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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Large Numbers of Gulf War Veterans Are Dying Young, but VA Has No Explanation or Plan

Editor's Note:

Month after month, members of the organized Gulf War veterans community monitor the obituaries nationwide for news of friends and comrades, and for any inkling into trends.

What has become clear is that dozens of veterans of the 1991 Gulf War are dying each month, with many of them only in their late 30's and 40's. The obituaries below are a sampling of just a few of those from the last 30 days: where there was an obituary published on obituary.com from the select few newspapers collated on the site (for many of the states, only two or three of the state's hundreds of newspapers is included); where the age at death was under 60; and where the family and loved ones noted their deceased loved one's Gulf War/Desert Storm service.

Said more simply -- this sampling of 31 unusually young deaths in the last 30 days is only a very small sample of the real total deaths of Gulf War veterans in the last month.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, whose officials monitor this website, still has no longitudinal study to track the health of veterans of the 1991 Gulf War, where between one-fourth and one-third of its veterans remain chronically ill nearly two decades after their service.

Nor does the VA even monitor and evaluate the cause of death of all veterans of the 1991 Gulf War -- 19 years after the beginning of Operation Desert Shield -- which might help shed light on why so many Gulf War veterans are dying in such apparent large numbers, and so young. Valuable information about trends related to Gulf War veterans' health and mortality could be used to aid other veterans. Put simply, the VA has no explanation -- and no plans to find one.

May God bless these veterans' comrades in arms, friends, and loved ones. And may we all honor their service, and the sacrifice of these veterans and those who cared for them.

And a message to the federal VA officials and other policymakers who monitor this website:


When is change coming?


You know what needs to be done -- what have you done today to make it happen?


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Anchorage, AK (Alaska Daily News) -
Jason Allen Matson, 37, died from a heart attack at his home in Anchorage on Sept. 6, 2009. A celebration of life will be at noon Sunday at the VFW, 9191 Old Seward Highway, No. 9. Jason was born March 30, 1972, in Redding, Calif., but was raised in Alaska from the age of 7.
He graduated from Bartlett High School in 1990.
He joined the Marines directly after high school and served in the Persian Gulf War, in Southwest Asia and in Somalia, where he received many awards in his short term in the service.
He returned to work in construction with his stepfather, Vernon Osborn, for several years. He left Alaska for a short time but his love for his family and the outdoors brought him back. He then began a new trade in engine mechanics. Jason learned the love of fishing at a very young age and fished and hunted all around the state. He loved snowmachining and all that Alaska had to offer. Jason was happiest with a fishing rod in his hand and could never be "outfished."
Jason is survived by his two daughters, Janelle and Amy Matson in Boise, Idaho; his mother, Mary Osborn; stepfather, Vernon Osborn; and father, Wayne Matson in Georgia; sisters, Stacy Stowe and Karley Tetz; and brother, Dayton Osborn and his girlfriend, Lisa Milefski. He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Bob Tharp and Maxine Narry, and paternal grandmother, Pearl Matson.
His family wrote: "He will be missed by his longtime fishing and hunting friends from in and outside of Alaska. His sudden death has left us all feeling shocked and saddened. His ashes will be spread next summer at his favorite fishing sites." A college beneficiary fund has been established for his daughters at Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, account 1481364.

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San Diego, Calif. - VARGAS, MARIO -
Mario Vargas, 43 years old, passed away on Wednesday, August 12, 2009, after a five year fight with colon cancer. Mario was born on January 19, 1966, to his parents, Julio and Socorro Vargas. He was one of 14 children all from the San Ysidro area. He attended all of his childhood education in the South Bay area, where he also developed a love of sports, making him a die-hard Raider fan. As a senior at Southwest High School, Mario met the love of his life, Josefina.
Immediately after graduating high school, Mario enlisted in the United States Army where he honorably served eight years. Of those years,
two were served in the United States Army Reserves, during which Mario was called to duty to serve his country in the first Gulf War. Mario returned safely home to his family as a war veteran.
Mario continued serving his country as a United States Border Patrol agent for over 16 years, where he worked the graveyard shift for 12 of those years in order to be able to spend his days with his family. You see, Mario had three loves. God, family and country. There was nothing Mario would not do for either of those three. He spent most of his time with his daughters as their personal coach in soccer and softball. No matter how tired he was from working the night before, Mario never missed a practice or a game. He last traveled to Alex's State championship game in Lancaster, CA three weeks ago. Mario also never missed Sunday Worship. Mario is survived by his wife of 20 years, Josefina; his daughters, Elizabeth, 17, Alejandra, 13, and Victoria, 11; his father, Julio Vargas; brothers and sisters, Julio Jr., Victor, Patricia, Reynaldo, Abraham, Francisco, Sergio, Gerardo, Ignacio, Arturo, Maria (twin sister), Rene, and Roscelia; and over 150 nephews and nieces. Mass on Tuesday, August 18th, at 10:00 a.m. at Most Precious Blood Church, 1245 4th Ave., Chula Vista with a procession to Holy Cross Cemetery, 4470 Hilltop Drive, San Diego CA 92102. A reception following the funeral will be held at Fiesta Hall, 1770 Palm Ave., San Diego, CA 92154. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to "Mario Vargas Cancer Trust" at Cabrillo Credit Union, or to the American Cancer Society in Mario's name.

