SigEp Military History


This Week in SigEp Patriot History
October 21, 2012


Greetings from the new SigEp Patriots Project (SPP) home office in the barracks on Royal Air Force (RAF) Alconbury in the United Kingdom! Before I left the States, I had the pleasure of going to a Homecoming event near Old Dominion University (ODU), where I met a number of great brothers, including a number of SigEp Patriots continuing the VA Xi tradition of service to the nation. There were Army, Navy, and Marine Corps veterans, as well as VA Xi Patriots serving in the reserves and in ROTC at ODU. Thank you for your service.

October 16, 2003
- On this date, Persian Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran and TX Rho brother Lieutenant Colonel Kim S. Orlando of the U.S. Army made the ultimate sacrifice when he was killed in action in Karbala, Iraq. Kim was attempting to negotiate with armed men who were congregating after curfew on a road near a mosque. The Iraqis opened fire, killing three soldiers and wounding seven others. All the soldiers were assigned to the 716th Military Police Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and Kim was the commanding officer of the battalion. At the time, he was the highest-ranking Army officer killed in hostile fire in Iraq.
Kim was known for never hesitating to lead his soldiers personally, whether on a three-mile run in below-freezing temperatures or on patrol in the streets of Karbala. Major Darryl Johnson of the 716th Military Police Battalion said Colonel Orlando was “constantly moving to the front and disregarding his own safety.” The battalion comprised no fewer than 400 soldiers, and Kim made it a point to learn the name of each one, said Sergeant Major Rodney Smith, a battalion member. “For a battalion commander to know your name, that touches anybody,” Smith said.
He enlisted in the Army as a military policeman in 1982 and was commissioned at Fort Benning, Georgia, in 1986. Kim was promoted quickly, and he was selected to study at the FBI’s National Academy in Quantico, Virginia--an exclusive honor for military policemen. He was 43 when he was killed and posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
Respect can be paid at the Nashville National Cemetery in Nashville, Tennessee. Kim made the ultimate sacrifice, and SPP pledges that his life and service will always be remembered.

October 19, 2003
- World War II veteran and DE Alpha brother Colonel Guy L. Wharton Sr. of the U.S. Marine Corps (Retired) died on this date. Guy was born in Ocean View, Delaware, and was a graduate of Newark High School, the University of Delaware, and the United States Marine Corps Officers Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia. He played varsity sports in high school and college. Upon graduating from college, Guy entered the USMC in 1941, and was sent overseas in January 1942. He served in the Pacific Campaign, where he was involved with the retaking of several of the now-famous islands. Guy also had duty in Texas, California, North Carolina, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. He spent 24 years in the Marine Corps.
Respect can be paid at Lower Brandywine Cemetery in Wilmington, Delaware. SPP pledges that Guy and his military service will always be remembered.

October 15, 2005
- On this date, Korean War and Vietnam War veteran and VT Alpha brother Major Paul William Tourigny of the U.S. Army (retired) died in Sutherland, Virginia, after a long battle with cancer. Formerly of Lewiston, Maine, he was a graduate of Lewiston High School and ROTC graduate of Norwich University, receiving commission in U.S. Signal Corps. Paul served in the U. S. Army in various military capacities, including 12 years in overseas duty and service in Vietnam, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star. He was a world traveler and adventurer who enjoyed long-distance backpacking and hiking, and he belonged to numerous hiking organizations.
One of these associations included the Appalachian Long Distance Hiking Association, where he was a 2,000-miler with a trail name of "Bigfoot." Paul hiked the Appalachian Trail (AT) twice, from 1975-'76, and again in 1978. In addition to the AT, he also hiked the Long Trail, Colorado Trail, Florida Trail, and Bruce Trail, with repeat through-hikes of several of those trails. In addition, he was a member of Lewiston Lodge of Elks, life member of Military Officers Association of America, and a member of American Legion Post 22 of Lewiston, Maine.
Respect can be paid at Section 64, Site 4259 at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. While Paul is gone, SPP pledges that his life and military service will always be remembered.

