Each year the IC4 leadership committee selects one veteran to highlight whose story connects with the greater mission of the event and honors their service while acknowledging their struggles. Our featured heroes are listed below with this tribute being one way to honor their memories and remind all of us that the need is great but the hope is greater.
2022: Specialist Scott Peterson
Scott Peterson passed away peaceably at home in Asheville, North Carolina on February 21, 2022. Scott graduated from Bowie High School in 1987, after which he joined the United States Army and served in the Infantry from January 1988 to July 1991 as an E-4, Specialist First Class. Scott enjoyed his years in the Army and became fond of spicy food during his deployment to the DMZ in South Korea.
Scott was a people-person who generously gave of himself to help others and never hesitated to help or lend a hand when a need arose. Scott was an avid reader and loved writing. He enjoyed Sci-Fi and action novels and was always working on his next novel. He loved music, especially techno and industrial and he played the saxophone in the Bowie HS band. He loved cats and usually kept one or two wherever he lived. Scott loved Coca-Cola and it seemed like he always had a 7-Eleven Big Gulp at his side. Scott often thought of becoming an EMT but circumstances always seemed to get in the way of that pursuit, nevertheless, he read as much as he could about diseases and treatments and could converse on a much higher level than the general population with his medical providers.
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2021: SGT Phillip Mario Abate “The Dude”
Phillip Mario “The Dude” Abate passed away recently at his mountain cabin home in North Carolina. Phil, 46, was the proud father to his loving daughter, Jacqueline, and a devoted son to his parents, Lenny and Sally. Phil was born January 30, 1974, and raised in Oil City, Pa. He attended the Oil City Schools and took classes at Clarion University before embarking on a fulfilling career in the military. Phil served more than eight years in the U.S. Army, starting with the Pennsylvania National Guard and then Active Duty where he achieved the rank of Sergeant.
Phil was born January 30, 1974, and raised in Oil City, Pa. He attended the Oil City Schools and took classes at Clarion University before embarking on a fulfilling career in the military. Phil served more than eight years in the U.S. Army, starting with the Pennsylvania National Guard and then Active Duty where he achieved the rank of Sergeant. While assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division, Phil served three tours of duty in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom where he performed with great distinction and bravery and was awarded multiple citations for his actions in combat, including the Army Commendation Medal with “V” device for Valor. Though he never spoke of his heroic actions in combat, time and time again, his family would be made aware of his feats of bravery from fellow soldiers who witnessed them firsthand.