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St. Augustine, Fla. -
Donald "Shane" Bradley, 39, passed away on Friday evening, Sept. 4, 2009. He was born on Jan. 7, 1970 in Cleburne, Texas. He attended school in Stephenville, Texas, and Jackson, Ala. Shane served his country in the U.S. Navy and was a Gulf War Veteran. He lived with his family in St. Augustine, and was currently employed at First Coast Honda. He was a loving husband and wonderful father. He will be missed more than words could ever say.
He is survived by his wife of 20 years, Shelly; his son, Austen, 19; his daughter, Morgan, 13; and a daughter-in-law, Sarah. He is also survived by his father and step-mother: George and Mildred Bradley of Jackson, Ala.; his mother, Darlene Dowell of Stephenville, Texas; two sisters, Denise Underwood of Tulsa, Okla., and Michelle Quinn of Brady, Texas; five step-brothers; and a large number of extended family and friends. His memory will be cherished forever.
Visitation will be Wednesday, Sept. 9, from 6 to 7 p.m. with the Funeral Service beginning at 7 p.m. at Craig Funeral Home.
Arrangements by Craig Funeral Home Crematory Memorial Park.

Please sign the guest book at www.staugustine.com/obits

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CLARKS HILL, S.C. -
Ms. Penny Ann Fowler, 51, entered into rest Saturday, August 29, 2009 at her residence on Mill Creek Dr., Clarks Hill, SC. Funeral Services will be Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 3p.m. in the Chapel of Rowland Funeral Home. Burial will in Pineview Memorial Park with Military Honors. Ms. Fowler was a native of Jersey City, NJ. She was a graduate of Moniteau, W. Sunbury, PA. She was also a veteran of United States Marine Corps and United States Army Veteran of the Gulf War. She was currently serving as a nurse at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Augusta, GA and was a LPN Board Member there. Survivors include two sons: Michael Fowler, North Augusta, SC and Matthew Fowler, Clarks Hill, SC; her parents: Eugene & Ouida Fowler, Clarks Hill, SC; two brothers: Darrly Fowler, North Augusta, SC and Ken Fowler, Clearwater, SC; three sisters: Debra Messina, Clarks Hill, SC, Stephanie Mountain, Hephzibah, GA, & Shannon Fowler, Pennsylvania; and three grandchildren: Patricia Andrews, Grovetown, GA, Mariska Fowler, North Augusta, SC, and Euahnee Elisa Fowler, Clearwater, SC. Visitation will be Monday evening at Rowland Funeral Home from 6 to 8 p.m. Memorials may be made to the VA, 950 15th Street, Augusta, GA 30901. You may visit the on-line register at www.rowlandfuneralhome.com Rowland Funeral Home of North Augusta is in charge of the arrangements.

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Tampa Bay, Fla. -
TAYLOR, Ronny 43, of Land O'Lakes, died Aug. 23, 2009. Gulf War Army vet. Friends received 9am, Funeral 10am, Thursday, at Loyless Funeral Home, 5310 Land O'Lakes Blvd., 813-996-6610.

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New Albany, Ind. -
Graveside services for Thomas Francis "Tom" Veit, 49, of Corydon, will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 11, at New Albany National Cemetery, New Albany. He died Saturday, Sept. 5, 2009, at Clark Memorial Hospital, Jeffersonville. He was born in New Albany Feb. 8, 1960, to the late William C., Jr. and Helen Sauerheber Veit. He was an Army veteran of the first Persian Gulf War and was employed in the construction and concrete trade. He was a loving brother and a good friend.Survivors include his brothers, William L. Veit of New Albany, John R. Veit of Pace, Fla., Richard J. Veit and his wife, Tiffany, of New Albany, and Charles E. Veit of Corydon; sister, Kathryn Dilks and her husband, John, of Tallahassee, Fla.; aunts, Virginia Fisher and Barbara Notman; several cousins; and many nieces and nephews.Cremation was chosen at Kraft Funeral Services, Spring Street Chapel, New Albany. The family requests that expressions of sympathy take the form of contributions to the American Heart Association.

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Oscoda, Mich. -
Patrick Dean Bardsley, age 56, of Oscoda died naturally at his home on Friday, Aug. 28, 2009.
He was born on Sept. 4, 1952, in Topeka, Kansas, to Rex and Betty (Dunford) Bardsley. Patrick married his wife, Teresa, on June 27, 1974, in Fort Worth, Texas.
He served in the U.S. Air Force during Vietnam and Desert Storm. Patrick was a retired master sergeant with the 379th Bomb Wing. He enjoyed this area so much he chose to remain in Oscoda after the base closed. Patrick was a lifetime member of the Oscoda VFW Post 3735.
He is survived by his wife, Teresa; his daughter, Elizabeth (John) Webster; and his grandchildren, Savahanna Rose and Chase David-Hobson Webster. Patrick is also survived by his brother, Michael (Vicki) Bardsley; his sisters, Sue (Sam) Roberts and Barbara Loyd; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Rex and Betty Bards­ley.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, Sept. 5, 2 p.m., at the Oscoda chapel of Buresh-Bennett Funeral Home.

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Las Vegas, Nev. - ADOLFO BENAVIDEZ -
Adolfo Genaro Benavidez, 37, of Las Vegas, passed away Sunday, Sept. 13, 2009. He was born Dec. 26, 1971, in San Francisco. Adolfo was a waste disposal maintenance manager and served in the U.S. Marine Corps during Desert Storm. He is survived by his one true love and wife, Patricia; beautiful daughters, Alana and Talia; dear sister, Kelly; loving parents, Genaro and Amelia; and by many friends and family who will miss him greatly. "God Bless his son, Adolfo." Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, at Palm Mortuary, 6701 N. Jones Blvd. Graveside service will be at 10:40 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery, in Boulder City. There will be a memorial service following at 1 p.m. at Prince of Peace Catholic Church, 5485 E. Charleston Blvd.

