Fallen Heroes

If you would like to have a family member or friend added on to our wall, e-mail us at neverforgetyourowninc@gmail.com with a picture, date of birth, date they passed, and a short story about them and who submitted it. PLEASE SHARE YOUR STORIES WITH US!! Remember that your shared story could be the one story that stops a veteran from taking his or her own life!  *All pictures were used with permission and stories were edited for clarity*

Jamison Anthony Mandile


7/23/86 - 08/21/16

Remembering Private First Class  Jamison Anthony Mandile

"His infectious smile and his great sense of humor"

Jamison Anthony Mandile was first born to Janet & Anthony Mandile later to be joined by a sister Allyse. We lived in New York in a small town with a population of approx. 6936 people. East Rochester was the best place to live. Everyone knew everybody and most families were related somehow. 

Jamison had a very joyous childhood. A loving family, great friends and was involved in numerous activities. Always happy. Hockey, and baseball were his passions. He also participated in many other sports. He graduated from an upscale trade college in Connecticut but decided that the military was what he really wanted. 

Every thing in his life was going so right. He married his high school sweetheart, had a son, but was deployed to Iraq in 2009. This is where his journey turned so wrong. He came home from Iraq one day after his wife had given birth to their daughter. He was distant, quiet and erratic in behavior. Upon return to base, he was diagnosed with depression, anxiety, transitional disorder and PTSD. 

The years following were blurred. He abandoned his family and lived a life in Texas as a person his family didn't know. On and off drugs and alcohol was his life style. He eventually hit rock bottom and He came back home with his family. The struggle was real. PTSD is ugly. Jamison is dead now. We would like you to remember his kindness, his generosity, how infectious his smile was and his great sense of humor. We are so proud of his service, so heartbroken that it killed him.

Submitted by Janet Mandile (Mother)

 Mark "Mac" McDaniel

Senior NCO, U.S. ARMY

11/23/58 - 08/12/16

Remembering SNCO Mark "Mac" McDaniel

"A brother and a dear friend"

His name was Mark McDaniel. US ARMY retired, almost 20 years with the Illinois Department of Corrections. Mark "Mac" was one of the kindest souls to ever walk the planet. If you ever had a problem, needed to talk, needed a laugh, he was there. Mac was a compassionate individual who loved helping people and did his best to comfort those around him if he noticed they were down. Mac left a legacy, not only on that but in one of leadership. He commanded respect, as a retired SNCO would, even after years of being out. He was a father figure to many, myself included, a brother, and a dear friend and will forever be missed.

Submitted by Andrew Ray (Friend)

Jacob Mally Gray


12/03/86 – 06/04/15

Remembering  SGT Jacob Mally Gray

"My Son, My Hero"

Jacob enjoyed hunting, fishing, and the great outdoors. You would always catch him on down time reading a book or on his kindle. He loved spending time with his family and friends. He was a kind, giving and extremely intelligent person who always was looking for ways to better himself and those around him. May we always remember him for his dedication, service and honor to this country, his men, his family and the Corps. Jacob was born in Alexandria, Louisiana on 12/3/86, the third son of Brenda and Chris Gray. He was a twin and the ”baby" of the family. Since the age of 10 all Jacob talked about was joining the Marines. 

He actually graduated 1 year early (taking summer courses) from Cloverleaf High School, Lodi, OH in June 2004. He had enlisted early in Marines on a delayed entry program.  Leaving for MRCD Parris Island, SC on November 15, 2004; graduating February 11, 2005, he participated in Permissive Recruiter Assistance Program prior to attending SOI School.  He graduated May 2005 from the School of Infantry. Jacob was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Lima Company in June 2005. He was stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC his whole career. He was found dead in the barracks on June 4, 2015. 

His deployments include: Operation Iraqi Freedom: 8/25/05-3/20/06, 1/19/07-8/9/07, 4/5/08-10/25/08 (he re-enlisted while in Iraq). Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan: 1/9/10-8/17/10. While in Marjah he stepped on an IED.  My son REFUSED first aid and DEMANDED his men check for secondary IEDs in the school building the Taliban used as a HQ. Many more was found. Only have the building was secure & his men safe did my son allow medical treatment to be performed on him. By the grace of God he only suffered knee damage and was back on duty within 36 hours. Later after deployment was done he required additional knee surgery. Took him 2 1/2 years to continue to fight and rehab but was able to regain FULL Active duty status. 

