2018 Hunters

Sgt. Charlie Johnson - Hunting Waterfowl in Kansas Nov. 2018

Please join me in welcoming Charlie Johnson to the HuntsofHonor family! We are honoring his service to our great country and saying Thank You with an all expense paid Waterfowl hunt to Kansas filmed forBuck Obsession TV on Pursuit Channel, a Browning shotgun provided by HoH and Seed Slingers of SC, and a Waterfowl clothing package from Sitka Gear and Ryan Bassham of Sitka.


SGT Charlie Johnson graduated Aynor high school in 2000. After graduation he left for basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia. After finishing boot camp, he remained stationed at Fort Benning with Alpha co. 1st 30th Infantry with 3rd ID. In 2001 he had the honor of serving on a peace keeping mission in Kosovo. In January 2003 after staging in Kuwait he was in the initial invasion of Iraq. During the invasion SGT Johnson captured the first Iraqi flag. Following his deployment to Iraq Charlie returned and ETSed from active duty. 


In September 2005 he reenlisted with the National Guard 1st 263rd armored division. From 2006-2008 his was deployed in Afghanistan’s Paktika province. February 2010-2011 for his final tour of duty with the 1st 178th field artillery in Paktika province for a second time. While serving his country he received 2 combat action ribbons one in Iraq and Afghanistan. After finishing his 3rd combat tour he returned home to focus on being a father and husband to his three children (Bailee, Grayson, and Jordan) and his loving wife (Erica).


Here are some comments from several letters of submission we received nominating Charlie:


I have personally known Charlie my entire life and consider him one of my closest friends. If anyone deserves a hunt its Charlie. He has never been handed anything by anyone and will readily go without to help someone else. For Charlie hunting and fishing have become therapy from the stresses of war. He has told me numerous times that this was about the only time that he felt at peace. For a man that has been through so much the one thing you'll never hear him do is complain.


Charlie Served in Iraq once, Afghanistan twice in Combat positions as well as Bosnia on a Peace keeping mission once. The Picture you see him holding the Iraq Flag. That flag is the first Iraq Flag captured by the United States Infantry Division in 2003.


Charlie grew up in a very modest manner without the frills that a lot of kids were given or took for granted. Charlie worked all through high school. He, like many soldiers, experienced PTSD upon return due to events experienced in combat. Charlie was self aware enough to determine he should work in the Tobacco fields at his own choosing just so he could slowly become assimilated back into normal life. He is as tough as nails, and a man’s man. He has earned everything he has ever gotten, and has never been given a anything in life. As a matter of fact he returned home twice and found his life turned upside down by the actions of others beyond his control. Charlie is a man of action and pushed forward with more service to put his family in a better situation. Charlie always thinks of himself last.


Charlie is a great guy and really works hard for his family, friends, and loved ones. He does not expect anyone to do anything that he would not do himself. If Charlie is given a task, you do not have to worry about it getting done. He is always first to arrive, and many times last to leave. Charlie is truly a self made man and has never been given anything in life, he earned it all from childhood to present.


Charlie is a humble man and a proud American. I’m a better person for knowing him.

Officer Michael Mosher - Hunting waterfowl in Kansas Nov. 2018

 Please join me in welcoming Michael Mosher to the Hunts of Honor family and read his story and help us thank him for his service! Michael is headed to Kansas in November for a Waterfowl hunt filmed for Buck Obsession on the Pursuit Channel. HuntsofHonor was able to outfit him with the help of our supporters like you and the companies that help us. He received a Stoeger M3500 with the help of Sunrise Outfitters in Searcy, AR, a Waterfowl clothing package from Sitka Gear, thanks to Sitka and Ryan Bassham, and some great Drake Down Custom Calls gear. Here is Michael’s story:


I was working on an assembly line in a factory on September 11, 2001. We had a line stop to alert us to the on going events in New York, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania. At the moment I knew I had to do something more than sit by and watch things unfold. On my way home from work that day, I went in to the recruiters office and signed up with the United States Marine Corps. I graduated from MCRD San Diego in February 2002 and moved on to Field Radio Operator School. While finishing up schooling I had the chance to take the Reconnaissance indoc and passed, receiving orders to 2nd Recon Battalion in Camp Lejeune, NC. In December of 2002 I graduated from the Amphibious Reconnaissance School in Ft. Story, Virginia as the Honor Graduate. Shortly after I was deployed to Iraq as a part of Task Force Tarawa during the Invasion. 


