers at her local VA hospital. Also, she contributes time to her local American Legion, and spending fun time family, including her two awesome young nephews, Remi and Axel and her young amazing niece, Emma.

Sgt Jake Ferguson, USMC – Middletown, OH – Combat Injured

(Combat Veteran) Sgt Jacob Ferguson grew up in Middletown, OH with his one brother and parents (divorced). As a young adult, Ferguson witnessed the attacks on 9/11 and realized he was going nowhere with his life. It was then he developed a desire to serve in the United States Marines. Sgt Ferguson enlisted into the Marines to serve as an Infantryman in 2003. After Recruit Training in Parris Island, SC Sgt Ferguson went on to SOI (School of Infantry) in Camp Geiger, NC. After SOI, Sgt Ferguson was stationed on Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC with 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, Kilo Company. Sgt Ferguson served in an Infantry platoon eventually getting MOS certified as a Machine Gunner. In February of 2005, Sgt Ferguson deployed for 7 months in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF 3-5) near Camp Al Qaim, just West of the Euphrates River near the Syrian border. Eventually, Sgt Ferguson went on to deploy again to Camp Habbiniyah, Iraq in June of 2006 and once again in support of the 26th MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit) to Libya with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines as a Platoon Sergeant. Sgt Ferguson’s awards include the National Defense Service Medal, (3) Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, NATO Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, (2) Navy Meritorious Unit Commendations, (2) Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and Combat Action Ribbon. Sgt Ferguson was married in February of 2007; has three children and currently serves as a pastor on staff at Berachah Church in Middletown, OH.

SSgt Sose Frankyan, USMC – North Hollywood, CA   

SSgt Sose Frankyan enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in April of 2008 and served for four years on active duty. She deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 for 7 months as an intelligence analyst. She holds the following medals: National Defense Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Global War On Terrorism Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon

SFC Steven Hoover, USA – Beavercreek, OH – Purple Heart 

SFC Steven Hoover is a prior Civil Affairs Team SGT. His last duty station was with the 12th of the 100th division as a Civil Affairs advance and senior leader course Instructor. Stephen was assigned as part of a detachment from the 412th Civil Affairs battalion in Whitehall Ohio as a Team SGT in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Steven was deployed to Iraq between 2005 to 2006. In one operation in Rawah he was setting up a security perimeter around a safe zone. The safe zone would allow the Iraqi people to vote on their new constitution. While conducting a perimeter sweep of the area several propane type IED’s were detonated sending shrapnel in all directions. Steven sustained only a minor injury and refused any medical care staying that it was not serious and that he could certainly treat himself. 

Steven retired after 27 years of service having served his first 10 years as an Airborne Infantryman and deploying to Iraq in Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Steven returned to the military as an Army Reservist in 2003 after the global war on terror started and reclassified as a civil affairs specialist. After his deployment to Iraq, Steven earn his commercial pilots license with multiple readings and then earned a BS in criminal justice. Steven now lives in Beavercreek Ohio with his wife of 18 years and two young boys.

“The warrior weekend was something I had not been aware of, and was brought into it by a good friend last year. I got to meet a lot of wonderful people and to show off my costuming skills as a fictional Star Wars Mandalorian.”