 Jacob’s Awards include:

Combat Action Ribbon with Gold Star
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 1 bronze star
Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal with 3 bronze stars
Presidential Unit Citation-Navy
Iraq campaign Medal with 4 bronze stars
Individual Certificate of Commendation
Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
National Defense Service Medal
NATO Medal-lSAF Afghanistan
Navy Unit commendation with 4 bronze stars
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Gold 'V“ for Valor.
Final resting place: Hazard Cemetery, West Salem, OHIO

Submitted by: Brenda Gray (Mother)

Richard Andrew Winkler

United States Air Force


Remembering Richard Andrew "Drew" Winkler, United States Air Force

"He was the definition of a social butterfly".

Richard Andrew Winkler, known to his family and friends as “Drew” or “Drewus” was an amazing man who touched and changed more lives than he ever knew. Born June 28th, 1989 and gone far too soon at the age of 26 on May 30th, 2016.

As a child Drew was smart, funny and a friend to everyone he met. He was the definition of a “social butterfly”. He loved football and was a die-hard Cincinnati Bengals’ fan. As a junior in high school, he started college full time and attended college for the last two years of high school as a “dual enrolled” student. 

He graduated with his Associates degree before actually walking for his high school graduation. He was the definition of a “social butterfly”. 

Unfortunately, Drew came back from Iraq a changed person. Drew was diagnosed and treated, with multiple medications, for PTSD and Social Anxiety Disorder while still on active duty. The person who came home after his discharge was nothing like the Drew that joined the Air Force. All the things he loved doing before, caused him anxiety, panic and fear. 

 After trying for five years to receive the mental health care and disability compensation (denied twice) he deserved from the VA, he couldn’t fight anymore and took his life on Memorial Day, May 30, 2016. The demons he fought in his head each day became too overwhelming and finally won. His last Facebook post at 5:06am on May 30th read, “1 of 22 per day…why can’t they just help us…goodbye”. A son, brother, friend and Daddy was gone. He left behind countless lives who were forever changed because of having known him.

Drew’s greatest joys were his boys, Caydan (biological son) and Christian (a child he raised since 4 months old). His world revolved around them and he was happiest just to be with them. The few glimpses of happiness and the old Drew were seen during the times he spent with his boys.

Submitted by: Rebecca Winkler (Mother)

Raymond W. Warlikowski Jr.



Remembering Raymond W. Warlikowski, SGT US Army

"The hardest thing about losing my son is the heartache, it never goes away".

He was my oldest son. Raymond was a very thoughtful person. Many of his friends & coworkers have said that he was always willing to stop what he was doing to give a hand & help out. My first memory of Raymond was he was a good child. He did well in school & church. My best memory is a photo of him from a computer page that said Happy Mothers day Mom! I still have it on my wall in a frame, he was in Iraq at the time too. My most vivid memory would be the time he surprised me at home by showing up unexpected from being overseas. 

It as a warm summer day and he had a big smile on his face. I hugged and kissed him and didn’t want to let him go. The hardest thing about losing my son is the heartache–it never goes away. They say it gets easier in time but you never forget. If my son was still here with me today I would be saying please reach out to your parent, friends, coworkers etc… we love you dearly and want you to get the mental help services you need as a veteran and deserve. I miss my son’s phone calls: he always sounded cheerful and concerned for me. He never let on that PTSD was a serious issue for him.

I think he would want to be remembered for being a great father to his 4 children. He loved and adored that role dearly. His biggest obstacle is that he became a teacher instructor in the states because he did not want to have to go back to the war in Iraq/ Afghanistan again after the 4th time. We didn’t really have many disagreements but we didn’t see eye to eye on about why his father and I divorced so I never mentioned it again.

What makes me smile about Raymond is how proud I was of him for all his accomplishments. He went to night college courses in between teaching. My relationship with my son was a very loving one. I could have never asked for a more kind and caring son if I was looking for one. I felt like I had the grand prize already. My son was a handsome man whether he was dressed in military clothing or regular day clothes. He did like his shorts and flip-flops mostly. I don’t remember him ever playing any jokes but he did have a very hearty laugh and sense of humor.

The day his daughter Emma Grace was born he was beaming with huge smiles and she became daddy’s little girl. I believe his hopes and dreams were that he was happy & grateful to have a great family; his new job was doing well. My son Raymond recently had a tattoo on his arm of all of his children. That’s how much he loved them. Not too many people knew that.

What can you do?

I’m different now because the heartache and pain at times becomes so overwhelming. I cry lot. I don’t want to do anything anymore or go out to places. I’ve become depressed and I’m under the care of my family doctor. The image that persists in my mind is that I couldn’t wrap my head around that my son was capable of taking his life. It doesn’t seem real still. The reality is very hard. I honored my son on December 16th for Wreaths Across America. It brings me some comfort to be there for him and all the many soldiers.

