Showing posts with label Fort Sill. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fort Sill. Show all posts

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Vietnam Veteran Sgt. Matthew Francis Kelly made a dying wish to his nurse

Strangers invited to funeral for Vietnam veteran who died alone. ‘I wanted to honor his final wishes,’ his nurse said.

Philadelphia Enquirer
by Melanie Burney
July 9, 2019
Kelly left Vietnam in November 1970 and received an honorable discharge, his records show. Little is known about his life after the military. He returned to Philadelphia. Richello said he had a hard life, “and he was one of the forgotten.”

Former Army Sgt. Matthew Francis Kelly made a dying wish to his nurse: He wanted to be buried with full military honors, a parade, bagpipes, and a 21-gun salute.

In death, Kelly will get what he did not receive in life when he returned home to Philadelphia from the Vietnam War nearly 50 years ago. His nurse, Jennifer Richello, has recruited a band of strangers to keep the promise she made to Kelly on his deathbed a few months ago.

“I wanted to honor his final wishes, and love and respect for his service to our country,” Richello, a registered nurse, said in a statement Tuesday. “Kelly was a good man and deserves this.”

Richello also made a special request to mourners: bring a can of Pepsi to the funeral. Kelly loved the soft drink, she said.
After graduating from high school, Kelly enlisted on Jan. 14, 1969, his 20th birthday. He completed training at Fort Bragg, N.C, and Fort Sill, Okla., according to his military record. He was deployed to Vietnam in December 1969 and served as a communications chief in the 13th Battalion Signal, First Cavalry Division.
read it here

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Virginia Beach Victims identified, employees and contractor getting permit

update Virginia Beach attacker, who had served in National Guard, notified boss of plans to leave job

Officials ID Virginia Beach gunman as city employee

Associated Press
Ben Finley
June 1, 2019

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — The gunman who killed 12 people in a Virginia Beach municipal building was identified by police Saturday as a 15-year city employee who had served in the military and was described by neighbors as quiet and rarely smiling.

Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera identified the gunman as DeWayne Craddock, who was employed as an engineer with the city's public utilities department. Cervera declined to comment on a motive for Friday's rampage that ended with Craddock dying in a gun battle with police. .

Authorities used a Saturday morning news conference to focus on the victims, saying 11 of them worked for the city. Another victim was a contractor trying to get a permit. They projected photos on a screen and gave each victim's name along with biographical details.
The 11 city employees who died were identified as;
Laquita C. Brown of Chesapeake,

Tara Welch Gallager of Virginia Beach,
Mary Louise Gayle of Virginia Beach,
Alexander Mikhail Gusev of Virginia Beach,
Katherine A. Nixon of Virginia Beach,
Richard H. Nettleton of Norfolk,
Christopher Kelly Rapp of Powhatan,
Ryan Keith Cox of Virginia Beach,
Joshua A. Hardy of Virginia Beach,
Michelle "Missy" Langer of Virginia Beach
Robert "Bobby" Williams of Chesapeake
The 12th victim, Herbert "Bert" Snelling of Virginia Beach, was a contractor filling a permit.
read more here

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Fort Sill Commander Found Dead Days Between Posts

Former Fort Sill commander found dead Sunday in Alabama
Silas Allen by Silas Allen
Published: August 2, 2016

Maj. Gen. John Rossi, the former commanding general at Fort Sill, died Sunday at a U.S. Army installation in Alabama, officials said.

Rossi, 55, was found dead Sunday at Redstone Arsenal, an Army installation near Huntsville, Ala., officials at the post said.

Rossi left Fort Sill last month to head up the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command at Redstone Arsenal. John Cummings, a Redstone Arsenal spokesman, said Rossi arrived on post about a week before his death, but hadn't taken command of the missile defense command.

Rossi's cause of death remains under investigation, officials said.

A native of Long Island, N.Y., Rossi graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., in 1983 and was commissioned as an air defense artillery officer.

