Foundation pays off mortgage for the families of five fallen officers, including Virginia State Police Trooper

Foundation pays off mortgage for the families of five fallen
officers, including Virginia State Police Trooper 1

VIRGINIA- According to reports, to honor the memory of the service members and civilians who were killed during the December 11, 1941 attacked on Pearl Harbor, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation paid off the mortgages on the homes of five fallen first responders who also served their country, including Virginia State Police Trooper Chad Dermyer. 

Dermyer was shot and killed in the line of duty in 2016 while speaking to a suspicious person inside a Richmond Greyhound bus terminal. Dermyer was also a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, serving his country for four years. Chad’s wife, Michelle Dermyer, said in a statement:

“It is hard to find the words to describe how blessed our family feels to have our mortgage paid off.

What an amazing way for the Siller family to honor Stephen and continue his legacy, by blessing so many first responders and Gold Star families. We will be forever grateful for this life-changing gift.”

Dermyer was fatally shot inside Richmond’s Greyhound bus terminal during an encounter with 34-year-old James Brown II of Aurora, Illinois, who pulled out a handgun and opened fired on Dermyer moments after the trooper approached him on March 31, 2016. 

Dermyer left behind his wife, Michelle and two children. Before his career in law enforcement, Dermyer served four years with the U.S. Marine Corps as a machine gunner. 

The other first responders honored were U.S. Department of Justice Marshals Service Senior Inspector Jared Keyworth, Vice Commander Montana Search and Rescue Tyler Weir, Police Corporal James Chapman and Sergeant Joseph Deccio.

Reportedly, the five mortgage pay-offs were part of the Tunnel to Towers’ Season of Hope, which delivers mortgage-free homes or mortgage payments to families of fallen first responders, Gold Star families, and catastrophically injured veterans during the holiday season.

Frank Siller, the chairman and CEO of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, said in a statement:

“These selfless heroes answered the call to serve their country and their community. I call them superheroes, brave men and women who answered the call to keep us safe at home and abroad. I am honored to support the families who have sacrificed so much for the freedoms and safety we all enjoy.”

So far in 2021, the foundation has delivered 135 mortgage-free homes to fallen and catastrophically injured service members and first responders across the United States. The foundation said it will deliver 65 mortgage payoffs or mortgage-free homes between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. 

Foundation spokesman Larry Olson, said in a statement:

“We wanted to honor the sacrifices of veterans as part of our Season of Hope. We’re giving away at least a home a day. So, what we wanted to do for the 8th anniversary was to select fallen first responders who had prior military service and honor them in a way on this day.”

Olson added:

“We have so many first responders that have prior military service, that it is something that is often sort of lost or forgotten. That not only have these officers chosen to serve their community, but they chose to serve their country as well. And we wanted to call attention to that.”

Dermyer’s home is the fourth belonging to a Richmond-area first responder killed in the line of duty to be paid off by Tunnel to Towers in just over three years. 

In July, the foundation paid off the mortgage on the Hanover County home where state trooper Nathan-Michale Smith lived with his family before he was killed on duty while responding to a crash in Prince George County in 2015.

In December 2020, the foundation paid off the mortgage on the Powhatan County home where slain state police Special Agent Michael Walter once lived with his wife and children.

Walter was shot on May 26, 2017 while patrolling in the Mosby Court public housing neighborhood with Richmond Officer Chris Duane.

In November 2018, the foundation satisfied the mortgage on the Mechanicsville family home of Hanover Fire Lt. Brad Clark who was fatally struck by a semi tractor-trailer along Interstate 295 on October 18, 2018 while responding to a crash during Tropical Storm Michale. Clark left behind a wife and four daughters. 

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Honor them: Widow of fallen Marine Rylee McCollum gives birth to baby girl, Levi Rylee Rose McCollum

September 16th, 2021

OCEANSIDE, CA- On Monday, September 13th, the widow of U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Rylee McCollum, who was one of 13 service members killed in a terrorist attack in Kabul, Afghanistan in August, gave birth to a baby girl at Camp Pendleton.

