Macomb County remembers its veterans

veterans-3You may have passed it a million times and not noticed it, but it’s there, right at the southeast corner of Gratiot and Cass avenues outside of the County Administration Building at 1 S. Main Street. It’s called the Heart of America War Memorial. Mount Clemens Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1794 sponsored the memorial, which was designed by Shelby Township resident and U.S. Army veteran Norma Randazzo, whose husband Phil Randazzo, is a Vietnam veteran who earned two purple hearts and two bronze stars.

veterans2Inscribed on it are the names of 20 soldiers from Macomb County who have been killed in the global war on terror. Just as important as the inscription, however, is the personal story behind each of those names. To read each soldier’s unique story, visit

Pfc. Mark A. Barbret, Army, 44th Engineer Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division
Oct. 14, 2004

Spc. Shane H. Ahmed, Army, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)
Nov. 14, 2010

Spc. Stephen M. Okray, Army, 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division
Dec. 24, 2008

Pfc. Tarryl B. Hill, USMC, Marine Forces Reserve’s 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division
Feb. 7, 2007

Cpl. Gentian Marku, USMC, 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force
Nov. 25, 2004
Staff Sgt. Donald L. Munn II, Army, Special Troops Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division
Oct. 11, 2011

Navy Chief Special Warfare Operator Jason R. Freiwald, Navy, Naval Special Warfare Development Group (Seal)
Sept. 12, 2008

Lance Cpl. Anthony A. Dilisio, Marine, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force
May 30, 2010

Staff Sgt. Ergin V. Osman, USMC/Army, 101st Aviation Regiment, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)
May 26, 2011

CPL. In C. Kim, USMC, 9th Communications Battalion, I Marine Expeditionary Force
Dec. 7, 2004

Lance Cveteranspl. Allan Klein, USMC, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps
Jan. 26, 2005

Staff Sgt. Jason A. Lehto, USMC, Marine Wing Support Group 47, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Forces Reserve
Dec. 28, 2004

Spc. Robert M. Friese, Army, 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment
April 29, 2011

Spc. D. Alex Knapp, Army
Oct. 2, 2010

Pfc. Christopher D. Kube, Army, 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division
July 14, 2007

Staff Sgt. Vincent J. Bell, USMC, 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force
Nov. 30, 2011

Sgt. Kyle B. McClain, Army, 507th Engineer Battalion, 177th Military Police Brigade
Aug. 1, 2012

1st Lt. Todd W. Lambka, Army, 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division
Aug. 1, 2012

Moneeka N. Mayo, Army
Dec. 13, 2008

Sgt. Bryan K. Burgess, USMC, 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division
Nov. 9, 2006

On this Veterans Day we honor these and all others who made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country the land of the free, home of the brave.


Sarah Cormier works for the Macomb County Executive Office as a communications specialist.

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