SGT Daniel Hopson, USA – Crescent, OK – Combat Injured

SGT Daniel Hopson joined the Oklahoma Army National Guard in 1992 at 17 years of age. He went to Basic training during the summer in between his junior year and senior year of high school. He then finished out his senior year of high school. During this year he attended drill weekends. His high school let him miss the first week of senior year to attend a 2 week training exercise at Fort Chaffee in Arkansas for War Games. After completing his senior year of high school, he went back to Fort Benning in Georgia for Advanced individual training. He remained in the OKARNG for about a year. Then he requested that they release him to go Active Duty Army. His first duty assignment was in Germany at a place called Stadt Buedingen. He was assigned to 1-1 Cavalry as a Mechanized Infantry Mortarman. His Unit was called upon when the Dayton Peace Accord was signed. They joined NATO forces as an implementation force(IFOR). Million mines small country. After this, he was sent to Fort Lewis, Washington to work with what was at the time, a new 120mm mortar system that was track mounted. He got out of active duty joined the Oklahoma Army National Guard again. Later, Daniel joined Active Duty Army again. This time he served with the 101st Airborne with the 3/187th RAKKASANS for three years. There, he attained his Sergeant Stripes. His son was born in July of 1999 at Fort Campbell’s Blanchfield Army Community Hospital. He was born into this world A Screaming Eagle! After this enlistment Daniel got back out of the United States Army. He joined the Oklahoma Army National Guard again. This time in Military Intelligence. On his birthday September 11th, 2001 he watched the news live as the World Trade Centers were taken down. He joined the United States Army again. He told the Recruiting Station, “Send me to a unit that is going to be deployed.” So they cut him orders to a unit out of Vilseck, Germany. There, he was with the Big Red One! Huah! They were deployed to Kuwait first. Then to Iraq, where he spent 14 months. This is around the 2003-2004 time frame. He participated in Operation Phantom Fury. That was taking the city of Fallujah by force. The United States Army and United States Marines working together. He got out of the service again and for the last time. Daniel is working on his PTSD thankfully through many wonderful organizations. He is learning how to cope and play well with others.

Note From Daniel, “I hope that you have enjoyed My Story and will help support the Warrior Weekend to Remember. For they are helping create positive memories for Veterans like me. Replacing Negative memories with Positive ones. God Bless the Great people of this wonderful Nation. God Bless You! Huah!!!!”

SFC Beverly Kondel, USA – Kiowa, CO

SFC Beverly Kondel served 10+ years active ARMY, the rest National Guard to get 21 years for retirement. She retired as a SFC. She’s been stationed in Germany, Alabama, Massachusetts, California, Maryland, Texas and TDY’d to several other places for short periods of time.

PFC Jessica Lynch, USA – Palestine, WV – Purple Heart

SrA Otis Osborn, USAF – Godfrey, IL – Purple Heart

SrA Otis Osborn entered the Air Force in May 2009 as a radio technician. He was stationed in South Dakota and deployed to Afghanistan in February 2012 – August 2012. He was awarded the Army Commendation medal and Purple Heart. Otis is currently in a cybersecurity apprenticeship called WeCyberUp and is studying for the CompTIA Security+ certification and waiting for employment. He enjoy kayaking, outdoorsy nature stuff, and exercising.

Lt Col Jeff Richey (Retired), USAF – Hooper, UT

Jeff enlisted in the Air Force in 1969 and trained to be an aerospace photographic systems repairman. He was assigned to George AFB in California to work on F-4 aircraft. In 1971 he received his orders to DaNang Vietnam. He was appointed to combat photographer, supporting missions in the air and on the ground.

Upon return to the US he cross-trained into air traffic control and was then stationed at Lowry AFB and was the controller at the Buckley AB Tower.

He separated in 1977 and joined the Utah Air National Guard in 1983. He received his Commission in 1985 and was hired full-time as air traffic control supervisor at Clover control Hill Air Force base, controlling aircraft on the Utah test and training range.

Jeff has traveled supporting the DEA in Columbia, Honduras, and Turks Caicos Islands. He was a liaison between Panama and Aviano AB in Italy.

In 2004 he became the director of Patriot, a joint service and international exercise for the Guard Bureau. In 2007 he retired after 32 years of service both active and with guard. He enjoys watching sports, riding his Harley, and being with his friends and family

Cpl Bob Saunders Jr., USMC – Annapolis, MD

Robert (Bob) E. Saunders Jr served in the United States Marine Corps 0311 Riflemen/Infantryman. He was stationed in Viet Nam 1969 with the Unit: 1st Battalion ,26th Marines at I Corps: North , South Viet Nam Hill 364 

He holds Multiple Campaigns and Unit Citations

SSG Robert Waddell, USA – Winston Salem, NC

Robert Waddell is from Winston Salem, NC. He has one daughter and one grandson.

