This year, we decided to take a different approach to Military Appreciation Month. Reaching out directly to the GOVX community, we asked for members to Nominate a Military Hero via email submission. The results? An incredible collection of personal stories, triumphs, and tragedies straight from the Americans who knew them best. From the Korean War to Afghanistan, we’re honored to help bring these stories to life and keep the legacies of these proud servicemembers going strong. All month long, we’re spreading the stories across social media and on select emails, but we still felt it was important to pass along a few of the standouts here.
George “Geo” Hand IV
"Geo served for ten years in Delta Force. Recently, he wrote an autobiographical book entitled, Brothers of the Cloth, about those we lost. Despite having “been there, done that” literally, Geo is the most humble man I have ever known. Everyone else is the hero in Geo’s eyes. His breathtaking honesty and mind-blowing humility have challenged me to be the man God called me to be. "
"Geo is a hero in everyone’s eyes but his own. He is a hero to me.
I consider him one of the greatest 'quiet warriors' to ever live."
Daniel Glover, US NAVY
"While in Army ROTC in College at the Florida Institute of Technology, Joe volunteered to be a Senior Member of a local Composite Civil Air Patrol Squadron. I was a cadet in that squadron at the time. Joe brought not only tactical training and equipment that he was able to provide through his Army ROTC unit, but also an attitude of service, respect, and perspective that enabled me to succeed in my own military career of 22 years in military aviation, both in the Army and the Coast Guard. I would have never entered the military if not for Joe Walker's concern for others, and the time he devoted to this cause. This experience then transferred to the rest of my career in civil aviation and as a pilot in the Civil Service. Essentially, Joe's actions formulated the path of my entire adult career and life."
Glen Freeman, US NAVY/COAST GUARD
"Francisco is my husband of over two decades now, he joined the Army in 2007 and deployed twice, once to Iraq and once to Afghanistan. Although my husband struggles daily with PTSD and other physical ailments, he’s still the strongest person I know. He has taught me so much throughout our years together. Since the military, Francisco has taught our family the value of family, integrity and respect. Before the Army, Francisco felt he didn’t have a purpose in life, but once he joined he felt a part of something greater, and finally he had found his niche.
He was a senior transmissions chief in Communications and he was in great demand amongst his unit. Francisco impacted my life by teaching me strength and endurance through hard times. We went from being homeless and losing everything, to slowly gaining it all back and then some. All attributed to Francisco’s constant fight to keep going and overcome any obstacle. We have been through many ups and a whole lot of downs too, but one thing I learned from him was to never give up, and to keep pushing forward. No matter the circumstances, my husband is resilient and will never stop fighting for what’s right. Despite being out of the Army over 10 years, the military way is still a part of him, and he takes what he learned and experienced to heart."
Natalie Susan Sanchez
"Although her career was short, she served honorably and dedicated her on and off duty time to the Air Force and its personnel. Unfortunately, she injured her back and neck during a C-5 Galaxy loading operation in support of Gulf War operations. Even after she separated from the Air Force, she dedicated her time to supporting deployed Airmen and their families. We married, and she raised our children virtually on her own while I was deployed for nearly the first three years of our marriage. Nobody works harder than the spouse of a deployed military member. Nearly 30 years later, she still supports me through the toughest of times."
Scott Vanderford, US AIR FORCE
Harry G. Peare
"My father served on a Navy Destroyer during his time in the Korean War. From an early age, he taught me what it means to serve my country and how imporant it is to not just be a good citizen, but a good veteran as well. My father was an active long-time member of the VFW and DAV. He recently passed away, but he’ll always be my hero. "