Thursday, September 29, 2011

21 STS Combat Controller awarded Silver Star

Air Force Special Operations Command Public Affairs

9/29/2011 - POPE FIELD, N.C. (AFNS) --

When you are an Air Force combat controller in Afghanistan "just doing my job" can make for a very eventful day at the office.

That is how Staff Sgt. C. Caleb Gilbreath described his actions in a running firefight against the Taliban in Konduz Province Oct. 30 to Nov. 6, 2008, earning him a Silver Star for bravery.

Gilbreath was assigned to a U.S. Army Special Forces team when his unit was ambushed by a large Taliban force outside of a local village. As mortar and rocket-propelled grenade rounds impacted within 15 feet of his position, Gilbreath directed pinpoint bomb strikes that devastated the enemy and halted the attack, according to reports.

Later, Gilbreath's team began a clearing operation in a nearby village when they again came under attack from an estimated 120 Taliban and foreign fighters, officials said. Surrounded by the enemy, the team reached the center of the town as bullets and shrapnel impacted Gilbreath's vehicle from all directions.


CCA Website is up!

The new CCA Web Site is up and running, although not complete. The on-line reunion registration page is up… with PayPal (credit card) as a payment option. If not, you can complete and print the online form or fill out the form provided in the July/August 2011 Newsletter (last page) and mail it with your check to CCA, P.O. Box 432, Mary Esther, FL, 32569-0432.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Obit William T. Hall

September 13, 2011, William T. Hall passed away quietly in the arms of his loving wife of thirty-seven years. Will was born on April 8, 1951 and was raised just outside of Dayton, Ohio in a large extended family. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1969 right out of high school, and after graduating from technical school, Will was assigned to the Combat Control Team at Hurlburt Field, Florida.

On New Years Eve in 1972, Will and Brenda L. Mains met and fell in love. In March 1974, they married and soon received orders for Elmondorf Air Force Base, Alaska where they spent three glorious, fun-filled years in the great outdoors. In 1977, Will separated from the active duty military and chose to move back to paradise here in Northwest Florida, where he soon entered the Air Force Reserves and completed his 20 years of service at Duke Field, Florida.

In 1979, Will and Brenda opened and managed the Flowercart Florist along with another local couple, Dr Keith and Lynne Amiel. In 1989, after selling the florist Will found a job with Civil Service at Sight C-6 in the Freeport area.

In 1991, Will began his battle with cancer. During his initial surgery and chemotherapy, it was only with the help of the leave days donated by his co-workers that Will was able to focus on healing, recovering, and returning to work in remission. Thank you once again. Over the past twenty years, Will’s cancer has returned, and three times he was forced back into surgery. Each time he soldiered on without complaint.

Just before his death, Will was again diagnosed with a recurrence of cancer and he and Brenda went to Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville to seek treatment. The chemotherapy was too much this time, and Will spent his last days in the care of Alive Hospice in Nashville Tennessee.

Will was preceded in death by his parents Carl Melvin and Virginia Lee of Bellbrook, Ohio, one younger brother Joe, and his uncle Dave; his parents-in-law Bob and Phyllis Mains. Will is survived by his devoted wife Brenda L. (Mains) Hall, his brothers Steve Hall and wife Janette and Donald Hall and wife Linda; his sisters Linda and husband Fred Wilburn, Joanne and husband Brian Jelley, and Mary Hall; Uncle Tom and Aunt Katie Walton and family and Uncle Bill Walton; sisters-in-law Donna Juslin-Moorcroft and partner Teri Mylett, April F. Mains, Roberta and husband Terry Berry, and Lucinda and husband Bobby Eucker; nephews Donny, Alexander, James, Josh, Zack and wife Stephanie and son Zayne, Andrew and wife Sarah and son Levi, Joshua, and Brandon; nieces Diana and son Andrew, Angela and sons Joey and Jordon, Kelly and husband Jeremie and son Malaki, Beth and daughter Taya, and Ashlea; his “scout troop” Kaleo, Iain, Louis, and Kyle; and many, many “brothers in arms”
and loving cousins and friends.

Will was medically retired for the last ten years of his life, and he and Brenda traveled the country extensively, enjoying all our natural gifts and wonders. Will was an active member of the Air Commando and Combat Control Associations and a proud Okaloosa Democrat. He was an unabashed patriot. Will kept a beautiful garden at his “Florida Vacation Home” here in Mary Esther and was a shameless “tree hugger.” He is sorely missed by all the neighborhood’s stay cats, wild birds, turtles, and snakes too.

William will be remembered at a “celebration of life” to be held at the Soundside Club at Hurlburt Field on Saturday October 1, at 5:00 pm. A RSVP will be required for friends who would like to attend, but don’t have a Military ID Card – please call 244-0633 and leave a message by the evening of Sept. 28.

We will also hold a celebration on the evening of October 28 for all his Combat Control friends to attend during their reunion.