October 17, 2010
- TN Alpha brother and Order of the Golden Heart recipient Lieutenant Junior Grade George Burl Rainwater of the U.S. Navy died on this date in Knoxville, Tennessee. He was 74 years old.
Born on September 5, 1936, George graduated from Fulton High School before attending the University of Tennessee. He served in the Supply Corps of the U.S. Navy. He was active with the North Knoxville Optimists, and past district president of UMC Youth. He retired from AT&T/South Central Bell.
In his obituary, it stated that his greatest honor was being a brother of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity at UT and receiving the Order of the Golden Heart for his volunteer service.
Respect can be paid at Middle Creek Cemetery in Sevierville, Tennessee. We pledge that we will continue to remember George and his patriotic service to the nation.

* Vietnam War Veteran and GA Alpha brother Lieutenant Colonel Charles V. Gandy Jr. of the U.S. Army Reserve (Retired), 67, of Doraville, Georgia, died on October 9, 2012. Chuck was proud to be a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the U.S. Army Reserves, where he served his country in the Vietnam War. He graduated from Georgia Tech with a master's degree in industrial management and a juris doctorate from John Marshall Law School. Chuck was a member of the Cobb County Bar Association for more than 30 years as a criminal defense attorney.
* U.S. Army veteran, Order of the Golden Heart recipient, and IN Delta founding father Russell Dean Duncan passed away on October 11, 2012, in Granger, Indiana. He received a bachelor's degree in 1952 from Indiana State Teachers College, now Indiana State University, and in 1954 he became a founding father of IN Delta. He was an active member of the alumni volunteer corporation for over 30 years, served as president of the alumni board from 1958-1962, and then served again on the board from 1986 until his death. In 2009, Brother Duncan was awarded the OGH.
* Vietnam War veteran, first chairman of the Oklahoma Vietnam Veterans Leadership Program, and OK Beta brother Lieutenant Colonel Jimmie Kile Morehead of the U.S. Army Reserve (retired), 77, passed away on October 13, 2012 in Norman, Oklahoma. Jim attended the University of Oklahoma, where he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity and graduated with a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering in 1959. He served the community as a Norman Police Officer before entering active duty in the United States Army. Lieutenant Colonel Morehead retired with more than 26 years of combined active duty and reserve experience. His military decorations include the Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Vietnam Service Medal (4 campaigns). In 1984, he received a presidential appointment from President Reagan to organize and serve as the first chairman of the Oklahoma Vietnam Veterans Leadership Program, an endeavor which he later expanded to the neighboring states of Kansas, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas.
* IL Alpha brother Captain Willard Lee Alford Jr. of the U.S. Air Force, 78, passed away on October 13, 2012. Active in scouting, Willard achieved his Eagle Scout Badge at age 15. He received his bachelor's degree in agriculture from the University of Illinois, Urbana, and served in U.S. Air Force as a captain flying NATO missions. At this time, it is unconfirmed whether or not Willard served during the Korean War. Willard and his wife resided in Chicago, working in various careers until his retirement in 1999 from Northern States Power as an energy consultant, then moved to their summer home in Athelstane, Wisconsin, and Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, for the winters.
* WWII veteran and ME Alpha brother Captain Vito Ciccotelli of the U.S. Army, 94, died on October 16, 2012, at Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro after a long illness. Vito went to Europe in March 1944 and was in battles and campaigns in Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, and Ardennes. He was promoted to captain and was later discharged from inactive reserve. Vito graduated from the University of Maine in 1950 with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering.

* Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom veteran and IN Zeta brother Lieutenant Troy Hanson of the U.S. Navy Reserve recently return from his successful active duty mobilization and deployment to the Horn of Africa! Welcome home, brother! Thank you for your service!

* In the past week, SigEps Who Serve: The official SPP Facebook group has been honored with 10 new members: ROTC cadet and VA Xi brother Jake Owens; VA Xi brother Corporal Cory Hill, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve; ROTC cadet and VA Xi brother John Briegel; Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran and VA Xi brother Specialist Robert Matson, U.S. Army; VA Xi brother Nick Harness, U.S. Marine Corps; ROTC cadet and VA Xi brother Steven Andrews; KY Epsilon brother Zachary Tkach, U.S. Marine Corps; ROTC cadet and KY Epsilon brother Allen Kirk; ROTC cadet and KY Epsilon brother Kenton Coffman, and VA Xi brother Brandon Greer, U.S. Navy Veteran.
* If you are a military brother, please go to All we ask for is your military affiliation, military status, and home chapter. Also, please help SPP find our fellow SigEp Patriots by sending them the link.
* Not on Facebook? No problem. To join over 100 brothers on the SPP listserve, just write an email to

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