Saturday, February 12, 2011

Two Weeks in the History of Sigma Phi Epsilon Patriots, 31 JAN – 13 FEB

Life gets a little busy sometimes, so this is a two week version.

04 FEB 1929
Brother Kenneth W. Drager, U.S. Air Force (Colorado Alpha / University of Colorado ’51) was born on this day in Ft. Collins, Colorado. Brother Drager graduated from UC with his degree in journalism prior to joining the Air Force.

At the moment, that is all I have and I look forward to hearing from anyone that has information about Brother Drager and/or his military service.

01 FEB 1951
This marks the day the U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of WWI Veteran / Ambassador / Brother / First Lieutenant Monnett Bain Davis, U.S. Army (Kansas Alpha / Baker University) as Ambassador to Israel. Brother Davis would serve in this capacity until his death in DEC 1953.

During World War I, Brother Davis served in Europe in the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) of the U.S. Army.

03 FEB 2004
Korean War Veteran / Brother Roger William Fisher, U.S. Navy (Maine Alpha / University of Maine ’58) of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada died on this day at the age of 72.

Prior to attending UM and earning a B.A. in business economics, Brother Fisher served in the U.S. Navy from 1951 to 1955, some of that time onboard the USS Newport News (CA-148). He was employed as a U.S. Customs Officer in Vanceboro, Maine, from 1963 until 1990. He enjoyed gardening, bee keeping, hunting, fishing, golf, and spending time at his camp. He was a member of the American Legion, Masons, and Elks. He is survived by two children and three grandchildren.

09 FEB 2007
On this day, Vietnam Veteran / Brother / Captain Bruce Edward Crowe, U.S. Marine Corps – Vietnam (TN Gamma / East Tennessee State University) (he graduated from University of Tennessee) passed away at his West Knoxville home with his family after a courageous battle with cancer. Bruce attended East Tennessee State University where he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, graduated from The University of Tennessee and later earned a master’s degree from Tennessee Tech University. Captain Crowe was the recipient of two Purple Hearts during his service in the U.S. Marine Corps. He later became a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Masons. Brother Crowe was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors in Section 66, Site 7578).

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, 736 N. 4th Ave., Knoxville, TN 37917 and/or the American Cancer Society, 871 Weisgarber Road, Knoxville, TN 37909.

13 FEB 2010
Brother / Captain Robert Urbana, U.S. Navy Reserve (Retired) (Colorado Beta / University of Denver ’52) passed away last year tomorrow at the age of 80. Brother Urbana was born in Denver on 25 JAN 1930. Bob joined the Navy at age 17 and graduated from North Denver High School in 1948. He went through the naval ROTC program and graduated from the University of Denver in December 1952 with a degree in business and a navy commission. During his brief active duty career, Brother Urbana served as executive officer on the USS Koka (ATA-185) before leaving active duty in 1955. He continued his naval career as a reservist in Boise, Idaho. In his civilian life, he was successful businesses in Boise and later in Portland, Oregon – the later company expanded in to Seattle. Bob's passion was the Navy. As a reservist he completed the Armed Forces Staff College, the Naval War College and was a member of the U.S. Naval Advancement Board. Brother Urbana commanded units in Boise, Longview, Washington and Salem. He finished his naval career as the Recruiting District Assistance Council Officer for Oregon, retiring in 1978 after 31 years of service. Bob instilled his love of the Navy in the next generations. He had the privilege of swearing in his grandson, Alexander, into the U.S. Navy in 1999. Bob was a Sigma Phi Epsilon. He was a member and past president of the Portland Navy League and served on the Rose Festival Naval committee. At various times in his life he belonged to the Kiwanis, Lions and Rotarians and was a member of the Knights of Columbus. Bob was a deeply spiritual man. His faith sustained him and gave him strength, hope, peace and comfort, especially in the last days of his life. He was an exemplary role model to his family and to all who knew him. He was a man of honor, courage and commitment. He believed that it was by God's grace he had the life he did, that honor inspires courage and with courage comes commitment to follow through with love, kindness and compassion, doing the right thing at all times.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests remembrances to Disabled Veterans of America or to a charity of your choice.

In 2008, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimated that World War II veterans were dying at a rate of more than 1,000 a day. Something needs to be done to capture the stories and legacy of the brothers among this group as well as other patriots.

The three pieces immediately above are all obituaries, and the only information I could find so far on these great men. If you have any additional information about Brothers Fisher, Crowe or Urbana it would be great to hear from you.

Welcome Home, Patriot Brothers!
Operation ENDURING FREEDOM Veterans / Brother / Captain Nate Davis, U.S. Army (Florida Beta / Stetson ’07) and Brother / Captain Jeff Lehmkuhl, U.S. Air Force (California Upsilon / California State University, San Bernardino ’05) have returned to the States very recently after successful tours in Afghanistan! It’s great to have you both back home safe.

Also, due to OPSEC considerations we won’t list their names here, but a huge shout out to three military brothers who are home temporarily while on mid-deployment leave. Have a great time, and if you are visiting Washington, DC remember the door is red here. Continued success when you return to the desert, stay safe, and get home again soon!

Movers and Shakers
Congratulations are in order for Brother / First Sergeant Wendell Thompson, U.S. Army (AL Theta / Jacksonville State University ’91) who was promoted to his current rank this week. Hooyah, Brother!

Last week, Brother / First Lieutenant Doug Allen, U.S. Air Force (New York Chi / Clarkson University) recently completed T-6 training and Brother / Second Lieutenant Grant Milbourn, U.S. Air Force (Oklahoma Alpha / Oklahoma State ‘10) successfully completed the T-6 simulator, and is preparing for his instrument check-ride and formation. Keeping aiming high, Brothers!

Fraternally and Respectfully,

Ed Jones
Chief, USNR
NY Eta '91
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