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CPT Marcus Alford


Born: February 9, 1982

Died: February 21, 2010

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CPT Marcus Alford


Born: February 9, 1982

Died: February 21, 2010

MARCUS ALFORD

Capt. Marcus R. Alford of Knoxville, Tennessee graduated from South-Doyle High School in 2000 where he was voted "wittiest senior" and served as battalion commander of the ROTC. Some time later, Marcus made a point to come back and share his experience with the students in the ROTC program. Marcus also graduated from Carson-Newman College in 2004 majoring in computer information systems. But he always had a dream of joining the military and hoped to someday fly helicopters while serving his country. Marcus had a knack for bringing people together through his love of people and their love for him in return. He was a mature young man who was enthusiastic about his job and determined to make a difference. He died at age 28 in Qayyarah, Iraq, of wounds suffered when his OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter had a hard landing. He leaves a son, Marcus, and a daughter, Mya, his parents, Mr. Michael Alford and Ms. Karen Ray, and a brother, Jerry Ray. He was engaged to be married. He was posthumously awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal and the Tennessee National Guard Distinguished Service Medal for his extraordinary military service. 


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CW4 Daniel Cole


Born: February 20, 1970

Died: July 9, 2011

CW4 Daniel Cole


Born: February 20, 1970

Died: July 9, 2011

Dan Cole

Chief Warrant Officer Four Daniel E. Cole was born on February 20, 1970 to Mary Sue and John R. Cole. He and his sisters Beth and Becky were raised in Henderson, Tennessee where he attended Chester County Schools and Freed-Hardeman University. He was a member of the CCHS football team as well as many clubs and organizations. He joined the Army National Guard in 1988 as an Infantryman with HHC 4/117th Infantry, Henderson, TN. In 1990, he married Deanna Hall. They have two children, Lauren and Logan. He was transferred to Troop Q, 4/278th ACR as a Warrant Officer Candidate in 1996.
CW4 Cole died in a helicopter crash on July 9, 2011. His awards and decorations include: the Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Air Medal, Army Achievement Medal w/2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal w/M Device and Silver Hourglass, NATO Medal-NATO Service Former Republic of Yugoslavia, Overseas Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal w/1 Silver Oak Leaf Cluster, Tennessee Individual Achievement Ribbon, Tennessee Volunteer Ribbon, Tennessee Service Ribbon w/2 Oak Leaf Clusters and Bronze Service Star, Tennessee War Service Ribbon, Combat Action Badge and the Meritorious Unit Commendation.


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CW3 Tim Flanigan


Born: Apr. 11, 1969

Died: July 2, 2006

CW3 Tim Flanigan


Born: Apr. 11, 1969

Died: July 2, 2006

Tim Flanigan

Family members described a National Guardsman from Milan who was killed on July 2, 2006 in Afghanistan as a beloved husband, father and son. Chief Warrant Officer 3 William Timothy Flanigan, 37, who was with the Jackson based 4-278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, was killed in an AH-64 Apache helicopter that crashed shortly after taking off from Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. The soldier's father, William Thomas Flanigan, said that he will remember his son, who was known as Tim, as a "straight arrow" and someone whose word "you could take to the bank. He was a very vital person and he touched everyone's lives." Tim Flanigan was piloting the two-man helicopter and served as a Guard training instructor. He had flown since he was a teenager, his father said. "He probably knew (the Apache) better than the guys who built them," he said. His son's love of flying was paralleled only by his love of service, he said. Tim Flanigan had served 10 years in the Army and three years in the Tennessee National Guard. "The guy's just tremendously devoted to his country. He loves it and he's one of these guys who said if you didn't sacrifice for it, you didn't love it," his father said. Tim Flanigan didn't have to look far for role models. His father served in the Air Force, while his mother was an Army nursing officer. "He had super integrity," William Thomas Flanigan said of his son. "You could always go to the bank with what he told you. He was a very straightforward guy, even if it indicted him." Tim Flanigan, who had spent time overseas in Germany and Bosnia while in the Army, was a member of Company R of the 4-278th Armored Cavalry Regiment. He was deployed to the Middle East in January. He had enlisted in the Army in 1993, soon after he graduated from Indiana State University with a degree in aerospace technology and a professional piloting license. Tim Flanigan is survived by his wife, Cassie, daughter Meghan, 11, and son Brodie, 9. "Tim had a commitment to excellence and a willingness to avenge for others," said Cassie Flanigan in a prepared statement. "As a husband and father, we were so blessed to have him. We will hold him dear in our hearts forever. He can never be replaced." Abby Little, leader of a family support group for Tim Flanigan's unit, said in a prepared statement issued Wednesday that the group was ''utterly devastated'' by news of his death. ''We will never be able to repay Tim or his family for the ultimate sacrifice they have made for our country,'' the statement said. ''Tim was a true American Hero and he will be deeply missed.''