Friends who wish may contribute in memory of William T. Hall to the Fisher House of the Emerald Coast, PO Box 2007, Eglin AFB, FL 32542. Will’s family would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Ming-Chen Chang and Dr. Harvey Hsiang and their staff for the extra twenty wonder-filled years that we shared with Will.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Senior Airman Daniel Sanchez Memorial Push Ups

An Air Force Special Operations Command combat controller died 16 Sept 2010 while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Senior Airman Daniel Sanchez, 23, of El Paso, Texas, died at a medical facility in Tarin Kwot, Afghanistan. He was wounded by enemy fire and subsequently died of a gunshot wound.

He was assigned to the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla. The 23rd STS will hold a memorial service honoring Airman Sanchez next week, the date and time has not yet been determined.

"This terrible loss is evidence of the ultimate sacrifice our men in Air Force Special Operations Command make to protect our country and our way of life," said Maj. Chris Larkin, 23rd STS Commander. "Danny was a fine Airman and a valuable member of our close community, and he will be sorely missed. My deepest sympathies go out to the Sanchez family."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

William T. Hall has passed

Sad news for us all... Will gave in late this afternoon 13 Sep 11. He has been resting very peacefully for days now. He told me on Sunday that he was nearly full and when he was full, he was done. I guess he was full.

We spent our last lucid moments remembering all the good times we've shared. We replayed all our wonder filled trips and wonderful visits with friends and family. He shared the weekend with friends and family. He played air guitar, air piano, and air trumpet along with the greats of country music being piped in through the speaker in his bed.

Will was the sweetest, kindest, friend and partner anyone could wish for. The hardest part has been having to watch him experience so much pain the last couple of months. Thankfully that pain has not touched him since we moved to this hospice on Friday.

On Monday. I made arrangements with a local funeral home for Will's cremation. After the paperwork is complete and he's ready to go, I will take him back to our Florida vacation home. Right now my plans are to have a cookout around the end of Oct. when many of our friends will be in town for a CCA reunion. I will let you know how our plans progress or change.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Great news for one of our wounded CCT

A member of the 22nd Special Tactics Squadron, Meadows lost both legs in July 2008 during a combat reconnaissance patrol in Afghanistan when he was hit by ...

Click on link for article:

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A sad homecoming for Long Beach Airman

Services Saturday for Air Force Staff Sgt. Andrew W. Harvell.

LOS ALAMITOS — Air Force Staff Sgt. Andrew W. Harvell arrived home for the last time Tuesday.

On a hot, cloudless day at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base, the body of the 26-year-old combat veteran from Long Beach was returned to his family and a group of about 300 mourners.

A public memorial service and burial will be held Saturday.
Harvell died Aug. 6 in Wardak province, Afghanistan, when a CH-47 Chinook helicopter he was in crashed after being hit with enemy fire from Taliban insurgents.

The crash, which killed 38, including 30 Americans, most of whom were elite Navy SEALs, was the largest single deadliest loss for American forces in the decade-old war.

Link to article:

Friday, September 2, 2011

Request for Commemorative stories and pictures of Dan, John, and Andy


The 24th is requests anyone who knew Andy, John, or Dan to send personal stories and/or pictures. These stories and pictures will be consolidated into a book and presented to each of the family's.

Send John and Dan's stories/pictures to:

Zachary Marchun
Cell Phone: (229) 834-9652
Nipr email:
Address: 430 North Ridge Street, Southern Pines, NC, 28387

Send Andy's stories/pictures to:

Dave Orvosh (Squish)
Cell Phone: 910-584-5161
Nipr email: & (forward to both emails)
Address: 6021 Pink Drive, Fayetteville NC, 28314

This is an amazing initiative and will certainly have a powerful impact for the family's.



Pararescue Career Field Manager
Air Force Dive Program Manager

Andy Harvell's Funeral Information

- 9 Sep @ 1800L: Harvell Family Memorial in the Queen Mary Saloon Room, Long Beach, CA

- 10 Sep @ 1400L: Harvell Funeral Chapel Service and
follow-on internment at Los Angeles National Cemetery

Thursday, September 1, 2011

On 1 Oct 2011, the Pinehurst Triathlon will be held. Men and women from the 21STS, 43AG, and other units will swim 1500m, bike 30 miles, and run 6.2 miles. Some will do all three events, some will race as a team, while some will volunteer. All are raising money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF).

The SOWF started in 1980 following the Iranian hostage rescue attempt. They provided college educations for the 17 children who survived the nine men killed or incapacitated at Desert One.

Today, the SOWF provides the children of fallen warriors with a full college education, including tuition, books, fees, room and board, and a computer and printer. SOWF also provides immediate financial assistance to the families of severely wounded special operations warriors.

How you can help:
Race: You can still sign up as an individual or as a team. We have over 25 people signed up to participate, many doing their first triathlon

Donate: Each participate is trying to raise $300 to go to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation

Volunteer: The race will donate $20 per volunteer or $1000 for 40 volunteers

Let us know if you want to join us!

• If doing the race, wanting to volunteer, donate, or want more information; contact the 21STS ( or 910-394-1590).

• Make all donations out to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Mailing address for the 21STS:

Attn: Lt Col Cocanour
1520 Hurst St.

Pope Field, NC 28308

• 21STS will hold training clinics for those doing their first triathlon