Unite the USA

May Edition: Remembering Our Heroes

Left to Right: Stacie Ruth & Carrie Beth
Remembering Our Heroes
Sgt. Joseph Collette

For every American, Memorial Day must be personal. Why? Memorial Day presents the opportunity to remember those who died for you personally so that you may be free. To help us all put faces to the names, let us honor the memory of two recent fallen heroes:

Sgt. Joseph Collette, 29, and Sgt. 1st Class Will Lindsay, 33, were killed March 22, 2019 from enemy fire during a combat mission in Afghanistan. Sgt. Collette left behind a wife and two young children and stepdaughters. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine paid tribute to Sgt. Collette"A uniform does not make a hero. The person wearing the uniform makes a hero. Sgt. Collette was a hero."

Sgt. 1st Class Will Lindsay
Sgt. 1st Class Will Lindsay is survived by his family including his wife and two daughters. He loved his daughters and was a devoted father. When home, Will could be found playing with his girls, watching endless Disney movies and making German chocolate cake and other treats for his family.

Sgt. Collette and Sgt. 1st Class Lindsay are two examples of the brave men and women who have died in the name of freedom. It grabs our hearts to think of their sacrifice and the deep loss felt by their families. This Memorial Day, remember these brave heroes.

From the War of Independence to the present day, well over 1.1 million Americans have died in war. Think about it: All those men and women were dads, moms, sons, daughters, sisters and/or brothers. Each left behind heartbroken families.

It is a heavy realization that each one selflessly fought and died for us. They did not die in vain.  They died so that freedom can ring. We must echo that to all of our loved ones -including kids, teens, etc. 

Indeed, may this Memorial Day cause us to remember the selflessness, the grit, and the courage of our current servicemen and women and veterans. Please read the below true stories of heroes who willingly gave their lives to save their comrades and defend freedom. Share these stories with your family and friends.

Sgt. Collette's burial service
We encourage you to take time this Memorial Day weekend to remember our fallen heroes and to teach your kids about what our heroes have done for us. Take your whole family to a veteran cemetery. Leave flags on their graves and say a prayer for the families of all those who gave their lives. (Click here to find a veteran cemetery near you or contact your local cemetery to see if there are any veterans buried there.)
 Or, attend a local Memorial Day service to honor our heroes and their families.

In closing, may we all slowly and deeply think about the words of Christ: "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).

God bless you,
Carrie Stoelting and Stacie Stoelting
Sisters and Founders of 
Unite the USA

Featured Quote

"Any nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure." 
-President Abraham Lincoln
This Month's Bible Verse

Video Tribute to an American Hero
Brush of Honor - Leslie H. Sabo, JR.
Brush of Honor - Leslie H. Sabo, JR.

We hope you watch this touching video honoring the heroism of Army Specialist Leslie H. Sabo Jr. who served in the Vietnam War. He gave up his life to save his comrades. Learn about this great man and remember him this Memorial Day. 

Operation: Honor Heroes

"We encourage you to take part in honoring our heroes this Memorial Day through Operation Honor Heroes. Teach the kids in your life about the true meaning of Memorial Day and what our heroes have done for us. Yes, we live in the land of the free because of the brave. Now is the time to honor heroes. Now, today, and always. Will you join us?" 
                                                                                            -Carrie and Stacie

Operation Honor Heroes is a national effort to give tribute where tribute is due. Our outreach called Operation Honor Heroes is associated with Unite the USA. It has a two-fold mission: 

1. To honor and thank our veterans and their families  
2. To educate America's children on the work and sacrifices our veterans have done for us 

We would appreciate the opportunity to honor your loved ones who have served. We will post a picture and accompanying information on our web site and social media. Thank you so much! 
1. E-mail a picture of your loved one who served to 
2. Include your loved one's name, military branch, rank, and years of service. 
3. Let us know if you would like other key information shared as well.


