SigEp Military History


This Week in SigEp Patriot History
June 24-30, 2013


What a difference a year makes. This time last year, the archives of the SigEp Patriots Project (SPP) contained the names and information about slightly more than 2,500 brothers who serve/served in the U.S. military, and as of today there are 4,003 -- including four-star generals, computer scientists, congressman, governors, and 63 brothers listed as killed/missing in action.

A year ago, the SPP official Facebook group -- SigEps Who Serve (SWS) -- had 470 members. Today, the only FB group comprised solely of SigEp Patriots numbers 600! You can find SWS at Not on Facebook? Then send an email to

Thanks to the numerous SPP chapter points of contact, brothers, friends and Headquarters personnel who have helped keep this noble effort successfully moving forward for another year. Please keep passing the word and helping SPP connect, honor, recognize and remember brothers who have given so much to the nation.

24 JUN 1918
NH Alpha Brother Private First Class Charles Enos Tayntor, U.S. Army was a member of the Medical Corps, Base Hospital Unit 83, American Expeditionary Force when he was called in to the service on this date.

27 JUN 1942
This is the enlistment date of OR Alpha Brother Jack Liljeberg in the U.S. Navy, and MA Delta Brother Kenneth G. Merriam in the U.S. Army.

30 JUN 1942
VT Alpha Brother Donald M. Bagbee entered military service on this date.

26 JUN 1953
On this date, U.S. Army WWI Veteran, Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives, and U.S. Senator (North Carolina) NC Gamma Brother Willis Smith died while serving in the U.S. Congress. All that is currently known about Brother Smith's military service is that he served in the Army in Virginia during WWI.

Willis was born in 1887 in Norfolk, VA, and pledged SigEp at Trinity College (now Duke University). After graduating in 1910, he attended law school, and was admitted to the bar in 1912.

After the war, Brother Smith returned to practicing law. In 1927, he was elected to the North Carolina State House of Representatives, and he served there until 1932 -- the last two years as Speaker. Twice he was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention.

At the Nuremburg Trials in 1946 he was an observer, and after serving as a U.S. delegate to the Interparliamentary Union (1951) he was selected as the chairman of the American delegation to the Union's meeting in Bern, Switzerland in 1952.

Simultaneously, Willis was serving in the U.S. Congress. In 1950, he was elected to fill a vacancy, and he served until his death in the naval hospital at Bethesda, MD.

Respect can be paid to Brother Smith at Oakwood Cemetery, Raleigh, NC.

26 JUN 1997
World War II Veteran and CO Beta Brother Pharmacist Mate First Class Jack Dempsey Paxton, U.S. Navy died on this date in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Jack was born in Tulsa in 1921. After earning a Master Degree of Psychology he worked as a psychologist for Tulsa Child Guidance and the Peoria Board of Education, Peoria, IL before serving as Director of Special Education for Tulsa Public Schools from 1953 to 1973. For the next 14 years, Brother Paxton was a Professor of Psychology at Northwestern State University in Alva, OK.

His honors and distinctions include: Psi Chi President, Phi Delta Kappa, Kappa Delta Pi, and Past President, Tulsa Special Education Association. Other activities included serving as a board member of Tulsa Child Guidance Clinic and Family and Children's Service. In 1993, he retired from Tulsa Public Schools and moved to Collinsville to be near his daughter's family in Owasso.

Respect can be paid to Brother Paxton at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii.

28 JUN 2007
A 5th generation Richmonder, VA Alpha Brother Major Doctor William Fielding Bryce V, U.S. Air Force, 63, died on this date in Richmond, Virginia. During his service, Brother Bryce served as a doctor at Homestead Air Force Base.

William was born in Richmond in 1944, and he received his education in Richmond public schools and the University of Richmond, where he double-majored in chemistry and mathematics. In 1970, he received his medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia. He served an internship and residency at Roanoke Memorial Hospital from 1970 to 1972 before serving in the U.S. Air Force.

In 1975, Brother Bryce returned to Richmond to begin his family practice. He partially retired in 2002 and began a house call practice and worked small, contract medical services for the Federal Government until 2004. Dr. Bryce was a member of the Richmond Academy of Medicine, the Medical Society of Virginia, AMA, American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Manchester Medical Society of which he served as president.

Respect can be paid to Brother Bryce at Maury Cemetery, Richmond, VA.

28 JUN 2010
Korean War Veteran and UT Alpha Brother Second Lieutenant Robert Roland Evans, U.S. Air Force died on this date. Bob enlisted in the National Guard (Army), serving two years in the Korean War as an airplane navigator. Upon his return from the war, he completed his Bachelorís of Science in Journalism in 1956 while participating in AF ROTC, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Air Force at graduation.

At Utah State University, Bob led the USU student newspaper as editor, and was an officer in the UT Alpha chapter. Brother Evans later resigned his Air Force commission, and began work as a reporter for the Logan Herald Journal, then the Salt Lake Tribune, covering northern Utah, while pursuing an MS in Sociology.

A few years later, as a SigEp advisor, Bob led the building campaign to construct a new UT Alpha chapter house. A PhD from University of Wisconsin soon followed, where his post-doctoral work and publications in smoking, health and behavior were some of the first which linked smoking and negative health outcomes. Relocating to Tucson, he was a sociology faculty member at the University of Arizona, focusing on group dynamics and sociology of sexuality.

29 JUN 2012
World War II Veteran and WI Beta Brother John Peter Griesbach, 85, died on this date at St. David's, in Round Rock, Texas of congestive heart failure. He graduated from Appleton High School, attended University of Wisconsin briefly before being drafted in to service during World War II. His base Air Corps training was in Biloxi, MS, and he was sent from there to Osaka, Japan.

After his service completion, John returned to the University of Wisconsin to pursue a degree in Petroleum Geology. After working for Seaboard Oil Company in Ardmore, OK, he moved back to Corpus Christi, TX in 1960, and formed his own company, Delta American. He was an active geologist until reluctantly retiring in 1998.

* 27 JUN -- ROTC Cadet and NY Chi Brother Nick Haluska graduated from Air Assault! Congratulations!

Please keep sending your good news stories to

Fraternally and Respectfully,
Brother Ed Jones, NY Eta Ď96
Chief Petty Officer, U.S. Navy Reserve
Founder, SigEp Patriots Project