Archive for the ‘Memorial’ Category

Kimber Mourns the Loss of Firearms Industry Leader Chip McCormick

Thursday, June 10th, 2021

TROY, AL, June 8, 2021 — Kimber Mfg. has learned of the passing of Chip McCormick, the man renowned for creating industry-leading 1911 magazines and triggers through his company, Chip McCormick Custom. Mr. McCormick, in partnership with Kimber Mfg. owner and CEO Leslie Edelman, also contributed greatly to Kimber’s success in the 1911 market.

Mr. McCormick provided instrumental consulting to Mr. Edelman in creating the firearm industry’s first mass-produced, high-quality 1911 pistols that included custom features.  Mr. McCormick’s contributions included a beavertail grip safety, an extended slide stop, and an ambidextrous manual safety.  These efforts not only changed the handgun market by adding upgraded features to commercialized top-notch 1911s, but simultaneously revolutionized how firearm-manufacturing companies crafted and assembled the legendary 1911 platform.

“The Kimber family is deeply saddened by the loss of Chip McCormick. He was a great friend and a great business collaborator,” said Kimber owner and CEO, Leslie Edelman. “His impact on this company, as well as the entire firearms industry, is immeasurable. Our condolences go out to Chip’s family and friends. He will be missed greatly.”

Thinking About Those We’ve Lost

Monday, May 31st, 2021

I don’t find anything particularly “happy” about Memorial Day itself. Sure, it’s a great weekend to spend kicking off summer with friends and family, but I always end up thinking about those we’ve lost in military service.

Today is about sacrifice

Almost every year I remind others that Memorial Day traces its roots to the post Civil War period to help heal after American fought American. Originally known as Decoration Day, Veterans chose 30 May because it was not the anniversary of any particular battle.

Over time the holiday transformed to the last Monday in May and changed names, but it wasn’t recognized as an official national holiday until 1967, the year I was born. While the implementation of the holiday has changed somewhat as well, its intent has not; it’s about the fallen.

Remember their sacrifice

Not everyone does in battle and wounds may takes years to kill. Please remember, earlier generations sacrificed in other ways, so don’t discount someone’s death while in uniform just because they weren’t charging a machine gun nest. They did their part, and it’s up to us to toast them and honor their death.

Take some time today and consider what you and yours have done for America.

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Memorial Day

Sunday, May 30th, 2021

Shortly after the Civil War, what is now known a Memorial Day began as Decoration Day. The reason for that name is because it was a day on which Americans, both North and South, would decorate the graves of soldiers who died in the Civil War.

Maj. Gen. John A. Logan, who lead a group for Northen Civil War veterans, declared in 1868 that Decoration Day would be observed annually on May 30. The date was chosen only for the reason that it didn’t coincide with any battles fought. It was a day for the North and South to honor their fallen and decorate their graves. After World War I, the holiday was broadened to include service members who died in all of the country’s wars, not just the Civil War.

Multiple cities claim to be the birthplace of this holiday, but President Lyndon Johnson formally gave the honor to Waterloo, N.Y. in 1966. Up until 1971, Memorial Day was observed on May 30th, the date Logan had selected for the first Decoration Day, but in 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May to create a three-day weekend for federal employees. The same law also declared Memorial Day as a federal holiday and created a day for everyone to take time to reflect and honor the fallen. That did not go into effect until 1971.

Most people look at the Memorial Day weekend as the unofficial start of summer, mattress and furniture sales, or a day for cooking out. I know most of the people that read SSD will understand the real meaning. This is a day to remember the fallen service men and women of the military who have gone before us. Like most holidays in the U.S., it has been turned into just a weekend for sales and people to try and make money. But please take the time to think about the fallen and their families who have, as President Lincoln said, “Laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom.” We truly are lucky to live in the greatest country in the world, where “the pursuit of happiness” is a guaranteed right. You are never asked to do anything for it other than maybe do jury duty. But some people chose to serve for whatever reason and some died because they chose to serve.

There are a couple small things you can do. One is, if you fly an American flag, lower it to half staff until noon. Then at noon raise it all the way up until sunset. Second, in the year 2000, the National Moment of Remembrance was passed by Congress that says at 3pm local time, take a moment in your own way to remember the fallen.