He served in South Korea, Germany, Iraq and southwest Asia, as well as several assignments in the United States, before coming to Fort Sill in 2014. He remained at the southwest Oklahoma post until he relinquished command at a ceremony last month.
read more here

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Vietnam Veteran Remembers Battle of the Ia Drang

Not sure about this report. How could a soldier go through basic training in 1963 and not know anything about Vietnam for a year?
1965 Major battle erupts in the Ia Drang Valley
1st Cavalry unit ambushed in the Ia Drang Valley

Something about this story seems off,,,,
Vietnam Voices: Bob Beebe: 'Oh Lord, what have I gotten myself into?'
Billings Gazette
Larry Mayer
Updated Nov 27, 2015

Bob Beebe served in the United States Army from 1963 to 1968. He graduated from Bozeman High School. He served in the Battle of the Ia Drang, one of the bloodiest and most severe, which was highlighted in the book and movie "We Were Soldiers Once and Young." This is part of his Vietnam story.

Gazette: In 1963, did you know anything about Vietnam?

Beebe: "Not until March 1964 — that's when I first I heard about Vietnam because it started hitting the news."

Beebe did basic training in Fort Ord, Calif., and then did artillery school in Fort Sill, Okla., for advanced individual training. In January 1964, he went to "jump school" in Fort Benning, Ga.

Beebe: "The U.S. government at that time was getting interested in the Vietnam War, and we started experimenting with helicopters, so we formed the 11th Air Assault Division ... We spent three months in North and South Carolina in maneuvers and experimenting with helicopters."

Beebe: "The U.S. government at that time was getting interested in the Vietnam War, and we started experimenting with helicopters, so we formed the 11th Air Assault Division ... We spent three months in North and South Carolina in maneuvers and experimenting with helicopters."
read more here

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Fort Sill CSM Found Guilty of Stolen Valor

Fort Sill Command Sergeant Major Convicted of 'Stolen Valor'
April 13, 2015
U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Perry McNeill salutes alongside U.S. Airmen and coalition forces during a Dutch army change of command ceremony on Sept. 27, 2013, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Chase Hedrick/Air Force
Associated Press | Apr 13, 2015

LAWTON, Okla. -- A command sergeant major at Fort Sill has been convicted of wearing unauthorized military insignia, including a Ranger Tab and the Pathfinder Badge.

Command Sgt. Maj. Perry McNeill was convicted last week by a military judge who sentenced McNeill to a demotion to sergeant first class, a letter of reprimand and to forfeit $500 in pay per month for 10 months. read more here

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Soldier Saved From Suicide Attempt by Facebook Group

If you think one person cannot make a difference, this should prove you wrong!
Soldier posts suicide attempt to Facebook
Popular Military
September 30, 2014

FORT SILL, Okla. (Sept. 30, 2014) — A Facebook post. Two cut wrists. Time is the enemy.

Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffery Powell saw one Facebook post Aug. 31, which sent him frantically searching for a former Soldier.

“He had cut his wrists, I mean about that far on each wrist,” said Powell, gesturing slashing his forearm. “It wasn’t horizontal it was a vertical cut, so I knew it was pretty serious.

He posted one word … ‘Goodbye.'”

Powell said he was checking his Facebook that day like he typically does to stay in touch with friends and family.

He expected the normal string of photos and status updates, but when his former Soldier shared his last call for help he took action.

“I saw that some people had already commented on it so I hit the comments and some were like ‘Thinking about you man,’ but nobody was saying ‘Where are you?’ Nobody. Seven or eight people had already responded and it’s great to say how are you, but now it’s time to dial 9-1-1.”

Powell deployed with the Soldier several years ago as the former 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery sergeant major.

They were friends on the social networking site, but Powell didn’t know where he was currently stationed.

“Here I am, I’m trying to figure where in the world this guy is at. I was like what do I do? We need to do something now, right now.”

After asking around Powell determined the Soldier was overseas.
read more here

Monday, May 5, 2014

Fort Sill Solider Missing After Kayak Accident

Fort Sill: Soldier missing after kayak mishap
Associated Press
Posted May 5, 2014

LAWTON, Okla. (AP) — Fort Sill authorities are searching for a soldier who went missing while kayaking at the Lake Elmer Thomas Recreation Area on post.

Officials at Fort Sill say two soldiers were on a one-person kayak Saturday night when the kayak became unbalance and flipped. Witnesses told investigators that one soldier was able to make it to shore while the other soldier submerged and never resurfaced.
read more here

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Oklahoma Army National Guard heading to Afghanistan

Oklahoma soldiers deploying to Afghanistan
Associated Press
April 28, 2014

LAWTON, Okla. — Members of the Oklahoma Army National Guard took part in a ceremony at Fort Sill on Saturday ahead of their deployment to Afghanistan.

