SigEp Military History


This Week in SigEp Patriot History
September 16, 2012


This week is the 11th anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001, and to the best of our knowledge, 12 brothers have lost their lives while fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Please don’t allow yourself to forget them or the brothers that continue to serve to protect our way of life. The SigEp Patriots Project (SPP) will continue to work on behalf of brothers living and dead who have served our great nation, and we welcome any assistance with this effort.

September 15, 2009
- On this date in Kosovo, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom veteran AK Alpha brother Joel Fix Sr. was promoted to master sergeant in the U.S. Army.

September 14, 2010
- U.S. Navy Medical Services Corps World War II veteran and NC Epsilon brother Samuel Adamson Burgess Jr. died on this date in Raleigh, North Carolina.
He was born in Jacksonville, Florida, and immediately upon graduation from high school he entered Davidson College, where he studied until he was old enough to volunteer for the United States Naval Medical Corps during World War II. Upon completing his military service at the Portsmouth Naval Hospital in Virginia, he returned to Davidson College and graduated in 1948. After attending the School of Business at Columbia University in New York City, Sam was employed in the cashier’s office of the Equitable Life Assurance Society in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for a year before entering the Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, to study for the Presbyterian ministry. Upon graduation in 1952, he was ordained in Sparta, North Carolina, by the Presbytery of Winston-Salem and called to the Elkin Presbyterian Church in Elkin, North Carolina.
Sam and his wife soon went to Scotland to engage in Form Critical New Testament Studies at the University of St. Andrews. Upon completing his studies, Sam returned home and became the organizing pastor of a new Presbyterian church in Garner, North Carolina, in 1956. During his pastorate, Sam served as a commissioner to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in 1960, 1976, and 1984. Love of community and people led him to serve in various offices and organizations, including boards of directors of the American Cancer Society and the Triangle Counseling Center, president of the local PTA, and chaplain for many years at the Garner Civitan Club. Upon retirement in 1990, Sam volunteered his time tutoring students in reading at Vandora Springs Elementary School and providing support to patients as a volunteer at Rex Hospital.
Respect can be paid to Brother Burgess at Williamsburg Cemetery in Kingstree, South Carolina. While Sam is gone, SPP pledges that his life and patriotic service to the nation will always be remembered.

* U.S. Marine Corps veteran and NH Alpha brother Edward “Ted” Robert Haskell passed away on September 9, 2012 at Southern Maine Medical Center with his family by his side.
* World War II veteran and IA Beta brother First Lieutenant Whitney "Whit" McCormack of the U.S. Army Air Corps passed away on September 10, 2012. He was interred with military honors at D/FW National Cemetery.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, and chapter brothers of SigEp Patriots Haskell and McCormack. While gone, SPP pledges that Ted and Whit will never be forgotten.

* Congratulations are in order for U.S. Army veteran and TX Delta brother David Ames Jr. and his wife, Karin, as they are expecting their first son -- a future SigEp, I'm sure. Congratulations to the Ames family!
* On September 14, 2012, AL Epsilon Navy brother Leslie Long successfully completed Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) school in Coronado, California. Quite an amazing accomplishment -- we are all proud of you, Leslie!
* Also on September 14, the hard work and commitment of CA Theta brother Corporal Frank Beardsley of the U.S. Army California National Guard was recognized with the awarding of the Army Commendation Medal.
* Congratulations to OH Iota brother Master Sergeant Ross Altenburger of the Ohio Air National Guard as he started his transition to civilian life earlier this week. Best of luck to you, and thank you for your service, Ross!

Fraternally and Very Respectfully,
Brother Ed Jones, NY Eta ’96
Chief Petty Officer, U.S. Navy Reserve
Founder, SigEp Patriots Project