SigEp Military History


This Week in SigEp Patriot History
April 22-28, 2013

“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” ~ Steve Jobs


24 APR 1942
World War II Veteran and WI Alpha Brother Everett Roudebush entered the U.S. Army on this date after finishing a concert tour with Salvatore Baccaloni, noted Metropolitan Opera Company star. Everett would go on to achieve the rank of Corporal before being discharged.

27 APR 1964
World War I Veteran, Judge (5th Judicial Circuit) and U.S. Congressman (Virginia) VA Eta Brother Private Joel West Flood, U.S. Army died on this date in Richmond, VA. During WWI, Brother Flood served in Company A, 350th Engineers, 80th Division before being discharged in 1919.

Joel was born in 1894 near Appomattox, Virginia, became a SigEp at University of Virginia, and later attended Oxford University. After studying law he was admitted to the bar in 1917 and commenced practice in Appomattox.

The same year he completed his military duty, Joel was elected Virginia State Commonwealth Attorney of Appomattox County. He served until 08 NOV 1932 when he was elected to the Seventy-Second Congress to fill a vacancy. Brother Flood then resumed the practice of law, and after serving as a delegate to the 1936 Democratic National Convention was appointed assistant United States attorney for the western district of Virginia in 1939.

In JAN 1940, Joel was elected as a judge of the fifth judicial circuit of Virginia, and he served in this capacity until his death.

Respect can be paid to Brother Flood at the Flood Mausoleum, Appomattox Courthouse Square, Appomattox, VA.

29 APR 2005
U.S. Army World War II Veteran and NY Alpha Brother R. Charles Backus died on this date in Mexico, New York at the age of 84. During WWII he was a cryptographer in the Signal Corps.

He was an owner of the Oswego County Weeklies for over 50 years. He was a nationally known Holstein Auctioneer with R. Austin Backus Inc. He served many years as a delegate of the National Holstein Convention. He was a member of the Holstein Association of New York State and on the national level. He was a member of the Oswego Country Club and The Elms Golf Course.

Respect can be paid to Brother Backus at Mexico Village Cemetery in Mexico, NY.

27 APR 2006
A hero died on this date at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas as a result of wounds received during combat operations in Habbaniyah, Iraq. Operation IRAQI FREEDOM Veteran and MI Beta Brother Sergeant Matthew Alan Webber, U.S. Army National Guard (Michigan) was 23 years old.

Matt attended Western Michigan University, joined the Army National Guard in 1999, and was called to active duty in June 2005. Brother Webber was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 125th Infantry Regiment (Mechanized), Michigan Army National Guard on 21 NOV 2005 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee.

Respect can be paid to Brother Webber at Pine Plains Cemetery, Big Rapids, Michigan.

25 APR 2008
U.S. Army Veteran PA Epsilon Brother Robert Edward Lee Anderson died on this date in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Born in Lancaster, Robert was the son of the late Herbert K. and Ella P. Anderson. He was a 1945 graduate of J. P. McCaskey High School and served in Europe as a member of the U.S. Army from 1946 to 1948. After his patriotic serve, Brother Anderson graduated with a degree in civil engineering from Lehigh University where he was pole vault champion.

Robert retired from Philadelphia Suburban Corp., formerly Huth Engineers. He was a past president of the American Business Club and a former board member of the Lancaster chapter of United Cerebral Palsy.

Repect can be paid to Brother Anderson at Greenwood Cemetery, Lancaster, PA.

25 APR 2008
World War II Veteran and PA Delta Brother TECH 5 C. Crandall Shaffer, Jr., U.S. Army of Dublin, Ohio died on this date.

Respect can be paid to Brother Shaffer at Kingwood Memorial Park, Lewis Center, OH.

24 APR 2011
On this date, Korean War Veteran and VT Alpha Brother First Lieutenant Robert Kinsman Horne, U.S. Army died at his home in Palm Desert, California following a valiant fight against Alzheimer's/Dementia. Following college he served as an Army First Lieutenant in Germany during the Korean War.

At Norwich University, Brother Horne played three sports and was Captain of the Hockey Team the 52-53 season. The team was inducted into the Norwich Hall of Fame in 1993, and in 1998 Bob was inducted personally into the Hall. His business career included work in truck leasing with several companies reaching a pinnacle as a National Sales VP for the Hertz Co. He concluded his career as President of "Trader Horne" - a Transportation Consulting Co.

