May 26, 2015 by Jenn Godwin
The campus community came out for a morning observance Tuesday, May 26, to honor those with university ties who died fighting in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
The Memorial Day program, organized by the UALR Office of Veteran Affairs, included keynote speaker James “Mike” Tramel, the chair of the Department of Construction Management and Civil and Construction Engineering and a Vietnam veteran. He served in several Bright Light missions to rescue prisoners of war and service members missing in action, receiving the Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his efforts.
“Memorial Day is a day of remembrance,” said Cheryl Kleeman, coordinator for the Veteran Affairs office. “The University of Arkansas Little Rock wanted to ensure that our own fallen were not forgotten; that all the brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedoms were not forgotten. It is the least we could do in the face of how much they have done for us.”
As the final, poignant notes of Taps trailed off, David Carnahan, vice president of the student organization Students Affected by the Military (SAM), began to read the names of the fallen. Carnahan served in the same unit as Sgt. Michael Taylor, who was killed in Iraq in 2007 when his helicopter was shot down.
Tanya Lemley, president of SAM, posted the 15 flags for the fallen along the garden in front of the Student Services Center.
UALR students/alumni killed in action in Afghanistan: Ethan C. Hardin, Specialist; Paul W. Kimbrough, Lieutenant Colonel; Richard R. Penny, Lance Corporal; Joseph A. Richardson, Specialist.
UALR students/alumni killed in action in Iraq: Chad S. Wade, Corporal; William W. Bushnell, Sergeant; Tyler L. Creamean, Specialist; Arthur L.“Bo” Felder, Captain; Freeman L. Gardner Jr., Sergeant; Michael Vann Johnson Jr., Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class; Raymond N. Mitchell III, Specialist;Tyler R. Seideman, Specialist; Michael R. Sturdivant, Sergeant; Michael Taylor, Major; Donovan D. Witham, Private 1st Class.