1. Let us help you honor the heroes in your life. 
If you have a loved one who served, send Stacie and Carrie his or her picture, name, military branch, rank to 
info@unitetheusa.org. Unite the USA will post the information online as a way to honor them. 
2. Be sure to set aside time to thank our heroes who are still living.
Thank them in person, on the phone, in a card, or through an e-mail.  

3. During the summer months, many veterans and servicemen and women march in local parades.
A good time to reach out and thank them is after the parade. Watch for their military distinctions on their jackets and hats. Just earnestly thank them. They will appreciate your  appreciation. 
4. Don't forget our hospitalized heroes or elderly veterans in nursing homes. 
Send a colorful card, send a gift, or stop by and visit.  Note: ShopIn God We Still Trust and Unite the USA make great gift ideas! :)  

5. Invite a veteran to dinner, send a gift card to their favorite restaurant, or order/deliver a meal for them. 
Take him or a her a gift. Just do something to show that you care and that you are grateful for their service.  

1. For starters, begin with the basics. Explain what a veteran is and what that means. Children's book on the subject can be helpful in the teaching process. Click here for children's book options that are about veterans and patriotism. Visit your local library for more ideas. 

2. Tell your kids about friends or family members who have served our country. Show them pictures to make it more real and meaningful.

3. Introduce your kids to veterans.
 If you have a friend or relative who served, make sure your child has the opportunity to meet him/her. 

4. Attend a parade together.
 Often veterans are honored in parades. Afterwards is a great time to meet and thank them. 

5. With your child, write a thank you card or color a picture to give to a veteran.
 It means so much to veterans to be remembered -especially by children...They are the future. 

In Memory of Heroes

Charley Havlat (1910-1945)

In early May 1945, WWII was drawing to a close. The surrender of Germany was imminent yet our American soldiers continued to fight with valor. One of thosesoldiers was Pfc. Charley Havlat of Nebraska. He was shot in a German ambush on May 7. Pfc. Havlat is believed to be the last American killed in the European Theater of Operations. On the morning of May 7, 1945, on a dirt road in Czechoslovakia, Havlat's reconnaissance platoon was blindsided by a hail of enemy machine gun and small arms fire from concealed enemy positions. During the ambush, Havlat was shot in the head and killed in action. Havlat was tragically killed only six hours before Germany's unconditional surrender.  Pfc. Havlat fought for freedom and honor to the very end. God bless his memory.

The 5 Sullivan Brothers
1. George Sullivan, 27, Gunner's Mate Second Class
2. Francis "Frank" Sullivan, 25, Coxswain
3. Joseph "Joe" Sullivan, 23, Seaman Second Class
4. Madison "Matt" Sullivan, 22, Seaman Second Class
5. Albert "Al" Sullivan, 19, Seaman Second Class
The Sullivan brothers were natives of Waterloo, Iowa. They all enlisted on January 3, 1942 with the condition that they serve together. (At the time the Navy had a policy of separating siblings, but the policy was not strictly enforced.) The Sullivan brothers' motto was, "We stick together."
Tragically, all five brothers were killed when their ship the USS Juneau (CL-52) was sunk by a Japanese submarine. The Juneau fought in several naval engagements during the months-long Battle of Guadalcanal. However, on November 13, 1942 the carrier was hit by a torpedo and had to withdraw. As it was leaving the Solomon Islands' area later that day, the Juneau was struck again. This time, it was hit from a torpedo by Japanese submarine I-26. The Juneau quickly sank. Rescue efforts were delayed due the Japanese continued presence in the area. Eight days later ten survivors were retrieved from the water. The survivors reported that Frank, Joe, and Matt Sullivan were killed instantly. Al drowned the following day and George lived for four or five days.
The death of the five Sullivan brothers was so horrible it forced the U.S. War Department to adopt "The Sole Survivor Policy" so it would never happen again. The searing heartache that the Sullivan family suffered is truly unimaginable.

The Navy named two destroyers The Sullivans to honor the brothers: The Sullivans (DDG-68) and The Sullivans (DD-537). They were the first U.S. navy ships to be named after more than one person.

