Award winners for 2017 / Pam Gaspers (mother)Read >>
Award winners for 2017 / Pam Gaspers (mother)
Dear Mrs. Smith and everyone who ready this:
Thank you for your kind words and for giving us an insight into your son's life. He does sound like Kevin and just like your family; we are not a military family either. It has been several generations since either side has had someone in the military; but Kevin never wavered from wanting to join the Army even as a little boy. So, yes it is scary but you just have to put your faith in God and let Him see it through. I know in your heart you are very proud of Keegan! John and I feel it is important to personally give out Kevin's award at ROTC just so we can meet with the Cadets and talk to them even if it is just a short time; it is something that we want to do and we also know that Kevin would want us to! Thank you for raising a very wonderful young man....
Also, I would like to take this time to mention the students who received Kevin's scholarship this year:
Cadet Keegan Smith at UNL-ROTC
Mary O'Keeffe - Hastings St. Cecilia High
Grady Kershner - Adams Central High
Kelsey Ripperger - Hastings High
These young people have shown the same morals, ethics, and principles that Kevin lived for.
God Bless each of them!
John and Pam Gaspers Close
Thank you / Kelly Smith
Hello, Gaspers Family. I am Keegan Smith's mom, Kelly. (I graduated from UNL in 1991 with an Elementary and Early Childhood degree and was born and raised in Madison, NE!) Keegan was the 2017 recipient of Kevin's UNL ROTC memorial award yesterday. First of all, we thank Kevin for his service and ultimate sacrifice and want to thank you and your family for your sacrifice as well. Saying thank you just doesn't seem like enough! When Keegan told me that he received this award, he was very humbled and honored. I have spent a good part of the morning today reading articles on-line about Kevin and have been amazed in reading about the fine man Kevin was. In fact, I was so surprised by all the similarities between him and Keegan that I felt like maybe if I shared them with you, it would somehow let you know that Kevin won't be forgotten! In fact, Keegan wouldn't be very happy with me for telling you all of this, because like Kevin, Keegan doesn't like attention on himself and never wants to take credit for things, but I'm going to share anyway! :) He, too, played football in high school along with basketball and golf. I read that Kevin was a smaller linebacker and worked hard in the weight room to get bigger! Keegan was a 5 ft. 6 in. 145 lb. running back his junior year and broke both his radius and ulna during playoffs which required surgery with plates and screws in both bones. His first comment in the recovery room was something about when he plays next year! Well, the Mama Bear in me came out and I told him he wasn't going to play again! The next day he asked if I was serious and I told him I would consider it IF he gained at least 20 lbs. Well, he hit the weight room as soon as golf season ended and drank all kinds of protein smoothies and weighed in at 170 lbs. his senior year! :) Keegan was also an honor student like Kevin. Keegan is the kind of guy that befriends everyone (when kids sat alone at lunch, Keegan was the one to sit next to them and ask about their day) and it sounds like Kevin was the same way! Keegan also has that "never give up--work harder" attitude that Kevin exemplified! Keegan is a business administration major. I see that Kevin was an accounting major, which is what my husband, Brett, graduated with at UNL. Brett was born and raised in Battle Creek, NE. Like Kevin, Keegan attended a Christian high school (St. Croix Lutheran in St. Paul, MN) and is very strong in his faith. He feels that God has called him to serve his county and that he can help others as a leader in the Army. We are not a military family so this is new (and scary) to us, but I pray and trust that Keegan is following God's plan and I want my son to be happy in doing what he loves, which it sounds like Kevin loved being in the Army! I just wanted to reach out to you to tell you a little more about the young man you honored yesterday and let you know that Keegan will always remember Kevin and carry on his legacy! Your family will be in my prayers! Go Big Red! :)
Kelly Smith Close
ROTC Awards / Pam Gaspers (Mother)
John and I had the pleasure of presenting Kevin's award at UNL ROTC awards yesterday. The Cadet was Keegan Smith, a very nice young man. He is from Minnesota but we found out that his parents are from NE and lived around Madison. Go Big Red! Close
Awards for 2016 / Pam Gaspers (Mother)
We were in Lincoln, NE at the UNL ROTC Award Ceremony and presented Kevin's award to Cadet Joseph Gilliam! What a fine young man and it was very nice to meet him and talk to him.