According to a Facebook post by the baby’s grandmother, Jill Miller Crayton, Levi Rylee Rose McCollum was born weighing in at 8 pounds, 10 ounces. Crayton is the mother of Jiennah Crayton, who is the widow of McCollum. 

Cheyenne McCollum, Rylee’s sister said:

“Levi is the most loved baby in the country right now.”

Law Enforcement Today previously reported on the 20-year-old Marine who was killed in the suicide bombing at the Hamid Karzai International Airport, where U.S. evacuation efforts were underway. 

According to reports, it was McCollum’s first deployment to Afghanistan. When the bomb went off, he was “reportedly manning a checkpoint at the airport.” His older sister, Roice McCollum, said her brother always wanted to be a Marine. She said:

“He wanted to be a Marine his whole life and carried around his rifle in his diapers and cowboy boots. He was determined to be in infantry … Rylee wanted to be a history teacher and a wrestling coach when he finished serving his country.”

She added:

“He’s a tough, kind, loving kid who made an impact on everyone he met. His joke and wit brought so much joy.”

Rylee’s father, Jim McCollum, told Brian Kilmeade of the Fox News Channel that he declined to meet with President Joe Biden at the dignified transfer ceremony for the remains of the fallen service members. A transcript of that conversation is below:

BRIAN KILMEADE: I know you met with the [President Biden]. What was that like?

JIM MCCOLLUM: I actually declined to meet with the president. We went to a different room. When he came, we went to a separate room. I had no desire to meet with the president.


MCCOLLUM: The way he has handled this, everything he’s done, every step along the way, has been absolutely backwards and I don’t understand the process of how.

How they came to the decisions that they made. A high school kid could make better decisions than they’ve made in this. They have fumbled the ball every step of the way.

A week prior to the terrorist attacks in Kabul, Roice shared a tribute to her brother as tensions worsened in Afghanistan. She wrote:

“Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don’t have that problem. Stay safe Rylee. We love you and you have a little peanut to come home to.”

Regi Stone, whose son Eli was friends with Rylee and enlisted in the Marines around the same time, said McCollum was smart, strong, courageous and a protector. He said:

“…He was just a lot of fund to be around. He was just a good, fun kid to have in the house.”

The day after the terrorist attack, Jiennah mourned her late husband in an emotional Facebook post. She wrote:

“I lost my best friend and nothing will ever make that hurt less. he would’ve been the best dad. i wish he could see how much of an impact he made on this world. i’m so proud to call him my husband, but i just wanted to say thank you for all the love and support i’ve received today. times like this it’s all i can ask for. much love to the other families affected by this. they are all heroes forever.”

A GoFundMe page for McCollum’s baby girl quickly raised over $500,o00 and has raised nearly $700,000 as of this writing. 

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Say his name: U.S. Marine Taylor Hoover murdered by terrorists in Kabul. He was only 11 on 9/11/2001.

September 2nd, 2021

SANDY, UT- Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover Jr. was among the 13 U.S. service members killed by terrorist attacks outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on Thursday, August 26th.

According to reports, the 31-year-old from Utah was in the Marines for 11 years. Hoover graduated in 2008 from Hillcrest High School in Midvale, Utah.

In remembering his late son, Darin Hoover said:

“He was one of the best people you could ever know and I’m proud of him for doing an incredibly tough job with honor.”

Members of the neighborhood place several American flags outside of the Hoover family home in honor of their son. The father posted a picture of his son on Facebook with the caption reading:

“Soooooo glad I got to see him before he let. I love you, son!!! You’re my hero!! Please check in on us once in a while. I’ll try to make you proud!”

His father said that Hoover loved his country and loved people, adding that he was a born leader. Darin said:

“He led his men and they followed him, but I know in my heart of hearts he was out front. They (his fellow Marines) would follow him through the gates of hell if that’s what it took.”

Hoover joined the Marines as a 19-year-old young man, based out of Camp Pendleton in California. He was the oldest of three children, with two younger sisters.

His dad said he did not want his son’s life tied up in the politics of the evacuation of Afghanistan. Instead, he said he wants everyone to “know what a great young man he was.”

The 9/11 terrorist attack made an impact so large on Hoover that it would determine the course of the rest of his life. Darin added:

“He decided, ‘That’s what I want to do.’ He was the best kid in the world. Couldn’t ask for any better.”