Most of my time was spent in the south and east of Iraq, working alongside 2nd LAR. My second deployment came in July of 2004 through March of 2005 with the 24th MEUSOC, most of the time was spent stationed out of FOB Kalsu, a command post for operations in the Anbar Province and the areas south of Baghdad to northern part of Babil.

Upon my return to the US, I decided to get out of the Marine Corps to start a family with a Beautiful girl from Searcy Arkansas. Shortly after our wedding we found out that I was being recalled from the Inactive Ready Reserve for “The Surge”. I was deployed to Al Asad Airbase 2007/2008.

I became a Searcy Police Officer in December of 2010 and joined the SRT/SWAT after a couple months on the street. I went through training in southern Arkansas as a Law Enforcement Tactical Sniper and have started my 6th school year as a Resource Officer in the Searcy Schools.

In April 2017 I decided to enlist in the Arkansas Air National Guard, with the 189th Civil Engineering Squadron.


It has been my honor to serve with some of the best men and women our Country has to offer within Arkansas Law Enforcement, the Marines, and Air Force. 


I have truly been blessed.

Ryan Michler, CPL, Ret.

 CPL Ryan Michler joined the United States Army National Guard during his senior year of High School 1999. He and his two friends joined together and after graduation attended boot camp at Fort Sill, OK. He graduated with honors from boot camp in November of that same year for his hard work and devotion to duty, and class standing. He then immediately began courses to earn his Cannon Fire Direction Specialist Course, of which he received the Distinguished Honor Graduate award with a 99.4 overall grade.


Ryan was assigned to the Headquarters 2nd Battalion of the 222 nd Field Artillery based in Cedar City, UT in 2000. Shortly thereafter he was promoted to the rank of Specialist. Between the years of 2000-2004 Ryan served with his Battalion in Fort Lewis, WA, Fort Collins, CO, and at the 2002 Winter Olympics. While in Fort Lewis, Ryan was awarded the Commanding General’s Certificate of Achievement. November 2004 is when Ryan received his orders of deployment for Operation Iraqi Freedom.  He reported for Duty in January 2005 at Camp Shelby, MS where he trained with his Battalion  for 6 months before deploying to Rhamadi, Iraq.

While serving in Iraq, the 2-222 nd was assigned Base Defense, Patrol, and Counter Fire. Ryan worked specifically within Base Defense – a job that was never dull.  


During his service he was awarded the following: Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Armed forces Reserve Medal, Expert Marksmanship Badge, Grenade Bar, Sharpshooter Bar, and Rifle Bar. He also earned many challenge coins and letters of Commendation. Ryan was Honorably Discharged from the United States Army National Guard in November 2006. He is proud of his service to the Country and considers it an honor to have served. 

Cody Grinolds

My name is Cody Grinolds. I served four years in the Marine Corps from 2003-2007 as a radio operator. I was deployed to Iraq twice. 2004-05 was QRF south of Baghdad and again in 2006 in Ramadi as convoy security. During a resupply mission in 2005 I was the gunner on a 7-ton when it rolled into a canal. In 2006 we were conducting a run to take officials to the government center when I was hit by a suicide car bomb (VBIED). The guy was driving a black BMW with 155 shells in his trunk. I was lucky enough to walk away only with 2nd degree burns and head trauma. My gunner took most of the impact and had bleeding out of his ears. Three weeks later while on convoy in the Green Zone I made the mistake of running over a pressure plate IED. Luck would have it no one was injured the second time, just the vehicle again. Unfortunately I was awarded the Purple Heat


Currently I am in my last semester at Colorado Mesa University for a Bachelors in Business Management. I work for the local power company as a warehouse person. I love to hunt pretty much anything thing I can. My favorite is Archery hunting Elk. Waterfowl takes up most of my winter. In 2016 I was able to get all of my licenses to open a small gun store, so I sell guns as a little side hobby.


I found out about Hunts of Honor from the Gun raffle in 2017. Thought it was a great cause to donate to so I spent $100 and bought some raffle tickets. It is an organization that hits close to home and love the organizations that are actually able to help vets clear their mind. I volunteer with an organization called Base Camp 40-Warriors in the Wild. Last year we were able to get 47 vets out in the woods in on the water with everything from turkey hunts, hog, deer, elk, and even a couple fishing trips. Seeing these vets completely let loose in the woods and open up about anything is amazing. It makes great new friends and helps people get back to a normal reality. 


