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. Ben

    Poor choice to call a death of a longtime ranger "Intriguing" and putting him next to Tim Gunn. Thanks for the hero's welcom

    October 7, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Agreed.

      October 7, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tripp Knightly

      Totally totally totally agree. Quite ridiculous. This should be reported elsewhere, rather than some fluff celebrity chaser.

      October 7, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • mypitts2

      I agree.

      October 7, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patriot07

      Yeah to read about this wonderful man and American hero then read about "Project Runway"....? I know we all have to make a living and I'm glad some people do it by entertaining other people, but these two men are on completely different levels. Thank you Sgt Vogeler for your service to your country, your fellow soldiers, and your family. You are the type of person I want my children using as a role model. It is people like you who secure the right for all of us to make comments like the ones above.

      October 7, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • WE43

      I agree also. This should have been a story all by itself. 12 tours of war. I SALUTE you Sgt 1st Class Vogeler. May you rest in Peace. May God Bless your family.

      October 7, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rotgut

      some people just don't understand that the world does not revolve around them no matter what they do.
      nor does it revolve around whatever BS they "think is right".
      If you tards can't see what stupid fools you look by whining about "respect", then may you find peace in death yourselves.

      October 7, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. SAB

    hmmmm

    October 7, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Derek

    With all due respect – how can you be devoted to your family and spend most of your time away from it? 12th tour?
    This was his true devotion.

    October 7, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sagebrush Shorty

      You sound like one of those people who hate soldiers and cops until you really need one.

      October 7, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • 11B

      He was so dedicated to his family that he left them for 12 tours to go kill our enemies on their soil, so they didn't try to kill us on ours.

      October 7, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • SLOhioan

      So I assume you're unemployed and spend every waking hour with your wife/kids?

      October 7, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      So, if a minister spends most of his time devoted to God, does that mean he shouldn't have a family? A person can be dedicated to their family and still serve a "higher purpose." If this soldier felt that in order to serve his family he should serve his country, then that is his decision. Few people in life have a true calling and even fewer are able to follow that calling. While it is tragic that this man had to give his life, he did so for a purpose larger than himself OR his family. And in some ways he truly did give his life for his family–all of the soldiers he served with. Family is not just by blood or marriage; family consists of the people you love and care about, no matter how they come into your life.

      It is petty and narrow-minded to degrade this man's actions. If it wasn't for men like him, who volunteer put at risk–and sacrifice–their lives, regardless of whether you agree with the actions of his government, we would all suffer.

      Thank you SFC Vogeler for your sacrifice, and the sacrifice of your family–blood, marriage, and military. I hope our nation never forgets you and all of your brothers and sisters who have given so very much to this country.

      October 7, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joshua Ludd

      The same way you can be a Christian, "not love war", but still go overseas to kill brown people.

      October 7, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray Jackson, MS

      Not to mention what kind of christian devotes their entire life to war? Oh yeah all of them. They are as bad as the muslims and the jews.

      October 7, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bigwave12

      Derek, if you have not served in the military than you just won't get it. I served 26 yrs and there are many many many men and women that are totally devoted to their families. Their job unfortunately takes then away from their families and into harms way. I spent many months away from my family, hated leaving them everytime I had to go. Bottom line: deployments are part of the job and its because of folks like this that you and I can sit at a keyboard and type whatever we want.. RIP Sgt 1st Class Vogeler

      October 7, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt Maher

      It is sad to think you coudl fault this man for what he has done for his country

      October 7, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Running Mom

      He was doing what he signed up to do, which was serve God and Country. I would advise you sir, not make remarks like the one above unless you have personally been through a deployment. The times my husband has deployed/ will deploy means not that he loves me, or my children any less, but that he is brave, has honor and integrity to do what his country asks of him. RLTW

      October 7, 2010 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Denise

    Did I honestly hear a reporter on CNN say that the deaf parents of the fallen soldier communicate by "hand gestures"?? What an insult to the deaf community at large! The language deaf people use, American Sign Language is a real language, not simply "gestures," and to say otherwise is demeaning. The Deaf are a people group with a heritage, a culture and a real language. ASL (American Sign Language) is a recognized language as much as any spoken language. I saw on the footage that there was interpreter there for the parents. Why would someone hire an interpreter for gesturing? And why did I understand what she was signing? Please, in an age of high political correctness and awareness, but just as much common sense and a knowledge of the world around you, understand that what was said today was showing a huge amount of disrespect to deaf people.

