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Military, First Responders & Their Families Month

June 28, 2024

Some of Our Own, the Best of the Best! And We've Added Some New Members! See Blue *

We are proud to highlight colleagues who have served our nation, along with family members who have, or continue, to serve. The Foundation thanks each of them for their service to the United States of America! As well, the Foundation thanks all who support their family members as they served or continue to serve.

To our list his year, we add new colleagues AND family relatives who served in the Civil War, World War I, World War II and the Korean War.

Pictured left to right:

  • *Cornelius Donley, LCpl, United States Marine Corps, served for 3 years at Camp Lejeune, Wounded Warrior Battalion-East.

  • Shane Bageant, Armed Specialist, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, U.S. Army, Special Operations Command, 4 years

  • Liam Hendricks joined the firm in 2023 after 5 years in the Army; was an Infantry Officer with the 101st Airborne Division and promoted to Captain; deployed overseas to Syria and Iraq

  • Rob Henneberry, E-4/Specialist, U.S. Army, 3 years, Army Reserves, 6 years, and EMT/Medic, 4 years

Pictured left to right:

  • *Julius Katz, U.S. Army, Alabama National Guard B-Co 1/173rd INF Reg, E-5 Sergeant, 11B (Infantry); supported Operation Inherent Resolve 2020-2021, deployed to Syria. Since January, 2018 has been enlisted and finishes his contract of 7 years in January of 2025.

  • Damon Lane, E-4 Specialist, U.S. Army, 8 years

  • *Matthew Parker, Staff Sergeant, Army Special Forces, 2011-2019. Deployed to Thailand and South Korea and also trained counterparts from Taiwan and the Philippines.

  • Christian Scappin joined the firm in September of 2023 and served in the United States Marine Corps as a First Lieutenant, MOS 0203 Ground Intelligence Officer at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

Pictured left to right:

  • Jeff Scott, U.S. Marine Corps, served in the Gulf War, 4 years

  • *David Rutherford, Navy SEAL and CIA Contractor, Director of Operator Syndrome Foundation, which is dedicated to helping Special Operation Forces personnel and their families with the lifelong disabilities related to their service to the country

  • Christian Simpson, active member of the Illinois Army National Guard. He commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in August of 2022; branched Field Artillery (13A) and is currently with the 122nd Field Artillery Regiment as a Fire Directions Officer.

  • Andy Subramanian, Corporal, U.S. Army,11B (Infantry), 5 years

First Trust Employees Not Pictured:

  • Chris Lagioia, Staff Sergeant, Crew Chief KD135, U.S. Air Force, 9 years

  • Rick Lunde (deceased, but never forgotten), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps/Coast Guard P03

  • Matt Lynch, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Air Force E5, 6 years

  • *Mallory Moore, Corporal, U.S. Army: Human Intelligence (35M), 100th Brigade Support Battalion, 75th Field Artillery Brigade ("We will support!" and "Tough as diamonds!")

  • *Kyle Ross, E-5 Sergeant, Army Infantry 2005-2009, stationed in Fort Lewis, WA. He deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2007 and was in country for 15 months.

  • John Synal, recently retired from the firm, U.S. Air Force, 6 years

  • Michael Varga, Sergeant E5, U.S. Army, 2002-2006, served in Iraq 2003-2004 and 2004-2005


Family Members Who Serve(d)

Pictured left to right:

  • Anthony DelGiudice, son of Debbie DelGiudice, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps/stationed in South Pacific, 10 years

  • Felix Favreau, father of Carla Lovett, Air Force, Staff Sergeant, Korean War

  • Benjamin Marcus, son of Jon Marcus, is a 2nd Lieutenant with the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division. On June 23rd, 2023, proud father Jon pinned on Benjamin’s newly earned Ranger tab.

Pictured left to right:

  • Steven McDonell, son of Patti McDonell, is a pilot currently deployed in Qatar with the U.S. Air Force. He flies a KC135 refueling plane.

  • Captain Orett Lyman Munger, great grandfather of Mark Redman, served in the Civil War, 44th NY Regiment Volunteer Infantry; saw many battles, including at Gettysburg; he was captured on May 8, 1864, and eventually rescued by General Custer's cavalry. Captain Munger lived to be 82.

  • *Dan Pokorny, son of Laurie Pokorny, served in the U.S. Marine Corps, 2005-2011; was a Sergeant, non-commissioned officer (E-5); served two deployments: Iraq in 2006 and Southeast Asia in 2009.

  • *Michael Pokorny, son of Laurie Pokorny, served in the U.S. Marine Corps, 2010-2015; was a Lance Corporal (E-3); served two deployments: Afghanistan 2011-2012 and Southeast Asia 2013-2014; he began his service in the U.S. Army in 2019 and is a Supply Specialist Sergeant stationed at Fort Liberty, NC.