He relished in physical activity and dancing of any kind. His busy life was full of gardening, photography and international trips where he and his wife visited many exotic countries where they were assimilated into the local communities eating, dancing, living and reveling in many different cultures.

Respect can be paid to Brother Horne at Pacific View Memorial Park, Corona del Mar, California.

26 APR 2011
U.S. Army Air Corps Flight Surgeon and World War II Veteran Flight Surgeon, NC Gamma Brother Richard Elwood Nitschke died on this date at the age of 97. After graduating from Duke Medical School in 1937, Dr. Nitschke moved to New York City for his internship at Columbia Presbyterian and residency at Roosevelt Hospital. His specialty was internal medicine but he also trained at the Neurological Institute of New York. While still in New York, he enlisted in the Manhattan Division of the 101st Horse Cavalry. Upon the onset of World War II, he was assigned to the School of Aviation Medicine at Randolph Field, San Antonio, Texas. Brother Nitschke served as Flight Surgeon with the Army Air Corps, with the 30th Bomb Group of the 5th Fighter Wing and was stationed at Ballinger, Texas, Lubbock, Texas and Oahu, Hawaii.

Richard was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and he lived there until the age of six when the family re-located to Philadelphia and later to Utica, NY. He entered an accelerated undergraduate program at Duke University in 1931. Brother Nitschke was the number one half miler on the cross country track team that won the Southern Conference Championship.

A dedicated physician of internal medicine, Dr. Nitschke served his patients in the San Antonio community from 1946 until his retirement in 1985.

On this date, U.S. Air Force Veteran and IA Delta Brother Thomas Michael Hamilton also died after a courageous battle with brain cancer. Brother Hamilton served his country in the Air Force after graduating from Drake.

Tom was born in Davenport, Iowa. At Drake University he played football and was a proud member of the 1958 Sun Bowl team. He received his undergraduate degree in business, followed by a Master's Degree in Psychology. He began his professional career at Northwestern Bell and then worked with Personnel Inc. before founding Hamilton & Associates in 1972. There he truly found a profession he loved, helping clients achieve success through talent acquisition while taking great satisfaction in assisting individuals in advancing their careers. He merged his business with McGladrey and Pullen in 1988 and worked as a Senior Consulting Partner until he retired from the firm in 1999. He then co-founded Selection Resources with his son and offered advanced pre-employment testing services. He was an accredited SPHR through the Society of HR Management. His career was also highlighted by community service in leadership roles with the Chamber of Commerce, Youth Homes of Mid America, the YMCA, Hope Ministries and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He was a member of Rotary International for 43 years and was a "7 Gallon" blood donor to the Blood Center of Iowa.


  • U.S. Army World War II Veteran VT Beta Brother Richard H. “Dick” Caswell and U.S. Army Veteran FL Alpha Brother James Lester “Jimmy” Butler, Jr., passed away on 10 APR.
  • U.S. Army Veteran OK Beta Brother Orville Gail Poole passed away 13 APR in Norman, Oklahoma.
  • U.S. Army Air Corps Veteran OH Eta Brother Donald W. Zimmerman passed away 14 APR.
  • U.S. Army World War II and Korean War Veteran MA Alpha Brother Clark Kendall passed away 19 APR.
  • Korean War Veteran and MA Delta Brother First Lieutenant James Courtenay Staples, U.S. Air Force passed away 21 APR.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the chapter brothers, family and friends of brothers Butler, Poole, Zimmerman, Kendall and Staples. This list is likely incomplete, and the small group of dedicated brothers working the SigEp Patriots Project could use your help. If you know of a brother patriot that has passed away we appreciate an email to

  • Congratulations to Operation IRAQI FREEDOM Veteran and NY Chi Brother First Lieutenant Brian Bierwirth, U.S. Army and his wife, Kelly, on the birth of Brayden William who decided to arrive 5 weeks early on 21 APR. The future SigEp weighed in at 7 pounds, 8 ounces and measured 19 ¾ inches.
  • While a bit muddier, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM Veteran and OH Sigma Brother Lance Corporal Steven Maire, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve completed the Tough Mudder in Mansfield, OH on Saturday.
  • U.S. Army and TX Sigma Brother John Garrett Gibbs received a challenge coin from his brigade commander earlier this week.

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