(July 15, 2023) - On July 16, 2015, five servicemen died due to an act of domestic terrorism.
Sergeant Carson Allen Louis Holmquist (USMC), Logistics Specialist Second Class Randall Scott Smith (NAVY), Staff Sergeant David Allen Wyatt (USMC), Lance Corporal Squire Kimpton Paul “Skip” Wells (USMC), and Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Joseph Sullivan (USMC), are honored as the ‘Fallen Five.’
Just eight years later, veteran organizations are hoping to leave a lasting impact on the Chattanooga community and veterans everywhere.
“To forget them is the greatest dishonor, and we’re not going to do that,” Co-founder of Shepherd’s Men Travis Ellis said.
Shepherd’s Men is an organization of active, medically retired, and honorably discharged servicemen and civilian patriots who are dedicated to creating advocacy and opportunity for our nation’s heroes.
“You know, it’s our responsibility as Americans to remember this, honor this, and to not forget,” Co-founder Troy Campbell said.
They raise funds and spread awareness for the SHARE Military Initiative at Shepherd Center in Atlanta.
Ceremonies were held in Chattanooga throughout the day to honor the Fallen Five.
“It’s important to know that these marines and sailor went to work on a random day just like they did every day. And I think intellectually, you can wrap your arms around loss of life in a combat environment. But when it happens in a reserve capacity, in the hometown of wherever your duty station is, that’s a little harder to swallow,” Ellis said.
11 members honored their legacy by doing a six-mile swim from the Tennessee Riverpark Boat Ramp to the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center.
The men rotated two at a time to accomplish the swim. They finished in record time this morning.
Ceremonies started at 8:00 a.m. at the Wreath of Honor Fallen Five Memorial and continued throughout the day.
Shepherd’s Men and the SHARE initiative want to encourage service members to reach out for resources.
“We have to treat our veterans with respect and honor of what they did for the service and not only do we owe that to them, to every veteran that has served and is active duty in serving… but for the future generations that’s coming. That this is a worthy and noble cause, and this country will take care of you,” Campbell said.