Remember and Honor
May 26, 2017
To all who have served and have given their life in the protection of our freedoms – we remember and honor. Thank you for your ultimate sacrifice and Happy Memorial Day.
Below are just a few stories of courage and honor. With the utmost respect and gratitude, we thank the countless service members of our armed forces who have given all in the defense of liberty.
Charley Havlat - Private First Class, U.S. Army
Born the oldest son of Anton and Antonio (Nemec) Havlat in Dorchester, Nebraska, Charley Havlat is considered the last confirmed American combat fatality in the European Theater during World War II.
He arrived in England in June 1943, serving with his brother, Rudolph (one of his three brothers in the Army), and he experienced some of the darkest battles during WWII. During the Invasion of Normandy, he and the 803rd Tank Destroyer Battalion fought from Omaha Beach to St. Lo, and his unit crossed the Rhine and helped capture Trier, Germany.
By the first week of May 1945, the end of the war was seemingly in sight. Allied armies were advancing on all fronts, and the German Army was nearly destroyed, yet American soldiers continued their brave fighting until the very end. On the morning of May 7, 1945, Havlat’s platoon was blindsided by machine gun and small arms fire, and he was killed.
The German officer who led the ambush later apologized for the incident, as he did not know a cease fire had been called into effect minutes before the ambush – Havlat died only hours before Germany surrendered - killed protecting his parents’ native land.
Dan Bullock, Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corp.
It would be fair to say that Dan Bullock shouldn’t have been in the Marines in the first place, but his story is certainly one worth remembering. During the tumultuous 1960s, Bullock didn’t feel the surrounding streets of Brooklyn could provide the opportunities he needed, and in September of 1968, he walked into the Marine Corps recruiting station with a birth certificate stating he was 18. He was only 14.
Though he was strong and fast, he learned endurance from his fellow recruits – in 1969 at the age of 15, PFC Bullock landed in Vietnam. Only two months into his deployment, while his unit was in the bunkers that circled the An Hoa combat base, there took place a battle from which Bullock never returned.
As his captain recounted to Bullock’s family, Bullock had rushed out from cover several times to acquire ammunition for his unit, exposing himself while helping his unit hold of the attack. A brother to many of his fellow Marines, Bullock had always wanted to be somebody. In life and in sacrifice, he was.
David Lyon - Captain, U.S. Airforce
Originally from Sandpoint, ID, Lyon established a long list of impressive accomplishments leading up to his 2008 Academy graduation. As a competitor for the Falcons’ track and field program (competing as “David Lissy”), he served the team as captain during the 2007-08 season and earned the 2008 Mountain West Indoor Championships conference title in the shot put.
However, his athletic accomplishments were only one part of Lyon’s incredible legacy, which was a legacy of kindness, generosity, and hard work. He carried that spirit with him as a member of the 21st Logistics Readiness Squadron at Peterson Air Force Base.
While serving a year-long deployment to Afghanistan, Lyon was killed (alongside two NATO military personnel and seven Afghan forces) when a vehicle-born IED was detonated along side his convoy.
Mike McGreevy, Lieutenant, U.S. Navy SEALs
While many have seen the heroic efforts of our Navy SEALs retold in popular films such as “13 Hours,” “American Sniper,” and more, the vast majority of their contributions have been left untold.
After attending the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD and establishing himself as a likely SEAL-to-be leading up to graduation, he was not awarded one of the 16 training slots (out of a competitive 900 graduate class). His persistence led him to the Surface Navy and ultimately to being awarded a transfer to SEAL training after two years.
On June 28, 2005, as a part of a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) sent to assist four of his SEAL teammates who were pinned down by Taliban fire, his helicopter was shot down. He and 15 other Americans were killed, and only one SEAL survived the mission, Marcus Luttrell.
Terrell Horne, Senior Chief Petty Officer, U.S. Coast Guard
As a maritime law enforcement officer, Terrell Horne served his country by protecting our shores off California. At 34, the father of two (with a third on the way) experienced something that members of other military branches rarely encounter: smugglers.
Run-ins with seaborne smugglers had nearly doubled in the first years after 2010, and on December 2, 2012, Horne and his shipmates spotted what’s known as a panga – a fishing boat traditionally used by drug smugglers – running without lights. After alerting the vessel to their presence, the panga throttled its engines and purposely ran into Horne’s inflatable vessel.
After initially escaping, the men responsible for Horne’s death were arrested and eventually sentenced. The Coast Guard can often be overlooked, but the services they provide are no doubt important – and the sacrifices they make are honorable. A Coast Guard building was dedicated to Horne as a memorial.