Monday, June 18th
-Deb Bowie of Salisbury, MD has nominated each of her 4 children who have served and are currently serving in various branches of our U.S. Armed Forces-
Josh White of Lake Lure, NC served in the U.S. Marine Core and was stationed in Kuwait during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Anna Bowie of Salisbury, MD was deployed to Afghanistan while serving in the U.S. Army Reserves. She is back home now, safe and sound.
Angela Bowie of Ft. Stewart, GA currently serves full-time in the United State Army. She is stationed at Ft. Stewart, but is presently in South Korea for a one-year tour. She should be home by Thanksgiving.
Michael Bowie of Salisbury, MD is finishing up his Basic Traning and AIT for the National Guard at Ft. Benning, GA. He will return home in July.
Monday, June 4th
Eddison Hermond, National Guardsman & Air Force Veteran
National Guardsman and Air Force Veteran Eddison Hermond of Severn, MD was swept away after rescuing a local business owner from the severe flooding in Ellicott City in late May of 2018. Click here to read the full story.
Monday, May 28th
SPC Michael E. Yates Jr. of Federalsburg, MD
-Nominated by parents Rick & Shawna VanBlargan of Hurlock, MD-
Our son Mikey was not unlike most teenagers here on the eastern shore of Maryland. He grew up hunting and fishing with his siblings and friends. Mikey was a good-hearted person with a very big heart. The guy that, if you knew him, always had your back and was always ready, willing, and able to lend a hand. Whether it was stopping the car and jumping out to help a neighbor take groceries into their house or standing up for what he believed was right. He, like a lot of others, decided to join the Army as a Calvary Scout. He thought he would be good at that job because he liked hunting and could sneak up on animals to get a better shot. Mikey was a happy guy; he could light up the room with his smile. He was taken from us and his own son on Mother's Day (May 11, 2009) in Baghdad, Iraq at Camp Liberty by one of our own. He and four of his Combat buddies died that day. Michael passed away trying to go back in to save 3 of his battle buddies that he passed on the way out the door to get more ammo. This act alone (when the truth was released) did not surprise anyone that really knew Mikey because he was just that type of person, the type that ran IN not OUT. He left behind a one-year-old son (at the time), a mother , father, 7 siblings, and quite a few nieces and nephews. Our lives have been forever changed by that day but our pride and our memories if our son SPC Michael (Mikey) E.Yates Jr. will never dwindle. He is our Hero and our Angel.
Monday, May 21st
Jonathan Diehl of Dagsboro, DE
-Nominated by aunt Missy Shelly of York, PA-
Jonathan is my nephew. He has worked very hard becoming a member of the United States Coast Guard and pours his heart and soul into it. He plans to make a career of it. Jonathan is always willing to help others. Anyone in need of anything can always count on him.
He is only 21 years old, but is extremely hard working and goal oriented. You can ask anyone who knows him. He has successfully achieved the following: Member of the silent drill team in boot camp. Won the Manual of Arms award while at his duty station at the Indian River Inlet in Delaware. He completed his qualifications as an Engineer, Boatcrew Member, and Boarding Team Member. Engaged in numerous SAR (search and rescue) cases. Performs law enforcement operations. Given the task of boatkeeper. Currently holds the qualification of Marksman. Performs Rescue and Survival drills and individual boat inspections during the station’s bi-annual inspections. Accumulated the most “underway” hours and "boardings” in the July 2017 currency cycle. Sailor of the Quarter, first quarter of 2018. Represented the Coast Guard in the Color Guard at the September 2017 NASCAR race at Dover International Speedway. Thank you, Jonathan!
Monday, May 14th
-Nominated by daughter Linda of Ocean City, MD-
Leo Barranco was interred at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA on August 11, 2016. Born September 17, 1925 he died on February 15, 2016 at the age of 90.
A World War II veteran, Barranco served as a First Class Seaman in the U.S. Navy from 1944 t 1946. He sailed on the USS Douglas A. Munro's maiden voyage, leaving U.S. shores in December of 1944 and crossing both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. He crossed the Equator through the Panama Canal, sailing to Morocco, Polynesia, the Philippines and Japan, among other locations.