The 1LT., Kevin Gaspers Memorial Scholarship awards for the year 2016 went to the following students:
Megan O'Grady from Hastings St. Cecilia High School
Eliza Donley from Adams Central High School
Michael Collicott from Hastings High School
These students have shown respect and a strong foundation of faith as was exemplified by Kevin! Close
Awards/ Pam Gaspers (Mother)
Today has been very busy. both only is it the 8th year of Kevin's death but we have all the scholarship names and the ROTC award winner. Here they are:
From St., Cecilia High School. Josie Prevette
From Hastings High School Laura McCarthy
From Adams Central High School. Jay Kort
And from UNL ROTC it is Cadet Sheldon Brummell
We are very happy for these fine young men and women!
thank you all for remembering us and Kevin! Close
ROTC awards / Pam Gaspers (Mother)
We were in Lincoln today to present to Cadet Ted Kocher 1st., LT., Kevin Gaspers' award for ROTC. What a fine young man and he has a right future ahead of him with the Army and hopefully the Corp., of Engineers. Close
2014 Scholarship winners / Pam Gaspers (Mother)
This years 1st., Lt., Kevin Gaspers Scholarship Awards are:
Jon Blazer from St. Cecilia High School
Jack Barry from Adams Central High School
Sydney Landell from Hastings High School
They were selected from their teachers as who best represents Kevin's values and his character in life. We wish them luck with their future goals! Close
2013 Scholarship Winners / Pam Gaspers (Mother)
The 2013 award winners for Kevin's Memorial Scholarship are as follows:
Emma Keele from Hastings High School
Clare Clark from St. Cecilia High School
Jordan Nash from Adams Central High School
We wish them the best as they continue on with their studies in college. Close
~ REMEMBERING KEVIN & HIS MOM TODAY ~ / Garnet/Sister To Sgt David Dickinson Read >>
~ REMEMBERING KEVIN & HIS MOM TODAY ~ / Garnet/Sister To Sgt David Dickinson
ROTC Award 2012 / Pam Gaspers (Mother)
John and I presented the 1st., Lieutenant Kevin J. Gaspers Memorial Award at the ROTC Awards Program yesterday to Cadet Jarod M. Emahizer. He seems to be a fine young man who is very deserving of this award. We also were presented with a quilt from Home Of The Brave Project and it is just beautiful! Thanks to all for keeping Kevin and his family in their thoughts and prayers
God Bless Close
2012Kevin Gaspers Memorial Scholarship Awards / Pam Gaspers (Mother)Read >>
2012Kevin Gaspers Memorial Scholarship Awards / Pam Gaspers (Mother)
This year the recipients of 1st., Lt., Kevin Gaspers Memorial Scholarship are:
Tim Skoch from St., Cecilia High School
Nicole Rehbein from Adams Central High school
Fran Ferrone from Hastings High School
God Bless Close
Love Always / Mom
Your memories will be with us forever. We will remember your smile, laughter, kindness,caring heart, and thank you for being our son, brother, nephew, grandson, friend, soldier, and most of all a Christian! May you always remember us here on Earth. Love your family Close
God Bless you and your Family (from Canada) / Dan Gallant (None)Read >>
God Bless you and your Family (from Canada) / Dan Gallant (None)
You do not know me I live far away,but I want to take this oppertunity to say "God Bless You Kevin" and "God Bless your family".Thank you for serving and protecting your nation and mine also(Canada).It is the courage and determination of people like you that make fredom ring for people like me.I will be forever greatful.
~ A Card From Heaven ~ / Garnet/Sister Of Sgt. David Dickinson Read >>
~ A Card From Heaven ~ / Garnet/Sister Of Sgt. David Dickinson
Dear Mr. Hallmark, (Revised) I am writing to you from heaven, and though it must appear, A rather strange idea...I see everything from here. I just popped in to visit your stores to find a card, A card of love for my family, as Christmas Day for them is hard, There must be some mistake I thought, every card you can imagine, Except I could not find a card, from a loved one that lives in heaven, They are still my family, no matter where I reside, I had to leave, they understood, but oh the tears they cried, I thought that if I wrote to you, that you would come to know, That though I live in heaven now, I still love them so, They talk to me, and dream of me, we still share laughter too, Memories are our way of speaking now, would you see what you can do? My family carries me in their heart, their tears they hide from sight, They plant flowers in my garden, and say a prayer for me each night, They write to other grieving families, trying to ease there pain as well, So you see Mr. Hallmark, though I no longer live on earth, I must find a way, to remind them of their wondrous worth, They need to be remembered too, Just as the other families on earth will do. Thank you Mr. Hallmark, I know you will do your best, To find a way to tell them, how much they mean to me, Until I can do it for myself, when they join me in eternity.
