October 7th, 2010
12:26 PM ET

Thursday's intriguing people

Sgt. 1st Class Lance Vogeler

On the ninth anniversary of the start of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, the remains of the 29-year-old Army Ranger received a hero’s welcome Thursday at Hunter Army Airfield near Savannah, Georgia. Vogeler was killed on Friday during a firefight in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, officials told the Washington Post.

Vogeler was a career soldier who once turned down an opportunity to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, choosing to stay with his men, the Post reported. When he was killed, he was serving his 12th tour of duty. The service in Afghanistan was his eighth tour there. He had also served four tours in Iraq.

In a statement, Col. Michael E. Kurilla, the commander of Vogeler's regiment, called him "the quintessential Ranger" and "a hero to our Nation, the Army and his family."

Vogeler was known for the respect he received from other soldiers, his Christian faith, and his devotion to family, his friends and colleagues said. His parents, Tim and Donna Vogeler, are deaf. Vogeler and his brother Chris, 27, served their parents as interpreters. Vogeler obtained a certificate to perform marriage ceremonies for fellow soldiers, after many of his men asked that he officiate at their weddings, his parents’ pastor told the Post.

He was a native of Frederick, Maryland, and the married father of two young children. His widow, Melissa, is pregnant.

"He died doing what he felt called to do," his parents’ pastor, the Rev. Peter C. Myers, told the Post. "Lance did not love war. But he had a job to do, and he took it extremely seriously."

Savannah Morning News: Fallen Ranger remembered for leadership, faith and love of his family

Tim Gunn

It’s difficult to imagine that the suave co-host of “Project Runway” has ever been despondent. But Gunn told CNN’s Larry King on Monday that he was so depressed as a 17-year-old growing up in Washington that he tried to kill himself.

Gunn is the latest celebrity to speak out against bullying by posting emotional words of encouragement to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and “questioning” youth on the YouTube channel “It Gets Better.” “I’m very happy today that that attempt was unsuccessful,” Gunn said on his video post. “At the time, it was all that I could contemplate.”

Gunn went on to study arts and literature at the prestigious Corcoran College of Art and Design, and spent 24 years on the faculty at Parsons School of Design before becoming creative director of Liz Claiborne Inc. in 2007.

Gunn urged his YouTube audience not to endure bullying alone. He said he himself needed “a very serious intervention” after his suicide attempt. He advocated for “The Trevor Project,” an anonymous support hotline. “I understand the desperation, I understand the despair, and I understand how isolated you can feel,” Gunn said. “People really care about you and I’m included in that group.”

soundoff (176 Responses)
  1. abnguy

    I served in the 82nd as an infantryman during the Persian Gulf War and am totally humbled by the caliber of soldier Sfc. Vogeler was. It is hard for nonservice members to understand the amount of commitment a soldier like Sfc. Vogeler has and the sacrifice he and his family has given.

    October 7, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. dwight

    He died for nothing.

    October 7, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dukejohns

    Anyone want to be a "protester" at this soldier's funeral??!!

    October 7, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      I'm sure the inbreeding Phelps family will be there in full force.

      October 7, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tiffany

    I cant believe people are criticizing this guy because of the decision he made to serve his country. You have no idea what his motives were. He may have LOVED being over there. He may have left so many times so he could provide for his family. Atleast his family is taken care of with the $400K life insuarnce. I'm also curious how long each tour was. I know most are for a year but maybe some were shorter. So its not like he abonded his family for 12 years- maybe it was much shorter. just curious. RIP

    October 7, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. LEW

    This story breaks by heart. My husband is stationed at Hunter. When something like this happens so close to home it worries me even more that at any point in time this could be my husband right there. To all of you who say that a solider wouldn't die for you, you obivously know nothing about what makes a solider. My husband would lay his life on the line to protect any and every American. It really sickens me that people have such disreguard for our military. My husband fights for EVERY American freedom everytime he deploys.

    October 7, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jubalee27

    what the hell does Tim Gunn have anything to do wtih that soldier??

    October 7, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Don

    If we're at War then for Godsake go to war. Draft every abled person and get it over and done. All we do now is waste the best we have so a few get rich and others play politics. When will this country learn that war is not a game!!!

    October 7, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. okay

    Dwight.. you are an idiot..died for nothing ? Why do you think you even have thae right to post your moronic comments ? It's because of the many soldiers like this brave young man that fought for you and your freedoms..save your comments for a muslim blog..this is a true american hero and deserves such respect..

    October 7, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Gord

    I'm not an American ...but this man was a true hero.

    October 7, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Heart is Breaking

    Wow, I have to say that I was so very touched to read this story about Sgt. 1st Class Lance Vogeler. Sgt. 1st Class Vogeler truly was a hero in my eyes. He served his country and he died serving his country. Regardless of how long a tour of duty is over there, it is a tour, and not easy at that. After reading the comments, now I wished I wouldn't of scrolled down, my heart hurts so much! Just to hear how horrible and mean people can be. Regardless of what you think of the war or anything else this was a person, a father, a son, a brother, a friend....How could you be so disrespectful of the people in his life that are grieving. Honestly if you don't have something nice and honorable to say then just don't say it! The Soldiers, Airman, Marines, and all other members of the Military serve their countries to make sure that people that can't defend themselves are protected. They love their families and loved ones, but sometimes they volunteer to go and do what needs to be done, and sometimes they are told, either way they go and do it with pride, without complaining. These military members spend many of their days, nights, holidays, birthday's in foreign lands without their family members while you are home with yours. Sgt Vogeler is one of our true american hero's! Please keep your negative comments to yourselves.

    An Airman Serving Overseas

    October 7, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Chris Kleibacker

    To those who have posted negative comments, you do not understand about something larger than you in life. You are what is worng with this country, from the me generation to self-serving politicians its all about you. These men and women is why you have the freedoms we enjoy in this country. Please have a little respect, for I know Sgt. Vogeler respected and honored you. He gave his life, so you could be free to post stupit comments. God Speed Sgt. Vogeler. Now we all have to work harder to make up for one less of the Best and Bravest. RLTW

    October 7, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Yes indeed.

      October 7, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. koko


    October 7, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. chip

    After reading some of the posts on here I want set few things clear. Lance is a hero and always will be. He fought for every American's right to open an unthankful mouth and spout nonsense. For your information I wish was half the husband and man that he was and always will be. His wife is the sweetest person I have ever met. Believe what you want judge and you will be judged. For the people who want to know when the last time an Afghan knocked on one of our doors and attacked us, it was when one of Melissa's cousins was killed in the WORLD TRADE CENTER. So the next time you go to a movie or see your favorite team play remember to thank Lance and Melissa for you freedom to do those things. Thank the other troops and their families that serve so we can do the things we do. I will gladly work two jobs to pay taxes to keep America's Heroes doing whatever they have to do to protect me and my family. Melissa will raise her son, Lance's son. She will have the help of a wonderful family who will always love her, their son and will never forget the sacrifice Lance paid for all of us. I will not hide behind a screen name. I am a member of Lance and Melissa's family. Please pick on my poor grammar or the fact that I did not serve my country. Please leave heroes and their families out of your ignorant rants. Wives of the military carry the weight of the world on their shoulders never knowing when that terrible call arrives and they know what Melissa and Lance are going through. Rangers lead the way. Lance led the way. Thank you for your sacrifice. You will never ever be forgotten.

    October 7, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Flatiron

    If, when I die, I say that I did it for all people....does that make it true?

    October 7, 2010 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
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