It was one of Leo's final wishes to be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. Friends and family members came from near and far to pay their respects. The funeral was presided over by a Catholic priest and full military rites - including a 21-gun salute and a bugle playing of Taps - highlighted the service.
Monday, May 7th
Ronald Wilkins of Lincoln, DE
-Nominated by daughter Cherie Wilkins of Milford, DE-
On September 25, 1940 a baby was born to Mary Wilkins, who named the little boy after her favorite actor, Ronald Reagan, who would live an amazing life and become President. Who would know that this little baby, Ronald Richard Wilkins, would live an amazing life, too.
Ronnie, as he was called then, grew up in Hillsborough, NJ on the family farm. Being the oldest of the three boys he was responsible for the majority of the farm chores, while his parents worked jobs outside the home. His chores included taking care of the cows, milking them each day, the crops, and even preparing meals. His father told him that chores came first, before homework. Even with that rule, he graduated high school. For a young boy to take care of a farm and still graduate high school is amazing.
He joined the Army two weeks after graduating. He told me that Boot Camp was easier than life at home… a lot easier. He felt this was a piece of cake compared to all the responsibility and work he endured. More than 10% of people drop out of boot camp. From what Dad said about boot camp, his thinking this was a vacation is amazing.
He married his high school sweetheart. Dad was a good provider and faithful husband, who was always kind. My parents didn’t fight. Oh, they had a few disagreements, but some were worked out right in front of us, with respectful voices debating their points. The rest were discussed in private between them and then the next day Dad would say, “Your mother and I discussed it and here is what we decided.” I was comforted in the fact that my parents were a team, supported each other. Knowing that they put each other first, made me know that I would always be taken care of. Being able to state that my parents have been fully supportive of each other, and were kind and loving to each other for over 56 years is simply amazing.
And I have to add this example. In recent years my Dad couldn’t walk, or stand, but wanted to go out to get my Mom a card. While I took him in his wheel chair, he said he was going to pick out as many cards as he could for the rest of the upcoming holidays. I think this was for Valentine’s Day? He bought Easter, Mothers’ Day, a Birthday, etc. …He must have bought five or six cards.
During his Army career he was stationed in lots of places both here and overseas. He had been stationed at Long Island, NY, Greenland, Fort Hancock, NJ, Munich, Germany, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, the Pentagon, Seoul, Korea, and Frankfurt, Germany and several other places.
While Dad was stationed in Kentucky, they lived close by in Tennessee. Oh, Mom loved it there. They thought it was a great place to raise a family and bought their first home. Life was great. But someone at the Pentagon requested Dad to come work there. Dad said, “When someone from the Pentagon asks for you to work for them, you go.” He had full access to every area in the building, carried a gun, had top secret clearance. So this farm boy from NJ was requested to work at the Pentagon and given full access?! That is amazing.
During his service he received three medals.
1. Army Commendation Medal - distinguishes himself by an act of heroism, extraordinary achievement, or meritorious service which has been of mutual benefit to a friendly nation and the United States.
2. Armed Forces Expeditionary medal - The medal shall be awarded only for operations where a foreign armed opposition or imminent threat of hostile action was encountered.
3. National Defense Service Medal – active military during a national emergency.
One of the documents has the following statement in the citation:
Outstanding technical proficiency and initiative in accomplishing the highly sensitive responsibilities of his position. He was instrumental in establishing a sound and effective system of accountability for the large volume of classified documents maintained by headquarters. His attention to detail, even while operating under exceptionally heavy workloads, resulted in the top secret control office maintaining an impeccable record completely free of security violations or compromise of classified information.
These medals sound amazing to me.
He was a great Dad. My parents adopted a boy and opened up their home to him, treating him just like their own children. Not just any boy, not a baby or toddler, but a troubled adolescent boy. Talk about giving, being generous, and amazing.
They provided us with a great life including the stable home, loving parents, taking us to church and Sunday School. We went to the best schools, had great Christmases, summer vacations, the back yard with the pool, the dog, and anything else a kid could want. Those summer vacations included weeks at the Jersey Shore, Virginia Beach, Disney, but more importantly, Christian Festivals. It was an amazingchildhood.
