Post by Category : Commemorations

Joseph Anciaux

A 2001 graduate of ThunderRidge High School, Joe joined the Marines in his senior year. Many of his close friends joined the military after high school, including SSG Chris Falkel. In 2003 Joe was deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Other training and assignments have taken him to MCRD in San Diego; Camp Pendleton, CA; Pensacola, FL; Oceana, VA; and a brief tour of duty on the aircraft carrier Stennis. He is currently assigned to the 3rd Marine Air Wing (MALS 11) in San Diego.

We are very proud of his service to the country and the Marines. Semper Fi!

Phil and Melissa Anciaux, 12/07/2006

Michael T Anderson

Graduated from Northeastern University in Boston, CT.
Applied for jobs while waiting for an answer from Jobs applied enlisted in Navy 1966 with opportunities to go to Officer Candidate School in Rhode Island (note he was in Officer Candidate School with Senator John Kerry and flew with him.)
Lt. on Tanker in the Philippines 1967-1968
Lt. of a PBR boat in Vietnam from 1968-1970

Dwight Angell

Born August 17, 1928 to Mr. and Mrs. Otis Angell, Dwight was a graduate of Denver’s South High School and Colorado State University, where he belonged to Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. He enlisted in 1950, earning his Navy wings in 1952. Shortly thereafter, he married his college sweetheart, Gerry (Brittingham) Angell, and reported for duty in Hawaii.

On January 18, 1953, while conducting surveillance, his Lockheed P2V-5 Neptune was shot down by Chinese anti-aircraft fire near Swatow, ditching in the Formosa Strait. All but two of the crew were rescued by a Coast Guard Martin PBM-5G Mariner. As the PBM took off the starboard engine quit, the plane cartwheeled and crashed. Ten men from the two crews were rescued by the USS Halsey Powell. Dwight was among eleven men who went missing that night.

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach, when feeling out of sight.  To the ends of being and ideal grace. I love thee with the breath, the smiles and tears of all my life! And if God chooses, I shall but love thee better after death.” Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Richard L. Baldwin

Richard L. Baldwin was born during a snowstorm in Breckenridge, Michigan, in 1919, growing up in the Great Depression. After Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Navy and married his college sweetheart, Doris Zimmerman. They spent several bittersweet weeks in San Francisco before he sailed into the Pacific to serve as on a supply ship, anchored off Tulagi near Guadalcanal. From Tulagi they sailed to Bougainville where Marines clung to a beachhead one-mile deep, ten miles long, suffering 90% casualties. Ultimately, they landed in Guam for the invasion of Japan. On the way there, a typhoon hit the ship, bobbing it around like a toy boat in winds of 100 knots or more. With each shudder of the bow in the waves, it felt as if the ship would break apart. In Guam, the crew learned of the Atom bombs, then Japan’s surrender.

Back home, he and Doris had four children (Diane Baldwin, Susan Hoover, Nancy Letts, and Robert Baldwin of Highlands Ranch). For 30 years he ran a small bank for farmers.  Once, when hearing birds sing in a snowstorm, he was asked why they sang in such a storm.  “Because,” he said, “they are alive.”


Kristine Beaver

PO1 U.S. Navy


Michael Benton

CW3 Benton is a Senior Aviator in the U.S. Army who has accumulated 2,950 flight hours, including over 800 hours in combat.

From 1993 to 1995, he attended the Korean Language course at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, as well as the Tactical Interrogator Course at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.

In 1995, he attended flight school at Fort Rucker, Alabama, where he also completed the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior Aircraft Qualification course. In 1997, he joined the 4/2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Polk, Louisiana. Later, he was deployed with Task Force Sabre in Operation Joint Guard in Tuzla, Bosnia.

After completing the OH-58D Instructor Pilot course at Fort Rucker in 2001, CW3 Benton was stationed with the 3-17th Cavalry at Fort Drum, New York. He then took the Joint Firepower Control course at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada before being deployed to Mosul, Iraq with the 3/2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Upon his return from Iraq, CW3 Benton completed the OH-58D Method of Instruction course at Fort Rucker and served in the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior Scout Branch of the Directorate of Evaluation and Standardization.