In his 22 years in the Army/Army Reserves, he was a medium heavy equipment operator for the 991st Transportation Company out of Salisbury, NC. With the 991st Company he did his tour in Iraq, at which point he sustained his injury. He started out as a Personnel Administrative Clerk for 5 years and was then promoted to a Armour/Supply Clerk for 3 years. After that, he was promoted to a Mess Sergeant for 7 years, followed by another 7 years as a Medium Heavy Equipment Operator (truck driver). He retired from service in December of 2004.

1st Year Returning Ambassador Warriors

SFC Brian Bailey, USA – Fort Campbell, KY – Purple Heart

A1C Richard Marbes, USAF – Green Bay, WI – Combat Injured

SFC Cece Mazyck, USA – Columbia, SC – Combat Injured

SFC Michael Schlitz, USA – Columbus GA – Purple Heart

SPC Robert Stewart, USA – Oregon, OH – Purple Heart

SGT Glenn West, USA – New Carlisle, OH – Purple Heart

SSG JD Whetstone, USA – Houston, TX – Purple Heart

Honored Fallen Heroes

SGT Juantrea Bradley Sr. , USA – Greenville, NC – DOD 3/12/2008

Trea is our one in a million! He loved his faith, family, and country. Everyone constantly let us know that’s how they remember him. He enlisted in February of 1999 and finished his assignment in March of 2008. He loved his fellow men and women in uniform and knew what his mission was in life. He was an awesome father and husband; always willing to go the extra mile for others. Although he wasn’t perfect, he was perfect for our family.

Sgt Zachary Campbell, USMC – Piqua, OH – DOD 2/1/2020

Zach graduated from Piqua High School in 2015 and was a member of The Pride of Piqua Marching Band and show choir combo. He also graduated from Upper Valley Career Center with his HVAC Certification. Zach was a HVAC Technician and a volunteer Firefighter for Onslow County, NC. He proudly served his country in The United States Marines from 2015-2019. In The United States Marines, Zach was a Combat Engineer and a Marksman Coach. He enjoyed hunting and fishing. He also enjoyed long conversations with his best friend, his sister.

TSgt Anthony Campbell, USAF – Florence, KY – DOD 12/15/2009

Anthony “Tony” Campbell loved life, his wife and his children, friends and family said — and even got to hear his 2-year-old son, Ryker, count to 10 during their last conversation.

Campbell was an Air Force reservist serving in Afghanistan, but he fulfilled a dream by becoming a police officer back home in Cincinnati in 2008.

Campbell, 35, of Florence, Ky., was killed by a roadside bomb Dec. 15 in Helmand province. He was assigned to Scott Air Force Base, Ill. He went into active duty in the Air Force immediately after graduating from Boone County High School in 1992 and later became a reservist.

Trooper Nicholas Hopkins, IL State Police Swat – Waterloo, IL – DOD 8/23/2019

Nick was the ultimate small town hero, being a part of law enforcement only enhanced his passion to show up and give back. He was from a small town in Southern IL, Waterloo, and grew up playing sports, helping his grandpa cut the grass, while sitting around eating a ham sandwich listening to him tell old baseball stories. He was one of six kids and part of a family that shows a lot of love and support for each other. He played baseball, football and basketball in high school and always made time for his friends. He was always stealing the show with his positive energy and confident attitude and impressive dance moves. He attended to Mckendree University with studies in Criminal Justice and Psychology, played football, while working construction. After college, he married his high school “sweetheart” and was then accepted into the IL State Police Academy. He was transferred up to eastern part of IL where Nick worked the Road and then later moved into Investigations. While we lived in the Eastern District of the state, Nick designed and built our home. Shortly after the house was finished, he accepted a transfer back to Southern IL. After the move back home, we settled back in and had twins (Evelyn and Owen) in 2015 and another sweet girl (Emma Claire) in 2018. In the meantime Nick passion for hunting grew every year along with his love for real estate and construction. During this time he opened up his own construction company and a separate Hay company. On the ISP side of things Nick was part of the MEPAT division which eventually lead him into his favorite and final position within the State police, South SWAT. He loved the guys on his team, the training. He loved being on call and loved the adrenaline rush of the search warrants.