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Gwinnett, Ga. -
Georgie Alys S. Bignault, age 53, of Lilburn, GA died August 25, 2009. She is survived by her partner, Laura Erwin; parents, Saralyn Bignault, Georges and Gloria Bignault; siblings, Michael, David, Stephen, Jim, Mary and Jon. Ms. Bignault was a US Army Retired War Veteran. She served in Europe, Korea and Desert Storm. Memorial services will be held Friday, August 28 at 2pm at St. Marguerites Catholic Church with Fr. James Harrison serving as celebrant. The family will receive friends Friday from 1pm until service time, at the church. In lieu of flowers please make donations to the American Cancer Society, 6500 Sugarloaf Pkwy, Suite 260, Duluth, GA 30097, in memory of Georgie Alys S. Bignault. Condolences may be sent or viewed at www.wagesfuneralhome.com. Tom M. Wages Funeral service, LLC, Snellville Chapel, 770/979-3200

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Hanahan, S.C. - Johnny R. "Jay" Brown, Jr. HANAHAN -
Johnny R. "Jay" Brown, Jr., 47, of Hanahan, SC died on Monday, August 17, 2009, at the VA Medical Center in Charleston, SC. Born September 10, 1961, in Martinsburg, WV. He is the son of Johnny R. Brown of Winchester, VA, and the late Barbara Banks Brown, and was raised by his aunt Shirley Brown. He was of the Methodist Faith and had served with the US Army in Desert Storm. He loved WVU and the Dallas Cowboys. He was a graduate of Martinsburg High School Class of 1980. In addition to his father, he is survived by a son, Jeremy Brown of Martinsburg; two brothers, Warren Brown and wife, Ruth of Leesburg, VA, Johnny Brown of Winchester; four sisters, Bertha Brown and Donald, Dottie Johnson and husband, Kirk, Anita Branch, and Beth Ann Brown all of Martinsburg; a hosts of nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends, including special friend Brenda England. He was preceded in death by a brother, Tommy Brown. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, August 22, 2009, at 3:30 p.m., at the Brown Funeral Home with Pastor Todd Brown officiating. Military graveside services will be in Mt. Hope Cemetery. Family will receive friends on Saturday, August 22, 2009, from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., prior to services. See obituary at www.BrownFuneralHomesWV.com. Visit our guestbook at www.postandcourier.com/deaths

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Converse, Tex. -
Karen Lynn Chamblee, 53, of Converse, TX joined the Church Universal after a long illness on Saturday, August 15, 2009, at Audie Murphy Veterans Medical Center, surrounded by her loving family. Karen was born in Bridgeport, Conn. June 27, 1956 to Melvin and Dorothy Rich, who both preceded her in death. Karen graduated from Roger Ludlowe High School in Fairfield in 1973 and entered the Diploma Nursing Program at Bridgeport Hospital and graduated in 1976. An operating room nurse, Karen served at Emory University Medical Center in Atlanta, Ga., University Hospital and Audie Murphy Veteran's Medical Center in San Antonio, TX. She also attended University of the Incarnate Word and Palo Alto College in San Antonio, earning an Associate Degree in Veterinary Technology. A Captain in the US Army Reserve, Karen served as an OR nurse in the 114 Evac Hosp in Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm. A gifted musician and singer, Karen was known by all for her gentle, generous nature and her love of children and animals, serving for years as a Sunday school teacher at San Pedro Presbyterian Church. She always lent her talents in arts and crafts at Vacation Bible School. She was happiest when she was spending time with her church Bunco buddies. Karen is survived by her husband William A. "Don" Chamblee and son Jared Scott Chamblee, Riley the Westie, Bella the Catahoula, and cats Ephraim and Luna, whom she also thought of as her children, brother Mark Rich of Chester, Virginia, sister Susan Okaty of Virginia Beach, Virginia, and numerous nieces and nephews. MEMORIAL SERVICE THURSDAY, AUGUST 20, 2009, 2:00 P.M., SAN PEDRO PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 14900 SAN PEDRO AVE Rev. Faith Jongewaard officiating. Interment with Full Military Honors will be held at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Karen's name may be made to San Pedro Presbyterian Church Youth Ministry, 14900 San Pedro Avenue, San Antonio, TX 78232.
You are invited to sign the Guestbook at www.porterloring.com

