E-News Special: Troopers Down

Major General (Ret.) Robert John Sunell

Major General (Ret.) Robert John Sunell – 48th Colonel of the Blackhorse. Major General (Ret.) Robert (Bob) John Sunell passed away on August 8, 2020. He was born on June 5, 1929 in Astoria, Oregon, the son of Ernest and Grace Sunell. He enlisted in the National Guard in 1948 upon graduation from Astoria High School and attended the University of Oregon. He married JoAnn Toika in 1951, and they had three children. In an army career spanning more than 33 years of active service and 32 moves, he held multiple positions that significantly impacted the development of the current armored force. He served in the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War, where he commanded an infantry battalion.

Bob’s peers have referred to him as the “father of the modern tank.” He was an extremely forward thinker with respect to the training needs of the Army, and he instituted many programs that greatly improved Army capabilities. He was Deputy Program Manager XM1 Tank Systems in Warren, Michigan, and he conceived and incorporated into the design of the M-1 Tank many innovative ideas that resulted in the Army fielding the premier tank in the world.

He assumed command of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Blackhorse Regiment) and the Military Community in Fulda, Germany in 1978 (during the height of the Cold War) as the 48th Colonel of the Regiment. His responsibilities included implementing and testing the new cavalry organization, as well as integrating the new ITVs into the regiment. He was promoted to Brigadier General while in command of the 11th Cavalry, the only general to have ever commanded the regiment. Colleagues have commented that this assignment at the 11th was the one he was the proudest of and that meant the most to him.

As a Major General, he was the project manager of the M1 Abrams Tank in Michigan. Here he conceived the idea for a family of armored vehicles to replace the armored force as it became obsolete. He later was the Commander of the Army Training Support Center in Fort Eustis, VA, from 1980-1983. He was responsible for developing, fielding, and distributing new and innovative training systems and devices to help the Army recover from the setbacks it had as a result of the Vietnam War.

Upon retirement, Bob with his wife JoAnn formed a consulting firm, Suonperra, which worked closely with US and allied militaries to improve international cooperation through common equipment and methods. Bob was also a contract professional for several companies involved in training simulation, robotics, artificial intelligence, and armaments for future combat vehicles.

He was an excellent leader, an innovative thinker, a visionary, a man devoted to his wife, and a person loyal to his family and friends. He received numerous honors throughout his life. He was decorated with the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit (twice), Bronze Star, Air Medal (twice), Meritorious Service award, and the Army Commendation Medal, among many others. He was a member of the Saab- sponsored Swedish Science Council, the Association of the United States Army, the Calvary and Armor Association, and the Blackhorse Association.

Bob’s nickname in the military was the “Fighting Finn.” He was proud of his Finnish heritage. Bob had Sisu, which is a Finnish term that describes an underlying trait of the Finnish people. It does not translate into any single English word, but it can be described as hardiness, courage, bravery, willpower, tenacity, resilience, and guts. In his legacy, he has instilled that in his children and grandchildren to be carried on in the Sunell family.

He loved the Army, but he also enjoyed his retirement in Queen’s Lake and later Patriots Colony, Virginia. He was an avid reader, golfer, fisherman, hunter, gardener, and sauna enthusiast. He loved the Duke Blue Devils, the Virginia Cavaliers college basketball team coached by Tony Bennett, and the Washington Nationals baseball team.

Bob was devoted to his wife, JoAnn, and he was blessed with an abundance of close friendships. He cherished the time spent with his daughters, their husbands, and his grandchildren.

He is survived by his daughters Perry Peterson (Art) and Dr. Patti Johnson (David); his grandchildren Jake Sunell Sigl (Geonni), Molly Peterson, Andrea Peterson, and Stacy Sunell; and his great-grandson Parker Eugene McGirr.

Bob was preceded in death by his wife JoAnn and his son Robert P. Sunell.

An interment will take place at Arlington National Cemetery on a date to be determined. Memorial contributions may be made to the Blackhorse Association at this address: Treasurer, The Blackhorse Association (Daniel M. Caughey, CPA), PO Box 1712, Mill Valley, CA 94942.

Full obituary and condolences may be viewed at www.nelsonwilliamsburg.comopens in a new window.

Burnis Glenn Allardyce

Burnis Glenn Allardyce. Glenn Allardyce, 74, passed away on August 11, 2020 after a long illness with Parkinson’s disease and Essential Tremor. He was born on March 29, 1946 in Beaumont, Texas to parents Samuel Burnis Allardyce and Eunice Louise (Peavey) Allardyce. He was reared in Houston and attended Stephen F. Austin High School.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Gabriele (Vogt) Allardyce; son Jeffery Allen Allardyce; daughter Gayle Diane Centanni; brother Dale Allardyce; loving granddaughters Elizabeth Centanni, Sofia Centanni, and Katherine Centanni; daughter- in-law Michelle Allardyce; son-in-law Paul Centanni; and many nieces and nephews.