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CW2 Billie Jean Grinder


Born: August 9, 1984

Died: February 21, 2010

CW2 Billie Jean Grinder


Born: August 9, 1984

Died: February 21, 2010

Billie Jean Grinder

Chief Warrant Officer Billie J. Grinder of Gallatin, Tennessee was a 2002 graduate of Smyrna High School. She was a tough, but girly tomboy who rode motorcycles and gave generously to the people in her life. She sported tattoos and liked going fast and doing things that other people might consider as dangerous. But Billie had absolutely no fear. Billie joined the Tennessee Army National Guard in July of 2002 at age 17 while still in high school. She became a pilot in 2007 after completing Warrant Officer School at Ft. Rucker, Alabama. She was deployed to Iraq for her first tour in June 2009 and she was scheduled to come home within two weeks. She was currently a Pilot-In-Command (PIC) for OH-58D Kiowa Warrior. Billie Jean died at age 25 in Qayyarah, Iraq, of wounds suffered when her OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter had a hard landing. She was preceded in death by father, Harold William Smith; maternal grandparents, Cathuel and Juan Galon Bowe; paternal grandparents, Robert and Joan Smith; and uncle, Woodford Bowe. She is survived by husband, Samuel, stepdaughters, Megan and Makayla, mother, Roxanne Davenport, stepfather, Billy Davenport, a sister, Melissa, brothers, James and Robbie among others.


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1LT Thomas Williams


Born: January 31, 1985

Died: July 9, 2011

1LT Thomas Williams


Born: January 31, 1985

Died: July 9, 2011

Thomas Williams

Thomas Joseph Williams, Jr. was born January 31, 1985, in Nashville to Thomas Joseph Williams, Sr. and Lynne Tune Williams. In addition to loving parents, Thomas has two loving sisters Ann-Marie and Mary Jo Williams. Thomas' love of his life for the past 5 years is Nikki Schmidt, who was his fiancé, confidant and best friend. Thomas touched the lives of so many through all aspects of this life – family, friends, fraternity and military. His ambition and personality affected each person he came across, and he left a lasting legacy in every life he entered. Thomas was a pilot and a proud patriot. He was an Aviation Officer of OH-58D and Platoon Leader in C/1/230th ACS with the Tennessee Army National Guard at the McGee Tyson Aviation Flight Facility outside of Knoxville. Thomas was owner and president of Southeast Investment Group, which he started in 2009 in Knoxville, specializing in real estate sales and investments as well as construction and project management. Thomas was especially proud and loved restoring and renovating older and historic homes, particularly the Victorian houses in the World's Fair Park area in Knoxville. He was an affiliate broker at ERA Top Producers Real Estate in Knoxville and also was a Project Manager at A & L Construction. As a sophomore at the University of Tennessee, Thomas became a real estate agent, affiliate broker and advisor with Coldwell Banker Wallace and Wallace in Knoxville. Thomas graduated from Hillwood High School in Nashville in 2003 and entered the University of Tennessee - Knoxville, where he graduated in December 2007 with a Bachelor's Degree in Human Geography with concentrations in Military Science, business, urban development and land use and planning. During his freshman year at UT, Thomas joined Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity and remained active in the organization. As a cadet, Thomas served with the U.S. Army Reserve and TNARNG, C TRP/1/230th ACS. Thomas was commissioned as a 2LT Tennessee Army National Guard after completing the UT ROTC program. He returned to the UT Army ROTC program in 2011 as an assistant professor of Military Science. After being commissioned, Thomas became Officer Strength Manager and Interim Company Commander of Det 2 HHT/1/230th ACS. In February 2008, he moved into Liaison Officer of the Det 2 HHT/1/230th ACS.