By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Lowell Whitman, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West
JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (NNS) -- More than 200 friends, family and fellow service members gathered at White Oak High School, Aug. 20, to remember Special Warfare Operator 1st Class (SEAL) Christopher Campbell.
Campbell was one of 30 U.S. service members killed when a coalition CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed in Afghanistan, Aug. 6.
American flags were placed along the entrance to the school and members of the Patriot Guard Riders, a group wishing to show respect for members of the armed forces, lined the sidewalk leading to the schools auditorium. A table at the entrance held photographs of Campbell, a guestbook for condolences, and a "shadowbox" containing medals and other decorations that chronicled his Navy career.
At the conclusion of ceremonial colors, Campbell's brother, Le, spoke at the service.
"My brother is a hero, for all of us," he said. "Chris is not the kind of man that would ever quit. He would never back down. He lived his life to the fullest [and] never had any regrets."
Le was apt to remember his brother's patriotism. Recalling time spent together during one of Chris' visit to Jacksonville, Le remembered seeing Chris glancing up at an American flag.
"We went by that flag and he just kind of looked up and grinned," Le said, "he never took it for granted. Never."
Also speaking at the service was Sean Harperberger, who attended boot camp and service school with Campbell and was a former SEAL teammate of his.
"In my opinion [Campbell's] strongest passion was for that of helping others. He was always, and I mean always more worried about everyone else than he was of himself," said Harperberger.
Harperberger recalled a time during SEAL training when Campbell, a more experienced swimmer, volunteered to be his swim buddy.
"[Campbell] took himself from being the number one swim pair in all of SEAL training to the absolute worst and from that moment I realized what an amazing guy he was, that he'd be a close friend forever."
Childhood friends of Campbell's spoke following Haperberger and a slideshow highlighting Campbell's life was presented. The ceremony concluded with the playing of "Taps."
Campbell is survived by his wife Angelina; daughter Samantha; parents, and brother, Le. He will be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery later this month.
Campbell, 36, joined the Navy in 1997 and graduated from Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL school in Coronado, Calif. In February 1998. He then reported to a West Coast based SEAL team until 2004, where he earned his SEAL qualification. During his more than 13 years as a Navy SEAL, Campbell served at three separate commands, becoming a distinguished combat veteran and earning a number of decorations including the Bronze Star with "V' device for valor.
Campbell requested that for anyone interested in making donations in his honor to do so to the Wounded Warriors Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675-8517 or donations can be made online at https://support.woundedwarrioproject.org/.
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Dominique Lasco, Naval Special Warfare Command public affairs
BLANDING, Utah (NNS) -- Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) 1st Class Jason Workman, 32, was honored in a memorial service at the Blanding Stake Center in Blanding, Utah Aug. 20.
Workman was one of 30 U.S. service members killed when a coalition CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed in Afghanistan on, Aug. 6.
Saturday afternoon more than 300 family, friends, teammates and neighbors gathered to celebrate the life and mourn the loss of their beloved husband, son, brother, and friend.
Among those in attendance was Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert, who ordered both the U.S. and Utah state flags to be flown at half-staff at all state facilities, honoring Workman as a selfless patriot who stepped forward of his own free will to serve and protect the freedom and rights shared by all Americans.
"I think it takes a special kind of courage, a singular spirit of dedication and an unselfish commitment to God and to country to as a volunteer step forward to render the service that Petty Officer Workman gave," said Herbert to the Workman family. "Utah mourns with you at this time."
Workman's three brothers Corey, Tim, and Stephen shared stories of their little brother and spoke of his humility, integrity, and kindness.
"No greater love hath any man than to give his life for his friends," said Stephen, as he quoted scripture to describe his brother's sacrifice, a theme that was repeated throughout the service.
"Jason was a hero," said his brother, Tim. "I hope that if you look up 'hero' in the dictionary, you would see a picture of Jason."
Other family members and teammates also spoke of Workman's life with laughter and through tears. They spoke of his dedication to his family and friends, his drive to be the best and how he loved being a Navy SEAL.
The ceremony concluded with members of the Utah National Guard rendering a 21-gun salute, while a Navy bugler played "Taps" as the Blanding and San Juan County community offered a final salute to their hometown hero.
Workman's interment is scheduled to take place at Arlington National Cemetery later this month.
Petty Officer Workman is survived by a loving wife and son, his parents, his three brothers, and their families.
The family requests in lieu of flowers, Jason requested that donations be sent to either the Naval Special Warfare Foundation (www.nswfoundation.org) or the Workman family at: Towne Bank, 297 Constitution Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23462. Checks payable to: Workman Family Fund.
With the addition of Mike LaPaglia, Military-Writers.com now lists 1263 US Military servicemembers who have authored books.