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LACONIA, N.H. —
Larry "Gatzi" Stephen Cornish, 51, died March 5, 2009, in Nierstein, Germany.
Larry was born Dec. 4, 1957, in Fort Belvoir, Va., the son of Robert J. and Anna M. (Thonis) Cornish.
Larry grew up in the Army, living in Georgia, Colorado and Frankfurt, Germany, until his father retired. He lived in Kingston with his family until they moved to Colebrook, where he graduated from high school in 1976 at the age of 17.
Larry immediately joined the Army and was an active member until 1992. Most of his armed forces career was spent stationed in Germany.
He fought in Desert Storm, where he received several medals and honors for exceptionally meritorious achievement.
After leaving the Army, Larry resided for a short period of time in Zephyr Hills, Fla., but missed the friends he had made and the lifestyle of Germany. He moved back to Germany and had resided in Nierstein for the past 17 years. He was a well-loved and valued member of that community who will miss him dearly. He was their beloved "Gatzi."
Larry is survived by his sisters, Lisa Cornish of Laconia and Beth Cornish of Tampa, Fla., and his niece, Anna M. Cochran, of Laconia; as well as his German family, Wilfried, Regina, Jose, Inge, Tony, Elke, Gabriele, Annette, Birgit, Richard, Philippe and the French fan club.
In addition to his parents, Larry was predeceased by his sister, Robin Cornish, and by his brother, William D. Cornish.
There will be no calling hours. A graveside service, with military honors, will be held on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2009, at 10 a.m. at the family lot in Union Cemetery, Academy St., Laconia.
As Larry loved to support his niece, Anna, in all of her activities, in lieu of flowers, please donate to the Laconia High School Marching Sachems, c/o the Laconia High School Band Boosters, PO Box 165, Laconia NH 03247.
Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 164 Pleasant St., Laconia, is in charge of the arrangements. For more information and to view an online memorial, go to www.wilkinsonbeane.com.

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NEWMARKET, N.H. —
Kenneth S. Dennett, retired U.S. Army, 39, formerly of Liberty Drive, Whitefield, died Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2009, at his home.

Born Sept. 21, 1969, in Exeter, he was the son of Leon D. Dennett and the late Drusilla (Adams) Dennett. He had resided in Newmarket for many years.
He started his military career in 1988, joining the N.H. Army National Guard. He served during Operation Desert Shield / Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He retired in August of 2008, and was the recipient of many ribbons and medals.
He is survived by his father, Leon D. Dennett of Whitefield; two sisters, Karen Grant and her husband, Eric, and Kimberly Dennett, all of Newmarket; two nieces; and three nephews.
SERVICES: A memorial visitation will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Kent & Pelczar Funeral Home, 77 Exeter St., Newmarket. Private burial will take place in the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery, Boscawen. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the funeral home to assist the family with funeral expenses. Visit www.kentandpelczarfh.com to sign an online guest book.

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Worcester, Mass. -- Albert DiGregorio, Jr., 50, of Worcester, a retired U.S. Navy Master Chief Petty Officer, passed away Saturday, August 29th, 2009, in St Vincent Hospital, after an illness. Albert was born January 20, 1959, in Worcester, a son of the late Albert E. DiGregorio, Sr. Al graduated from North High School, attended Holy Cross College and graduated from the University of New York. Albert joined the Navy in 1975, and served for the next 20 years in the nuclear submarine service before retiring as a Master Chief Petty Officer due to illness. He was a Desert Storm Navy Veteran. Albert is survived by a son, Albert E. DiGregorio III; his mother, Jean (Hoitink) DiGregorio; four brothers and sisters, Joseph A. DiGregorio and his wife Kathleen, Mary Jordan, Rose Coffey and her husband Michael, Anthony J. DiGregorio and his partner Ken Willard; a granddaughter, Kayliann DiGregorio; many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins. Besides his father, a brother, James DiGregorio predeceased him. Albert enjoyed reading and his family. His wish was to spend a longer time on active duty with the Navy. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, September 2nd at 11:00 a.m. in the MERCADANTE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL, 370 Plantation St. Burial will be in Massachusetts Veterans Cemetery, Winchendon. Friends and relatives are invited to visit with the family Tuesday, September 1st from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Massachusetts Veterans, Inc., 69 Grove Street, Worcester, MA 01605.

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Welch, W.Va. - SSGT Thomas Roy Dixon, U.S. Air Force (Ret) was born May 5, 1951 in Welch, West Virginia to Herbert and Sally Dixon. He passed away August 25, 2009 at the age of 58. Mr. Dixon proudly served his country in Vietnam and Desert Storm. Following retirement from the U.S. Air Force, he worked at Kelly AFB and then at Standard Aero as an aircraft mechanic. He was preceded in death by two sisters and a step-daughter, Patricia. Survivors include his wife of 16 years, Joyce Dixon; step-daughters: Maria, Margarita and Alicia; step-sons: Michael, Anthony, and Daniel; sisters: Joyce, Lou and Laurie; brothers: Lee, Ray, John and Gary; 13 grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation will begin at 6:00 PM on Sunday, August 30 at Mission Park Funeral Chapels South. Funeral services will be held at 12:45 PM on Monday, August 31 at Mission Park followed by interment will Military Honors at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery. For personal acknowledgment you may sign the guest book at www.missionparks.com in the obituary section.

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Sacramento, Calif. - DeSHIELDS, Jr., Edward, 46, passed away peacefully on Thursday, August 13, 2009 in Sacramento, CA. He was born on May 31, 1963 in Kansas City, MO where he spent his early childhood. After moving with his family to Sacramento, CA, Edward attended Kennedy High School. As a graduate he inlisted in the U.S Air Force. He served tours in Desert Storm, England, Germany and Korea. After 14 years of service, he returned to Sacramento where he worked in sales and finance in the automotive and mortgage industries. Edward built a legion of lifetime friends with his incredible smile, love for life, generosity and genuine concern for others. He faced his toughest battles in life like he faced every day, with faith in God, courage, and unwavering optimism. Above all, he was a family man and an engaged and attentive father. He adored and was so proud of his daughters. He love them beyond measure. He is survived by his wife, Courtney, daughters, Rajanae and Jailyn, mother Charlotte, sisters Angela and Maria, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and countless family members and friends who will always remember him with love, pride and affection. Family and friends are welcome to a celebration of Edward's life on Saturday, August 22 at 1 pm at Kyles Temple AME Zion Church, 2940 42nd St, Sacramento, CA.