His father, a former officer with the West Valley City Police Department and current deputy in the Daggett County Sheriff’s Office, taught public service through action. He said:

“He took it more than two or three steps above me.”

Darin added:

“He did what he loved, was leading his men and what with them to the end. He loved the United States and proved it by his service. We are so heartbroken and feel for the families of his fallen brothers as well. Our condolences go out to them in this trying time.”

Members of his family have also posted messages about the Marine. Jeremy Soto, his uncle posted on Facebook:

“My handsome nephew, Staff Sergeant Taylor Hoover. Taylor spend his entire adult life as a Marine, serving. Doing the hard things that most of us can’t do. He is a hero. We are wounded. We are bruised. We are angry. We are crushed … but we remain faithful.”

Brittany Jones, Hoover’s aunt, also wrote on Facebook:

“The world has lost a true light. Our hearts are broken, Shock, disbelief, horror, sadness, sorry anger and grief … thank you sweet boy for the ultimate sacrifice. For giving your life for us all.”

Elected officials from Utah shared their condolences. Utah Governor Spencer Cox (R) tweeted:

“We are devastated to hear of the passing of Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover, who served valiantly as a Marine and died serving his fellow countrymen as well as America’s allies in Afghanistan. We honor his tremendous bravery and commitment to his country, even as we condemn the senseless violence that resulted in his death.”

Cox ordered flags to be lowered to honor Taylor Hoover. Rep. Blake Moore (R-UT) tweeted:

“We’ll be forever grateful for his sacrifice & legacy. He spent his last moments serving our state & nation, & we’ll never forget his unwavering devotion.”

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Congressman calls for Biden’s impeachment for dereliction of duty: ‘reckless disregard for both American citizens and allies’

August 30th, 2021

GREENVILLE, SC – A Congressional Representative from South Carolina has thrown his support behind Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-GA) articles of impeachment against President Joe Biden.

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) is co-sponsoring articles of impeachment against the president due to Biden’s “dereliction of duty.”

A press release from Duncan’s office, dated Thursday, August 26, 2021, read:

“Through withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan in a manner contrary to sound military advice, the President recklessly left behind thousands of American civilians and Afghan allies, along with taxpayer-financed weapons and military equipment, endangering the lives of the American people and the security of the United States.”

The Congressman added in a statement:

“I am heartsick at the President’s failure to fulfill his duty that has resulted in American deaths and thousands of Americans and Afghan allies being abandoned at the risk of being tortured, captured, held hostage, or killed at the hands of the Taliban or other terrorist forces.”

He continued:

“Our Commander-in-Chief showed reckless disregard for both American citizens and allies in neglecting to secure their safe evacuation from Afghanistan once he withdrew our troops. 

“The President promised to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, but it is evident the President has failed to fulfill this charge.”

Duncan also indicated that impeachment is a serious step, but one that is necessary due to Biden’s threat to national security.  He stated:

“Impeachment is a very serious matter, and one I do not take lightly. 

“It saddens me that it has come to this, but the President’s actions have proved he is a threat to our national security and the Constitution. 

“President Biden has been derelict in his duties and neglected the responsibility the office of the president requires.” 

 Duncan concluded his statement by referring to “gross negligence” on the part of Biden, stating:

 “It is time to take action and remove the sitting President from office due to his gross negligence that undermined our national security, led to the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, and resulted in a grave humanitarian crisis.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene thanked Duncan for his co-sponsorship of her articles of impeachment, and added an urgent note to the proceedings, tweeting:

“It’s time for Congress to hold this administration accountable.

“Joe Biden must be impeached. Immediately.”

Last week, on Friday, August 20, Greene introduced three impeachment resolutions against Biden.  

Her Article of Impeachment on Biden’s “dereliction of duty” stated:

“In his conduct as President of the United States, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of the President of the United States, and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, defend, the Constitution of the United States—Joseph Robinette Biden showed dereliction of duty by leaving behind thousands of American civilians and Afghan allies, along with numerous taxpayer-financed weapons and military equipment, endangering the lives of the American people and the security of the United States.”