    October 7, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • TexVet

      Oh denise get off your high horse....

      October 7, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • zach

      I aggree completely. Extreemely poor and insulting choice of words in reguards to his deaf parents. I am not even sure how the status of their hearing is really relavent what this story should be about anyway.

      Rest in peace soldier. Thank you for giving more than anyone on this message board ever has.

      October 7, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kelligurl

      @Denise-Way to catch the most important message in the story! **please note strong sarcasm** :/

      October 7, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Puff

      Isn't ASL a language made of hand gestures? I would not care if someone said I communicate in English or said I communicate in words. It's the same thing, one is just more specific.

      October 7, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Robert

    A christian hero who would have proudly given up his life for any of you people. Liberal or Conservative, Left or Right. That is what a soldier does. He doesnt care about your petty politics or opinions. He fights for you just the same. Hats off to a real gentleman.

    October 7, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Derek

      Robert, you're confused and I'm afraid you don't know what you're talking about.

      October 7, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sagebrush Shorty

      Derek............And you do?

      October 7, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Yep he would even die for you Derek. Does that make you mad that he would do that but you maybe could not?

      October 7, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • PCola Vet

      YES Derek he does know what he's talking about. When you're under fire and responsible for the lives of others around you, your FIRST and foremost thought is for THEIR safety, not what religion they are, or what political party they back. Are you that (numbskulled)?

      October 7, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maz

      Derek if you are an American you should just go and live somewhere else like Pakistan. You have no idea why you have the ability to voice your idotic views. It's because of sacrifices made by our military members.

      As for all you Christian experts, you had better hope a christian soldier defeats you, they are the only ones who will cut off your head when they have power over you, even help you rebuild after the fighting is done. A true Christian would not judge another human, as they know thats Gods job.

      October 7, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maz

      heh, I meant NOT cut off your head, ,,,

      October 7, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joshua Ludd

      Oh, make no mistake.. he wasn't dying for us. He wouldn't have survived 11 previous tours dying for us. He survived them being a christian KILLING for us.

      October 7, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rebel

      He didn't know me, and you cannot say what is in a man's heart. Stop with the patriotic propaganda. It is sad that a life was lost, especially if you are aware of the reasons behind all wars.

      October 7, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Rebel – what are you talking about? I served 10 years in the ARMY before deciding to get out to pursue other interests. I can assure that every soldier is a patriot. It shows the shallow nature of your being. Why don't you and Derek move somewhere together where you don't have these heroes to protect you. They don't pick where or when they go. They go where they are told. This time, you feel it was not for your interests... fine, lets hope when your interests are at risk, they will go for you.

      October 7, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      oh, and BTW... I am an atheist so don't try your right wing, religious theories on me. I think for myself.

      October 7, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rotgut

      so many clueless people blogging today. And yeah, I mean you, too. Ignorance is the one true standard for all of humanity....

      October 7, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tom

    LMH needs to learn some history about Christianity and Religion. 12 tours is unconscionable.

    October 7, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. SF CSM

    Words will never convey the enormous debit our nation owes this man and his family. Leadership and courage are words we use often without the sense to understand these young Soldiers are truly a godsend. Twelve tours is extraordinary and excess. God bless your family. Rangers Lead the Way. "De Oppresso Liber"

    October 7, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      I believe you mean Rangers lead the way. either way, HOOAH

      October 7, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Andrew

    @ Derek. Your comment shows just how little you understand about words like 'devotion' and 'dedication'. I don't think you're in a position to be questioning his.