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Fairfax, Va. - Brian Straehley Tucker, age 38, of Glen Carbon, died on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2009, in Fairfax, Va., of circumstances related to a heart condition. He was born in New York, N.Y., on Oct. 21, 1970, the son of Joyce Hudson of Kiawah Island, S.C. and William S. Tucker, Jr. of Charleston, S.C. and step-son of Martha Tucker of Charleston, S.C. and W. Thomas Hudson, Jr. of Kiawah Island, SC.
Brian graduated from Summit High School, in Summit, N.J., and attended Southern Illinois University, in Edwardsville.
Brian served in the U.S. Navy from 1990 - 1994 and in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1994-1998 and was the recipient of the National Defense Service Medal for his service during the Gulf War and Operation Desert Storm.
Brian was employed as a Computer Systems Engineer for Intrinsic Technologies, LLC of Lisle, Illinois since 2005. Brian was an avid motorcycle enthusiast and enjoyed traveling with family and friends. Brian was a loving and devoted father and is survived by his daughter, Chelsea C. Tucker of Edwardsville; parents and step parents; sister, Lynsey Tucker of New York, N.Y.; grandparents William S. Tucker and Vivian O. Tucker of Blytheville, Ark., and Eleanor K. Casato of Lakehurst, N.J., step-sisters, Lynn Matthews of Charlotte, N.C., and Lisa Grasing of Kansas City, Kan.; step-brothers, Judson Matthews of Charleston, S.C.; Will Hudson of Portland; and Matt Hudson of London, England; loved ones, Julie A. Tucker; Joshua P. Lager; Brian L. Lager and Chad N. Lager of Edwardsville; and many devoted friends and colleagues.
A family memorial service will be conducted in Chelsea, Vt.

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Phoenix, Ariz. - Kevin C. Cokely of Phoenix, Arizona and Apalachin, NY, 3/24/1964 - 8/10/2009. Kevin, age 45, went to be with the Lord on Monday, August 10th, 2009, at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona after a courageous battle with cancer, surrounded by family and friends. He was a decorated veteran of the U.S. Army with 22 years of service before his retirement. He served in both Middle East campaigns, Operation Desert Storm and Operation Enduring Freedom. Kevin was employed at the University of Phoenix in Arizona at the time of his death. He is survived by his parents, David and Ethel Cokely of Apalachin, NY, a son and daughter-in-law, Michael (Annabelle) Robertson, and two adored granddaughters, Anaihya and Xzalayhia Robertson of Phoenix, Arizona. He is also survived by a brother, David D. Cokely, sisters, Cindy (Karl) Williams, Debbie Becchetti, Karen (David) Gottschall and his special cat, Silly, as well as numerous cousins, aunts and uncles.
Kevin was interred with full Military Honors at the National Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix, Arizona on Thursday, August 13th, 2009.

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Lenoir, N.C. - Mr. Gregory James Hall, 40, of Lenoir died Sunday, Sept. 6, 2009. Born May 5, 1969, in Caldwell County, Mr. Hall was a son of James J. and Ruby C. Hall of Lenoir and the husband of Cynthia C. Hall of the home. Gregory was a U.S. Army veteran, serving during Desert Storm, and worked for the Department of Corrections in Morganton. He was a volunteer with the Patterson Fire Department and was chief of Lenoir Rescue for several years. Surviving, other than his wife and parents, are four children, Christian Lee Hall and wife, Amanda, Erica Lee Bentley, Brooke Ciara Hall and Tyler James Hall, all of Lenoir; two sisters, Penny Lofgren and husband, Jim, of Lenoir and Barbie Hall of Ferguson; two granddaughters, Lilly Christine Hall and Madison Lee Keller, both of Lenoir; and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives. Services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Unity Baptist Church with the Rev. Paul Dula officiating. Military honors will be observed. The family will receive friends from 1 until 2 p.m., prior to the service on Wednesday at the church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the Patterson Fire Department, 1414 Yadkin River Road, Patterson, NC 28661. Online condolences may be sent to the Hall Family at www.evansfuneralservice.com Evans Funeral Service of Lenoir is serving the Hall Family.

