Family Pride The devastation of 9/11 impacted the entire nation. For Staff Sergeant John Mullins, it led him to enlist in the United States Air Force, because he wanted to protect people. John has been stationed in Cheyenne, Wyoming, for almost six years, working as a Security Forces Investigator. This puts him one step closer to achieving his dream of becoming a law enforcement officer. Like any military man, John loved flying in helicopters, taking part in war games and handling machine guns. But it was the experience of aiding civilians, who had been in a severe car wreck outside the base, that really impacted his life. John’s father’s voice beamed with pride as he explained how his son was later given a special award for this selfless action and bravery. John is beyond proud to be able to serve our country, do his…

The Bravest of Friends A tank cartwheeling across the desert isn’t what most Americans see during their workday. But for Private First Class Ross Smith, that is exactly what played out before his eyes during his first tour overseas as a United States Marine. Like a movie scene – a 62-ton tank somersaulted its way over sand dunes after an IED explosion. Growing up, Ross knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life. With Marine Corps posters plastered on his walls, and the path his older brother and Vietnam Marine Corps Veteran father had created, it was no surprise he enlisted just after graduating high school. His best friend, Justin Carpenter, knew this is what Ross was destined to do with his life. Justin knew his good friend well, and he was certain that more than anything, Ross wanted to fight for…

Communicating Pride Sergeant Steven Wheeler loved his country almost as much as he loved his wife and daughters. Though he passed away in July of 2015, his love still shines brightly in the memories of his friends and family. Steven spent 10 years in the Army before retiring to work in the communications industry. He served as stateside support during Operation Desert Storm. Steven didn’t have one moment that changed his life, but many. And every day he woke up and put on that uniform, he was proud. Without the Army and the ability to serve his country, he wouldn’t have been the man he was. Steven served his country with pride, just as every solider, marine, airman, sailor and guard should. From all of us at 3 Daughters Brewing, we want to say “Tango Yankee” for your dedication, passion and honor in serving…

Caring for Freedom It was a time when women were not commonplace in the U.S. Military, but Margaret Holy knew enlisting in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) would be the best way to start her adult life following the Vietnam War. While her military career was lived during peacetime and on American soil, she has a profound appreciation for her military training which led to a lifelong career as a nurse. Margaret originally enlisted to start her adult life as independently as possible and get the medical training she’d need for a stable career. She spent six years serving in the California Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves for the WAC. One of Margaret’s most memorable military experiences was a training exercise that very quickly turned into reality. In what was expected to be a simple convoy ride, one of the group’s M35…

Grateful American Inspiring stories of bravery, patriotism and selfless acts don’t always come from the battlefield. They also come from our backyard, by civilians who truly want to show their gratitude and support for our military. Just before the 2007 Fourth of July holiday, Deb Benson was searching for an engaging way to teach her sons about the expression of gratitude. As she researched ways to show appreciation for the men and women who defend our country, she learned that service members often collected unique military coins – either earned through achievements or simply to enhance morale. This gave her an idea. Benson and her family would design a special coin of their own, which they would present to soldiers as a way to thank them for their service. As she set out to place a small order of coins, she discovered that she…

The Values of Brotherhood When his college roommate returned from basic training, Levi Eaves found himself wondering what would drive someone to fight for their country and what were they even fighting for. As he learned about the dedication of his friend as well as of the thousands of young lives being lost in battle, he wanted to do something. He wanted to help, but he had no idea of the human bonds that would emerge or the lives that would be changed. When Levi enlisted in the United States Army in 2007, he was eager to support the men and women of the military fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Born and raised in Tarpon Springs, Florida, his deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan was a huge culture and climate shock. There, Levi served with men and women who eventually became his family and reason…

Moving Memories Transporting Marines from safety to danger and back is not a simple or easy task. Chief Petty Officer Warren Abadie Sr. of the United States Navy was part of the team who did just that, bringing Marines to and from the battlefield via a small boat. It’s not hard to imagine the heartbreak Warren felt as he transported injured men back to the ship for care. Before the draft, Warren enlisted voluntarily to defend our country in World War II. He proudly fought in Iwo Jima, Okinawa and the Leyte Gulf battle. Before all of this, Warren had worked at the Higgins Plant in New Orleans – building the landing crafts and boats on which he would one day work aboard. Today, his son, Warren Jr., says identifying his father in wartime pictures is easy. Warren Sr. wore his signature Navy cap…