JohnWaldron.jpgJohn Charles Waldron (1900-1942)


Lieutenant Commander John C. Waldron of Fort Pierre, South Dakota became a Naval Aviator in 1927. In 1941, he became Commanding Officer of Torpedo Squadron Eight (VT-8) which served on the new aircraft carrier Hornet (CV-8). Lt. Commander Waldron heroically led his squadron during the Battle of Midway. Tragically, all fifteen of its planes were lost to overwhelming enemy fighter opposition while making an unsupported attack on the Japanese aircraft carrier force. Lieutenant Commander John C. Waldron was killed during that action.

Ruben Rivers (1921-1944)


Staff Sergeant Ruben Rivers of Oklahoma served in the U.S. Army during WWII. He displayed tremendous heroism from  November 15-19, 1944 while moving toward Guebling, France. Staff Sergeant Rivers was severely wounded in the leg yet refused medical treatment and evacuation. Instead, he took command of another tank and advanced with his company the following day. He bravely and repeatedly refused evacuation in order to direct his tank's fire at enemy positions. At dawn of November 19, his tanks began to advance towards Bougaktroff. However, they were stopped by enemy fire. Staff Sergeant Rivers was joined by another tank and together opened fire on the enemy tanks. This brave action covered company A as they withdrew. While doing so, Staff Sergeant Rivers' tank was hit, killing him and wounding others. Staff Sergeant Rivers gave his life for the sake of his comrades; his daring leadership, selflessness, and courage must be remembered.

Mike Pena (1924-1950) 
WWII and Korean War

Master Sergeant Mike Pena of Texas served in the U.S. Army during both World War II and the Korean War. In 1941, he joined the Army as an infantryman when he was only 16 years old.

On the evening of September 4, 1950 during the Battle of Tabu-dong, Master Sergeant Pena's unit was violently attacked. During the conflict as they were fighting back, he realized that ammunition was running out. In response to the crisis, Master Sergeant Pena ordered his unit to retreat while he manned a machine-gun to cover their withdrawal. Remarkably, Master Sergeant Pena single-handedly held back the enemy until morning. Tragically, at that time, his position was overrun and he was killed in action. We honor Master Sergeant Pena's memory and we are grateful for his heroism and sacrifice.

Donald Paul Sloat (1949-1970)

Vietnam War

Specialist Four Donald P. Sloat of Oklahoma served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.

On the morning of Jan. 17, 1970, Specialist Four Sloat's squad was conducting a patrol. They were serving as a blockade in support of tanks and armored personnel carriers. As the squad was moving through a hill in single-file formation, the lead soldier tripped a wire attached to a hand grenade booby-trap set up by the Vietnamese. When the grenade rolled down the hill toward Specialist Four Sloat, he had a choice: he could seek cover or pick up the grenade and throw it away to save his comrades. First, he attempted to throw the grenade but then realized that detonation was imminent. In an instant, Specialist Four Sloat chose to save his fellow soldiers instead of himself. He drew the grenade to his body to shield his squad members from the blast. Specialist Four Sloat's actions define the ultimate sacrifice of laying down his own life in order to save the lives of others. Take time to remember this brave man this Memorial Day.

Michael Murphy (1976-2005)

Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan

Lieutenant Michael Murphy was from New York who, upon graduating college, accepted a commission in the U.S. Navy and became a U.S. Navy SEAL in July 2002.

While serving in the War on Terrorism, Lieutenant Murphy was sent on several missions. His mother describes him as "someone who always stuck up for the underdog."