Memorial Day is not Veterans Day. I have heard so many people say, “oh, this weekend, we should really thank a veteran”.  This isn’t for us; it is for the people who never came home and for their families.

Lastly, I wanted to say something about what to say to someone else on Memorial Day as a greeting. Please do not say “Happy Memorial Day”. This is a little thing, but it’s like saying happy funeral day. So, if you feel like “Happy Memorial Day” isn’t appropriate, try saying, “I hope you have a nice/good Memorial Day”. Never forget that, for some people, every day is Memorial Day.

Long Live the Brotherhood

2021 Frogman Down Memorial Broadcast

Saturday, May 29th, 2021

This year, Frogman Down is honoring the 10th Anniversary of the loss of Extortion 17 and the SEAL K9’s who we have lost in combat.

The broadcast begins at 1500 PDT / 1800 EDT on May 30th on the website.

Silent Warrior Foundation Honors Those Who Gave Their Lives During Operation Eagle Claw

Friday, May 28th, 2021

This memorial day weekend, the Silent Warrior Foundation is paying special remembrance to the eight U.S. Servicemen from Operation Eagle Claw who paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom of their fellow Americans. This hostage rescue mission’s heroism and commitment will never be forgotten.

The Silent Warrior Foundation is hosting its 6th Annual Whiskey & War Stories ™ fundraising event on August 21, 2021 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Former hostages and participants of Operation Eagle Claw will honor these men and tell their stories.

The Silent Warrior Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 charity serving active and former U.S. military veterans and their families since 2010.

In Memoriam – LtCol Joseph Edward Murphy Jr (USAF, Ret)

Saturday, March 13th, 2021

I just found out about the loss in February of an old friend and mentor. Many knew him as “Two Dogs,” a nickname picked up in his younger days from a bawdy joke. I call him the father of Special Tactics Intelligence. All of the rest of us who served in that community worked in his shadow.

Lieutenant Colonel Murphy was my first boss in the Air Force as a Lieutenant right out of Goodfellow. By that time he was long retired and was DAF Civilian at the 720th Special Tactics Group at Hurlburt Field where he served as Director of Intelligence. I was the second officer he hired for ST and for me, the process started while I was still an NCO in the Army. As soon as I found out I had been selected for USAF Officer Training School I started calling around to units looking for possible assignments as an Intel Officer. Joe and I hit it off and he worked behind he scenes over the next year to steer me towards the 720th while I completed my training. It worked out and I ended up being assigned as Joe’s assistant for intelligence programs, although I spent most of my time on the road going to schools and supporting units. I did a short stint down at the 23rd STS, mostly deployed to Operation Desert Thunder, before Joe had me reassigned to Pope as the Chief of Intelligence for the 21st STS. He steered the careers of quite a few of us, officers and NCOs alike, building the ST Intel community from scratch.

Special Tactics owes a lot to that guy. So do I. He always had the wildest stories of his active duty time and pushed me to produce quality intelligence products. He taught me a great deal and was the most supportive boss I ever had. I will miss him.

My heart goes out to Sally and his kids.

Here is Two Dogs’ obituary…

LtCol Joseph Edward Murphy Jr.

1941 – 2021

Fort Walton Beach – Lt. Col. Joseph Edward “Two Dogs” Murphy, Jr. passed away on February 4, 2021 in Fort Walton Beach, FL. Joe was born September 14, 1941 in St. Louis, Missouri to Joseph Edward Murphy and Evangeline Marie Kelly Murphy both of whom predeceased him. Joe grew up in St. Louis, attended St. Louis University High School and St. Louis University where he was a member of AFROTC and was commissioned into the U.S. Air Force on August 23, 1963. He married his high school sweetheart, Sandra Jean Mason, in St. Louis in May, 1964. Together they embarked on an Air Force career that spanned 3 continents, 10 assignments and 28 years. They welcomed a daughter, Kathi, while stationed at Shaw AFB, South Carolina, and a son, Jay, at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. Traveling to and living in countries all over the world was a tremendous thrill for the family. Together, they worked to absorb as much international experience as possible through travel and engagement with local communities.

