December 28, 2008

"By Remembering One, We Honor All"--John McColley

John and Susan McColley spearheaded the National Wreath Project with the help of Stan Clark of Gettysburg. The parents of Eric McColley who was killed in the War on Terror in February 2006 started placing wreaths on his grave around Thanksgiving of 2006.

Each time they visited the cemetery with a new wreath they would place the existing wreath on the grave of a neighboring Marine. They noticed that many of the other graves were not being decorated and from that day forward they decided to honor as many as they could. In 2006, they placed 515 wreaths.

This year, with the help of so many, they were able to put over 2700 wreaths total- 500 wreaths on grave sites at Gettysburg National Cemetery and over 2,100 at Quantico National Cemetery.

The Brian LaViolette Scholarship Foundation was so proud to financially support this noble and worthwhile cause. Foundation Board Member, Captain Tony Mitchell and his two young sons (above) helped with this effort.

The Eric McColley Scholarship of Honor was established in 2007 at Gettysburg High School and is awarded to a graduating student going into the military or a form of community or public service.

December 22, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday Jimmy!

Katherine Cathey was 5 months pregnant when her husband James was killed while conducting combat operations in Iraq on August 21, 2005. On her son's first birthday, United States Marine Colonel Steve Beck presents Jimmy Cathey with the Scholarship of Honor medal in honor of
his Dad, USMC 2nd Lt. James Cathey.

The inscription to little Jimmy on the back of the medal reads: Your selfless service, heroic deeds and love for your Marines will never be forgotten. From this day forward, the manner by which you lived your life, with enthusiasm, with vigor, and with an energy rarely witnessed, will forever stand as an inspiration to those who take on the noble challenge of serving their fellow man. “Happy 1st Birthday Jimmy, your daddy is watching over you.” 22 December 2006

The James Cathey Scholarship of Honor was established at Reno High School and first presented in 2007. Thanks to the Remembering the Brave Foundation, this will be a perpetual tribute to James. Maybe one day James' son, will present this scholarship in honor of his Dad...what a great honor that would be!

Dad had the chance to meet Katherine at the Medal of Honor Patriot Dinner in Denver this past September where she was recognized as a Gold Star family.

Happy 2nd Birthday Jimmy, your daddy continues to watch over you.

Col. Steve Beck and Jimmy Photo by: Judy DeHaas, Rocky Mountain News
Katherine Cathey with Doug LaViolette