Glenn retired after 25 years of service in the US Army in 1994 as a Lieutenant Colonel, USAR. He then worked in the offshore subsea oil & gas business with Vetco Offshore and later with FMC Technologies. He retired again in 2006 after holding many positions over his years in the oil business, such as Project Coordinator, Subsea Project Sales, Subsea Project Manager, and Western Hemisphere Subsea Quotations/Proposals Manager. He travelled on business frequently in the US and overseas with several assignments in the UK and Singapore.

Glenn was a 1969 University of Texas, Business Route to Mechanical Engineering graduate, where he received his USAR Commission as a 2nd Lieutenant upon graduation. He was an ROTC Distinguished Military Student and Distinguished Military Graduate. He later received a Regular Army Commission while stationed at Ft. Hood, Texas where he was serving as a Tank Battalion Maintenance Officer for the 2nd Armored Division’s 1st Bn, 66th Armor.

After attending Armor Officer’s Basic Training at Fort Knox and Airborne and Ranger Schools at Fort Benning, he deployed to West Germany where he served on the East/West German border for 3 years at “The Fulda Gap” with the 14th, and later with the 11th Armored Calvary Regiments in several assignments. These included Tank Platoon Leader, Armored Cavalry Platoon Leader, Armored Cavalry Troop Executive Officer, Regimental S-3 Air, Regimental Training Officer, and NRAS (Nuclear Release Authorization System Officer). It was during these years that he met and married his wife of many years, Gabriele (Vogt) Allardyce, in Bad Hersfeld, Federal Republic of Germany.

Afterwards, he spent 16 years assigned to the 75th USA Maneuver Area Command in Houston, during most of this time assigned to the Armored Cavalry Regiment Exercise Group 07F as the Regimental S-2 Controller and later as a Squadron Command Controller. He served his last 2 years as the G-3 for the Division Exercise Group. He finished his military career with the 417th Individual Mobilization Detachment, also in Houston.

He is the recipient of many military awards and honors, including being inducted into the Loyal Order of St. George as a Distinguished Knight (Silver Medallion) for long and honorable service to Armor and Cavalry; the Ranger Tab; and the Army Airborne Wings. He graduated from the US Army’s Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas on the Commandant’s list, and he was on the Board of Directors of The Blackhorse Association. The Blackhorse Association provides College and Trade School Scholarships to deserving children of the regiment who have parents who have served with the regiment. Glenn was a longtime member of Champions Forest Baptist Church.

Visitation will take place in Houston on Friday, August 28, 2020, at Earthman Resthaven Funeral Home from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Funeral Services will be Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 10 a.m. in the Chapel of Earthman Resthaven. Interment with Military Honors will immediately follow in the Earthman Resthaven Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested any donations be directed to the National Parkinson Foundation at www.parkinson.orgopens in a new window.

A note to our members:

Glenn devoted many hours over several years to the Blackhorse Association, and he was the reason we created so many worthwhile projects that endure to this very day. Some of his contributions to the Association are mentioned in the next-to-last section of the following document, which was used in his 2014 induction into the Honorary Rolls of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment.

Burnis Glenn Allardyce

Dickey Wayne Clements

Dickey Wayne Clements. February 16, 1951 – April 7, 2020.

Dickey Wayne Clements, 69, of Ravenden, Arkansas, passed away on April 7, 2020. Dickey was born on February 16, 1951, in Harrisburg, Arkansas, to Childers and Vera Knight Clements.

Dickey was a proud veteran of the United States Army and the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. He served in the Army Sept 18, 1969 to March 28, 1979 and was discharged as a sergeant. His military occupational specialty was 19D20 Cavalry Scout. During his service he earned the National Defense Service Medal, Expert Qualification Badge (M- 16) and the Good Conduct Medal. He was also proud of his Baptist faith.

Dickey is preceded in death by his parents, Childers and Vera Knight Clements; brothers Gary and Charles Clements; and sisters Polly Smakowski and Janet Clements. He is survived by his son, Curtis (Brooke) Clements, of Chanhassen, Minnesota; sister Barbara Rand, of Paragould; grandchildren Lia Clements and Nathaniel Clements; and many nieces and nephews.

Patrick J. Loftesnes

Patrick J. Loftesnes. Patrick J. Loftesnes, 54, of Menomonie, Wisconsin, passed away July 22, 2020 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, MN, where he was born October 31, 1965.

Patrick graduated from Regis High School and then centered his life around the military (U.S. Army) with two tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq. He also had a passion for art and was featured in many local venues. The military was a favorite art theme of his. He had a degree in Graphic Design from UW-Stout and was working on another degree in print making.