Joe began his Air Force career as a cartographer, then spent 8 years as a targeting officer followed by more than 15 years as an intelligence officer. Joe Murphy loved his work in the Air Force, especially working with US and allied Special Operations Forces. He was an enthusiastic mentor to many, including young “troops” who were as sharp-minded and as committed to the U.S. and the Air Force as he was. Joe developed a strong affinity for and connection with Special Operations activities and was privileged to work closely with USN SEALs, USAF Special Tactics, USA Special Forces and similar units from Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia. Over the years, he was given the nickname “Two Dogs” because of an off-color joke he frequently told. His combination of Intel skills and Special Operations interest led to the practice of intelligence-trained operators being inserted into the teams on the ground. This initiative of providing relevant information to operators in the field has undoubtedly saved lives and improved the effectiveness of countless missions. As such and rightfully so, many consider “Two Dogs” to be the “Grandfather of Special Operations Intelligence”. His major awards include the Meritorious Service Medal with Two Oak Leaf Clusters, the AF Commendation Medal with Two Oak Leaf Clusters, the AF Achievement Medal, The AF Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device and Four Oak Leaf Clusters, The Vietnam Service Medal with Three Stars and the Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm.

Shortly after completing his 28 year active duty service in 1991, Joe returned to Hurlburt Field, where he continued his service to our country for another 23 years as a civilian intelligence expert for a number of AF Special Operations organizations. A patriot and true servant, Joe finally retired from civil service in 2016, after giving a total of 51 years of service to the U.S. Air Force, a record few have ever achieved.

In 1990, Joe was remarried to Maria (Sally) Balaoro from the Philippines who survives him and lives in Mary Esther, Florida. Their son, Joey, provided Two Dogs with many years of enjoyment as a soccer dad and #1 fan of Joey and his friends. Joey lives locally and continues to be involved in soccer.

In addition to Sally and Joey, Lt. Col. Murphy is survived by his daughter, Kathi Heapy and husband, Gary of Shalimar FL, and son, Jay and wife, Terri, of Keystone Heights Florida. He is also survived by sister, Mary K. and husband Mick McGuire of Somerset OH, and sisters-in-law Marisa Lopez and husband Jaime of Ft. Walton Beach, Nimfa and Ramon Bilasano, and Nancy and Gener Baylon of the Philippines. His grandchildren are Nicholas Heapy (Allie), Mary Flores (Daniel), Renee Murphy, and Erin Heapy, and one great- grandson, William Edward Heapy. Joe has several adored nieces and nephews in Ft. Walton Beach, Ohio, and the Philippines. Joe will be missed by all, but most certainly by his very special friends, Sally and Ted Quarles, Chief and Linda Jennings, Sheila and Dennis Quirao, his AF Intel ‘partner in crime’ Jay Clanton, and the worldwide AF SOF and Stray Goose International communities.

A Celebration of Life will be held at the Hurlburt Field Memorial Air Park on March 17, 2021 at 2:00pm. This will be an outdoor event which will offer the safest way that we can gather to honor him during this time. Interment of Lt. Col. Joseph Murphy will be at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia at a future date.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.

S.O.Tech Reaches a 300,000 Mask Milestone While Incurring a Sad Loss

Thursday, December 31st, 2020

It was with great pride that this week the S.O.Tech team delivered our 300,000th cloth facecover, but that news turned somber when we learned that a dear friend to the company, Deputy Tim Tellez, died battling COVID-19. So we dedicate our accomplishment to Tim’s memory, and we will continue the effort for Tim and other fallen first responders.

If you’ve seen a picture of police gear on SOTECH’s website, it was probably strapped onto Tim, we just cut his face out and blurred his name badge. He took gear design to heart and was always there to give thoughts and feedback on patrol officer gear because he cared about his fellow LEOs.  He was a 20 year veteran of LASD. We will be making a donation in his honor.

Not only was S.O.Tech able to deliver the 300,000 masks, but we have been able to fill major military, aerospace and law enforcement contracts in the face of a pandemic strained supply line.  We are proud of the teamwork exhibited by our staff.

In Memoriam – Mike DeBenedetto

Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Silent Warrior Foundation founding board member Mike DeBenedetto due to complications arising from COVID-19.

The veteran’s organization he helped found has a great tribute to his memory.

May He Rest In Peace.