The Citadel

The Military College of South Carolina

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Remember Citadel grads who died in the line of duty

The Post and Courier
Published 27 May 2013

Lt Gen John W. Rosa, USAF (Retired)
Class of 1973
President, The Citadel

While Memorial Day heralds the start of summer, we must not forget this holiday’s true purpose – to remind us of the ultimate sacrifice made by brave men and women who died safeguarding our freedoms. In my 32 years in the U.S. Air Force, I knew personally members in all branches of the Armed Forces who died serving their country.

At The Citadel we commend those graduates of the Long Gray Line who have served in the military and those who gave, as Lincoln said, “the last full measure of devotion,” in all American conflicts since the Mexican-American War.

In the current war on terror, 18 Citadel graduates have given their lives to their country. Marine 1stLt Therrel Shane Childers ’01, 30 years old, was the first American casualty of Operation Iraqi Freedom leading a platoon capturing the Ramallah oil fields.

Army SGT Aaron X. Wittman ’07, 28 years old, was our most recent loss. He was the first American casualty of 2013, struck down while on mounted patrol and on his second deployment, having already been awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

SGT Wittman’s family has contributed his ring to The Citadel Alumni Association’s “Band of Gold” program. Aaron’s ring will be melted down and included in the gold used to cast the rings for the Class of 2014. His courage and leadership will touch every cadet who receives a ring this October.

Just a few weeks ago, we celebrated the graduation of the Class of 2013. I am very proud that this year almost 40 percent of these young men and women accepted commissions as officers in the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force. They took on the responsibility of leading other men and women, possibly into harm’s way, so that we may live in a free country.

So on this Memorial Day please remember in your thoughts and prayers the brave service men and women who have died in the line of duty and their families who supported their decision to serve our country.

Today, we remember…

Class Rank, Name, Unit Place Death Date
1985 LTC Chad Buehring (USA) Iraq October 26,2003
1985 MSG Robert V. Derenda (USA) Iraq August 5, 2005
1987 Officer Arsenio Domingo (CPD) Iraq January 7, 2006
1993 CPT Christopher Kenny (USA) Iraq May 3, 2004
1996 Capt Benjamin Sammis (USMC Iraq April 5, 2003
1997 CPT Daniel W. Eggers (USA) Afghanistan May 29, 2004
1997 MAJ Brian Michael Mescall (USA) Afghanistan January 9, 2009
1998 LTJG Peter Ober (USN) Sicily July 16, 2003
2001 1stLt Therrel Shane Childers (USMC) Iraq March 21, 2003
2001 1stLt Dan Thomas Malcom (USMC) Iraq November 10, 2004
2004 1stLt Almar Fitzgerald (USMC) Iraq February 21, 2006
2004 Capt Warren A. Frank (USMC) Iraq November 25, 2008
2004 Capt Ryan Hall (USAF) Djibouti February 18, 2012
2004 1LT Ryan Rawl (SC National Guard) Afghanistan June 20, 2012
2005 1stLt Joshua Booth (USMC) Iraq October 17, 2006
2005 LCpl Timothy Creager (USMC) Iraq July 1, 2004
2007 SGT Aaron X. Wittman (USA Afghanistan January 10, 2013
2009 LCpl Jonathan A. Taylor (USMC) Afghanistan December 1, 2009

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