Stories of Service

They protect and save us.

We admire them and aspire to be like them. In uniform, in our communities, in every branch of the military, our heroes give their all—and sometimes the ultimate sacrifice.

These are their stories. On the eleventh of every month, we celebrate these selfless men and women with profiles of their service. Reflecting on their accomplishments and respecting each challenge overcome. Take note. Take pride. Please join us in honoring them here.


K. Madison Carter has always believed in doing his part to protect and serve. When asked to become an active duty, U.S. Naval Chaplain, his answer was clear: “I had no choice but to say yes.” Watch his inspiring story here.

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Nearly 19 million women in the wartime workforce stepped forward during WWII to make a difference, producing munitions and supplies. Wilma Foster was just 16, and never hesitated to serve her country. Hear her riveting story here.

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Resilience, Grace and Grit

"After two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, Marjorie K. Eastman wrote a compelling book about "The Frontline Generation" who served with her. “The leadership lessons learned in combat apply at home too,” she says. “Take care of the people to your left and to your right. You are the frontlines—no matter where or how you serve.”

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Make it Matter

"How can I find the inspiration to know what to say to these young men and women?” asked Retired Army General Martin Dempsey. “Then there was this phrase echoing in my head.”

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Remember. Honor. Teach.

Remembering our fallen U.S. Veterans. Honoring those who serve. Teaching children the value of freedom. That’s the mission of Wreaths Across America, and we’re proud to share their story here.

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These walls really do talk

Patches torn from sleeves of active duty military … helmets worn by men and women who braved all to serve.  Every day, Mission BBQ is proud to display the courage, commitment and selfless sacrifice of our Veterans. Hear and see how their powerful stories affect us all.

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“Many don't know about us…”

Since the Revolutionary War, black men have served in America’s Armed Forces. Many saw combat but most were relegated to supporting roles. World War II changed all that. 97-year-old William Decatur Jr. shares his personal pride as a “Buffalo Soldier.”

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All Give Some, Some Gave All

Rescue 1 responded on that fateful day, 15 years ago. They lost nearly half their company, making it one of the most affected companies in the FDNY during the September 11 attacks.

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A Tight Knit Community

 “We’re a brotherhood and sisterhood of public service, standing on the shoulders of those who came before us. It’s not just those behind that badge. It’s the family behind them.”

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High Impact Inspiration

Whether reconstructing roads and airways in Iraq, helping to track down high-value terrorists with Ranger Units, or building an economic partnership sourcing the world’s most coveted spice, Emily Miller inspires us.

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It's All About Them

“To say that any of us can feel the pain of the mother, the father, or the widow would not be true. So we’ve made a promise to be there for them — including a 90% graduation college rate for their children.” Learn more about the remarkable commitment and accomplishments of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

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Building a Better Way Back.

The trauma of explosions. Firefights. IEDs. Marine 2nd Lieutenant Roy Fish experienced it all while providing convoy security in Afghanistan. Yet he knows firsthand how our veterans are leaving one battle and coming home to another. Hear how he’s helping to combat PTSD in our own communities.

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Utah Beach, France: Our Hero Was There.

70 years later, Retired Army Sgt. Claude Phelps received the Bronze Star for meritorious achievement in active ground combat against the enemy. Serving under General George Patton, Phelps admits he’s proud of what was done and “grateful to the almighty that I did get back.” We gratefully share his story here.

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No Ordinary Life

Herman Zeitchik was there for the bravest deeds and most climactic moments that made history in World War II. He stormed the beaches on D-Day and fought during the Battle of the Bulge. Helped to liberate Paris and was one of the first to arrive at Dachau. We’re honored to share his story.

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Multi-Talented. Multiply Respected.

Light armored vehicle crewman. Able to assemble an M240Bushmaster. At MISSION BBQ and wherever the Marines deploy her in June, we admire Ashleigh McKee's service.

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Over 7 Decades of Doing for Others

“I’m so glad we had a chance to meet.” So said President Barack Obama to Vivian "Millie" Bailey, age 97. And so are we, after her lifetime of service in the U.S. Army as well as volunteering for veterans and local schools. Originally commissioned as an officer in 1942 and still helping others to this day, her timeless story inspires and humbles us. Watch it here now.

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Army Vs. Navy. Brothers Forever.

“I want an Officer for a secret and dangerous mission. I want a West Point football player.”

So said General George C. Marshall during World War II and truer respect was never said. Just as “Strength and Honor: The Brotherhood" speaks truth about the Naval Academy’s preparation for battle on all fields—here at home during the traditional Army-Navy Game and around the world defending freedom.

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A Guy Who Gave His All

Navy Lt. Seal Brendan Looney always gave all, including his life for our country while bravely serving in Afghanistan. As a "great leader and teammate," he believed in service before self—on the Naval Academy lacrosse field and on the battlefield, motivating others always to be their best. We're proud to share his Story of Service and commemorate him at our Annapolis, MD MISSION BBQ.

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A Legacy Of Service

Retired Marine and Purple Heart recipient Chip Shields, one of just a few survivors from the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing, believes he was spared "to do something good." As a Tampa firefighter and EMT still braving danger and saving lives, he represents those lost in the line of duty overseas and on 9-11. As well as the best of the best serving country and community today.

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9-11, We Will Never Forget

They were mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, innocents and the bravest Americans we know. Among their ranks were heroic Firefighters, Police and First Responders who rushed in to save others and selflessly gave their own lives. Those lost on 9-11 at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, PA are still with us today, remembered here reverently.

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A Courageous Tale of 2 American Heroes

When an IED flipped a combat vehicle on top of him, Afghanistan War Veteran Justin Lansford lost a leg, but not his will to survive. With the help of a highly trained partner always at his side, “I’ve returned to a normal independent life,” he beams. Watch this uplifting story of the wounded warrior and his personal hero, Gabe.

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"Black Hawk Down"

Millions saw the movie. Only a few have experienced its courageous mission first hand. Ranger Matt Eversmann was there on October 3, 1993 during one of the bravest missions in US military history. Here, he shares the story of those heroic warriors who risked or gave all defending their own men. Matt’s photo tribute to his fellow soldiers can be seen at the Canton location of MISSION BBQ. Relive their valor here.
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Iraq Veteran. Policeman. Pro boxer. Hero.

Jerry Pellegrini's story will not be forgotten for his service and ultimate sacrifice. As a Corporal in the PA National Guard, legacy policeman bearing the same badge number as his Dad, and aspiring boxer who realized his dream to go pro, here is his inspiring story, shared by his sister Dana Shearon from our York, PA Mission BBQ.  

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Honored Navy Lieutenant, Olympic Gold Medalist, Our Hero

From the embattled Middle East to the top of an Olympic podium, Brad Snyder's brave outlook inspires us all. As a wounded warrior, losing his sight while rescuing others, he faced a life of darkness but soldiered on to shed light on the indomitable spirit of America. His unselfish contribution to the community can be seen on our walls and in this heroic account. Thanks For Your Service, Lieutenant Snyder.

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Aiming Higher

Watch the first in the STORIES OF SERVICE series honoring LT Valerie Cappelaere Delaney—a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, Navy Pilot, and #6 on the U.S. Naval Academy's Women's Lacrosse team. Val's jersey is proudly displayed in our Annapolis restaurant.