This Friday marks the 238th Independence Day in the United States. Offices across the country will close down; families and friends will gather to barbecue; there will be fireworks displays and various celebrations of the great nation in which we live. Yes, the 4th of July is truly one of our nation’s great holidays.
It’s important, though, to remember that the fight for independence and freedom still occurs in other nations. That fight still involves American soldiers, and that fight still risks American lives. It’s an honorable choice that men and women make when they enlist in our Armed Forces, and a humbling, ever-present fear for the loved ones of those who fight to make our world a safer place.
Two weeks ago, we were reminded of this risk our soldiers take when we learned of the tragic loss of US Army Staff Sgt. Scott R. Studenmund, of the 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group. Staff Sgt. Studenmund, 24, was one of five soldiers killed while engaged in a combat operation in Gaza Village, Afghanistan, on June 9. Studenmund had been in Afghanistan supporting Operation Enduring Freedom since January 2014.
Studenmund’s uncle, Jim Miller, is a friend to City Real Estate Advisors and acts as our legislative council in Washington, D.C. We send our deepest condolences to the family and our thanks for their sacrifice to our country.
Originally from Pasadena, CA, Studenmund volunteered for Special Forces and graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course in 2011. His awards and decorations include: the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal, the Special Forces Tab, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Parachutists Badge and the Special Operations Divers Badge. In honor of Studenmund’s devotion to the military, CREA made a donation to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation in his name.
Prior to his military career, Studenmund was a graduate of Flintridge Preparatory School. The school has established a memorial fund in his honor, which will go to will promote the passions and ideals that Scott embodied, including a love of athletics and a devotion to public purpose. The fund will create an endowment to support an annual award at Flintridge Prep given to an outstanding coach who best exhibits a devotion to athletic excellence, student development and public service. This award will honor Scott’s legacy as a scholar-athlete and Green Beret soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice for his beloved country.
Studenmund is survived by his father, mother, sister and a very grateful nation. This Friday, please take a moment to remember the sacrifices that occur daily across the globe in the name of freedom and independence of all forms.