The Article also took the Biden administration to task for the “fail[ure] to properly prepare for the extraction of civilian and military assets from the nation of Afghanistan. “

Greene’s other two Articles of Impeachment referenced the border crisis, and “Usurping Congressional Authority and Ignoring Judicial Authority of the Supreme Court.”

In the case of the former, Greene took aim at the “increase in illegal aliens and illegal narcotics” in the United States due to Biden’s policies.

In the case of the latter, Greene asserted that, in the instance of Biden’s actions to extend the eviction moratorium:

 “President Biden has demonstrated his manifest disrespect for Congress, the American people, and the rule of law by usurping congressional prerogatives explicitly enumerated in the Constitution and reaffirmed by the Supreme Court.”

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“Mr. Biden, you did this! You planned this!” British citizens blocked from evacuation by Taliban in Afghanistan

Originally published August 26, 2021

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – Americans are not the only ones trapped inside Afghanistan by President Biden’s failed withdrawal. British citizens and passport holders are being blocked from escape by Taliban fighters.

ITV News Senior International Correspondent John Irvine published a shocking story detailing the fear and panic as thousands of Brits and Afghans holding British passports are turned away from the temporary British Embassy by Taliban rifles being fired into the air.

No reason has been offered by the Taliban as to why the Brits have been kept away from the Embassy, and one man with a British passport begged Prime Minister Boris Johnson for help:

“Just get us out of here.

“I’m a British citizen, my kids are British and they’re stuck here. They (the Taliban) closed the door on us and they’re shooting back at us”.

The man questioned why the British army could not help them:

“Our kids are struggling and we’re all in a big mess here. The British Army is right behind these fences, they’ve closed the gate and they’re not letting (anyone) in.”

Reports coming out of Afghanistan say that some evacuation flights leaving the country have been forced to depart only partially full because of those unable to make it to the airport.

In a heartbreaking example of the chaos enveloping the country, one man was caring for two young children left behind when their parents made it inside the airport. The man placed the blame for the disastrous situation squarely on President Joe Biden:

“Mr. Biden, you did this. You planned this. You made the deal with the Taliban.

“This is the consequences of it. This is the repercussions of it. Mr. Biden, it’s your ill-calculation. You were against Trump, now we’re against you.”

He added:

“Go to Hell, Biden.”

The man may have been referring to the recent revelation that the Trump administration provided an evacuation plan to President Biden when he took office, but that he discarded it.

In a statement earlier this month, Donald Trump criticized Biden’s withdrawal:

“Can anyone even imagine taking out our military before evacuating civilians and others who have been good to our country and who should be allowed to seek refuge? In addition, these people left topflight and highly sophisticated equipment.

“Who can believe such incompetence? Under my Administration, all civilians and equipment would have been removed.”

Another shocking example of the inability of nations to evacuate their people from Afghanistan after the Taliban surged into power following the withdrawal of U.S. forces came from Paralympian Zakia Khudadadi.

Khudadadi was scheduled to become the first female athlete to represent Afghanistan at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The rise of the Taliban has destroyed those hopes and left her scrambling outside Kabul Airport stranded with thousands more.

The British ambassador to Afghanistan claimed the evacuation of Kabul is “gathering pace,” with 5,725 people evacuated since August 13. But the British military on Sunday reported that seven Afghan civilians were killed outside the airport.

Prime Minister Johnson called a meeting of the leaders of the G7 on Tuesday to discuss the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan:

“It is vital that the international community works together to ensure safe evacuations, prevent a humanitarian crisis, and support the Afghan people to secure the gains of the last 20 years.”

President Biden told the G7 leaders at the meeting that he would keep the August 31 deadline for having full U.S. forces withdrawn from the country:

“We are currently on pace to finish by August the 31. In addition, I’ve asked the Pentagon and the State Department for contingency plans to adjust the timetable should that become necessary.”

The deadline leaves the fate of thousands trapped inside the country in question. The President justified sticking to the deadline by suggesting terrorists might exploit any delay at the airport:

“Every day we’re on the ground is another day we know that ISIS-K is seeking to target the airport and attack both U.S. and allied forces and innocent civilians.”


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