This is a significant week in the lives of three brothers that were recognized for extraordinary heroism.
28 DEC - On this day, Brother Joseph Francis Kiep, Jr., US Army - pilot (PA Delta / University of Pennsylvania) was born.
31 DEC - Brother / Major Samuel Eugene Carpenter, US Army - WWII - Pacific (OK Alpha / Oklahoma A&M '37 - now Oklahoma State University) was born on this day in Fairview, Oklahoma. In 1942, Sam entered the Army as a First Lieutenant and served in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945. He left the Army as a Major.
31 DEC - On this day, Brother / Ensign Joseph Metcalf Hissem, US Navy Reserve - WWII - Battle of Midway (IL Alpha / University of Illinois '39) was born in Mt. Carroll, Illinois.
Brother Hissem was postumously awarded the Navy Cross for his actions at Midway on 04 JUN 1942. The Navy Cross is the highest award presented by the Navy following the Medal of Honor.
01 JAN - This marks the day that Brother / Captain Robert Tavenner, US Army - WWI - France & Belgium (OH Gamma / The Ohio State University '08) was awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal and Army Distinguished Service Cross for action during two seperate feats of "extraordinary heroism" on the battlefield in France and Belgium, respectively, in the fall of 1918.
The Army Distinguished Service Cross is the highest award presented by the Army following the Medal of Honor.
27 DEC - On this day, Brother / Major George "Vern" Ellison, US Marine Corps (Retired) - Vietnam (OR Alpha / Oregon State University) was born in Eugene, Oregon.
Vern was commissioned in the United States Marine Corps in 1957 and served until he retired as a Major in 1977. He was awarded the Bronze Star with a combat "V" (for valor) and twice awarded the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry.
30 DEC - On this day, Brother / (then) Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe, US Army (WV Beta / West Virginia University) was awarded the Army Distinguished Service Cross by General Patton for his actions at Bastogne, Belgium.
With this recognition, Brother McAuliffe joined brothers Major James Armand Meissner, US Army Air Service (NY Beta; awarded the Army Distinguished Service Cross twice in 1918), and the aforemention Captain Robert Lester Tavenner, US Army (OH Gamma) and Ensign Joseph Metcalf Hissem, US Navy Reserve (IL Alpha) as the highest decorated brothers of Sigma Phi Epsilon that served in the United States military.
Brother Meissner is the only SigEp to receive the Army Distinguished Service Cross twice.
Recent Losses - The following SigEp patriots passed away in the month of December:
*Brother Charles J. "Bud" Foster III, US Marine Corps (DE Alpha / University of Delaware) passed away 12 DEC. Brother Foster was a life-long athlete - medaling in the Penn Relays and running in multiple Boston Marathons, and was a voracious reader of American military history. His final resting place was not listed in his obituary.
*Franklin A. Rouse, US Marine Corps (NC Beta / North Carolina State University) died 18 DEC at Carteret General Hospital. In addition to his military service, Brother Rouse was an Eagle Scout, and very active in the community, including serving as Deputy Secretary of the NC Department of Transportation. He was awarded a membership to the NC Republican Party Hall of Fame, and was a recipient of the J. E. Broyhill Award and Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina's highest civilian honor. His final resting place was not listed in his obituary. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the East Carolina Council Boy Scouts of America, payable to ECCBSA, P.O. Box 1698, Kinston, NC 28503, or to the Carteret General Hospital Foundation Critical Care Unit, P.O. Drawer 1619, Morehead City, N.C. 28557.
*Brother Kenneth J. Goodman, US Navy Veteran (KY Beta / University of Louisville) passed away at his home in Louisville on Christmas Eve. Ken was a chapter president at KY Beta, and is survived by his real and fellow chapter brother, Joseph G. Goodman. Ken was laid to rest at Evergreen Cemetery, and expressions of sympathy may be made to Day Spring (www.dayspringky.org) and the Parkinson Support Center of Kentuckiana (www.pscky.org).
Happy New Year to you and yours!
Fraternally and Respectfully,
NY Eta / Buffalo State College
The weekly works are part of an effort that is sourced by you - brothers who have and have not served in the military, as well as from research on the internet. It is powered by brotherly love and the belief that our Chapter and National histories are extremely important, and that the accomplishments and sacrifices of these brothers are worthy of remembrance and celebration.
All information is vetted to the best of my ability, and any brother that wishes to share personal information or details about the life of a brother who serve/served our country is strongly encouraged to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SigEp patriots who serve or have served can connect with more than 250 brothers-in-arms via the Facebook group SigEps Who Serve - www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=5903232706. As this is a closed group set up solely for brother patriots that serve/served in the U.S. military - whether that be active, reserve, retired, ROTC - all are welcome! Your name, home chapter and military affiliation will be required before your request to join the group is confirmed.
A special thanks to Wordjunky for the guidance while I fat-finger these submissions to this terrific blog.