Veterans Day, November 11, 2022, is an important day set apart to remember our U.S. service members, past and present, for their dedication and sacrifices.
We invite the SPU community — faculty, staff, and students — to thank and honor the service members in your lives on this special wall with a comment and/or photo.*
*Posts will be added as soon as possible, but do not automatically appear. You will be notified when your post goes live.
Aaron Kakiel continues to serve as an officer in the U.S. Navy. He is a doctoral student in the Industrial Organizational Psychology program and will be headed to the U.S. Naval Academy to teach leadership after earning his degree.
He previously served in submarines and as a public affairs officer.
Jordan Brown, Hospital Corpsman, USN: Jordan enlisted in the Navy after graduating from high school. After boot camp and trainings at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Jordan was attached to the Naval Hospital at NAS Jacksonville, Florida. After leaving the Navy, Jordan used the GI bill to complete an undergraduate degree in general psychology. Jordan currently serves as SPU’s Veteran Navigator and is a student in the I/O Psychology graduate program at SPU.
Lance Corporal Emmett McFarland, USMC — I am so very proud of my son, who is serving in the United States Marine Corps. I am aware, in a whole new way, how each service person and veteran is the son or daughter of someone, somewhere. THANK YOU for your service!
Sgt. Aliyah Sims, USARMY 2015–2021
Fort Sam Houston, Texas
Fort Hood, Texas
Fort Campbell, Kentucky
Derek Lee served as a Navy diver from 2008–2014. He received an under graduate degree in Business Administration from SPU in 2017 and is currently in the Master’s of Education in School Counseling program at SPU.
Joann Basilio, FC2(SW), US NAVY (2013–2022). Joann is a third-year Food and Nutrition major at SPU. After graduating, she plans to continue on to dental school and will return serving in the Navy with the Dental Corps. Catch Joann studying in the library or in Weter. Outside of school, she spends time with her 1-year-old golden doodle, Pluto!
Michael Joseph Bush, LCDR, USN
Thank you to my husband, Michael Bush, who served his country in the U.S. Navy for twenty years.
Thank you to one of my favorite aunts, Christel Ross, USAF. A captain when she left the service after 10 years, she began her AF career as a Russian linguist and was stationed in Germany, working with the U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) in intelligence and communications.
A huge thanks also goes to my uncle, Harry Ross, who retired from the USAF as a Lt. Colonel after more than 20 years of service. He worked as a Vietnamese linguist in the last part of the Vietnam war and was assigned to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) working in communications.
Also a big thank you to my cousin, Staff Sergeant Mitchell Ross, USAF, who followed in his parents’ footsteps of service to this country. He trained as an Arabic linguist and was also assigned to Hurlburt Air Force Base in Florida.
Thank you to my cousin, Tim Ullmann! Chaplain Tim Ullmann was assigned to the Air Force Chaplain Corps in the Middle East during the Iraqi and Afghanistan conflicts.
My dad, Lt Col Darren Sommer, has been serving for more than 26 years and still serves as a reservist in the U.S. Army. He has been stationed with the Coast Guard in St. Petersburg, Florida. He was stationed at Fort Bragg while on active duty with the 82nd Airborne Division. His service has taken him for training at Fort Rucker, Fort Sam Houston, Fort Polk, and Fort Benning. He spent three months in New York City at the Javitz Center for COVID response. He most recently deployed to Iraq during the summer of 2022 as a Battalion Flight Surgeon.
I also have numerous family members who have served, including myself in the Coast Guard and my partner in the National Guard.
Christopher Henning, 1950–2003
U.S. Navy (submarine), 1969–71.
Howard Joseph Abbott, LT, USN
Thank you to my grandfather, Howard Abbott, a graduate of the United States Naval Academy for his long dedication to service. He was the commanding officer on the submarine, USS O-9 (SS 70), which tragically sank during a test dive off Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on June 20, 1941.
Pamela Stitzlein Davies
Pam is a graduate of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Nursing (WRAIN) program with a BSN conferred from the University of Maryland – Baltimore. She served in the U.S. Army for 11 years, stationed at Madigan, Fitzsimons, and Letterman Army Medical Centers, as well as Ft. Polk Army Hospital. She attended the U.S. Army Intensive Care Nursing course, the Head Nurse course, and was awarded the U.S. Army Commendation Medal with First Oak Leaf Cluster. She received the Expert Field Medical Badge — which was noteworthy for logging the fastest time of any female at Ft. Lewis on the 12-mile foot march.
Active during the Vietnam era, she provided health care to many soldiers recovering from fresh wounds of war. One of her most cherished memories was hearing one of her patients, a survivor of the Bataan Death March of 1942, describe the fortitude and determination that it took to survive that ordeal. After leaving active military service, Pam became a nurse practitioner and worked for 10 years at the Seattle VA, providing primary and specialty care to veterans.
Pam has been an adjunct faculty member in the School of Health Sciences graduate program since 2015.