The unit deploying is Battery B, 1st Battalion, 158th Field Artillery, 45th Fires Brigade. Some soldiers with the 171st Target Acquisition Battery and the 120th Forward Support Company are deploying in a support role.
read more here

Friday, April 11, 2014

More veterans with PTSD live near military bases

Large numbers of vets with PTSD live near military bases
McClatchy Washington Bureau
April 10, 2014

Spc. Kristen Haley, right, the fiancee of Sgt. First Class Daniel Ferguson, who was killed in the Fort Hood shooting, is consoled at the memorial ceremony for the victims of the Fort Hood shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, on Wednesday, April 9, 2014.
JAY JANNER — Austin American-Statesman/MCT

WASHINGTON — The Army specialist who killed three soldiers at Fort Hood last week isn’t the only person from the neighborhoods that surround the massive military base near Killeen, Texas, who’s been evaluated or diagnosed with mental illness.

Data compiled by the Department of Veterans Affairs and analyzed by McClatchy show that hundreds of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and live near Fort Hood, while thousands more reside near the nation’s other military installations.

In fact, the communities adjacent to military bases have the highest number of veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, a concentration that reflects the tendency of former soldiers to settle near bases once they leave the service but also raises concerns about base security.

Experts are quick to say that most veterans with PTSD or other service-connected mental ailments don’t engage in violence or other unlawful behavior, but there is an association between PTSD and elevated levels of violence.
To check for the prevalence of PTSD and associated mental disorders in and around the nation’s military bases, McClatchy analyzed a database of every disability claim in the VA system. The VA’s disability compensation database, released under a Freedom of Information Act request, includes 3.2 million records of every veteran receiving disability compensation on the rolls as of 2011, when McClatchy obtained it for stories tied to the first 10 years of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Of the more than 40,000 ZIP codes in the United States, ZIP code 76549, right next to Fort Hood in Killeen, has more recent veterans receiving disability compensation for PTSD than any other in the country: 288.

The second ZIP code on the list, with 273 cases, is next to Clarksville, Tenn., and Fort Campbell.

No. 3, No. 5 and No. 8 are also next to Fort Hood. Combined, those four ZIP codes next to Fort Hood represent more than 900 recent veterans already on the VA’s disability rolls for PTSD.

Other top ZIP codes are in or next to Fort Sill and Lawton, Okla.; Fort Carson and Fountain, Colo.; Fort Bragg and Fayetteville, N.C.; and Camp Lejeune and Jacksonville, N.C.
learn more here

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Fort Sill Soldier rushed to aid car crash victims

Ft. Sill soldier uses training in real-life car rescue
Posted: Mar 31, 2014

COMANCHE COUNTY, Okla._ A Fort Sill soldier is being hailed a hero tonight after witnessing a brutal car accident and rushing to the aid of the two people trapped inside the vehicle.

The accident happened on Highway 7, just east of Lawton, and the timing could not have been more perfect. The soldier, who saw the entire accident unfold, is a trained medic. He quickly ran from his car with all the supplies he needed to save lives.

"Right place, right time," says Pfc. Jeremy Nedd, a medic with the 214th FIRES Brigade. "I just happened to be able to give the lady first aid at the time that she needed it."

Nedd was driving down Highway 7 the morning of March 30 shortly after 9 a.m. when out of the corner of his eye he saw an SUV in mid-air before flipping several times.

"The first couple of minutes of any type of situation like that are the most important," says Nedd.

The vehicle, a 1999 Chevrolet Tahoe, now sits mangled with shattered glass and blood-stained seats. After seeing the car tumble, Nedd quickly pulled over and grabbed his backpack full of supplies before running to the SUV with a grandmother and her 10-year-old grandson pinned inside.
read more here

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Widow Fights for Life and VA Benefits (Video)

If you knew Jeffrey Jones in Vietnam contact the station and back up his widow's claim.

Fort Sill Oklahoma, and he was a helicopter pilot.

Widow Fights for Life and VA Benefits (Video)
Arkansas Matters
Jocelyn Tovar

Sunday, December 29, 2013

This is how you get Christmas cards to wounded war fighters

State Rep. Joe Dorman delivers Christmas cards for Wounded Warriors
The Express-Star
December 27, 2013

— Several thousand handmade Christmas cards for wounded warriors at Fort Sill were delivered recently by state Rep. Joe Dorman.

The holiday greetings were made primarily by children from various schools and churches, the Rush Springs Democrat related. In addition, adults making out their Christmas card lists were asked to remember a soldier unable to be home with his or her family this holiday season.