Please donate to HuntsofHonor to keep this great endeavor going strong! 

Deb Perry Horbal

 

Deb Perry Horbal served as an operational Air Force Cryptologic linguist in multiple high demand language dialects and Subject Matter Expert during the Global War on Terror and Operation Enduring Freedom. Deb provided critical analysis on hundreds of situations regarding real time counterterrorism and counternarcotics missions while forward deployed to conflict zones far from home. Deb also supervised and provided guidance to numerous additional linguists in a high demand/high stress environment. She was consistently sought after to provide guidance and quality control on high value operations regarding her area of expertise. Deb's efforts were recognized in the areas of counterterrorism and counternarcotics. Deb contributed to training efforts for many linguists in training and future linguists by creating course work and guidelines for this valuable skill set.


Her linguistic work and her love of the written word ultimately led Deb to the American Military University, where she earned her degree in English. Currently, she is an alumni and active supporter of the Armed Services Arts Partnership, which affords her the outlet of creative writing, as well as a wonderful way to support local veterans. 


Above all, Deb feels that her biggest accomplishments in life are being a mother to two rowdy boys and the wife of her own American hero.

Nathan Almquist - Hunting turkey, Spring 2018

My name is Nathan Almquist. I enlisted in the Army at the age of 18 on Aug 31, 1999. I chose to join the Infantry so that way I would have a chance to fight for my country rather than cook someone’s food that fought. During my 10 years of service I had the luck to deploy to Iraq in the lovely city of Mosul in January of 2004. During my deployment I was awarded the purple heart medal for wounds received during combat operations and a Bronze star medal with Valor device for an act of heroism while under fire. After returning home from the war I was blessed with two boys Dain and Huck. My kids were the ultimate reason I left the service so I could the best father I could be. I am a 100 percent disabled veteran that struggles daily with PTSD. After 10 years of being home I finally have learned to manage my disorder. I have found that spending quality time out in the woods with my family has brought me a great amount of peace. There is no better way to start off your day than watching the sun come up and listening to the world waking up. So, after struggling for years with the help of great friends and family to help me in my times of need I could find peace with my life. I now try to help other veterans whenever I can that are struggling with life the same as I once did. I am very grateful to be chosen by a great program like this one to be able to go out and make a great memory and most of all feel appreciated by others for my sacrifice I have made for my country. 

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Cpl. John J. Lozinski, Ret. - Hunting turkey, Spring 2018

 My name is John J. Lozinski. I am the third generation John Lozinski. I followed in my father’s footsteps and became a United States Marine and a police officer.
I have seen death in war. I have seen death in police work. Then on November 5th 2006 my sister was murdered. I have been shot at by artillery rounds. {Big bullets} I have been shot at by a distraught intoxicated man in a suicide by cop incident. {Small bullets 45cal.}
I went to Catholic school from first to twelfth grade. When I turned 17 I enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve delayed entry program. I enlisted into a program in the Marines called the 85 day reservist program. I was accepted at a college for a law enforcement program and each summer while in college I went to my training required by my contract I had signed with the Marines. I graduated Marine Corps boot camp summer of 1986. I went to boot camp 160lbs and graduated 130lbs. It was a hot summer at Parris Island South Carolina. The summer of 1987 I went to Infantry training school to learn my job in the Marine Corps. 0351 Anti-tank assault man.
While in college I worked as an on campus security guard. I also drilled at my unit that was infantry unit that was composed of a platoon of dragon gunners {anti-tank assault Marines} and a platoon of snipers. In May of 1989 I graduated college in Maine with a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement. I also won a learning resource center outstanding achievement award. On December 11, 1989 I was hired by Augusta Police dept. Augusta Maine. In 1990 my reserve unit won the Clifton B. Cates award as the best Marine Corps Infantry reserve unit in the United States. In August of 1990 I was sent by the city I was working for to the Maine police academy. Two days after I graduated from the academy my reserve unit was activated for Desert Shield. My unit was sent to Camp Lejeuene for a month of training and we were sent to Saudi Arabia the day after Christmas 1990.
While in country my unit was tasked with a lot of missions. Most important one was terrorist interdiction patrols near the coastal part of our base {tent city} as the air war got closer and closer we were sent north to the Kuwaiti border. We lived in holes like animals. This is what Marine Grunts do. The ground portion of the war kicked off and my unit was split in half. One portion did a helicopter assault mission and my portion of the section was attached to Task Force Papa Bear behind Task Force Ripper. We took sporadic incoming artillery fire and were tasked with the enemy prisoner of war mission. I saw the horrors of war. Death and destruction was everywhere. The war was short but I will never forget the joy on the faces of the citizens of Kuwait city as we drove into the city. They were very happy and grateful. I returned to my civilian job as a patrolman for the city of Augusta. I became a field training officer. A FBI trained negotiator. A bicycle officer and an all around jack of all trades. I dealt with all kinds of death throughout my career in law enforcement. Death that nobody wants to see or hear about. On Sept. 25 2003 I was thrusted into a suicide by cop incident. As I and other officers arrived on scene we were shot at by an obviously intoxicated male. My crisis negotiator training took over and I engaged with a lot of dialogue with the male until his pistol malfunctioned and was then apprehended. I was awarded the Award of Merit for this action. On Nov. 5th 2006 a day that changed my life forever my sister was murdered. Not a day goes by I don’t think about her. I am happy I am retired. I can go to my grave knowing I served my country and I served a community. For those who fought for it Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know. 

