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. Translation

    Twelve tours between Afghanistan and Iraq? That a perfect example of overdeployment. Even for a professional soldier, it was just just a matter of time before the odds caught up with him.

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

    just as being bigots and idiots is yours 😉

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

      I think the only idiot here is you...jacka$$

      October 7, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. TNRanger

    Rangers Lead the Way!

    October 7, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • jp

      amen brother...worked with alot of rangers....awesome guys

      October 7, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. zero

    Imagine nothing to kill or die for.

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

      Then what's the point of living? If there's nothing in this world worth fighting or God forbid dying for then what is the purpose of life? Thanks but I'll hang on to my family, my friends and my freedom. Those are worth defending.

      October 7, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • TugTor


      If those are worth defending, then why don't you do so? They can all be taken away from you soooo easily – in just the blink of an eye – and you don't want to face that...yeh, yeh, I know...

      October 7, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Drew

    AmericanPieX – Why don't you shut your pie hole and have some respect. First of all you should be respectfull of his family and their feelings. Have a little decency ! Secondly, you should be grateful for his sacrifice, which helped keep you safe, and protected your right to sound like an idiot.

    October 7, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Briana

    I hope tht u people with all ur negative comments realize how low u r. My best wishes go out to his family. He has children i hope they kno there dad was a hero.

    October 7, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Correct!

      This is my favorite post out of all of these... I completely agree with you! I think everyone else is too busy fighting to realize these kids will never know their father..

      October 7, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. PCola Vet

    Geez I did 3 tours in the Raq, and during the 'hell years', but this guy was just hard core.

    October 7, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      Taking you at your word PC. Thanks for your sacrifice and contribution. I never supported the Iraq decision, but have always admired and been grateful for those that served. Congratulations on still being with us and hopefully without serious damage. No one goes and comes back the same.

      October 7, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. PCola Vet

    Rest in Peace troop, you've earned it. Charlie Mike.......

    October 7, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Chris

    To those that would dishonor and disparage SFC Vogeler's devotion to his country and the men in his charge; you are no better than the parishinor's of Westboro Baptist Church.

    October 7, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jp

    another fallen soldier....saddd....i miss my buddies....
    sgt t army k9/dare officer

    October 7, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • jp

      what these eyes have seen and done is horrible....i hope i can sleep sometimes....if i could be there again i would...but im broken down and hurt alot...and im only 33....wow...my body has taken a tole...but im still alive and fightin the fight for all of americans

      October 7, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pamela Sellers

      Thank you for your service, JP. Hang in there.

      October 7, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. beach batt

    AmericanPieX- I served with Lance in 1st Ranger Batt and know his family well. It saddens me to hear how disrespectful you are. You obviuosly have no clue of what goes on in Iraq and Afghanistan and the impacts that we have had on planned attacks on the US. It is easy to sit here and live life as if nothing is going on but you would be Naive to think that terrorist in both those countries and around the globe are not plotting future attacks on YOUR country. Even if you do not agree with the war show a little respect to the fallen and thier families. Enjoy your freedom that others have given you!!!

    October 7, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • PCola Vet

      Yeah I find it amusing that X and others of his ilk seem to forget we HAVEN'T been attacked here stateside since 9/11. I guess that's not a big deal though.

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

      I'd be willing to bet that LMH and AmericanPie are the type to live in the basement of their parents' homes, pay no taxes because they have no job, have no idea what the words honor and dedication mean, and still consider themselves smarter than the rest of us. Freedom isn't free, folks. Thank God for soldiers like SFC Lance Vogeler.

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

      And you disrespect them right back. Good going soldier. What a wonderful example you are to those people. Yeah.
      Thanks for fighting to preserve the interests of "our" multi-national corporations and "special interests" who REALLY run things in this country.
      But I don't hold it against you because you probably don't know these complicated things. Just point and shoot and shut up.

      October 7, 2010 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Matt B

    hey americanpiex, grow a pair. isnt it nice how people go out and fight and in this case die all while you sit at home running your little mouth about the people that defend your freedoms. go hate daddy somewhere else

    October 7, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jts

    America does have the right to defend itself against terrorist, & the troops are brave & to be respected. So many of our troops, however, are in the early twentys & most people at that age think that they are invinsible & that nothing will happen to them. These terrorists are heartless & would kill anyone who they think is a threat to islam. So, do the troops really think that they can wipe out terrorism? There are terrorists being born everyday-even as we speak. I really respect the troops, but unfortunately, I believe they are fighting a losing battle. Soldiers shouldn't be expected or choose to serve 12 tours. I think that's just wrong! -But we are a free country & people have the right because of it.

    October 7, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jake

    As a military officer, I often remind myself of the quote below. If it weren't for those of us serving in the Armed Forces today, you, that believe war is wrong would not have the "right" to your opinion. Let's not forget that fact!!

    War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
    John Stuart Mill
    English economist & philosopher (1806 – 1873)

    October 7, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • jp

      dont forget jake, we applied for this job and took it on...we cant expect everyone to rally around us....its their right....ive been in law enforcement for 15 years, thats plus army time.....we just gotta do what we do....

      October 7, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. endpcnow

    'Cowards die many times before their death. The valiant never taste of death but once' RIP.

    October 7, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
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