    October 7, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Derek

      Andrew, You may use any word, "dedication" doesn't sound any better, especially when combined with "war".

      October 7, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      Thank you for proving my point.

      October 7, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. gabby chavez

    to robert i couldnt agree more and to all you people who are disrespectful this man died fighting so you can go about your daily life without a care. recognize his sacrifice and be grateful.

    October 7, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Peter

    Look at these comments – This man died so that we could "CONTINUE" to be free. Thank you for your ultimate sacrifice. You and your family and loved ones will always remain in my prayers.

    October 7, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Russ

      Peter – well said. It's disappointing to see how many posts here focus on issues other than the main point of the story – which a brave, dedicated solider lost his life serving his country, away from his family.

      October 7, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joshua Ludd

      So we could continue to be free? Who exactly is a threat to our freedom???? Certainly not the poor Afghanis.. or their leaders... or the Taliban.. or even Al Queda.

      October 7, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dan

    well, the election of our President should show you how smart the majority of our nation is.

    October 7, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • LMH

      Our country (US) has always been full of morons.

      October 7, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bzarr

      What does one have to do with the other? You are an idiot.

      October 7, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • rundontwalk

      funny. that's what a lot of us thought when bush II was elected not only the first time, but yet again...oh, and how about people stick to the actual story? 12 tours?!?! wow. my sympathy to his family, i can't imagine their pain and sorrow right now.

      October 7, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Riley

    CNN comment section: Trolling people since 1999

    October 7, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • HowboutDemAppls

      The comment section has done no such thing! It's a website, it can't do anything without being told to. It's been the people you ...

      BOOM! YOU'VE BEEN TROLLED!

      October 7, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. BeenThere

    Chasing small bands of men in difficult terrain and trying to kill them is NOT fighting for my country. After nine years, it's clearly time to leave.

    October 7, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • TNRanger

      Why am I betting that you haven't "Beenthere"?

      October 7, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      Actually, you pretty much just summed up modern warfare. Care to elaborate, or were you simply trying to trade fact for your own, misguided opinion?

      October 7, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. AmericanPieX

    yeah he was really protecting our freedom, can someone recall the last time an Iraqi came to your house and said im taking your freedom away??

    so if Americans were protecting our freedom in Vietnam, and the American military got their asses handed to them wasn't that suppose to mean we were going to lose our freedom since we lost the war??

    October 7, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • NotACowardlikeAmericanPieX

      How about those fellows on them airplanes a few years back. I think they took freedoms from some Americans. I seem to recall they even took about 3,000 lives too. Not a big deal right? You're a coward who can't even recognize true courage and instead of keeping your idiot mouth shut you want to push your idiocy on other people to hide just how cowardly you are. I wish we could throw people like you in the middle of Afghanistan to show you just what these people would do to a "westerner". Thank god for the US military and brave people like this.

      October 7, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • PCola Vet

      Wow, you're pretty good at spewing just utter nonsense, if you're going to do that though, how about KNOWING what you spew. America got it's @ss handed to them in Vietnam? Are you serious? That alone tells me, and I'm sure the other posters how littel you know about Nam, and it looks like pretty much anything. LEARN some history before making yourself look dumber than you are.

      October 7, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maz

      True the Veitnam war turned into a Hell hole, but do you even know why that war was significant? I guess if you are a communist, you would be against that war..

      By the way, we have lost more Americans on our own highways in one year than we have in Iraq or Afganistan. Complain about our higways, you'll get more bang for your buck..

      October 7, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. AmericanPieX

    Hey its a free country trolling is my liberty 🙂

    October 7, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      One which you will never understand or appreciate the origins of. Done with you, good luck in life. I'll check up on you at the soup kitchen.

      October 7, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
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