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State Trooper Richard Nicks, Ret. - Hunted deer in Texas, January 2018


South Carolina State Trooper Richard Nicks, severely injured in the line of duty when he was hit by a drunk driver in 2012. Richard was forced to medically retire in 2013 and has endured seven surgeries since. He still walks with a cane and can never do the job again that he loved so much. Richard is surrounded by his amazing wife, Ashley, and their four beautiful children. It was a true honor for Hunts of Honor to be able to make Richard’s dream of shooting a big Texas buck come true. Many thanks to Buster at Cottonwood Creek Outfitters in Gatesville Texas and the generosity of our Hunts of Honor supporters.  


Great Job Brother. Look for this hunt this season only on Pursuit Channel, Buck Obsession.

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2017 Hunters

Joshua Hicks- Hunted Waterfowl in November 2017

SSG, Army

SSG Joshua R. Hicks started his service to the United States Army in December of 2009 and has encompassed service in the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), 20th Engineer Brigade, and the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) where he currently serves as an Operations Sergeant. 


Following One Station Unit Training (OSUT) at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri where he was awarded the MOS of 12B Combat Engineer; SSG Hicks was assigned to Alpha Company, 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) Fort Drum, New York.  During his service to the 10th Mountain Division, SSG Hicks served as a Combat Engineer.  In preparation for the division’s deployment to Afghanistan he graduated from the Route Reconnaissance and Clearance Course-Operator (R2C2 Operator).  Using the skills that he learned at Fort Leonard Wood SSG Hicks conducted more than 325 missions during 12 months of Combat Operations in Kandahar, Afghanistan.  His success at providing assured mobility resulted in recognition by the Sergeant Major of the Army for finding more than 24 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).  Resulting in an untold number of US, Coalition, and Afghan Local National lives not being affected by terrorism directly attributed to his expertise as a VMR3 Minehound Operator. 


While deployed to Afghanistan SSG Hicks reenlisted and volunteered for service with the 20th Engineer Brigade Fort Knox, Kentucky where he served in the 19th Engineer Battalion.  Recognizing SSG Hicks professionalism and expertise he was specially selected to serve as the battalion’s Mobility, Counter-Mobility, and Survivability Non-Commissioned Officer.  His demonstrated performance and success resulted in his further selection by his Battalion Commander to assist in the formation of the first Route Clearance Company (RCC) in the history of the 19th Engineer Battalion.  Although still a Sergeant and junior in rank his leadership abilities were highlighted during Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) Rotation 14-09 where he led a 24 Soldier Route Clearance Platoon as the Platoon Sergeant.  SSG Hicks education from the Explosive Ordinance Clearance Agent (EOCA) course coupled with previous experience resulted in his platoon providing assured mobility in excess of 100 kilometers demonstrating the value of Echelon Above Brigade (EAB) mobility assets to the 3rd Brigade 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).  Following his promotion to Staff Sergeant he concluded his final 8 months at Fort Knox as a Platoon Sergeant with the 541st Sapper Company.  


