Memorial Day: A Spotlight on Our Fallen Soldiers

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Memorial Day is a day to remember soldiers who died in service to our country. This year, members of the GovCIO team with loved ones who served and are no longer with us took a moment to honor the sacrifices of these love ones, as well as reflect upon their lifelong impact.

By Mike Ryan, SVP - Defense Services Group

Sergeant Tommy Bygott

“My uncle, Tommy Bygott, served in Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry in Vietnam from 1969-1970.  He was awarded two Bronze Stars and an Army Commendation Medal for his services. Many years after his service, he passed away after suffering multiple medical issues resulting from Agent Orange exposure. He was a husband, father, son, uncle, and a friend to many. He was a true American Hero who served and lived with honor.

As a Veteran myself, on Memorial Day, I, and all other Veterans remember those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.”

Lee Ermey

By Shervic Prouse, Project Manager

1st Lieutenant Lindsay Bartholomew, U.S. Air Force

“1st Lieutenant Lindsay Bartholomew served in the US Air Force, 8th Fighter Bomber Wing, Suwon AB, South Korea, during the Korean War. His unit performed a variety of missions including strategic bombardment, air cover for bombers, armed reconnaissance, and low-level bombing and strafing for interdiction and ground support.

Lt. Bartholomew died on 7 January 1953, when his F-84G, TN: 51-10324 crashed on take-off. He was 23, my father’s older brother and an uncle I never knew personally. His presence loomed large in my life, as Lindsay’s love of aviation and military service example inspired my father’s Air Force career and eventually my own.

As I have aged and watched the years and this nation’s wars unfold in defense of freedom, liberty and justice for all, I have come to understand the importance of having the discipline to set aside a day each year to remember all who have sacrificed for this nation’s aspirational values.

Sacrifice, great and small — from giving one’s life to giving up time with family — binds our country together.  It is a worthy discipline to recognize this sacrifice, mourn the dead, respect the families.”

Robert Bartholomew, GovCIO’s Program Director for National Background Investigation Services

Corporal Wedro Castaneda Belarmino, U.S. Army

“Corporal Wedro Castaneda Belarmino, United States Army, was born in the Philippines and emigrated to Oahu, Hawaii in 1946. During the Korean War, he was a member of the 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. He was seriously wounded by the enemy in South Korea on May 22, 1951 yet returned to duty just two days later. He was Killed in Action while fighting the enemy in North Korea on October 3, 1951.

He was my grandfather’s baby brother and although he never received American citizenship, he gave all he had to this country, and inspired my own patriotism and Air Force career.

‘It is for us the living… to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us, that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion…’ – Abraham Lincoln.”

Leonard (Lee) Belarmino, GovCIO’s Program Manager

Arthur T. Jordan

By Brad Burt, Sr. Business Analyst

By David Sosa, Deputy Program Manager

Corporal Mark Marth, U.S. Marine Corps

“Corporal Mark Marth, United States Marine Corps, was a close friend.  We joined the Marine Corps in Aug 1977, right after graduating High School.  We went to boot camp together and graduated 2 out of 31 from a starting class of over 100.  We got separated after bootcamp, but stayed in contact until he left this earth in May 2019.

Semper Fi, brother – you will not be forgotten…”