In the very early morning of August 23, 2019, Nick sat in a briefing with his team going over the search warrant they were about to do. Nick had volunteered that morning to place that bars on the door that would be pulled down by the Bearcat. As he placed the bars on the door of the no knock search warrant home, he turned to move back off the porch for the bearcat to allow entry, where the he was struck just beneath his helmet by bullet that had gone through the front door and hit Nick. He was pulled off the porch by other members of his team and resuscitated on the lawn of the scene where active fire was still happening. They rushed him in the back of a squad with two team medics to Saint Louis University Hospital, where he later that evening would take his has last breath.

He lived every day as if it were his last and always planned for the future. He believed in people and believed that everyone had the power to change their corner of the world. He loved our family and his corner of the world very much. He mastered the art of balancing life, and his kids meant the entire world to him. His faith in Jesus only fueled the quote he lived by “of you can never do a kindness too soon for you never know how soon it will be too late”. I know he would give anything to be here today to watch and be with his kids through every moment they experience.

He died with dignity and honor, and managed to live a whole a lifetime within is 33 years of life down here, in a community that loved him and continues to show up for his family.

In 2021, his son Casen was born through IVF, and through his kids his legacy continues.

It was an honor to get to do life with him. I will forever be grateful that God put us in each others life.

Lt Col Mark Jennings, USAF – Austin, TX – DOD 12/14/2009

Mark was an AF pilot. He loved flying, fishing, hunting. He loved the outdoors and the peacefulness of the early morning right before the sun came up. He trained in the deserts of Arizona in preparation for missions over the deserts of Iraq in the mid-90’s. He patrolled the no-fly zone between North and South Korea. He taught the next generation of fighter pilots in the F-16 and was excited that many of them would go on to fly the F-22 or F-35. (It was while he teaching in Arizona at Luke AFB, that we met.) He loved his military brothers and his military family grew with each new assignment. While he enjoyed all of these things, he really wanted a family, he wanted to be a dad. I was also in the AF, with our ops tempo and deployments, I knew there would be some delay before that could come to be. (It’s hard to make a baby when you are both deployed at different times and continents apart…) Mark’s passing was sudden and untimely (as if there is ever a good time?!). Two weeks later, I learned I was pregnant. I love that part of Mark lives on through our daughter. I am so grateful that God blessed us in this way and truly believe that Katie is Mark’s biggest legacy and who he would be most proud of.

SGT Alberto Montrond, USA – Fayetteville, NC – DOD 2/13/2006

SGT Alberto D. Montrond, 27, a Soldier assigned to the Group Support Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, N.C., died Feb. 13, 2006, when an Improvised Explosive Devise detonated near his Humvee north of Deh Rawod in central Afghanistan. A resident of Fayetteville, N.C., Montrond enlisted in the Army in July 1998 as a quartermaster and chemical equipment repairer. After completing his specialty and airborne training, he was assigned to Fort Bragg, N.C. with the 307th Forward Support Battalion, 82nd Division Support Command, 82nd Airborne Division. In June 2002, Montrond was promoted to the rank of sergeant and assigned to the 528th Special Operations Support Battalion (Airborne), U.S. Army Special Operations Support Command. Two years later, he was assigned to the Group Support Battalion, 7th SFG (A), where he served until his death. Montrond’s military education includes the Primary Leadership Development Course and Basic Airborne Course. His awards and decorations included the Bronze Star for valor, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal (3), the Army Achievement Medal (4), the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, the Combat Action Badge, the Parachutist Badge and Driver and Mechanic Badges. He was posthumously awarded include the Bronze Star Medal for valor, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Combat Action Badge. He is survived by his wife Christl and his children Nazeraeh and Kevyn of Fayetteville, N.C. His parents, Alberto and Maria Montrond of the Republic of Cape Verde, also survive him.

