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. OZ


    October 7, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. aakmpm

    Americans need to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan!! We had no business going into Iraq!! There were NO WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION! However, we went to Iraq, got our soldiers killed and killed innocent civilians as well! How can we go into someone else's country and expect respect when in return WE DON'T RESPECT THEM EITHER! They did not ask for our help– we decided to BARGE RIGHT INTO THEIR COUNTRY!!! Let's leave them alone and worry about our country here and now!! What would you do if a stranger came to your home and took over your place!! That's exactly what we have done to them!!

    October 7, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      Regardless of whether or not that's true (and I agree with you in principle on much of it), that has nothing to do with this. This story is about a man who died fighting for his country. He didn't start the war, he was just willing to step up and fight in it. That's bravery no matter which way your politics skew. Show some respect and bring the anti-war stuff to the politics section where it belongs.

      October 7, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. R.J.

    Thank you to all the troops. So much respect. On Tuesday we had to bury one of my best friends who was killed in Iraq. You can question the wisdom of these wars, but never the courage of these kids.

    October 7, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Russ

    All I can say is, if this what you get for being a dedicated Christian, devoted to your faith, family and friends, I will remain an atheist. I can do more good for my family and friends if I'm alive. Where the hell was god when he needed him? Oh I know, it was gods will for him to do all this and then kill him. Don't feed me that crap.

    October 7, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Herpi Harrison

    I thought a tour of duty was for 13 months I might be wrong but 13 x 12 = 156 months this equals 13 year on tours in a 9 year war something does not sound right to me but again fact are never reported correctly by the military.

    October 7, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • PCola Vet

      Herpi some deployments are 6 to 8 months. It just depends on the situation. My deployments in Iraq were 3-15 month tours, but that was when it was really rough over there.

      October 7, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • JEM

      If the US did not have troops stationed in over 150 countries and if our CIA hadn't been stirring up trouble behind the scenes since WW2, so many sacrifices may not have been necessary.

      They came over here because we were meddling over there.

      October 7, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • beach batt

      His tours were 4 months long.

      October 7, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dracer333

      Special Forces soldiers (a Ranger is considered SF) do not tour for 13 months in some cases. So 12 deployments is feaseable.

      October 7, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • beach batt

      His tours were no longer than 4 months.

      October 7, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • FmrRanger

      Army Rangers do shortened tours of service due to mission set that they take on. 12+ deployments is common if you have been an Army Ranger since 2001.

      October 7, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • beach batt

      FRMR RANGER is correct I served with lance since 2001 and just recently ETS'd if I had deployed this tour would have been my 12th as well

      October 7, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tony

    This man was an exemplary soldier and individual. The religious stuff was his choice. If he served 12 tours in nine years, we need a draft to continue these worn out wars. Rangers are almost all career soldiers, but one man (and his family), regardless of dedication and commitment should not bear so much of the burden.

    October 7, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • FmrRanger

      Never was so much owed by so many to so few

      -Winston Churchill

      October 7, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Pragma

    12 FREAKIN' TOURS!!?? With a wife and kids at home!? This fine soldier did not love his country; he just liked the desert!

    October 7, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • FmrRanger

      No I can assure you he loved his family, just like all Rangers do, I have never met one that didn't love their family. Being away is just apart of their lives, they have learned to deal with it. He spent more time here then he did there.

      October 7, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. JEM

    If the US did not have troops stationed in over 150 countries and if our CIA hadn't been stirring up trouble behind the scenes since WW2, so many sacrifices may not have been necessary.

    For instance, how much terrorism would we see from Iran right now if our CIA had not overthrown the only elected president the Iranians have ever known. How many Iranians are angry with the US for helping Iraq when Saddam attacked them?

    How much terrorism would we see from Saudi Arabia if our CIA had not been protecting its corrupt government over these past decades and instead allowed the Saudi people to overthrow their oppressive king?

    A Ranger is an agent to the government; not us. A Ranger is there to protect the state; not you.

    They came over here because of our meddling over there.

    October 7, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • beach batt

      And you are an idiot

      October 7, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Deutsch

      If you have all the answers then why aren't you running things for us??? Because people that know you know you are an idiot!!!

      October 7, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ConcernedNetizen

    God bless this Brave One. He is an American, truly. Made from some of the finest stock we have to offer. For his safe journey, I would trade half of Congress. Each Hero that dies, for the words and actions of Washington politicians, that those same politicians, should be held accountable for doing a great dis-service to this country, as a whole.

    October 7, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. momomiester

    Amazing people post bad things concerning someone who died. What worthless cowards. Most of you that do that are weak worthless people that couldn't fight for anything in your life and think freedom is free. Hopefully some radical Muslim will kill you and make this world a better place.

    October 7, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Afghan

    Okay, I am an Afghan who lived through the Soviet invasion and then the Taliban. This war is pointless and should be stopped. Both sides has extremists fighting and dying. The US military's war is supported only by extremists in the West. This war can be solved by negotiations, but neither the Taliban extremists nor the Republican extremists want peace. Also, let's not be too selfish and only mourn this guy. Let's also mourn the Taliban soldiers who had no choice but to fight because of the way the Afghan culture works: fight invader or be ashamed. Let's also mourn the civilians. No one is better than anyone else. Stop this war, withdraw the troops, and bring peace. Bombs won't solve anything. Didjn't you learn from the 80s?

    October 7, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gord

      Give war a chance.

      October 7, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. TheRealMomomiester

    Christian. Muslim whatever. Have respect for the fallen. It sickens me people disrespect someone that has died. If your a true human then you should feel empathy for any one who was killed whether they be a Muslim or a Christian.

    October 7, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Flatiron

      How can you feel empathy for someone who is dead? We don't know what it's like after death. And he knew the risks, I would guess, after 12 tours much less 12 days...as did his family. They want him back, I'll bet, regardless of what anyone does or says against or for him and his personal efforts in this crazy world.
      Give me a grenade and I'll give it a proper toss. No falling on it needed. Or just kiII me. I don't care. He was given an opportunity and he took it. How many would gladly serve but are not allowed to serve? Consider that he fought in my place doing what I would have been glad to do. And I do not get any respect for that. Nope. I guess I suk.

      October 7, 2010 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. H

    I love how religious people make excuses to kill.

    What happened the the commandments "thou shalt not kill?"

    I guess the religious soldiers must adhere more to the book of deuteronomy which commands you to kill all non-virgin women and children of the enemies, as well as the men. All that should be left is virgin women who you make your slaves.

    October 7, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. brainwashed

    You guys are so brainwashed by the gov't that you are so sure these are heroes. They are killers, and they get paid to kill. There are no other jobs for these guys. There's no love involved.

    October 7, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • beach batt

      Who sounds like the brainwashed one???

      October 7, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tired

    its just sad a man is dead and his family is probably grieving and everyone commenting on here wants to show who is more patriotic then the other, ohwell I guess this is what my country is now, always going to be somebody hating on another about his or her opinions, Im not saying I agree with anyone or dont agree with anyone but the level of how people attack one another on this thing is unreal, I thought only the childish youtube posters and other childish websites allow hateful attacks among one another ohwell I guess im just going to not go on this site anymore, hope everyone has a great day and hug your kids and tell your parents you love them....

    October 7, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
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