SSG Hicks continues to serve in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) in the 21st Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.  Initially assigned as a Squad Leader with Bravo Company, SSG Hicks deployed with his Soldiers in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel to Tactical Base (TB) Dwyer, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. SSG Hicks was commended by the TAAC-SOUTH Commander for finding the Battalions first IED. Following three months of service as a Squad Leader, SSG Hicks was selected ahead of five peers for service as a Platoon Sergeant.  As a Platoon Sergeant he led his 28 Soldier platoon on more than 75 patrols and was assigned the Entry Control Point (ECP) in support of perimeter security for TB Dwyer.  While balancing patrolling and ECP operations, SSG Hicks leadership was instrumental to the continuous enhancement of the ECP over the course of 90 days, once again resulting in zero perimeter security violations.    


SSG Hicks is currently pending attendance at the United States Army Drill Sergeant School where he has volunteered to train the next generation of Soldiers that will serve in the United States Army. His awards include one Bronze Star, 4 Army Accommodation Medals and 3 Army Achievement medal and is currently stationed in Fort Campbell Kentucky.    

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Nathan Allen- Hunted Waterfowl in November 2017

Sgt, Army, Ret.

Born and raised in god’s country of Atlantic, IA, where he enlisted into the United States Army as an Infantryman in 2008. 


After basic training he was stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky, with the 2nd Battalion 327th Infantry brigade, 1stBCT.  He deployed in May 2010 to Kunar Province Afghanistan, with 15 days left in the deployment during our last Air Assault mission he was shot in the arm and chest going after a fallen soldier. He was medically retired in 2013. 


His achievements/awards include: Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Air Assault Badge, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal W/ V Device x2, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal x2, Army Good Conduct Medal. 


After military he married a beautiful nurse that helped nurse him back to health. He began worked as a private security contractor overseas for 2 years. As of most recently he started a family with a baby boy and he is a stay at home dad / glorified army wife. Currently he lives in Maryland where his wife is stationed. He also volunteers with a non-profit as a guide called Wounded Warriors In Action, they take purple heart recipients hunting and fishing all over the united states, He says it's the most rewarding thing he's ever done.

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Past Hunters

Jamie Andries - Hunted in Kansas

1stSgt, USMC, Ret.

Jamie is originally from Louisiana. He has served in the Marine Corps since 1989.  He is now retired.  He has worked as a Marine Security Guard for American Embassies in Morocco, Russia, and Greece.  He served as a Platoon Commander with two deployments to Iraq, with the second tour being a Company Gunny.  During his tours, he had several instances where he was under mortar fire, machine gun fire, and RPG fire.  


He later served as a training officer, and finished his career with over twenty years in the Marine Corps.  He is now a Firearms Simulator Operator where he helps military personnel who have suffered traumatic brain injuries. He also volunteers as a mentor to service members that come through his work program.  He helps them with the transition to civilian life. This program is called the Wounded Warrior Peer Mentorship Program.


Jamie has recieved many medals and awards.  He is a purple heart recipient.  Jamie is a very deserving veteran that we are extremely excited to take on a hunt of a lifetime!  

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Bostyn Thompson - Hunted in South Dakota

Police Chief 

Bostyn Thompson was hired in 2010 as a Police Chief for a small town in SW Minnesota. He has served the community with pride, most of the time as a sole officer. He utilized his resources to seek the proper patrol training he needed to do his job.


In 2015, at the age of 27, and approximately a year after being married, Bostyn was diagnosed with Stage Three Melanoma Cancer. The cancer had moved to his lymph nodes. Typically when they move into the lymph nodes it can go terminal quickly. He was able to seek treatment at Rochester Mayo Clinic where he underwent experimental treatment to treat his cancer and prevent it from continuing onto other lymph nodes. He was told that his cancer could resurface at any point in his lifetime. He had a series of surgeries, IV treatments and other experimental treatments to curb the cancer. He bears a 6 inch scar on his neck from the removal of 40+ lymph nodes. As of current, he is believed to be cancer free, however he has to go in for scans every three months for the next 3 years, every 6 months after that for five more years, and then yearly scans after. He has been told that the Melanoma cells could be microscopic and that his cancer could return at any point.