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Niagara Falls, N.Y. - Gary W. Hardy II, 39, of Niagara Falls, NY, passed away on Wednesday, September 2, 2009. Born in Niagara Falls, NY, he was the son of Carol-Ann (Gentile) and Richard A. Pawlak of Niagara Falls, NY and Gary W. Hardy of Lewiston, NY.Gary attended Niagara County Community College in Sanborn, NY, where he received an Associate Degree in Nursing. He later received his Bachelors Degree in Nursing from Daemen College in Buffalo, NY and was currently working on his Masters Degree in Neonatal Nurse Practitioner from South Alabama University. Gary devoted most of his life to the United States Military. He first joined the United States Army in 1987 and was stationed in Ft. Drum, NY, Ft. Bragg, NC, Germany, Korea, Somalia, Iraq and Haiti. He was involved in Operation Desert Storm as a paratrooper and combat infantry. He was honorably discharged in 1997. Gary later enlisted in the United States Navy in 2002, and was stationed in Road Island and Bethesda, MD and also served in Operation Iraqi Freedom until his honorable discharge in 2006. He was currently serving in the Army National Guard. Gary was a member of the Combat Infantry Men's Association and in his spare time enjoyed sky diving and collecting military items. In addition to his parents, he is also survived by his children, Gary Hardy III, Cody S. Hardy, Coby Hardy, Noah Hardy and Alexandria Hardy; his half-sister, Bethany Hannaford; step-sisters, Jennifer (Greg) Pokoj, Michelle Stepanowicz, and Kim (Robert) Lewis; and his step-brother, Mark Huffman. He was the grandson of, Samuel A. (late Maud) Gentile of Niagara Falls, NY, Richard Z. and Mary Pawlak of Niagara Falls, NY and late Kenneth and Jessie Hardy. He is also survived by several aunts, uncles and cousins.Friends may call on Monday from 2-5 and 7-9 PM at the M.J. COLUCCI and SON NIAGARA FUNERAL CHAPEL, 2730 MILITARY ROAD, NIAGARA FALLS, NY, where funeral services will be held on Tuesday, September 8th at 10:00 AM with Deacon Richard Golazewski officiating. If desired, memorial offerings may be made to a charity of one's choice.Visit www.mjcoluccifuneralchapel.com for on-line guest register.

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San Diego, Calif. - Nathan Troy Jones, age 38, passed away on August 21 2009, in San Diego. He was born April 30, 1971 in Hayward, Calif. Nathan grew up and attended schools in Chico.
He spent 4 years in the Marine Corps and was deployed to the Middle East for Desert Storm.
Nathan was a valued employee of Sungard Bi-Tech in Chico for over 11 years. Five years ago he moved to Mission Beach and continued to work for Bi-Tech as Systems Administrator.
Nathan (Nate) leaves his parents, Verona and Ron and his two younger brothers, Jordan and Logan Jones and his grandmother Pat Jones as well as other relatives and friends here and in San Diego. He is predeceased by grandparents Georgia and Bill Kalb and grandfather Richard Jones.
All are invited to a Memorial Celebration and casual dinner at the Chico Masonic Center, 1110 W. East Ave. on Wednesday September 16 at 6 p.m. For any additional info: vfj1616@yahoo.com.

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Dothan, Ala. - Chad Edward Kinney (Cpl. Dothan Police Dept.), of Cowarts, AL passed away on Monday, September 8, 2009 at his residence. He was 38. Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday, September 11, 2009 in Sunset Funeral Home Chapel with Chaplain David Willis officiating. Burial with Dothan Police Department Honors will follow in Sunset Memorial Park with Robert Byrd directing. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Friday from 1 until 3 p.m. Chad Kinney was born on March 26, 1971 in California and lived the early years of his life there. He joined the U.S. Army at the age of 18 and served our country in Desert Storm. He was stationed in Ft. Benning in Georgia prior to moving to Dothan in 1993. Chad joined the Dothan Police Department as an officer in 1997 and was a Corporal in the K-9 Unit for the past 10 years. Survivors include his wife, Kelli Kinney of Dothan; his son, Jack Kinney and two daughters, Erin and Mary Ashley Kinney all of Dothan; his father, Harry Kinney and his wife Marlene of California; his grandfather, Boots Kewley of California; his brother, Anthony Kinney of Washington; an aunt and uncle, Dave and Vicki Marshall of , California; and his cousins, Kim Vaughn and Katie Marshall of California. Serving as active pall-bearers will be Lynn Watkins, Joe Cochran, Will Benny, Brad Cain, William Wozniak and Andy Martin. Robert Byrd of Sunset Funeral Home (334) 983-6604, is in charge of arrangements. Visit www.sunsetmemorialpark.com. Please sign the guest book at www.dothaneagle.com.

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Fountain, Colo. - MSgt. Eric Keen Kornegay USA (Ret.) age 56, passed away suddenly on Sunday, August 30, 2009 at his residence in Fountain, Colorado. He served his country proudly and with distinction for over 20 years in the United States Army. After retiring, Eric drove trucks long distance until his death. He was born on April 5, 1953 in Richmond, VA to Robert Cooper and Arah Lee (Barefoot) Kornegay. He graduated high school from Nairobi International School in 1971 and East Carolina University with a B.S. in Criminal Justice in 1976. He enlisted in the Army as a Medic in November 1976, retired as Chief Medical Administrator NCO in July 1997. He served in Operation Desert Storm. Eric married Bonnie Boughner on November 6, 1979 in Ozark, AL. He was a member of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Glennville, GA. He was a member of VFW Post 8379 in Glennville, GA. He was preceded in death by his parents. A devoted husband, brother, father and grandfather, Eric is survived by his children, Eric Kornegay Jr. (wife Michelle) of Moncks Corner, SC and Scott Kornegay of Colorado Springs, CO; four grandchildren, Hunter Keith, Eric Kornegay III, Devin Banks, and Haley Kornegay. Also surviving is his brother, Burt Kornegay and wife, Becky of Cullowhee, NC; two sisters, Julia Kornegay and husband, Alfredo Escobar of Raleigh, NC, Stefanie Berry and husband, David of Tampa, FL. Also surviving are several aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. Family visitation will be on Friday, September 11, 2009 at Antioch United Methodist Church on Hwy 701 in Four Oaks from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Funeral service will be held on Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. at the Antioch United Methodist Church with Paster Henry Lee officiating. Graveside service with full Military Honors will follow. Funeral arrangements are being made by Minshew Funeral Home, Four Oaks, NC. Flowers accepted or memorial contributions may be made to the Antioch United Methodist Church of Four Oaks