“We delivered the cards to the post chaplain on Thursday,” Representative Dorman said.

The cards will be handed out to soldiers recovering at Fort Sill’s Reynolds Army Hospital and the post’s Warrior Transition Unit.
read more here

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Fort Sill soldier faces death penalty

Soldier faces trial in child’s death
The Associated Press Posted : Friday Feb 8, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY — Almost two years after a 10-year-old boy starved to death at an Oklahoma Army base, a soldier accused of first-degree murder is set to go on trial in a rare case in which federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday at the federal courthouse in Lawton for the trial of Pvt. Connell C. Williams, 33, who was indicted by a federal grand jury for the May 5, 2011, death of Marcus Holloway, the son of Williams' girlfriend, at Fort Sill in southwestern Oklahoma. He has pleaded not guilty.

A September 2011 indictment accused Williams and the boy's mother, Candice Holloway, 32, of depriving the boy of food over a period of about four months until he starved to death. Holloway pleaded guilty to first-degree murder as part of a plea agreement in which she will serve 30 years in federal prison and testify against Williams.

Since 1927, there have been only 37 federal executions, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

Federal prosecutors filed to seek the death penalty last April because they claim Williams "committed the offense in an especially heinous, cruel, or depraved manner in that it involved torture and serious physical abuse to the victim." The notice of intent, authorized by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, also cites the vulnerability of the victim and the fact that he was in Williams' care and custody.
read more here

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Fort Sill soldier died after being shot outside nightclub

Sill soldier dies after nightclub shooting
The Associated Press
Posted : Monday Jan 21, 2013

LAWTON, Okla. — The Comanche County sheriff says a second man has died following a shooting outside a nightclub near Lawton.

Sheriff Kenny Stradley told reporters that two men — including a soldier based at Fort Sill — died of gunshot wounds following the shooting about 2:30 a.m. Sunday in the parking lot of Platinum Gentlemen’s Club.

No names have been released.
Stradley said the soldier was shot during an argument outside the club and that a club security guard then tackled the gunman and shot the man.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fort Sill soldier missing since 2005 remains found in shallow grave

Body found in Texas identified as Sill soldier
The Associated Press
Posted : Tuesday Mar 13, 2012 14:47:43 EDT

PETROLIA, Texas — Authorities said human remains found in a shallow grave in rural North Texas are those of a missing Army soldier, five years after they think he was killed.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday said Spc. Jose Ramirez of El Centro, Calif., was found early last month outside a home near Petrolia, just south of the Texas-Oklahoma border. Authorities were called to the home after an anonymous tipster contacted them about an unsolved murder.

According to a criminal complaint, authorities found bullet holes in a bedroom wall and blood stains in a hallway. A day later, they searched the area around the home and found a human skull with bullet marks as well as a pair of shorts with the word “Army,” the complaint said.

Authorities charged 30-year-old Justin Green with first-degree murder in February. Green, who once lived in the home where the bullet holes were found, remains in jail on $1 million bond and will appear in court Monday. His attorney did not return a phone message.

Ramirez was 22 when he was reported missing from Fort Sill, Okla., in December 2005, a military spokesman said. Ramirez’s family in California could not be reached.
read more here

Thursday, August 27, 2009

20 injured in vehicle rollover at Fort Sill

20 injured in vehicle rollover at Sill

The Associated Press
Posted : Thursday Aug 27, 2009 7:47:09 EDT

LAWTON, Okla. — Officials at Fort Sill say about 20 soldiers were injured when the five-ton truck they were in rolled over.

A statement from the base says none of the injuries are considered life-threatening — although one soldier was flown to an Oklahoma City hospital.

The soldiers with the 3rd Battalion, 378th Regiment, were hurt about 3 p.m. Wednesday when the truck rolled as the driver tried to avoid an animal.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Army IDs lieutenant found dead at Sill

Army IDs lieutenant found dead at Sill

The Associated Press
Posted : Thursday Jul 23, 2009 17:56:13 EDT

LAWTON, Okla. — A Fort Sill soldier whose body was discovered along a road at the post has been identified as an Army officer from Kansas.

