Taylor Williams says “my favorite veteran is my father in law, Brian Williams. He has been serving in the Air Force for 35 years now. He has served in Iraq twice, Turkey five times, Qatar, and Afghanistan. He has received countless metals but is so humble I'm sure I don't even know all of them. Chief Williams has a special place in my heart and I'm so thankful he is home safe. He has put his life on the line for many years and he is so proud to have been able to serve his country. He is a proud American and our family would be lost without him!”
Bo Kociuba wanted to share few details about her father, Janusz Bratek, who was just a 10yr old boy when the war started in Poland Oct.1, 1939. “He is my hero and there are no adequate words to express my gratitude and recognize his sacrifice.” Her father was a child who lost his mother at the age of ten and his father at the age of thirteen. He was a survivor of Majdanek concentration camp and a member of the Polish Underground Army. Janusz fought in the bloody and heroic Warsaw Uprising, the major World War II 63 day battle, where Polish resistance, most of them young teenagers, fought to liberate Warsaw from German occupation For his actions he was awarded a Cross of Valor. He was a survivor of German Stalags of Lamsdorf, Muhlberg and Oschatz where prisoners, because of starvation, were forced to hunt for cats and rats. He was one of a youngest POWs in WWII. He served under Gen. Anders in Italy with a rank of Petty Officer. In 1945 ended up in Manchester, England then came back to Poland in 1947. *While we recognize that Janusz Bratek was not a United States Soldier, we still want to recognize the heroic role he played in the freedom of people like his daughter Bo Kociuba, who is now a US citizen.
Pilar Dykes wanted to recognize her husband Zack Dykes. Zack was active Army from 2010 to 2014 in Ft. Lewis, Tacoma, WA, and served in Afghanistan 2012 as a gunner on a Striker armored truck. He is currently serving in the Army Reserves. Like many other service men and women, Zack has received awards and medals but he is very humble about it and does not share those stories with many folks.
C’Anne Smally wants to recognize her husband, Jason Smalley. He served 6 years active duty in the United States Marine Corps. His job was communication, navigation and electronics countermeasure systems. He left the Marine Corps as a Staff Sergeant. He deployed to the South Pacific, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. Jason was an expert marksman. Jason received two Navy Achievement Marine Corps Medals (NAM), a Presidential Unit Citation and two Marine Good Conduct Medals along with other medals and ribbons.
Stacy Burns, wife SSG Tyler W. Burns Army National Guard, B Co 1-179 Deployed 2007-2008 & 2011-2012 says “after our second date, I told Tyler I would not date him because I would not fall in love with him because I would not marry him and I would not be an Army Wife. God had other plans. Before the year was over we were married. Three months later I watched him load a bus that would take eventually take him to Afghanistan. That was a scary year for us both. Thankfully God watched over him and brought him back safely. We now have two beautiful boys who look and act just like their Daddy. I am so proud of my soldier! He is a strong man and someone our boys can look up to every day.”