Of course Dad didn’t just go and take in the festivals. He worked back stage sometimes taking us kids with him. There were fascinating people to meet. I met and got to know Mylon LaFever, a band leader who wrote songs for greats like Elvis. My brother asked me one night who the pretty girl was on stage. I was in shock he didn’t know and told him it was Amy Grant. He was surprised because he hung out with her all day and she never mentioned that she was a performer. The opportunities to be surrounded by great Christian people were amazing.
Dad went on a missionary trip to Dominican Republic. I remember wanting to go with him so badly, until he told me the conditions he worked and slept in. At the night he would have to shew the rats away that climbed on him. Going to another country living in horrible conditions to serve the Lord is amazing.
Another part of growing up included Dad owning a general store. I know this was more of a business investment, but I’m sure he thought of us, too. The store created an atmosphere any kid would love. It attracted lots of other kids, so we knew everybody. Dad let the kids hang out on the porch, as long as we “didn’t block the steps”. It was connected to our home with its pinball machines (later arcade games like Asteroids and Space Invaders), racks of chips, Tastee cakes, ice cream and candy, as well as all the items an adult would want (milk, breads, etc.). We were all friends, whether we were 8 years old or in our teenage years. The older kids taught me to ride a skate board, ride a bike with no hands down Main Street, shoot foul shots, and tried to teach me how to climb a tree. That was not happening. Some of those kids have contacted me in the last week. One girl said. --- He truly was an amazing man. I remember the general store. Your Dad. The highlight was riding my bike from Wells Road to get candy, and it was just such a cute, sweet spot for kids. Such a cute little town and a cute place. Another girl said. Your dad gave all us kids a lot of great memories, and was always that other adult who cared enough about us to keep us out of trouble.
Was that why Dad was putting extra quarters in the pinball machines?
Thanks Dad for an amazing atmosphere with great friends and a free arcade next door!
Another part of Dad’s raising us was providing us with all kinds of clubs and activities. Anything we wanted to join or be a part of we were allowed to do. I can’t remember them all, but Rich took guitar lessons, and Rich and Dad road motorcycles together. All of us took Karate lessons. There was little league, violin lessons, and ceramics classes. The amazing part is that we don’t remember him ever saying “no”, that we couldn’t participate in something.
He was a great grandfather to my girls. He gave Rhonda her first car, helped Jill with hers, and would help with things like college books. He went to every ballet and recital Jill was in, only missing ones that he was too ill to attend. Jill remembers a lot of good memories at her grandparents and playing cards with them and their friends. She tried beating Grandpop at cards, but never could. I remember her telling me the object wasn’t to win, that couldn’t be done. The object was to come in second, because Grandpop Ron always won. Rhonda remembers loving spending summer days with her grandfather. And that car!
There are so many amazing things that Dad did and accomplished, that I could be here all day. I haven’t mentioned the great friendships he had or the incredible lessons we learned while owned the store… how to run a business, the hours it takes, the always be good to customers, the hard work, by eleven years old he had taught me to run the place… taking orders in the morning from the CB, running the cash register and just talking to the customers. Oh my word, if I didn’t have that experience, my shy personality would have prohibited me from lots of opportunities. I haven’t mentioned the real estate advice, his incredible work ethic, and never ever do things half way.
If my Dad could give you advice to lead an amazing life it would be the following:
Live a Christian life. Follow Jesus being kind to everyone no matter their race, age, or where they come from.
He would say to be kind and respectful to your spouse every day working as a team to raise your children. After the Lord, your spouse comes first.
And work hard, always doing your best, never ever do things half way.
In conclusion, I want to say my Dad was an example, a rare and unique, amazing example, to all of us. I don’t think he had a single regret in life. For him, talk to your minister or a Christian friend if you don’t know the Lord. Go home and hold your spouse’s hand, say kind words to them, don’t wait, just do it. And work hard, always doing your best. I know Dad did his best. And you, Dad, were simply amazing.
Is there someone in your life who has served or is currently serving in any branch of our armed forces? Share their story (or your own) with us and it could be featured on-air and on our website on Military Monday! Click here to find out more.