Fort Sill officials say 1st Lt. Jeremy Andrew Clawson was found dead Tuesday after someone called 911 to report a body near one of the post’s firing ranges.
read more here
Army IDs lieutenant found dead at Sill

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fort Sill official fires back at gang report

Fort Sill official fires back at gang report

The Associated Press
Posted : Tuesday Nov 11, 2008 8:55:20 EST

LAWTON, Okla. — Fort Sill’s liaison to the city of Lawton is firing back at a police officer’s comments that soldiers at the base are involved in gangs.

Col. Robert Bridgford issued a written statement saying information released by police Lt. Darrell Southerland “was completely inaccurate.”

Bridgford’s statement says no soldier has been arrested or implicated in gang activity in the past year. It also says military police have no information of soldiers being a member of a gang or being involved in gang-related activities.
go here for more

Monday, November 10, 2008

Police say Fort Sill has a gang problem

Lawton police say Sill has a gang problem

The Associated Press
Posted : Monday Nov 10, 2008 7:51:29 EST

LAWTON, Okla. — Lawton police say the Fort Sill Army post is home to many soldiers who also are gang members, but post officials dispute that claim.

Lt. Darrell Southerland, a 20-year police veteran who oversees the Lawton Gang Task Force Unit, said his six-member unit has routinely gathered and shared evidence with Fort Sill officials about soldiers stationed at Fort Sill who also are gang members.

He said evidence has been obtained through traffic stops and arrests and includes photos of gang-related tattoos and information from informants.

“People don’t want to face the truth, but it’s true,” Southerland said. “Fort Sill has a problem with gangs. We see it every Friday and Saturday night on the streets. But nobody wants to listen.”

Fort Sill spokesman Jon Long disagrees.
go here for more

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

At Fort Sill, stand up for wounded soldiers, get fired

Roeder’s departure Friday, following his contact with USA Today, was purely coincidental, said Col. Sam White, an executive officer at Fort Sill. He said Roeder has a history of confrontations with base officials.

Yes, you read it right. Considering Chuck Roeder was trying to take care of the wounded troops instead of the brass, this would have caused confrontations with them if they were ignoring the problems and not doing anything about them. Wouldn't it? How many times have you been on a job and faced with the frustration of your bosses not doing what needed to be done? In this case, these are wounded soldiers living in deplorable conditions no one at the top of the food chain wanted to do anything about. Roeder, based on accounts, resorted in reporting the problem to USA Today because no one was doing anything about the mold.

The same thing happened at Walter Reed. People knew about the problems there but did not let their conscience get to them and they avoided doing anything until the Washington Post reporters made the story public knowledge. Then all of a sudden, gee, magically they cared enough.

Maj. Gen. Peter Vangjel, Commander at Fort Sill, claimed they had begun to address the problem. When exactly was that? Before Roeder went to the newspaper or after he was interviewed?

How many reports do we need to read or see on YouTube before the commanders get it right for the sake of the troops? When will they see the men and women in their command as worthy of the best care possible? After all, with two occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, they are risking their lives. Why should they suffer when they manage to come home wounded? Haven't they suffered enough without their own commanders adding salt to the wound?

Senior Chaplain Kathie Costos
"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation." - George Washington
Liaison in Sill mold issue forced to resign

By Gregg Zoroya - USA Today
Posted : Wednesday Aug 20, 2008 6:37:57 EDT

FORT SILL, Okla. — An Army social services coordinator here who told USA Today about poor conditions at Fort Sill’s unit for wounded soldiers has been forced out of his job, the employee and base officials said Tuesday.

Soldiers meeting with Army Secretary Pete Geren here Tuesday said Chuck Roeder, 54, was a strong advocate for their problems and should not have been forced to leave.

On Monday, USA Today reported that the unit’s barracks were infested with mold and that soldiers had been ordered by commanders not to speak about conditions there. Maj. Gen. Peter Vangjel, Fort Sill’s commander, said base officials had started to investigate and fix the problems. He told The Associated Press on Monday that complaints about mold in the barracks of wounded soldiers did not, as reported, go “unheeded for months.”

Roeder was hired at Fort Sill in January. He contacted USA Today in July about problems at Fort Sill, which were confirmed by more than 20 soldiers.

Roeder’s departure Friday, following his contact with USA Today, was purely coincidental, said Col. Sam White, an executive officer at Fort Sill. He said Roeder has a history of confrontations with base officials.

“They can say whatever they want to say, but they’re not being truthful,” Roeder said. “I stand up for soldiers. I’m sure the word got out that I’d encouraged soldiers to speak.”
go here for more