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2018 Honorees

 

United States Marine Sergeant Jared Luce

 

SGT Luce was raised in Tolland, CT and has lived in Coventry, CT since 2003. After graduating from Tolland High School in 1995, Jared joined the Marine Corps on the Delayed Entry Program and went to boot camp in 1996. He was married in 1997 and has 3 children. At his first duty station, Jared served as a 2nd echelon diesel mechanic with the 2nd Medical Battalion. After his promotion to Sergeant in 2000, he transferred to HQ Battery, 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines where he served until November 2003. SGT Luce left active duty and joined a USMC Reserve unit in New Haven in May 2004.

 

On Jan 5, 2005, SGT was called to active duty with the mobilization of the 6th Motor Transport Battalion from New Haven. His unit deployed as part of the advanced party element in Al Asad, Iraq. On February 9, 2005, Jared was wounded in an IED attack. His injuries resulted in the need to amputate both of SGT Luce's legs (left side Knee Disarticulation, right side Below-knee). Two fingers on his left hand were shattered, he lost the tip of a third finger, and he lost the side of his palm. SGT Luce also experienced a detached retina. As a result of his injuries, SGT Luce was medically retired from the Marine Corps on April 29, 2007.

 

Since returning home, Jared has worked as a FedEx driver, a Business Developer for a small business, an independent IT consultant and a knife-maker. Since January 2017, Jared has worked as a forensic analyst with CT State Police as part of the ICAC Task Force. Jared continues to give back to the veteran community by working with the Vets Rock organization.

2018 Distinguished Veteran

 

United States Army Sergeant Gabriel Nutter

 

SGT Nutter joined the army in November 2004 at the age of 23. He signed up as a 19D Cavalry Scout and attended OSUT (One Station Unit Training) at Ft Knox KY from November 4, 2004 through March 17, 2005. After the completion of OSUT, SGT Nutter was assigned to the 1st Squadron 10th Cavalry Regiment 2nd Brigade Combat Team 4th Infantry Division at Ft Hood Texas. In November 2005 he deployed to FOB Charlie in Al Hillah Iraq approximately 40 Miles south of Bagdad. The majority of the operations in this region were related to containing the rising Shiite influence in the region from Iran.  

 

In May of 2006, SGT Nutter's unit was sent north to Bagdad where they were stationed at FOB Falcon. The enemy at Falcon was Al Qaeda Iraq and a Sunni insurgency. In the 6 months that he was stationed at Falcon SGT Nutter was exposed to 6 extremely close range blasts during this time frame and received multiple concussions. Gabe  suffered memory issues for the rest of his deployment. He also suffered from severe headaches and profound hearing loss and dizziness.

 

When he returned to Ft Hood, his hearing loss progressed. SGT Nutter was sent for an MRI, and the results revealed that he had a large brain tumor known as an Acoustic Neuroma or Vestibular Schwannoma which is benign luckily. After a 12 hour surgery, the tumor was removed, but in the process, Gabe had lost all hearing and vestibular function on his right side. He had to relearn how to stand and walk all over again.  

 

Due to the surgery and its side effects, SGT Nutter was medically discharged from the Army in March of 2008, a scout who cannot hear run or drive is not much use to the army. Later Gabe was diagnosed with severe PTSD and TBI residuals.

 

In September of 2013, Gabe received a Service Dog from the NEADS program in Princeton Mass, his name is Sammy. Sammy has been a life changer for SGT Nutter and his family and has made it possible for him to complete treatments and therapy’s that he would have never done on his own. He has been responsible for the level of transition I have reached today.  

 

Since 2011, SGT Nutter has answered a calling to help other veterans deal with lingering issues that result from their service. Gabe loves helping other people, and by helping others, it has validated his issues and made it easier for him to receive the care and treatment that he needs. Gabe always tries to give back and leave people better off than when he first encountered them. It is his mission and he does not see it ending anytime soon.

Donations may be sent to:                                                                                                        

 

Sticks For Soldiers, Inc.

c/o Treasurer

PO Box 475

Fairfield, CT 06824-0475

United States Marine Corporal Manuel Jimenez

 

Cpl Jimenez was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. on January 1st, 1989. He enlisted into the Marine Corps in 2006 and attended Recruit Training in June 2007 at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC. Following completion of Recruit Training and subsequently the School of Infantry, Camp Gieger, NC, Private First Class Jimenez was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment (2/6 Marines) at Camp Lejeune, NC in December 2007. PFC Jimenez was then promoted to Lance Corporal in June 2008.

 

LCpl Jimenez was deployed in support of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, during a tour of the Mediterranean region. While on this tour, LCpl. Jimenez was a part of a team that went into Saudi Arabia to train that countries military. LCpl Jimenez was promoted to Corporal in June 2010. Shortly after his promotion, 2/6 Marines was deployed to Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the summer of 2010. Cpl Jimenez was severely wounded during an IED attack in August 2010. Cpl Jimenez experienced the loss of one of his arms above the elbow, complete hearing loss in his right ear, and a mild Traumatic Brain Injury. Cpl Jimenez was medically retired from the Marine Corps as a result of his injuries.

 

After retirement, Manny continues to give back by joining Heart 9/11 whose mission is to Respond immediately to natural and man-made disasters; Rebuild community centers in hard-hit areas to meet grass roots needs; Recover by building resiliency for individuals, families and communities. Manny helped rebuild homes in Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn after hurricane Sandy. He graduated magna cum laude from Capital Community College in December 2015 with his Associates degree in Management. Manny went on to graduate magna cum laude from Central Connecticut State University with his Bachelors in Management with a Minor in Management Information Systems (MIS).

 

Cpl Jimenez's personal decorations include the Purple Heart,Combat Action Ribbon, two Good Conduct Medals and numerous other personal awards.

 

 

Checks made payable to:

Sticks for Soldiers, Inc.

Memo note: 2017 S4S

 

S4S is a 501(c)(3) Tax exempt organization

recognized by the IRS. EIN # 46-0962202.

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