907 Updates August 31, 2021

Here at the Armed Services YMCA of Alaska, we have been quiet since the morning of Thursday, August 26. We have been holding the families of our fallen 13 in our hearts, minds and prayers.

Even during the hardest of days, we will continue to take care of our Alaskan service members, honoring our Gold Star Families and showing up each day ready to do the next right thing.

I pledge to you in this moment that we will listen more, take care of those service members and their families to the best of our ability, and to show love without judgement.

The situation in Afghanistan is complex and our team here believes in and supports the military leadership in our country. It is true that despite the trauma and tragedy, the heartbreak and horror, our military leaders and those who have been called to serve our country remain ready to defend our freedom.

Over the next 13 days, I invite you to join our staff at 11:00 am AKST for one minute of silence to remember those who died in service to their country, hold close in your hearts their families and offer gratitude for the 1% that are brave enough to don a uniform, lace up boots, ready to serve.

In memory of:
Staff Sgt. Darin Taylor Hoover, USMC, age 31
Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo, USMC, age 25
CPL Hunter Lopez, USMC age 22
CPL Daegan Page, USMC, age 23
CPL Humberto Sanchez, USMC, age 22
Lance CPL David Espinoza, USMC, age 20
Lance CPL Jared Schmitz, USMC, age 20
Lance CPL Rylee McCollum, USMC, age 20
Lance CPL Dylan Merola, USMC, age 20
Lance CPL Kareem Nikoui, USMC, age 20
Hospitalman Maxton Soviak, age 22
Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss, Army, age 23
Sgt. Nicole Gee, USMC, 23

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

With much love and admiration,
Sarah Riffer
Executive Director
Armed Services YMCA of Alaska
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