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Dover, Del. - Christopher J. Lavelle, 57, of Dover, died Sept. 14, 2009, suddenly at his residence. Born in San Francisco, Calif., he was the son of John F. and Jeanne Wallin Lavelle. Mr. Lavelle served in the U.S. Air Force for over 22 years and was a Vietnam and Desert Storm Veteran retiring in 1992. At the time of his death Mr. Lavelle was serving as a Dispatcher with the City of Dover Electric Dept. He was a member of Holy Cross Church in Dover, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, and the American Legion and was a Past Commander of the Dover Civil Air Patrol Squadron. In his quieter moments he enjoyed Model Rail Roading and flew Model Air Planes. Besides his parents, he is survived by his wife, Theresa L. Yates Lavelle of Dover; two sons, Shane P. Lavelle of Absecon, N.J., and Jonathan E. Lavelle of Wilmington; and two sisters, Katherine Lavelle of Woburn, Mass., and Amy Smart of Mexico City, Mexico. Friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m., Friday at the Funeral Home of Michael J. Ambruso, 1175 S. State St., Dover. A Memorial Mass will be offered at a later date in St. Barbara Catholic Church in Woburn, Mass. Condolences and Guest Book signings may be made via www.ambruso.com.

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Pembroke, Ga. - Lieutenant Colonel Phillip Abner Merritt, age 53 died Saturday Sept. 5, 2009 at his home.
Mr. Merritt was a retired senior aviator with the U.S. Army with over 20 years of service. He flew Black Hawk helicopters and served in operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm and in Iraq during the global war on terrorism. His duty stations included Korea; Fort Ord, CA; Fort Bragg; and Kaiserlautern, Germany. Mr. Merritt was also the recipient of the Bronze Star. Since retirement, he served as staff specialist at headquarters 6th Brigade of the U.S. Army Cadet Command. Mr. Merritt was an avid fisherman and enjoyed range shooting and traveling.
Surivors include his wife Teri L. Merritt of Pembroke; one son Phillip K. Merritt of Pembroke; one daughter Sarah N. Merritt of Pembroke; two stepsons Michael Bibb of Pembroke and Christopher Torigian of California; one brother Charles Merritt of North Carolina; and two step grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held 10 A.M. Thursday, Sept. 10, in the chapel of Georgia Veteran's Memorial Cemetery in Glennville with Dr. Jim Correll officiating.
Flanders Morrison Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Bryan County News Sign the Legacy guest book at www.bryancountynews.net

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Salisbury, N.C. - Barry Lee Moseley, 39, of Landis, died Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009, at Rowan Regional Medical in Salisbury.
Born March 27, 1970, in Cabarrus County, Barry was the son of the late Rufus William "Bill" Moseley and the late Anna Rozzelle Moseley. He graduated from South Rowan High School in 1988 and worked for UPS for 20 years as a driver. He had served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Desert Storm.
He was a member of First United Methodist Church in Landis and loved his family.
Survivors included his wife, Karen Rhyne Moseley; children Olivia Breanne Moseley of Raleigh, Tristen and Trinity Moseley of Concord; stepdaughter Kaylee Schoonmaker and stepson Will Schoonmaker, both of Landis; brothers Steven Moseley and wife Anna of Landis, Doug Moseley and wife Lori and niece Kayla of Concord; a sister, Patti Osborne and husband David of Salisbury; and a niece, Stephanie of High Point.
Visitation and Service: Visitation will be 6-9 p.m. Friday at Linn-Honeycutt Funeral Home in Landis with the service on Saturday at 2 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Landis. The Rev. Bev Coppley will be officiating. Interment will follow at West Lawn Memorial Park in China Grove.
Memorials: Memorial contribution may be made to First United Methodist Church, 209 E. Mill St., Landis, NC 28088.
Linn-Honeycutt Funeral Home in Landis is assisting the family in making the arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.linnhoneycuttfuneralhome.com

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Bloomington, Ind. - Retired U.S. Navy Commander Mark Edward Muzii, 42, of Bloomington passed away Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009.
Mr. Muzii graduated from Douglas McArthur High School in Levittown, N.Y., and received his bachelor of science degree in oceanography from SUNY Maritime in the Bronx. He then went on to attain two master degrees, one from Air Command and Staff College in Montgomery, Ala., and also from Central Michigan University. He was a highly decorated helicopter pilot with the U.S. Navy. He served during Desert Storm and was the recipient of honors from the U.S. Navy.
Born Oct. 11, 1966, in Ocean Side, N.Y., he was the son of Mario and Shirley LeVan Muzii.
Mark leaves behind his wife, Michelle Anne Thomas Muzii, Bloomington; daughters, Megan Elizabeth and Mikayla Leigh Muzii; parents, Mario and Shirley Muzii, Salem, S.C.; brothers, David Muzii, Westfield, N.J., and Karl Muzii, Salem, S.C.; and his father- and mother-in-law, David and Gladys Thomas, Washington.
He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, John and Anna Muzii; maternal grandparents, Harry and Dorothy LeVan; uncle, John Lewis Muzii, who was a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.
Funeral services will be conducted at 10 a.m. Saturday at First United Methodist Church, 411 E. Fourth St., Bloomington, where he and his family were members. Burial will follow at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Madison.
Friends may call from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at Allen Funeral Home, 4155 South Old Highway 37, Bloomington.