Mike LaPaglia was “born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. His career in Criminal Justice spanned forty years. An Air Force enlistee, Mike LaPaglia was honorably discharged and reenlisted in the US Air Force Reserves as Special Agent for the OSI (Office of Special Investigation). In 1957, Mike LaPaglia joined the ranks of the NYPD assigned to Homicide-Organized Crime Squad. In 1976, he joined the ranks of the Ulster County Sheriff s Office where he headed a Special Investigation Division and was later promoted to Captain in charge of all police services. In 1986, Mike LaPaglia was elected Sheriff and retired in 1998.” Mike LaPaglia is the author of Vendetta: Sicilian Justice and The Telic Sanction.
According to the book description of the Vendetta: Sicilian Justice, it is a “riveting suspense filled saga about a little Italian boy from Gangi, in the mountains of Sicily and his tumultuous rise through the Mafia ranks in America.”
According to the book description of The Telic Sanction, “the Coralbank robbery-murder case had too many unanswered questions for NYPD Detective Mike Gallo. Obsessed with a need to know, Gallo plummets into an abyss of dead ends while clashing with his boss, and the CIA. Pressed to drop his investigation, Gallo is forced to make unorthodox moves to uncover some dark deep secret that had not yet surfaced.”
WASHINGTON, Aug. 19, 2011 – “Don’t give up on the mission” is the message he gets from service members when he meets them, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said here today.
Speaking with military reporters during a roundtable discussion in his Pentagon office this morning, Panetta evoked meetings he has had with service members in Iraq and Afghanistan and at various bases in the United States since taking office July 1.
He has visited with wounded warriors in the Washington area hospitals, he said, and he is impressed with their resilience. “[When I look] at the sacrifices they have made and I see their resilience – I mean, they fought for this country and now they have to sort of fight for themselves,” he said. “It’s that kind of energy and attitude that is inspiring.”
The main message he gets from service members and their families, though, is “don’t give up on the mission,” the secretary said.
“In other words: ‘[Given] the sacrifices we’ve gone through, whether in Iraq or Afghanistan or any place else, just make sure we continue the mission and get the job done,’” Panetta said.
“What they want to know,” he added, “is that whatever they’ve been through and what sacrifices they’ve made, in the end it has been worthwhile in terms of defending their country.”
Panetta has been in office almost two months, and he comes in during challenging times.
“I’ve got to deal with two wars, a NATO mission in Libya and the war on terror,” he said. “As effective as our efforts have been to try to weaken al-Qaida, the fact is they remain a threat to this country, and we have to continue to put pressure on them.”
Taking on al-Qaida and similar groups means continuing pressure not only in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, but also in places where nodes of terrorism have sprouted, such as in Yemen and Somalia, Panetta said, while also paying attention to Iran and North Korea – rogue nations that are trying to attain a nuclear capability.
The secretary also is stressing a whole new battlefield in the cyber realm. Hackers – or possibly countries – attack DOD networks hundreds or thousands of times a day, he noted. “Cyber is the battlefield of the future, and we don’t pay enough attention to that threat,” he said.
Rising powers in the world – such as China, India and Brazil -- and continuing relations with Russia also require attention, Panetta said. “We have to do everything possible to ensure they represent a force for stability in the world, and not instability,” he explained.
And all this happens as the United States is facing serious budget concerns.
“Based on my own budget experience, I don’t think you have to choose between national defense and fiscal responsibility,” the secretary said. “Within the resources Congress has provided, I think we can meet those responsibilities.”
Panetta said DOD must protect its core national security interests, maintain the best military in the world, and not break faith with service members and their families.
“America has a special place in the world [through] our military power [and] our diplomatic capabilities, but more importantly, our values and our freedoms,” he said. My job is to make sure that we maintain that special place for America in the world. The only way I can do that is to maintain the core strength that is really behind our military power, which is the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect this country.
“In the end,” he continued, “there are a lot of pretty technological weapons from bombers to fighter planes to submarines, … but none of that is worth much without men and women who are willing to defend this country.”
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- The Multi Cultural Committee of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 42, provided more than 200 backpacks full of school supplies for needy children at the Hubbard House in Jacksonville, Fla., Aug.18.
"This was a good opportunity for the Navy to help the community, namely the unfortunate kids who can't afford a nice backpack and school supplies," said Aviation Electrician's Mate (AW) Chief Petty Officer Dalon Barksdale. "It makes us look good and shows that we are a big part of the community, too."
Thirteen Sailors delivered the backpacks full of supplies to children staying at the domestic violence shelter, just in time for Duval County school openings on, Aug. 22. The shelter has approximately 90 victims who keep their children in the shelter with them. The Hubbard House provides services to more than 5,000 victims a year.
"When I heard about the build-a-backpack operation, I knew we could make a big difference in the community," said Logistics Specialist Petty Officer 3rd Class Monika Rolle. "I am proud of the way the command responded. It is unbelievable how we came together and got things accomplished. We built 201 backpacks in such a short amount of time."
"My junior people took the lead on this drive, all I did was buy a few backpacks and they did the rest," said Logistics Specialist Petty Officer 1st Class (AW/SW) Andy Mucciarone. "Many of the people here didn't come from a wealthy family so this means a lot to them."
