Global War on Terror Stories

The following real life stories offer a glimpse into the spirit of the United States Armed Forces. One of the missions of Patriot Park Foundation is to tell the stories of those who fought and continue to fight the Global War on Terror. Stories of bravery and valor in the line of duty as well as the stories of love and sacrifice back home. Patriot Park Foundation welcomes your written stories and photographs as we add selected stories to our web site. Others may be used as we develop the story boards that will surround Patriot Park Memorial Plaza. If you wish to submit a story and or photograph please use our contact us form. All information submitted becomes the property of Patriot Park Foundation.

SSgt Brian Hause

SSgt Brian Hause was born in Somerset, Pennsylvania, to Kathy Levernight Hause, on June 16th 1979. From a young age he had a love for animals and all things outdoors, but especially his family and friends. As he grew up, he spent countless hours with his "Pap" whom he admired and respected. His mom recalls, "the phone rang a lot when he was growing up, he always had a listening ear for his friends and loved to encourage and support them."

Specialist Mark Melcher

Specialist Mark Melcher, Pennsylvania Army National Guard was born in Pittsburgh, PA on Aug. 26, 1971 to John and Kathy Melcher. Three months after graduating from North Catholic High School in 1989, he entered the Army and was sent to Fort Knox for basic and Armor training. During those six weeks, Mark was transformed from a rebellious teenager to a responsible and respectable man. These were traits he would carry with him throughout his short life. Mark served as an Armor crewman during the Gulf War.

PFC Nils George Thompson - Iraqi Freedom

Nils George Thompson was born on 8/3/1986 to Nils and Frances (nee Kamienowski) Thompson. He was a deeply religious Catholic and Christian, a Staten Island native who grew up playing with GI Joes. He dreamt of joining the military as a young boy as his grandfather, uncles and aunt had all served.

Keep Smiling Brother - Corporal Nyle Yates

It is very hard to sum up the life and service of Corporal Nyle Yates if you did not have the pleasure of meeting him. Nyle was an Infantry Soldier in the 3rd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division, also known as the Rakkasans. Nyle deployed with his unit to Iraq during the initial invasion. When I met him in 2004, after the unit had returned, I immediately knew that combat experience hardened him and the other amazing Soldiers of 3rd Platoon, Bravo Company. Young men that would otherwise be enjoying life with their friends, part-time jobs, or college were much more mature as they had witnessed first-hand the daunting challenge that lay ahead of us.

A Fallen Warrior Among Many

In communities throughout this country, citizens leave their homes and workplaces to stand along roadsides with friends, neighbors, and strangers alike, united in a single purpose. Some hold up flags; some display hand-lettered signs with messages of thanks and remembrance. Others simply stand with hands over hearts as the procession passes by. In this way they pay their respects to our fallen heroes on their final journeys home.

Departing For Home one Final Time

In our unit's flight from Kuwait to Iraq a few months ago in the worst of the desert's summer heat, we'd filed into the back of a C-130, crammed cheek to jowl along with a couple pallets of cargo. The sweltering aircraft opened up in the rear of the airframe for cargo, which meant that the heat flooded inside. That day in June it was nearly 125 degrees, and with the addition of the four engines whining away and spewing forth heated drafts of Kuwaiti air, it was much hotter inside. Needless to say, it was pretty close to miserable, but then again that is what the Army, I believe, exists to do and do very well: teach people to live with and thrive in tough conditions.

The Young Marine

In the days prior to the beginning of the Iraqi war, a young infantry Marine was assigned to serve as an Arabic translator and advisor to our battalion. He was a native Iraqi who had immigrated to the United States in the mid-90’s after Desert Storm. His job was to help train the Marines on Iraqi language, society, and culture to ensure that our inevitable interaction with the civilian population was not awkward or embarrassing.

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