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. Family

    After reading several of the remarks on this discussion, I feel compelled to make some corrections. Lance is a member of my family. His wife is a member of my family. Rangers, just like many other dedicated service personnel, devote their lives to protecting the freedom and way of life in this country. As a family, we are so thankful to Lance for his ultimate sacrifice. He chose to be a Ranger. We as a family supported his decision, always knowing what the outcome could've been, to be a Ranger. As far as the number of deployments, your opinions do not matter. What matters is the intention of Lance's heart to secure a safe future for this nation who does not love him; for his wife, unborn child, surviving children, parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, friends and comrades. Your inability to feel this level of commitment and devotion should not be displayed on this discussion thread. The only thing that matters is that for a time this country had an oustanding soldier fighting for her. Those of us with any shred of patriotism are thankful for this man who has given everything. Those of you without this feeling of pride are exactly the ones who criticize as others are fighting for your "right" to do so. You don't have to support the war, but you should at least support the troops who have given you this liberty. God bless our troops and God bless the USA. Rangers Lead the Way!!!!!

    October 7, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Long Beach, California

      GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY! to the other idiots that write crap the American XC pie or whatever....better hope no one knows who you really are...COWARDS

      October 7, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. blaine

    what a brave man.

    October 7, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tom, Long Beach, California

    This is a HERO America!!!!! What a shame

    October 7, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joe

    This should be on the front page of every U.S. newpaper. True american hero that gave so many years of his life to our country. Perhaps Fox News will give him worthy credit.

    October 7, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. steven

    Was there ever a question about outcome of this soldier's life? Like Russian Roulette. No wonder the suicide rate is so high in the Army.

    October 7, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tom, Long Beach, California

    American Pie X – come visit and you will post no more you pig

    October 7, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Doug

    `12 tours.. What is that ? We don't have enough men that we needed to send this man to war 12 times.. And we are questioning don't ask don't tell... Unreal ! this where the hand basket comes in handy !

    October 7, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. MrGreen1982

    RIP. All respect to this soldier (should get some kind of medal postumely for that kind of dedication) but 12 tours? Shouldn't he be training troops by now. Not really suprising at all that this is what happened after putting yourself at risk for that long. Simple law of probabilities will catch up to you eventually. No disrespect intended.

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

      He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal.

      October 7, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kelligurl

    SFC Vogeler was a soldier doing what soldier's do. I do NOT mean this in a way to diminish his achievement's by anymeans, however, I do feel the Army failed it's own values in allowing 12 tours in 9 years. Before I get the hate-replies, please understand I am a veteran and my husband is currently deployed (he's a lifer-I'm disabled). The Army has a responsibility to the young men and women brave or hungry enough to sign up. There are many times someone is what we'll call 'super-hooah', which can be a great thing at times and blinding at the same time. I do not know if SFC Vogeler volunteered or went where his unit did; but the fact remains the Army took advantage (imo) of this young soldier's desire to serve. It seems as if there was some negligence in not having him hold back, not just to ensure his family is ok but also to make sure he is. You cannot deploy 12 tours in 9 years and not need to have a mental and physical break. In the end a young son, husband, dad and soldier lost his life which is sad enough without having a big article on his 'dedication' to service, let's not say hateful things about him nor should we use his death as a patriotic propaganda weapon (remember CPL Tillman, Pat) a human being lost his life and should be respected as such from all sides. Our deepest condolences to the Vogeler family.

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

      I also agree that 12 tours is an excessive amount. Without knowing more info however, I don't know if he volunteered subsequent times. I suspect that he might have but don't really know.

      October 7, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. PARROT

    DAMN BUSH....!!!

    October 7, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. dwight

    He's a fool.

    October 7, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. dwight

    To do a tour in a war zone means you don't have a life.

    October 7, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Tiffany

    is it just a typo that he had 2 kids but his widow is pregnant with his 1st child?? I know thats not the point of the story and either way its sad but I was just wondering about that.

    October 7, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Family

      His widow is pregnant with "their" first child...and before it is written, he did provide for, care for, and deeply love his other children.

      October 7, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. CWO-UT

    Stand down soldier, your duty is done. Thank you for ALL your selfless service!

    October 7, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Brad

    I am disgusted by the lack of respect, shown on this board.. some of you have left great comments.. some of you are ungrateful Morons who have no buiseness speaking allowed in public. This mad Died serving our contry. This man devoted his life to the preservation of YOUR freedom period. If you disagree with me in my eyes you are as worthless as a screen door on a submarine.. please do us a favor and EXIT OUR COUNTRY NOW!

    October 7, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
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