SGT Ryan Morelock, USA – Georgetown, TX – DOD 10/13/2015

Sergeant Ryan Kelly Morelock was born on June 27, 1983. He enlisted in the Army in 2007 as 15P, Aviation Operation Specialist. His first duty station was Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. He deployed to Iraq for 12 months. After returning, he re-classed to 12B, Combat Engineer, and deployed to Afghanistan with 95th Engineer Company.

Ryan was a very caring, compassionate, and loving father and husband. He loved the ocean, playing the guitar, and a good adventure. His smile was contagious. He is truly missed.

Sergeant Morelock will be remembered as a leader who truly cared for his soldiers, his country, and his family. He served with great pride as a Combat Engineer and lived the Army values.

SR Akireè Pointer, USN – Sugar Land, TX – DOD 11/25/2017

Sailor Akiree’ M. Pointer, Engineman Fireman, left the USS John C. Stennis and sailed through heaven’s gates on Saturday, November 25, 2017.

Akiree’ was born on May 1, 1995 in Bolivar County, Mississippi. Akiree’ graduated from Bowie High School in Arlington, Texas in 2013 and Joined the United States Navy in 2016.

Akiree’ was an extremely loyal person who cared deeply about God, people and was deliberate in his expression of love for his family and friends. He was a persistent soul who refused to take no as a final answer. Akiree’ was a huge sports fan, and proudly supported all Texas teams, especially the Dallas Cowboys. He was an awesome big brother to Travius and Christian Miller-Pointer, an amazing friend and a very dependable person. He was also a very charismatic and loveable person. The positive energy that he possessed his entire life will never be forgotten.

USS Stennis sailors found Engineman Fireman Recruit Akiree Pointer, 22, unconscious and unresponsive onboard the carrier on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 25, 2017.

His shipmates and Naval Base Kitsap paramedics attempted life-saving measures, but they proved to be unsuccessful, according to a Naval Criminal Investigative Services report on his cause of death.

Pointer was declared deceased around 1:30 p.m. due to a Heart Attack.

In honor of EFR Akiree’ M. Pointer his mother Lonneka Taiwo serves children, seniors, Veterans and families at Lo’s Jewels Foundation, Inc.

SSgt Jacob Rich, USMC – New Braunfels, TX – DOD 5/7/2015

SSgt. Jacob Bradley Rich, age 28, passed away on May 07, 2015 at his home, in New Braunfels, TX. He was born on October 01, 1986 in Abilene, TX to Mitchell Rich and Julie Luxton (Sherrod). He was a devoted father, husband and Marine. Loved and respected by many.

Jacob, known as Brad by his family and friends grew up in Marion, TX. He graduated from Marion High School in 2005. He was known for his kind and competitive nature in the sport of Football, Cross Country and Track in field.

After high school he joined the United States Marine Corp in 2005. He served in “Operation Enduring Freedom” war. He was recipient of Afghanistan campaign medal, war on terrorism medal, in service of peace and freedom medal, Naval and Marine Corps Achievement medal. His first duty station was spent in Japan for 4 years that is were he met his wife Yoko. His next station took them to San Diego, CA. During this time he made multiple deployments to Afghanistan, Korea, Philippians, WTI in Yuma AZ, Mohabi Viper training in twenty-nine palms all as part of the USMC career. In 2012 was diagnosed with cancer in his spine. In 2013 it had metastasized into the brain. In 2014 he decided to return to his home state of Texas assigned to the Wounded Warriors Regiment Battalion East to continue his fight against cancer. In 2015 he went through experimental trials to combat this deadly disease only to lose the battle. He remains as active duty even after his passing, achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant in 2014 with the United States Marine Corp.

Brad married Yoko in 2007 in Mcqueeney, TX. They have been happily married for 8 years. Brad was a member of multiple wounded warrior/USMC programs. Prior to his diagnosis of brain cancer He enjoyed hunting, hiking, biking, running and long boarding. After the diagnosis became wheelchair restricted but, he did not let that stop him. Brad then became active in hand bike marathons, wheelchair basketball. He went on to participate in the Paralympics Games and The Invictus Games held in England. He medaled silver in wheelchair rugby and wheelchair basketball.