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Oklahoma City, Ok. - Charles R. Reno, age 49, passed away 8-17-09. He was born 5-10-60 at Ft. Riley, KS and retired from the Army as SFC after Desert Storm, then worked as a mechanic at TAFB. He was active in PGR of OK. Survived by wife, Tammy; son, Matthew Ray; DIL, Maranda; granddaughter, Cabella; sister, Marlene McAfee; brother, Robert Reno. Preceded by parents, Claude Benton Reno, Linda Lou Reno (Muninger); two brothers, Russell Allen and Ray Eugene. Oklahoma services at Purcell multipurpose center on 8/30, 2pm. Interment at Ft. Scott Nt'l. cemetery 8-31-09 at 2:30pm.

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Goodyear, Ariz. - Clarence "Roscoe" Mark Saunders, 46, of Goodyear, Ariz., went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, Sept. 6, 2009, at his residence unexpectedly in his sleep. He was born April 25, 1963, in Radford, Va. He was a specialist in the U.S. Army and a combat field medic during Desert Storm. He was also a member of the Church of Christ/Christian Church. He is survived by his parents, Carl and Margaret Saunders of Morganton; his sister, Martha Saunders Capaldini and her husband, James, of Morganton; his children, Carrie, Crystal and Billy Saunders of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; and nephews, Jesse, David and Braydon Capaldini of Morganton. A memorial service will be held at 5:30 p.m. at Chesterfield Church of Christ on Wednesday. Any donations in lieu of flowers should be sent to Chesterfield Church of Christ, c/o Carl Saunders, 2371 NC 18, Morganton, NC 28655. Arrangements entrusted to Crystal Rose Funeral Home, Tolleson, Ariz. Condolences at www.crystalrosefuneralhome.com.

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Cabot, Ark. - SCHOENFELDER, Paul Raymond, 45, passed away September 7, 2009, in Cabot, Ark. Paul was a graduate of Leto High School and an U.S. Air Force retiree who served during Operation Desert Storm. Paul is survived by his daughter, Delin LaPointe of Cabot, Ark.; and grandson, Chris, his mother, Rosemarie Butler-Vomacka and her husband, Bob Vomacka of Gainesville, Fla.; his sister, Donna and her husband, Marco Gasparro of San Colombano al Lambro, Italy and nieces Alexia and Francesca and nephew, Leonardo all of Italy. Services were conducted in Cabot, Ark. September 10. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that friends send contributions to the American National Kidney Foundation.

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Fayetteville, N.C. - Retired U.S. Army CW3 Harold Steven Sheldt, 56, of 3541 Gables Drive, in Fayetteville, NC, passed away on Saturday, August 15, 2009, at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.
He was born on April 2, 1953, in Montgomery, Alabama, to Charles H. Sheldt and the late Edrie Smith Sheldt.
He retired from the Joint Communications Unit (JCU) at the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) with over 23 years of service; is a veteran of Beirut and Desert Shield/Desert Storm, and was currently working at the United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School (USAJFKSWCS).
He is survived by his wife Linda Sheldt, their son, Harold Steven Sheldt II and his wife Meredith, of Angier; five grandchildren, Skylar Sheldt, Harold Steven Sheldt III, Stephanie Jones, Phillip Johnson, Chris Gantt and great grandson, Grayson Jones; four brothers; Allen Sheldt, of Houston, TX, Chuck Sheldt of Pensacola, FL, Jeff Sheldt of Atlanta, GA, and Mike Sheldt of Atlanta, GA.
Funeral services will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. Friday, August 21, 2009 at Rogers and Breece Funeral Home Chapel with Chaplain LTC Mark Knox officiating, immediately followed by graveside service at Sandhills State Veterans Cemetery, Spring Lake with the rendering of full military honors.
Services entrusted to Rogers and Breece Funeral Home of Fayetteville.

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Chardon, Ohio - James "Jim" D. McCurry, age 43, of Chardon, Ohio, passed away Thursday, Sept. 10, 2009. He was born Jan. 20, 1966, in Madison, Ohio and had been a lifelong area resident.Jim was a U.S. Army veteran, having served in Iraq during Desert Storm. He was a member of the Chardon Eagles Club.He was a maintenance technician at Rhein Chemie for 20 years and enjoyed model cars, fishing and spending time with his sons.Survivors include two sons, Mikel McCurry of Missouri and Jason McCurry at home; father, Larry McCurry of Middlefield; mother, Calla (Bright) Pace of Newburg, N.Y.; brother, Jerry (Cara) McCurry of Louisville, Ohio; sisters, Kim Rosscup of Newburg, N.Y. and Rhonda Russitano of Apex, N.C.; half-brother, Alan Pace of Rolesville, N.C.; and granddaughter, Stormie.He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Mike and Clara McCurry; and maternal grandparents, Doil and Rosetta Nixon.Funeral Service will be 11 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 16th, at BURR FUNERAL HOME, 116 South St. (on St. Rt. 44, 500' south of Rt. 6/Chardon Square), Chardon, Ohio.Visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 15th, at the Funeral Home.Burial will be 11 a.m., Friday, Sept. 18th, at Chardon Municipal Cemetery - Please meet at the cemetery.Donations can be made to a trust fund established at Huntington Bank for Jason McCurry.Obituary and condolences at www.burrservice.com and starbeacon.com.

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