Patrick led an adventurous life traveling to a few Middle Eastern countries as well as most European countries, including a time where he ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. He was loving and compassionate, and he had a wickedly funny sense of humor.

Patrick is survived by his mother, Sandra; son, Logan Everson; a life-long Army brother, Bob McKittrick; as well as many cousins, aunts, and uncles. He was preceded in death by his father, Richard, who died in 1979.

A Celebration of Life was held on August 14, 2020 at Chippewa Valley Cremation Services – Celebration of Life Center (1717 Devney Drive, behind Charter Spectrum).

Memorials may be designated to Eau Claire County Veterans Service Commission or to Sacred Heart Catholic Church elevator fund.

This is from Patrick’s friend and fellow member of the Blackhorse Regiment, Robert McKittrick: “Pat was my best friend. We met in basic training and served in Fulda as Calvary Scouts. Pat’s first duty station after AIT at Ft Knox was the 1/11 ACR, A Trp, 2nd Platoon in Fulda where he dedicated himself fully to becoming the best soldier possible by joining the Boeselager Cup. Pat was a soldier through and through. He loved everything military. His mom did a fantastic job stating his 4 loves in life (though she told me she’d feel a bit narcissistic stating herself as one of his loves) as the Army, art, his mother, and his son.”

Ali Musa Mohammad
 

Ali Musa Mohammad. “MoMo” was called home on January 31, 2020. Ali loved people and had a smile that lit up a room.

Sean Donnellan provides us this info on Ali.

Ali Mohammad was Chris Emond’s delta while we were on the first deployment in 2004 of an 11th ACR unit since Vietnam; he then went on to complete two more deployments. When I called Chris he told me about a raid they were on that became kinetic quickly. Chris was on the ground while Mo and the gunner maneuvered to lay down fire. Mo communicated with the movement element through iCom and also relayed on company and battalion nets. Mo was so effective on the net and with positioning the truck to lay suppressing fire that the CO for 2/15 told Chris that Mo stood in for the CO better than any delta in the BN.

Several of us traveled to Lafayette, Louisiana for the services and here is a copy of the obituary:

Ali was born on June 19, 1984 to Jabir Mohammad and Yevonne Fresquez. He was a very intelligent and outspoken person. He had a love for basketball and people. Ali served in the US Army for 12 years, until he medically retired in April 2015. Ali will be remembered as a man that knew how to lift up the spirits of those around him during tough times, and he also who knew how to have fun and make people laugh during fun times.

Ali leaves to cherish his memories to his wife, Shardae Mohammad; his five children, Jeremiah, Alyaah, Isaiah, Amina and Brielle; his mother, Yevonne Fresquez; and his five brothers Asinyanbi Omotoso, Baqi Martin and his wife Erin, Hussein Martin and his wife Dalia, Dauod Armstrong, and Hassan Gund. He also leaves a host of nieces and nephews, in-laws, family, and friends.

Noah Edmondson Hales
 

Noah Edmondson Hales. June 25, 1974 to July 24, 2020. Noah might not have been “the last righteous man,” but he was indeed righteous. His spirit was commanding. His tenderness made sweeter by contrast. He was good and noble and generous and loyal. He had a wit that few were quick enough to fully appreciate. He was playful, irreverent, and bawdy. He had the curiosity, wonder, and recklessness of a child; taking things apart, losing their pieces, and trying to put them back together again. He was rarely prompt, but always worth the wait.

He was a proud combat veteran of the U.S. Army who served four combat deployments. Three of these were with Special Operations as an Engineer overseeing civil humanitarian projects in Southeast Asia, such as building roads, schools, bridges and wells, and bringing medical/veterinarian/dental care to many people who had never seen a doctor before. He also served a tour in Iraq where he sustained his disabling injuries. He revered his army buddies and the brotherhood they enjoyed.

He was an artist, a craftsman and a consummate hustler. His life was surely fodder for urban legends. He delighted in found objects – everything from an old plated silver tea set to a crumbling WW II leather holster. He always saw the potential in them. The magic of rebirth – shined up, repurposed, and gifted or traded away.

He loved his girls Avery and Maddie and his son Gabriel. He had so much he wanted to teach them – about birds and trees and becoming more alive by exploring the majesty of our world.

Noah Edmondson Hales was born on June 25, 1974 in Albany, New York. Noah died on July 24, 2020 in Owosso, Michigan. He is survived by his mother and father, Julie Hales-Smith and Larry (Gargi) Hales; his stepfather, Michael Smith; his sisters Asia (Hales) Ciaravino and Sage Hales-Ho; his son, Gabriel Hales; and his wife Rachelle Hales and two daughters, Avery and Madelyn Hales. Noah, we will miss you. We love you madly.