The thing that helped me in my grief is for my friends & family remember him. Many people don’t know what to say to me or is there anything I can do. My answer is yes, please come and visit me. Give me a friendly call to chat. Ask me out for coffee or lunch. It’s been 4 months now and everyone has disappeared. Having Thanksgiving dinner without him was very hard. So I set a place setting for my son at the table. It is now almost Christmas and I wish it was over and gone. I can’t even put up a tree or decorations. The only thing that has kept me going on a daily basis is my daughter & grandsons.

Submitted by: Jean Kirschenheiter (Mother)

Michael W. Strand

SFC, Retired US ARMY

8/8/65- 1/30/13

Remembering Michael W. Strand, Retired SFC US ARMY

"He didn't come back the same man"

I lost Retired SFC Michael W. Strand, my husband of 23 years. He served 22 years in Field Artillery and Recruiting. He went to Iraq at the end of 05 to end 06. He didn't come back same man. He retired earlier than planned and couldn't function at all in work, life and family.

He ended his life Jan 30, 2013 by suicide. Sadly, the VA still states he was only diagnosed with severe depression and ruled that it was not military connected. I will fight this forever. He was born in Wisconsin, a diehard Green bay Packer fan. He loved NASCAR and the Army. He was father to a son and boy/girl twins, and had been foster father to 18. His children and I started fb/mealsfrommike in hopes to get society to thank a vet/soldier daily.

Submitted by: Ann Strand (Wife)

Brandon Kittoe

USMC & US ARMY National Guard

10/18/82- 07/08/16

Remembering Brandon Kittoe, USMC & US ARMY National Guard

"Brandon had such a huge heart and a unique sense of humor"

Brandon had such a huge heart and was always helping others with their problems and just couldn't overcome his demons. He just was not the same after his 3 tours to Iraq and Afghanistan.  

Brandon actually talked to a couple of his battle buddies and forced them to get help when they were having some serious issues themselves. 

He had an amazing talent with woodworking and was doing some cutting boards, shadow boxes and small projects. He also had a talent with drawing. He loved his military service-first with the USMC for 4 years, then with the Army National Guard. 

He left behind a daughter which was his world, a soulmate, brother, myself and my husband, and many cousins and countless friends and extended family. He had a unique sense of humor which made him one of a kind. 

Submitted by: Beverly Kittoe (Mother)

John D.R. Toombs



Remembering John D.R. Toombs, U.S. ARMY

"This is where I'll change my life"

John served with the 230th of the Tennessee Army National Guard in Afghanistan during 2011-2012 Tour. With prior M.P. training, John volunteered for the assignment of riding escort as a guard based in Kabul. 

John never spoke of any of the assignments they participated in. But upon returning home, his alcohol consumption seemed to escalate along with personality changes. We had no idea what was happening with him. After leaving his unit in 2014, John began to slowly decline. 

In 2016, he awoke on May 12th, to find his grandfather which he was living with, had passed way in his sleep. This lead to a downhill spiral, involving substance abuse, depression, personality changes, loss of self control, and thoughts of harming himself, or others. For these reasons, John spent 3 weeks in jail, refusing bail because as he stated, “ I need this”. 

Through Veteran Court, John volunteered to go to The Residential Recovery Treatment Program at Alvin C York VA. located in Murfreesboro, TN. This was a 90 day program that he had previously attempted to enter. Upon entering this program he stated that ...”this is where I’ll change my life”. Little did we know. John seemed to be doing well. He was beginning to return to his old self, and showed enthusiasm in learning the Smart Recovery Program, of which he wanted to become a counselor to help other Veterans. 

On November 22nd, John was “irregularly discharged” from this program, for what he said were “ trivial reasons”, which were the reasons he was there. He refused to leave the campus, saying that he wanted to meet with the Patients Advocate and Campus Director (which were not present in the discharge meeting) and try and get back in the program. 

He wondered the campus, all night, and was approached and questioned by VA Police several times until the early morning hours. On the morning of November 23rd, 2016, the day before Thanksgiving, John hung himself in a building under construction on the VA campus. But before doing so, he posted a video to Facebook calling out the VA on his and how other Veterans were treated in the program. In his final letter to me, his Dad, he stated...” maybe from this, some lives will be saved. I surely hope".

Submitted by: David Toombs (Father)

Jeffery J. Reber


2/19/85- 8/12/14

Remembering Jeffery J. Reber, SSGT USMC

"You see that is how Jeff was, he always wanted to make a better life for everyone if he could" 

SSGT Jeffery Reber, USMC 2-19-85 to 8-12-14. Jeffery was born to Jeff and Debra Reber. He was the younger brother to Sara and older brother to Christopher. He played baseball from the age of 5 to 18. He was a pitcher and most had trouble hitting off of him. Jeffery also loved to read and surf. Jeffery also ran cross country for La Mirada High where he graduated with a 3.8GPA. 