On June 28, 2005, Lieutenant Murphy and his team of 4 men were operating in an extremely rugged enemy-controlled area. They were discovered by anti-coalition militia sympathizers who told Taliban fighters where Lieutenant Murphy and his team were positioned. Consequently, 100-160 enemy fighters attacked them. Regardless of being greatly out-numbered, Lieutenant Murphy valiantly led his men. Their bravery resulted in numerous enemy casualties. However, Lieutenant Murphy and his men were all wounded. But Lieutenant Murphy ignored his own injuries to lead and encourage his men onward.
But then the primary communicator was killed and Lieutenant Murphy stepped up to repeatedly attempt to call for back-up. Lieutenant Murphy knew that it was impossible to communicate in the extreme closed terrain. He knew what he had to do in the face of almost certain death. Lieutenant Murphy made his way to open terrain in order to transmit a call for reinforcements. This intentional, heroic act exposed him to direct enemy fire. After making contact with headquarters, Lieutenant Murphy stayed in his exposed position to give them his location and to request immediate support for his team. Next, he continued to fight against the Taliban until his was killed in action.

Lieutenant Murphy sacrificed his life for his country and for the sake of freedom. He was posthumously awarded the United States military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor. Lieutenant Murphy was the first person to be awarded the medal for actions in Afghanistan; and the first member of the U.S. Navy to receive the award since the Vietnam War.

Honoring the Honorable
We give tribute to our military, past and present:

The American Revolution 

The Indian Wars 

Shay's Rebellion 

The Whiskey Rebellion 

Quasi-War With France 

Fries's Rebellion

The Barbary Wars 

The War of 1812 

Mexican-American War 

U.S. Slave Rebellions 

"Bleeding Kansas" 

Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry 

United States Civil War 

U.S. Intervention in Hawaiian Revolution

The Spanish-American War 

U.S. Intervention in Samoan Civil War 

U.S.-Philippine War 

Boxer Rebellion - 1900

The Moro Wars 

U.S. Intervention in Panamanian Revolution 

The Banana Wars 

U.S. Occupation of Vera Cruz

Pershing's Raid Into Mexico

World War I

Allied Intervention in Russian Civil War 

World War II 

The Cold War

The Korean War 

Vietnam War

U.S. Intervention in Lebanon

Dominican Intervention 

Iranian Hostage Rescue 
1980 (April 25)

U.S. Libya Conflict 
1981, 1986

U.S. Intervention in Lebanon

U.S. Invasion of Grenada 

"Operation Earnest Will" 

U.S. Invasion of Panama 

Second Persian Gulf War "Operation Desert Storm" 

"No-Fly Zone" War 

U.S. Intervention in Somalia 

NATO Intervention in Bosnia (Operation Deliberate Force) Summary 

U.S. Occupation of Haiti 

U.S. Embassy bombings and strikes on Afghanistan and Sudan (The bin Laden War) 
August, 1998

"Desert Fox" Campaign (part of U.S./Iraq Conflict) 
December, 1998

Kosovo War 

Attack on the USS Cole 
October 12, 2000

Attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon 
September 11, 2001

Afghanistan War (Operation Enduring Freedom) 
October 7, 2001-Present

"Operation Iraqi Freedom" 
March 19, 2003-2011

Order Now
Unite the USA: Discover the ABCs of Patriotism is a new book byStacie Ruth and Carrie Beth Stoelting. It's a book that empowers patriots to make a big difference in the land we love. With 100+ ways to make a positive difference in America, Unite the USA is a must-have tool for patriots. Unite the USA will inspire and educate Americans to defend faith and freedom. (Important Note: All proceeds go to fund the mission of UnitetheUSA.org.) Order it here today!


In God We Still Trust 
an inspiring album dedicated to God and veterans
 by Stacie and Carrie Stoelting
Per request from veterans who love patriotic and inspiring music sung by Stacie and Carrie, In God We Still Trust was recorded. From the National Anthem to "God Bless America" you will be inspired and uplifted about our God-given freedoms. All proceeds go to Unite the USA. Help promote faith and freedom in America. Your support is important and appreciated. Buy or download a copy today.God bless you as you celebrate the red, white, and blue!


In God We Still Trust Video

Our country needs to turn to Jesus. Listen to "In God We Still Trust" for inspiration to keep "fighting the good fight". For hope and encouragement, listen to Stacie Ruth and Carrie Beth sing "In God We Still Trust".



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