His awards include a Combat Action Badge, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, and NATO Medal.  He is also the recipient of the Bronze Order of Saint Michael medal.

CW3 Benton holds a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics with a minor in Aviation Safety from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (2003) and is currently pursuing a Master of Aeronautical Science with dual specializations in Education Technology and Aviation Operations from the same institution.


John C. Bennett

After living in several western states, primarily Texas, the Bennett family moved to Highlands Ranch in 1996.  At Highlands Ranch High School, John “Casey”,  played varsity football , was on the varsity wrestling team., and in the National Honor Society. Casey Bennett graduated from Highlands Ranch High School in 1998. He enlisted in the United States Army as a combat medic/ Licensed Practical Nurse after the September 11 terrorist attacks. He completed basic training in April 2002 at Fort Benning, GA. and combat medic training at Fort Sam Houston, TX in October of 2002. He then began his Licensed Practical Nurse courses at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Hospital.

Upon completion of his LPN course work in October 2003, Casey was stationed at Fort Bragg, NC with the 28th Combat Support Hospital. He was stationed in Baghdad as an Intensive Care Unit nurse during Operation Iraqi Freedom  from 2003-04. In 2005, Casey along with several members of his unit went to New Orleans for a month to assist with Hurricane Katrina relief.

Casey was honorably discharged in February 2006. He was recalled to active service in January 2008. He is currently serving as a combat medic with the 27th Brigade Combat Team in Herat, Afghanistan and other outlying Forward Operating Bases.

Casey was married on December 27, 2002 to Genevieve Makowski. They have two children, John Casey Jr. “J.C.”, age 3, and Joseph Steven “Joey”, who is due in July 2008. Casey and his family reside in Denver, CO. Casey’s parents, Steve and Betty Bennett, reside in Highlands Ranch and  his brother, Christopher Bennett, resides in Denver.

Frederic Bernier

PFC U.S. Army
World War II

Nathan Beyers

Sgt. Nathan R. Beyers, 24, of Littleton, Colo., died July 7 in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked their convoy using an improvised explosive device. They were assigned to 145th Brigade Support Battalion, 116th Cavalry Heavy Brigade Combat Team, Post Falls, Idaho.

He is survived by his wife Vanessa and daughter Ella Jo; his parents Timothy Beyers and Sonja Beyers of Denver, CO; his mother Natalie Bittner of Weir TX; siblings Tyler Beyers and Caelyne Bittner; his grandparents, and two nieces.

Christopher J Birdwell

SSG Christopher J Birdwell (1987-2012) made the ultimate sacrifice in service to his country August 27, 2012 in Kala gush, Afghanistan. He was KlA by enemy small-arms fire. Christopher was assigned to 4BSTB, 4BCT, 4ID, Fort Carson, Colorado- third deployment.
Honor, Valor, Bravery, Faith, Heroism
Respected in life, honored in death, Christopher was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart. Well suited for his post, he completed Airborne, Sniper & Sapper training. Christopher thrived to protect his country and earned distinctions such as Squad Leader and Armorer during his enlistment. His heroism and leadership was an inspiration to those who served with him.

Behind the uniform, Chris was a man whose infectious laugh could make anyone smile; he was a generous friend and servant of many. His vivacity for life was evident in his fondness for speed. Chris enjoyed everything from fast cars, motorcycles and ATV’s, to skydiving and shooting sports. Ever a thrill seeker, he loved snow and cold weather, loving snowboarding/snowmobiling. His talent for enjoying life touched everyone who knew him.

Chris was baptized into Christ April 25, 2004, solidifying his hope of heaven through faith. With a firm belief in his purpose, and convictions supported by his faith, Chris’s sacrifice reflects that of his Lord and Savior, the Giver of eternal life. His legacy will survive in the hearts of his family and friends.

SS. Christopher J. Birdwell’s heroic sacrifice for his country will be remembered by the nation who stood behind him. His joyful spirit, generous heart, fun-loving nature, bravery and sacrifice are still alive in all who knew him. He was one of America’s best. Until we meet again.
Christopher Birdwell will be memorialized at Fort Carson and laid to rest at Fort Logan National Cemetery.