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Flowers, Funerals, and Flowing Tears: Military Connection

military connection: funeral

By Debbie Gregory.

An anonymous donor from New York gave 3,000 flowers to the city of Chattanooga to be used for memorial and funeral services for the five service members slain in the attacks on the Navy/Marine operations center. The flowers, echoing the colors of the American flag, were donated on behalf of the staff and residents at the Col. C. David Merkel, MD Veterans’ Residence program in Saranac Lake, N.Y. The center treats veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as well as earlier conflicts, who have post-traumatic stress disorder and addictions.

A group of some 40 volunteers organized by the United Way of Greater Chattanooga crowded into a room, stripping and snipping and placing red, white and blue blossoms into pails of water.

Staff Sgt. David Wyatt of Delaware was laid to rest last Friday at Chattanooga National Cemetery in Chattanooga, TN. Hundreds of people lined the funeral procession route from the church to his final resting place.

Visitation for Marine Sgt. Carson Holmquist was held on Saturday at Grantsburgh High School in Wisconsin. More than 60 people in military uniforms saluted as an honor guard of Marine pallbearers carried Sgt. Holmquist’s flag-draped coffin to a hearse on the way to a private burial with military honors.

Lance Cpl. Squire “Skip” Wells was buried on Sunday, his funeral held at First Baptist Church of Woodstock. He was the youngest of the group, at only 21 years old.

Also on Sunday, Marine Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan was buried at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Massachusetts, following funeral services at Holy Cross Church in Springfield.

Visitation and funeral services for Navy Petty Officer Randall Smith will be held tomorrow, July 28th at First Baptist Church in Fort Oglethorpe, GA. with burial immediately following at the Chattanooga National Cemetery.

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke has declared memorials at Lee Highway and Amnicola Highway as “protected memorial services” which will shield them from any protests.

Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of these five patriotic Americans who selflessly chose to serve their country.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their families. We are the go-to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go-to site.

Flowers, Funerals, and Flowing Tears: Military Connection: by Debbie Gregory

Sadly, Paying Tribute: Military Connection

victims

By Debbie Gregory.

While questions linger over the shooting in Chattanooga, it is with heavy hearts that we pay tribute to the victims.

Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, 40, was a hero to the end. The Springfield, MA native was running to the aid of his wounded brothers in arms when he was fatally shot. “Gunny,” as he was known to his fellow Marines, served two tours of duty in Iraq, and earned two Purple Hearts. Sullivan had been a Marine since 1997.

Marine Lance Cpl. Skip Wells, 21, of Marietta, Ga. followed in a long family military tradition dating to his great-grandfather’s Navy service in World War II. He had sent an alarming text to his girlfriend, Caroline; “ACTIVE SHOOTER.” Her first thought was that he was playing a sick joke, but she grew alarmed when she was unable to reach him.

Staff Sgt. David Wyatt joined the Marines in 2004, and had served three deployments, two of which were in Iraq. Wyatt was an active-duty member of Mike Battery, 3rd Battalion, 14th Marines, an artillery unit based in Chattanooga. He became a staff sergeant in 2011, and planned to serve at least 20 years and earn a full military retirement. He was married with two young children.

Sgt. Carson Holmquist of Grantsburg, Wisconsin, enlisted in the Marines in January, 2009, and had already completed two tours in Afghanistan. Holmquist was a diesel mechanics specialist. He was married with a young son.

U.S. Navy Petty Officer Randall Smith, who had been wounded in the shooting rampage died two days after the attack. The logistics specialist saw the shooter and warned people around him, but he was unable to get away..

The Navy Operational Support Center in Chattanooga was one of two military sites in the city that were targeted by Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez.

The two remaining wounded survivors are a Marine recruiter who was shot in the leg and a responding Chattanooga police officer, Dennis Pedigo, who was shot in the ankle.

Our hearts, thoughts and sincere sympathies go out to all of the families and loved ones of the victims.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their families. We are the go-to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go-to site.

Sadly, Paying Tribute: Military Connection: Military Connection: by Debbie Gregory