The following was written by Michael Hannon, president of the St. Cecilia Student Council and delivered at the School Mass on Veteran's Day:
On behalf of the students of Hastings Catholic Schools, I would like to take this time to recognize a true Blue Hawk. Many of us present today never had the pelasure of knowing 1st., Lt., Kevin Gaspers that well, but we all hae true admiration for what he stood for and for the sacrifices that he made. No one in this Church can possibly know the emotions and hartbreak his family has endured. As busy students, we do not always appear to recognize what made this Country great; but we kow that we must neer foget that men like Kevin are what studetns of St. Cecilia should strive to be. He made a tremendous sacrifice for his Country and we must, as a school, always remember that he walked these hallways and climbed the same stairs we climb every day. He exemplified what this school strives to be and showed all of us what sacrifice really is and for that we are forever grateful. Kevin fought and died to protect the liberties of the people of this Nation and one of those is the right to freely practice our Faith. This right is why we are able to even have the Hastings Catholic Schools which makes him a true ambassador for what this school represents. On behalf of the students and staff both past and present I say thank you to Kevin and this family. This school will always be here to remember the man that simply showed all of us how to use what we learn here at school and apply it in our lives. Please take time today to remember all those who have died to protect our freedom and say a simple thank you to these people.
Pen Pals / Anna Stenka (no relation )
I moved to Alma Nebraska in 3rd grade - 5 years ago. I remember many things one of them is Kevin. Our teacher Mrs. Godeken said we would have a new pen pal. That he was a soldier and one of the former substitute that lived across the street's grandson. He wrote us and I remember her reading them out loud and thinking of my dad whose unit had been called up but he could not go because of his back. After letters back and forth he got to come home for a short period of time. I remember him finally coming into our class and talking. Many of us girls that he was cute. One thing I really remember was asking what the letters on his boot meant. He told us they were his blood type in case he ever got wounded. If I can remember right I think his blood type was A or AB? I'm not sure I just remember the A. Well meeting him was so much fun and it really changed my perspective of things - even as an 8 year old girl. We were all sad when he had to leave we didn't know that would be the first and last time we would see him. A few weeks or months later(I don't remember quite how long) we all walked into the classroom to see our teacher in tears. She asked us to all sit down and start to get ready for class so I took my usual seat near the back. I knew something was wrong. After what seemed like forever she told us what had happened. When driving early this morning to the school across the Harlan County Dam she was listening to the radio. On the radio was a report - a report of military deceased. On it was 1st Lt. Kevin Gaspers. Apparently she had to pull over for a short period of time and take it all in. She handed out pieces of paper later after we had time to comprehend what was going on. Mrs. Godeken said to draw a picture describing how we felt. So I drew green grass with a blue sky and a grave. The United States flag waved in the background and right in front of it was a bald eagle flying high above the clouds. I showed it to Mrs. Godeken and just cried and cried. I didn't know what else to do. I didn't know him very well but maybe that was it. I never go to know him. Or maybe it was not understanding why people would do that. Why war takes place. I was just so mad at everyone for being so stupid and selfish for not thinking "Hey that bomb can kill someones husband dad mom wife cousin uncle nephew aunt daughter or friend. I better not put that there." I still don't understand why can't we all just get along? Meibe we never will. I know that Kevin is in a better place now though and I am happy that we can all know he is safe.
Today we leave for Ft. Bragg/Fayetteville for the baptism of Kevin Michael Adelaine! He is the son of Jess and Jason Adelaine and they named him after our Kevin. Since Kevin can't be there physically to be the Godfather; John (Kevin's father) is going to be the Godfather :) I know that along side of John- Kevin will stand tall and be honored to be there spiritually. We will also go to Ft. Bragg and look over the memorial park and museum dedicated to the 82nd Airborne.
This is a little something written today in the Omaha World Herald by James Martin Davis - how true
.....The reality is that while some soldiers die as heroes most do not die gloriously. they die young and they die tired. They die alone in the dirt the dust and the mud. They die with their limbs blown off or from multriple shrapnel wounds from booby traps or roadside bombs......while few of them are heroes all of them are SAINTS. They gave all of their tomorrows so we could have today.....
Thank you James Martin Davis for your words of truism. While we picnic with family and friends let us all remember the Fallen and take time to teach our young ones who are the true HEROS of this Country.
This year the 2011 Memorial Scholarship award recipients are:
Trae Wilhelms from St. Cecilia High School
Janessa Bohlen from Adams Center High School
Alexandra Rodriguez from Hastings High School
They are young adults who are very deserving of this award in your memory. As this is the 4th year of your death we miss you and hold onto the thought that one day we will be reunited with you in Heaven. Until then look after us and look after the men and women in service to our Country!