He joined the Marines when he was 18 years old. His MOS was mortarman with 1/1 and 1/4 stationed at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, CA. He deployed 4 times during his service. Twice to Iraq, once to Afghanistan and once to Yemen. He married his high school sweetheart and they have 2 boys. 

 He received many medals and ribbons. He is also credited for saving the lives of 2 men in Yemen from suicide. He always had a smile on his face. He had a great sense of humor and nobody was safe from the many pranks he liked to do. Once while he was staying in the barracks he had boxer shorts that had glow in the dark happy faces on them. One night he crawled out of bed and stood at one end of the barracks room. The Marine on duty was freaked out seeing only glowing happy faces and ran to that end of the room to investigate. 

Jeff ran around the lockers to the other end of the room. This is just one of the many pranks he did and I’m sure the great Marines he served with have many memories of others. When Jeff was getting ready to deploy for the 2nd time to Iraq he was excited to go. When I asked him why he said he wanted to go back and see that they were making a difference. When he returned I asked him if he got his answer. He said he did. Kids were playing outside and having a better life. You see that is how Jeff was he always wanted to make a better life for everyone if he could. He is missed by many and loved by all.

Jeffery's Awards Include:

Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal (3)

Combat Action Ribbon (2)

Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal

National Defense Service Medal

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Iraq Campaign Medal

Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (4)

Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal 

Marine Corps Recruiting Ribbon

Afghanistan Campaign Medal

Navy Unit Commendation (2)

Letter of Appreciation (2)

Certificate of Commendation (Unit Award)

Meritorious Mast (9)

Nato Medal- ISAF Afghanistan 

* Special Note- Numbers represent the number of times the award was given*

Submitted by: Debra Reber (Mother)

Stephen B. Ayala


11/04/78- 09/21/04

Remembering Stephen B. Ayala, CPL USMC

"No one, not even his wife knew the depths of his inner demons" 

Stephan B. Ayala was born and raised in Texas. He was an amazing man who had a heart the size of his home state. He never met a stranger and always had a smile on his face. 

He was loving and always wanted to make people laugh. He was a clown and loved his kids and wife with every bit of himself he could. Many of us who knew him called him the "Robin Williams" of the group. He went out of his way to make people happy. He was giving and would do anything to help another person out. His sons were his life. You mention his boys and his face would shine even brighter. His son Joseph was 3 and Blake was only 2 months old when he passed. Joseph was his sidekick in everything. If Stephan was working on a car, Joseph was working on the car. 

If Stephan was watching a movie, Joseph was watching a movie. It was so adorable watching them together. Stephan had no problems making sure that Joseph was included in everything he did. Stephan included everyone who wanted to be included in whatever he was doing. Stephan was assigned to the 2nd Maintenance Bn, 2nd FSSG, Charlie Company.  Stephan did not have any deployments. However, TBI was verified after his death and he was diagnosed with PTSD prior to death.

Submitted by: Penny Ayala (Wife)

Cody L. Bowman


1/6/94- 3/18/19

Remembering Cody L. Bowman, U.S. ARMY

" Cody was a Soldiers Soldier"

Cody talked about being in “Army man” from the time he was 5yrs old. The Army was perfect for him and he excelled rapidly. Very early on he was promoted and stayed behind instead of taking leave to spend time with one of his soldiers that had attempted to end his own life. I remember the call he made to his mother, he said mom, "I can’t leave my soldier, he needs me". He was always Army on. He was walking in our local mall with his mother when he noticed a soldier not properly dressed, he went straight over to the guy and instructed him that while he was in uniform and representing our military he needed to dress correctly. Cody was a "Soldiers" soldier according to many of his upper ranking people. 

At his memorial we heard this from so many soldiers. Several guys that out ranked him told us they wished they were more like him. Unfortunately, being the soldier he was we feel he thought he could handle the loss of his hand and all that comes with that by himself. Any conversation he had it always included “I’m good”. We lost Cody on March 18th when the hidden demons caught up to him and unfortunately he felt like that was his only way out. At the time of his death he was a part of the National Defense Department fighting Global Terrorism on the web. The program was only supposed to go for a couple months but after nine months the Defense Department was wanting to extend it even further. His supervisor made the comment that “Cody stood the program up”. Cody L Bowman was a soldier, the only thing he ever wanted to be, he gave it his all and had no limits in our opinion. We will forever love and miss him.

Submitted by: Barbie and Robert Rohde (Parents)  

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