Very quickly after his surgery, he returned to work for the city, where he continues to work. He lives with his wife, and they are expecting a child in March of 2017. 

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Travis Wood - Hunted in Utah

Sergeant, Army  

Travis served in the US Army bravely and honorably. During his tour of duty, he sustained multiple severe injuries when a roadside bomb detonated near the truck he was driving. He had to be cut out of his harness and pulled out of the truck – with a broken back, crushed pelvis, punctured lung and much more. The passenger of the vehicle pulled him into a nearby ditch where they waited 1 1/2 hours for a helicopter to pick them up and get them out of danger. Travis, his wife Stephanie and daughter Madeline lived in Washington DC, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for 2 and a half years during his recover. Travis has had to endured 84 surgeries to repair his injuries.

Since then, Travis has finished his degree and is now a teacher. An avid hand cyclist, he has completed several races including the Boston Marathon, New York Marathon and Chicago Marathon, and is now on the USA Paralympic Team, hoping to qualify for Tokyo in 2020! Travis is an inspiration and a true American hero! 

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Kimber Gist - Hunted in South Carolina

Sherriff's Deputy

Remember this young lady? With Berkeley County Sheriff's Office, she was shot 8 times in the line of duty on February 26, 2016. This is a hero, fighter, and selectee number 4 in the 2017 Hunts of Honor!

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SSG Chris Ramsey- Hunted in South Carolina

Join Gobbler Down Custom Calls Pro Staff in thanking Chris for his service and taking him on an amazing turkey hunt! Here is Chris' story!I 

I served on active duty from 1991 to 1995 in the Marine Corps Infantry. I joined the SC National guard in 2002 and served until 2012, during which time I served multiple tours in Afghanistan. I had the opportunity to serve in both a Infantry role as well as a Combat Engineer. Some awards I've been fortunate enough to receive; Bronze star medal, Army Commendation medal, Global War on Terror medal, Afghanistan Campaign medal, Combat Infantrymans Badge.

On my last tour in Afghanistan, I was a squad leader in a engineer company tasked with a Route Clearance mission. This was probably the most dangerous, but by far the most rewarding mission I was tasked with. We cleared routes of IEDs for other combat units to maintain mobility. Our area of operation was eastern Afghanistan, which in 2010/2011 was a hotbed of Taliban activity. We did a lot of shooting and found/disarmed countless IEDs. We prided ourselves in that fact. Unfortunately we lost two of our teammates in early Oct 2010 to an IED blast. That being said, we had to recover a young infantry soldier in Feb of 2011 who was killed by an IED blast. I never met the kid, but his death impacted me more than any other. I suppose it was due to the fact that we weren't called to clear the route prior to their mission. I took it personal. I think about that kid all the time, if for no other reason, just so he's not gone in vain. I will be hunting in his memory.

Why I chose to serve; I come from a long lineage of service. I've heard when I was young, that we had family that served all the way back to the Revolution. I think its in our DNA, we were born to serve. 

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SSG Ryan Shaw - U.S. Army - Hunted in South Carolina

He has served one tour in Iraq from 2005-2006 with 124 Engineer Company, SCARNG conducting route clearance where he was a husky operator looking for IEDs. During that tour his husky took over 5 strikes, he found countless IEDs and earned his combat action badge. He then served as of one my squad leaders conducting route clearance in Paktika Province from July of 2010 to July of 2011. During our tour we directly supported 3-187 Infantry Battalion ( TF Rakkasans) and 2/2 Infantry Battalion (TF Ramrod) on COP Andar. His squad’s task and purpose was to clear and neutralize any explosive hazards to allow the rest of our platoon to move forward. He relied on his knowledge as a husky operator in Iraq to train the rest of the platoon on operation of the husky and buffalo, which are the two main pieces of clearing equipment. This allowed for our platoon to find over 40 IEDs, with one of the best find rates in all of the

Afghanistan Theatre of Operations. He was my Buffalo Operator during the entire tour and while doing that he also took 3 strikes in the while clearing for IEDs. Like Chris Ramey, he was and still is a great mentor to me as a young PL and now a Company Commander where he serves as my full time Operations NCO. Without his knowledge and willingness to take the fight to the enemy we would have not have not have the success like we had during our tour. During this tour he was awarded a Bronze Star.

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Graham Gregory

Craig Klukas