HSL- 42 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Brad Collins, Executive Officer Cmdr. Edward Anderson, and Command Master Chief (AW/SW) Terrence Mitchell challenged each work center, detachment, division and department to a competition during the build-a-bag operation. The senior leaders in the chain of command put a fun twist into helping the community by promising a pizza lunch to the center providing the most backpacks. The winning group was the administration office, building more than 40 backpacks.
"It was a tremendous gift," said Ellen Siler, chief executive officer for the Hubbard House. "We are not a government funded organization so nothing is given to us. We are thrilled to get these supplies as most of the children who come here have only the clothes on their back. For all of the children here, who have very little, receiving something brand new is absolutely wonderful."
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Sara Bitter, Naval Special Warfare Public Affairs
PHILADELPHIA (NNS) -- The life of a Navy Sailor was celebrated during a Catholic Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia Aug. 18.
Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 1st Class Michael Strange, 25, was one of 22 Naval Special Warfare personnel killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan Aug. 6.
More than 200 services members from the Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Marine Corps; more than 200 Philadelphia police officers; Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter; and family and friends filled the cathedral to pay respect to Strange's family and friends.
Cardinal Justin Rigali was the celebrant of the mass.
After the mass, a ceremony was held in Logan Circle where Strange's mother Elizabeth Strange, father Charlie Strange Jr. and fiance Brianna Hostetler were presented American flags.
A Navy honor guard rendered a three volley salute. Guests bowed their heads as "Taps" played followed by "Amazing Grace" performed by the police and firefighters of the Highland Bagpipe and Drum Band.
"Mike was my best friend and a brother to me. He was the best guy I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He was an honorable service member, and a silent warrior who excelled in the Navy and in life," said Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 1st Class Ian Regnier.
"Mike was killed doing what he loved. He died serving alongside some of the finest men this country will ever see. Not a day will pass where we won't think of Mike, and thank him for the ultimate sacrifice he made for our country and us," said Maggie O'Brien, Strange's aunt. "We've received tremendous support from the U.S. Navy, Philadelphia Police Department and our community here, and for that, we are so thankful. We thank you for joining us today and know you will help us keep Mike's spirit alive for years to come."
"We grieve for all of them, and admire their teamwork, commitment and courage. We are truly blessed that such men answer a call to military service at the highest levels of professionalism and capability, but also deeply saddened by their loss," said Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command, Rear Adm. Sean A. Pybus.
By H. Sam Samuelson, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Office of Corporate Communication
YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- A Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka logistics response team (LRT) returned to Japan from multiple sites in Australia and Guam Aug. 2, after providing support for exercise Talisman Sabre 2011.
"This biennial event is one of the biggest exercises in the Western Pacific theater of operations and provides an invaluable opportunity to test force and logistics interoperability with one of our closest allies," said Lt. Anthony Castleberry, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka officer-in-charge of LRT operations.
Talisman Sabre is jointly sponsored by the U.S. Pacific Command and Australian Defence Force Joint Operations Command to train U.S. 7th Fleet and Australian Deployable Joint Headquarters staffs as a designated combined task force.
More than 22,000 U.S. and Australian personnel took part in the exercise designed to increase both countries' abilities to plan and execute contingency responses, from combat missions to humanitarian assistance efforts, including land, air and sea training.
Dozens of U.S. ships and hundreds of aircraft participated.
"All the operating forces including, of course, our Australian colleagues, needed continuous logistics support to successfully execute all the training elements of Talisman Sabre," said Castleberry. "That's where we came in."
Castleberry said the American-based LRT formed up with an Australian logistics contingent to create a combined logistics support element in Rockhampton, Queensland, including a nearby military airfield and the Shoalwater Bay Training Area.
In concept, Castleberry's team was devoted to U.S. Forces and the Australian team served its forces.
"But that didn't really happen," Castelberry said. "We assisted each other. We worked as a single team and, at times, it wasn't a matter of which country's ship the material was going to; it was a matter of getting it there safely and on time."Still, the LRT arrived and served the exercise successfully."
The LRT concept was designed to more efficiently provide local, on-scene logistics support by logistics representatives who are familiar with the area-in this case the waters in and around Australia.
In years past, ships would establish beach detachments and assign logistics and supply specialists from inside the hulls to staff the detachments. Unfamiliarity would bread inefficiencies.
"The NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka team comes with experience and understanding of the area, of operations, bases, commercial and military support infrastructures," Castleberry said.
During the exercise, material such as parts, equipment, food stuffs, comfort items and even the mail was delivered to Guam and directly to sites within Australia. A NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka team in Guam sorted material and coordinated transportation via the Navy Air Logistics Office for further movement to Australia.
Castleberry and his team received the material from Guam, as well as prioritized supplies directly into Rockhampton via commercial shipping, sorted and coordinated further transportation to the units at sea.
Castleberry said the Guam LRT tracked 26 high-priority requisitions and expedited 90 line items for shipment by commercial air alone. The LRT also assisted with the quarantine and customs clearance of more than 40 personnel transiting to and from the exercise areas.