MAJ Benny Romero, USA – Christiana, TN – DOD 10/13/2015

Major Benny Romero of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA and formerly of Killeen, TX died at the age of 38. Benny joined the Army when he was 18 as a reservist, where he went through Airborne school and received his jump wings. He then went through ROTC and graduated from Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. In 2001 he became an active duty Army officer in the armored tank division. In 2006 he transitioned jobs and became a Civil Affairs Officer in Special Operations. In 2012 he attended Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA where he received his master’s degree. He did 2 tours in Korea, 2 deployments to Afghanistan, deployed to Bangladesh and did a humanitarian mission on the USNS Mercy in Fiji, Papa New Guinea, Vietnam and the Philippines. Benny had two Bronze Stars.

SSgt David Stewart, USMC – Stafford, VA – DOD 6/20/2014

Staff Sgt. David H. Stewart, 34, of Stafford, Virginia, died June 20, while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Staff Sgt. David H. Stewart died as a result of what the Pentagon calls a hostile incident in Helmand Province. His body was transported Friday afternoon from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Friday to Stafford County, accompanied by a procession of motorcyclists made up of current and former police, fire and rescue workers and military members. “It’s an honor for us to escort him to his final resting place…He lost his life fighting for our country you know, and for us to be able to help out and make sure everything goes smoothly for him and his family, it’s a big honor,” said Corporal Mike Ashe with the Prince George’s County Motorcycle Unit. Stewart’s funeral is set for Tuesday at the Marine Corps Base Quantico chapel. He was deployed three times to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan. Survivors include his wife, Kristine Stewart; his two beautiful children, MacKenzie and Marshall; father, Lt. Col. Nelson H. Stewart (USMC Retired); and brother, Nelson E. Stewart. A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 1 at the Marine Memorial Chapel, Marine Corps Base Quantico. Burial will follow at 2:30 p.m. at Quantico National Cemetery. Obituary information provided by Covenant Funeral Service.

SPC Travis Williams, USA – Converse, TX – DOD 10/19/2013

Travis, or Trey as we called him, was an very loving and social person. He loved throwing BBQs at the house and welcomed everyone, even solicitor walking past lol, he loved to entertain. Basketball was his main sport as he was 6’8″ so even though he wasn’t the best running he would always impress simply by showing his height. The most important thing is his life were his daughters, Alicia (18), Amyra (16) (out of previous marriage, living in Germany) and Ava (10), our daughter we share. He knew how to do their hair and always picked the best girly outfits for them. Good night kisses for them were always a celebration of happiness.

Trey served in the military for over 12 years, starting out as infantry front line and later changing his MOS to human resources. He had been deployed to Kosovo and Iraq twice. He lost one of his battle buddies during his last deployment to Iraq as his convey was hit by an IED and shot at.

We try to remember all of the happy times with him and celebrate his life, we focus less on the bad.

My husband was an amazing human being and loved and embraced everyone coming his way. His motto was always “kill it with kindness”!

1st Year Returning Ambassador Fallen Hero Families

Dan & Darlene Clinger

               – In honor of Sgt Tristan Clinger, USMC – Lakehurst, NJ – DOD 12/26/2015

Rosa Hester

               – In honor of SGT Joshua A. Hester, USA – Deer Island, OR – DOD 4/10/2012

Michelle Lagore

               – In honor of Natural Resource Officer Jason Lagore, DNR 

                   Clarksville, OH – DOD 2/23/2021

Wanda Phillips

               – In honor of SSG Ronald Phillips Jr., USA – Conway, SC – DOD 9/25/2008

Sheilia Ponder

               – In honor of SGT Joseph Ponder Jr., USA – Douglasville, GA – DOD 6/9/2018

Nancy Ramirez

               – In honor of SFC Richard C. Ramirez, USA – Azle, TX – DOD 9/11/2018

Sandee Rouse

               – In honor of PFC James Markwell, USA – Ohio – DOD 12/21/1989

Larry Stoneking

               – In honor of Cpl Clarence Stoneking, USMC – Middletown, OH – DOD 1/10/1954