From Sean Donnellan: It’s with a heavy heart that I write to you about the loss of another Red Devil from our 2004 deployment. Noah Hales was in 2nd Platoon, 2nd Squad with us, and our Platoon Sergeant was John Stach (builder of the stables) and Platoon Leader was Tim Nix. Noah was amazing; his previous experience as an EMT gave our platoon two medics. Noah gave aid to Tim Nix when Tim caught the IED to the head. He trained for the Q Course during our deployment and would run 10 miles after a days-long patrol. Noah had three more deployments with Special Operations in the Philippines. Noah battled to survive for his last decade and in a way the last decade has been a gift; he easily could have gone on to Fiddlers Green 10 years ago. There was no foul play; he was found having passed away in a forest preserve most likely from a seizure. He had grand mal seizures from his meds and petit mal seizures from TBI brought on by the dozen-plus IEDs he caught in a 113.

A Note To Our Members

The passing of these just-honored fallen Troopers is sad, though we know that those of us who knew them will always cherish and honor their memories in our hearts. In looking back at their lives and honoring them and their families, we are reminded that we are looking forward as well. One commitment of our association is to establish and provide educational scholarships for the children of the Regiment.

We take this solemn moment to ask you to support our scholarship program in a small way that will have an immediate impact on scholarship opportunities for the children of our troopers. These troopers include those with the Regiment in the past or present, and those who are living or have passed away.

The following note is a reprint from the August 2020 E-News. We ask for your support of our AmazonSmile program, which we believe will give us the ability to fund two or more scholarships.

The Blackhorse Association and AmazonSmile
August Incentives Campaign

Are you a BHA member who uses Amazon.com? Our guess is you probably are, and if so, we need your support for the Association through the use of an Amazon.com charity program. To encourage your support, new registrants in this program will be recognized through a limited-time, monthly prize drawing. The first drawing will include those who register from July 28 to August 31.

All that is needed is a quick 30-second enrollment in AmazonSmile, which is an Amazon-sponsored charity program where Amazon donates part of its revenue to various charities.

How It Works

We’re asking that you designate “Blackhorse Association Inc” as your charity. If you do, the association will receive .5% of the purchase price of all items purchased by you and your fellow BHA members. This donation from Amazon is done anonymously based on total purchases of our enrollees. When we receive our quarterly payment from Amazon, we’ll put 100% of it into our scholarship fund. As a result, we hope to fund several scholarships a year through a simple act of registration on your part.

If you have family members or friends who have their own Amazon accounts, they too can designate “Blackhorse Association Inc” as their choice; everything will work the same for them as well. They’ll also be entered into the monthly prize drawings.

Please remember that enrolling in the AmazonSmile program has no effect on the purchase price of your items; your price remains the same as before – not higher or lower. The only differences are that Amazon will reward your participation by donating to the Blackhorse Association, and you’ll begin your Amazon purchases on the AmazonSmile webpage. As a result, the Association will get a steady stream of revenue throughout the year that will be used by the children of our members.

Our Incentives For You

We appreciate your help, and when you (or a family member or friend) enroll from July 28 through August 31, this is what you’ll qualify to win in a random prize drawing:

* Five new registrants will win 50%-off coupons to be used on any item in the Blackhorse Store: www.BlackhorseStore.orgopens in a new window.

* One new registrant will win a free clothing item from the Blackhorse Store. For this month’s drawing, we’re offering your choice of any polo, t-shirt, shirt, or sweatshirt. You select it, and we’ll ship it to you for free.

* All new registrants will be entered once into the 2021 Blackhorse 1901 Club drawing. The drawing will be conducted during the 2021 Blackhorse Family Reunion in San Antonio. Although we hope you’ll attend the reunion, you don’t need to be present to win. Five 1901 Club winners will choose a free prize of either a saber, set of spurs, or cavalry hat.

How To Sign Up

* If you’re using a desktop browser or viewing the Amazon website on your phone, click below, log in if needed, get started at the AmazonSmile page, and select “Blackhorse Association Inc.” Please bookmark the new start page.

smile.amazon.comopens in a new window

* If you’re using an Amazon app on your phone or device, open the app and find “Settings” in the main menu (≡). Tap on “AmazonSmile” and follow the on-screen instructions to turn on AmazonSmile on your phone or device. Search for “Blackhorse Association Inc” and select it.

* Amazon recently announced a new AmazonSmile App that will further ensure your purchases are always credited to the Smile program. So this is a possibility, but not a requirement for you to use as well. After you register, please select “Blackhorse Association Inc.”

Last step: When you receive your registration confirmation email from Amazon, please forward it to our copy editor, Randall Ponder, who is coordinating our AmazonSmile 2020 campaign; he’ll enter your name into the prize drawing. If you have any questions about signing up or anything involving our new incentives program, please contact him as well. His email is RandallPonder@outlook.comopens in a new window.

We thank you, and the college students of our troopers thank you too!