Pictured left to right:

  • Gladstone Elmer Redman, grandfather of Mark Redman, served in the Army, 345 Infantry-87th Division in France, 1917, during WWI

  • Wesley Schmidt, son of Greg and Terumi, Captain, U.S. Army, 11 years

  • Clay Smoczynski, son of Christy Knierim, Airborne Infantry Rifleman, 211 Arctic Angels, U.S. Army, 3 years, still serving

Family Members Who Serve(d), Not Pictured:

  • *Michelle Abbott has two sons who are still serving:

    • Josh Abbott, Sergeant First Class, 17 and a half years in the Army; served at Fort Bliss (twice), Suwon Air Base, South Korea, Fort Sill, OK, Sheik Isa Air Base, Bahrain, Ansbach, Germany, Monterey Bay, CA, Fort Riley, KS, Camp Humphreys, South Korea and Fort Huachuca, AZ

    • Sam Abbott, First Class Petty Officer (Master at Arms), U.S. Navy, 6 years; served in Gaeta, Italy and at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma City, OK; currently is with the Los Angeles Fire Department, Fire Station 10, Downtown Los Angeles; has been a firefighter for 3 years

  • Wayne Conn, husband of Debbie DelGiudice, Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, served in Central America right before the Vietnam War, 4 years

  • Carla Lovett has several more relatives, in addition to her father, who served. Uncle Ferdinand Favreau, Army Air Force, Staff Sergeant, WWII; Uncle Rudolphe Favreau, Navy, Carpenter's Mate 3rd Class, WWII (made the ultimate sacrifice at the Battle of Okinawa); Uncle Paul Favreau, Army, PFC, 82nd Airborne Division, Korean War.

  • Scott Patrick, son-in-law of Greg and Terumi Schmidt, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, 9 years, still serving

  • Mark Redman has two other relatives who served. Father-in-law, Robert Tomsky, served in the Navy during the Korean War. Uncle Robert Redman was in the Merchant Marines in WWII.

  • Katherine Scully, daughter of Greg and Terumi Schmidt, Specialist, U.S. Army, 3 years, still serving

  • *Milton and Elvin West, father and uncle, respectively, of Debbie DelGiudice, who were medics in the U.S. Navy during WWII and stationed in San Diego to tend to the wounded who were returning stateside from battles in the South Pacific


June 11, 2024

The Military (and Scroll Down for First Responders!)

Millions have heard the call when our nation, or the world, needed America’s best and brightest. Going back to the American Revolution, through the Civil and Spanish-American Wars, two World Wars, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, Desert Shield and Desert Storm and the ongoing Global War on Terrorism, our military has proven itself to be the best in the world.

The number of American men and women who have served during wartime is 41,892,128.

In battles in which the U.S. participated, 1.3 million brave souls have given their lives, with an additional 539,000 making the ultimate sacrifice in theater and non-theater service (figures from America’s Wars Fact Sheet, Dept. of Veterans Affairs). Picture, right, comes from Arlington National Cemetery, where more than 400,000 military members (and two U.S. Presidents) are buried.

The World War II quote, "They gave their today for our tomorrow” highlights all those who fought in that war, along with the 405,399 American military members who were killed (second only to the Civil War, where 618,000 soldiers gave their lives). World War II has the distinction of having the largest number of Americans who served in the armed forces during the war: 16 million. Pictured left, the D-Day landing from one of the boats taking soldiers to shore. As we now know, 4,000 soldiers were killed taking the Normandy beaches on D-Day.

The phrase “All gave some, some gave all” was written during the Vietnam era, but it certainly speaks to all the brave men and women who have served this country and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Today, there are 1.3 million active-duty military members and more than 778,000 reserve forces. Here’s a breakdown of the branches of the military and the number of military personnel in each:

We can track our active-duty military members by state, as shown in this chart:

Click the image to open a page with an interactive version of this chart!

Where active-duty military is currently deployed around the world (chart from Dept. of Defense):

When it comes to U.S. veterans, there are currently 16.2 million. A majority of these veterans are of the Vietnam War era and are men over the age of 75. This chart shows the population of veterans by age group.

First Responders

4.6 million people serve as career and volunteer firefighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics. Among these:

  • Police officers are the largest group of first responders; there are approximately18,000 police offices in the country (906,037 personnel)

  • There are approximately 29,452 fire departments in the country (364,300 career personnel and 676,900 volunteer firefighters)

  • EMTs (269,000), with an estimated 19,520 agencies nationwide; there are 42.6 million emergency medical services responses annually (EMT and paramedic responses)

  • Paramedics (268,420), who as noted above, are often paired with EMTs

Numbers above are from Statista, USA Facts, Zippia, NFPA, EMS1, NAEMT

Highlight on First Responders. Hundreds of first responders ran to the Twin Towers on 9/11, (including this firefighter, Mike Kehoe, seen going up the stairs as others in the building evacuate) in the hopes of rescuing the thousands trapped after the hijacked planes hit the buildings. As we know, the North and South Towers collapsed quickly, killing thousands of people and first responders. 412 first responders were killed, the majority of them firefighters (340), along with 72 police officers. Only 23 people, including a few first responders, made it out of the buildings after they collapsed. Miraculously, Mike Kehoe did make it out alive and still serves the people of New York as a firefighter (though he has never been back to the site).

Hundreds of first responders then spent months on the toxic "Pile", shown right, helping to find victims (or personal belongings, jewelry, wallets, items of clothing, etc.), so they could be returned to their families. Many have died from cancers and other medical issues related to this work, with an elevated risk of certain cancers. Over 1,100 first responders, in fact, have been diagnosed with cancer directly linked to the dust and air quality at the Twin Towers site.

According to the Chief of Staff of FDNY, 257 active and retired FDNY members have died of 9/11-related illnesses. Recent studies have also shown some 9/11 first responders have a higher risk of dementia.

The work is dangerous, and first responders know that every day they may be called upon to put their lives on the line. The CDC reports that since 2002, there have been between 60 and 100 firefighter deaths in the line of duty each year.

The Foundation salutes all the brave men and women who have served their nation and continue to answer the call when lives are in danger.

NEXT POST: Some of Our Own! Our annual listing of our colleagues (and family members) who have served.


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