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By Julie Provost

Over the last 12 months, the military community lost a number of notable members. Here are 5 among them:

John Glenn

Fair winds and following seas to these 6 military notables who died in 2016Photo: NASA

Born in 1921 in Cambridge, Ohio, John Glenn was an aviator, engineer, astronaut, and United States Senator from Ohio. In 1962 he was the first American to orbit the earth, which he did three times– the last time at age 77. He was also a fighter pilot in both World War II and Korea. He earned six Distinguished Flying Crosses and eighteen clusters to the Air Medal. He was member of the Mercury Seven, a group of military test pilots chosen by NASA to be the first American astronauts. He passed away on December 8, 2016 surrounded by his wife Annie, his children, and grandchildren.

Willie Rogers

Fair winds and following seas to these 6 military notables who died in 2016
Photo: Scott Keeler/The Tampa Bay Times via AP

Willie Rogers was born in Florida in 1915. He was drafted into the Army in 1942,  was part of the 100th Air Engineer Squad, and also served with the Red Tail Angels. He was the oldest surviving member of the original Tuskegee airmen. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African American military pilots, formed in June of 1941. Rogers was wounded in action during a mission in January 1943. He received a Congressional Gold Medal in 2007 from President George W. Bush. He passed away on November 18 in St. Petersburg, Florida where he moved after the war.

Sammy Lee

Fair winds and following seas to these 6 military notables who died in 2016
Photo: USC Athletics

Sammy Lee was born on August 1, 1920 in Fresno, California. He was a diver and became the first Asian American man to win an Olympic gold medal for the United States, the man to win back-to-back gold medals, and the oldest diver to win a gold medal. In the 1948 London Olympics, he won a bronze medal in the 3-meter springboard and a gold in the 10-meter platform. He went on to earn another gold in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics in the 10-meter. Lee served  in the US Army Medical Corps in South Korea from 1953-55. He was awarded the James E. Sullivan award in 1953. When he returned home, he was not able to buy a home in a Garden Grove, CA neighborhood because of his race. Later he coached other Olympic divers such as Greg Louganis. He passed away in Newport Beach, CA on December 2 of complications with pneumonia.

Joe Hosteen Kellwood

Fair winds and following seas to these 6 military notables who died in 2016
Photo: Stripes

Joe Hosteen Kellwood was born August 20, 1921 in Steamboat Canyon, AZ on a Navajo reservation. Kellwood served in the 1st Marine Division in the Pacific Front during World War II. He saw battle in Cape Gloucester, Peleliu, and Okinawa and was one of the last surviving Navajo Code Talkers. His group inspired the 2002 movie, Windtalkers. The Code Talkers used the Navajo language to outsmart Japanese code breakers and help to safely and securely pass information in the Pacific Theater. He received the Congressional Silver Medal for his service. He passed away on September 5 in Phoenix, AZ.

Serina Vine

Fair winds and following seas to these 6 military notables who died in 2016
Photo: DVIDS, Mathuel Browne

Serina Vine was born September 14, 1924 in Berkeley, CA. She joined the Navy in 1944 and served until  August 7, 1946 in radio intelligence. Along the way, she learned three languages. When she passed away on May 21, she had no known living relatives. 200 bikers as well as retired and active duty service members attended her funeral.

Lyle Bouck

Fair winds and following seas to these 6 military notables who died in 2016
Photo: Wikimedia

Born December 17, 1923 in St. Louis, MO, Lyle Bouck enlisted in the National Guard at 14 and became one of the youngest commissioned officers to serve. During the Battle of the Bulge, his unit held off an entire German battalion of over 500 men for almost a day, helping to delay the German advance of the northern front. His platoon was one of the most decorated platoons in WWII. He and his men became POWs after being captured by German paratroopers and were imprisoned for about five months. He and his platoon were finally recognized for their valor in 1981. The Longest Winter by Alex Kershaw was written about the platoon’s escapades. He passed away on December 2 from pneumonia in Sunset Hills, MO.

Julie is a 30-something-year-old Blogging & WAHM with 3 boys. She and her National Guard husband have been married for 14 years and call Tennessee home for now. You can find her at at Soldier’s Wife, Crazy Life, on Facebook, and on Twitter

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