Vance Nolan Building - The GENE VANCE JR FOUNDATION
344 MIBN DEDICATES BUILDING
BY STAFF SGT. CARISSA LEE
AIRMAN 1ST CLASS LUIS LOZA G UTIERREZ
There is something new in the main
entrance of the 344th Military Intelligence
Battalion Headquarters Building on West
Vance Street: the names of two great American
Soldiers who laid down their lives for their
comrades while serving their country.
During a dedication ceremony Nov. 9, the
building was officially dedicated as the VanceNolan Building in honor of Army Staff Sgt.
Gene A. Vance and Army Sgt. Joseph M. Nolan,
two Soldiers who attended technical training at
Goodfellow Air Force Base and gave the ultimate sacrifice on foreign soil.
"The Soldiers and civilians of this battalion
are enormously humbled to be a part of this
dedication in honor of these two great
American Soldiers," said Lt. Col.
Kemp Chester, 344th Military
Intelligence Battalion commander.
"It is the very least we can
Lt. Col. Kemp Chester, 344th Military Intelligence
Battalion commander, and Sgt. Maj. Manuel Sanchez,
344 MIBn sergeant major, bow their heads in silence
along with other guests attending the building dedication.
do to remember and recognize their
sacrifice for our freedom."
Staff Sgt. Gene A. Vance attended
the Persian Farsi Voice Interceptor
Course at Goodfellow and graduated
in November 1998. Staff Sgt. Vance,
of Morgantown, W. Va., was the first
U.S. Army graduate of Goodfellow
Air Force Base's cryptologic training
to be killed in action while taking
As a Persian Farsi linguist assigned
to the 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Joseph Nolan
Forces Group (Airborne), Staff Sgt. KIA: Nov. 18 2004
KIA: May 19, 2002
Vance died as a result of gunshot
Photos coustesy of 344th Military Intelligence Battalion
wounds on May 19, 2002 during an
engagement with Taliban forces.
Sgt. Joseph M. Nolan
attended the Arabic Voice
Interceptor Course at
Goodfellow and graduated in November 2002.
Waterbury, Conn., was the
first U.S. Army graduate of
the Goodfellow Air Force
Base's cryptologic training to be
killed in action while taking part in
Operation Iraqi Freedom.
As an Arabic linguist assigned to
the 312th Military Intelligence Battalion, Sgt.
Nolan was killed when his vehicle was struck Mick Derrickson, a maintenance mechanic with the
17th Civil Engineer Squadron, installs letters above
by an improvised explosive device.
the front entrance to 344th Military Intelligence
The 344th Military Intelligence Battalion and
Battalion aboard a working-platform vehicle Feb. 28.
the 17th Training Wing initiated the process of The letters were placed on the building in preparation
dedicating the building to the two fallen Army of the official building dedication ceremony, which took
NCOs in June 2005.
place Nov. 9. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st
On July 26, 2006, the U.S. Air Force Chief of Class Luis Loza Gutierrez)
Staff approved the memorialization of the
Members of both the Nolan and Vance families traveled great distances to attend the emotional ceremony, as well as comrades of the
"The Vance and Nolan families are very
grateful that the battalion and Goodfellow Air
Force Base are remembering and honoring the
sacrifice of their loved ones in this manner,"
said Lt. Col. Chester.
As with the dedication of any building on
Goodfellow Air Force Base, we must always
remember that the names of these great
Americans are displayed not merely because
we are proud to wear the same uniform, but
because it reminds us that their sacrifice epitomizes their great love of others and their coun- Soldiers attending the building dedication ceremony of
the Vance Nolan-Building render a salute to the memtry.
ory of Army Staff Sgt. Gene Vance Jr. and Sgt. Joseph
“They will always be our brothers,” the Nolan while a fellow Soldier plays taps.