Non-Profit Veteran Organization in Carolina Beach, NC | Veterans Memorial Reef
Remembering Who They Are

Honoring Our Fallen Heroes

We are proud to do our part in paying the most honorable respects to our fallen heroes with their families and friends. Not only do we have the opportunity to commemorate them with a lasting legacy, but we provide the opportunity to sustain marine life through the expansion of our artificial reef.

War Memorial in Carolina Beach, NC | Veterans Memorial Reef


Frederick Phillip Ackerman III USAR

12/19/1931 – 12/06/2021

 34° 06.319’N, 77° 45.033’W

Launch Date: May 22, 2022

Felix Bigalke (Service K-9) USCG
Robert Fulton Bozart USN

Sergeant Robert David Brannen USAR

Army Commendation Medal
National Defense Service
Vietnam Service Medal
Republic of Vietnam Campaign

Ronald Gene Czajkowski USAR

6/3/1947 – 12/10/2001

Shawn Michael Heiser USMC

11/12/1971 – 3/5/2020

Heiser Bio

Shawn Michael Heiser, age 48, of Wilmington, NC, passed away peacefully on Thursday, March 5, 2020, surrounded by his family.

Shawn was born on November 12, 1971, in St. Albans, Vermont.  He was the son of John Harvey Heiser and Judith Tracy Heiser.

 He is survived by his father, his mother, his wife, Kimberly Englestadter Heiser, his sister, Jean Heiser, his brother and sister-in-law, Matthew Heiser, and Laura Broderick Heiser, his brother-in-law, Geoff Englestadter, his mothers-in-law, Karen Harris, and Carolyn Englestadter, and his nieces and nephews, Madison Heiser, Saleena Englestadter, Molly Heiser, Ty Englestadter, Harley Englestadter, Reilly Zehner, and Jack Heiser. 

Shawn adored his loving wife, Kimberly.  The couple married on October 1, 1999, in Burns, Oregon.  After living in Oregon for eighteen years, in 2012 they decided to move to Wilmington, NC, to be closer to Shawn’s family.  For many years, Shawn was Kimberly’s main caretaker and advocate while she battled with health problems.  Shawn also leaves behind his best friend Zeke, a beautiful German Shepard, and 8 loving cats.  Shawn had an extreme love for animals and had rescued many over his lifetime, even fixing over one hundred-fifty feral cats.  Shawn and Kimberly looked forward to their daily four-mile family walks with Zeke.  Shawn had a special bond with Zeke and the two loved venturing out in the neighborhood, to various parks, nature trails, or their favorite place, the beach.

Shawn served his country with honor and distinction for four years in the United States Marine Corps 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion.  Shawn was a front-line operator during the Persian Gulf War and Operation Restore Hope in Somalia where he served two tours.  Because of his bravery and sacrifice, Shawn was decorated with many medals and campaign ribbons including the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Navy Unit Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Services Expeditionary Medal, the Southwest Asia Service Medal with three stars, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with two stars, the Kuwait Liberation Medal, the Meritorious Mast and the Sharpshooter Qualification.

As a veteran Reconnaissance Marine, Shawn lived a complete life of service, duty, and determination.  He embodied the Recon Creed, sacrificing personal comforts and dedicating himself to the completion of all missions.  In 2006, Shawn graduated Cum Laude from Oregon State University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.  After graduation, Shawn immediately began his next mission:  to attend law school and pursue a career as an attorney.  After acceptance to law school, Shawn was faced with making a difficult decision, as he was also given the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream of being a law enforcement officer.  Deciding to forego law school, Shawn accepted this offer and fell in love with his new career.  In their home town of Burns, Oregon, Shawn protected and served the people as a city police officer.  As a testament to his gentle nature, he was often thanked by those he arrested for treating them with kindness and dignity.  Shawn donated his time to serve the community of Wilmington as a member of the Island Men, a non-profit organization that promotes camaraderie, helps local charities and works on projects to promote the quality of life for residents.

 When Shawn and Kimberly moved to Wilmington, North Carolina, in 2012, he quickly set a personal goal to become a licensed realtor.  By chance, Shawn met Dawn Berard who immediately sensed something special in him.  It could have been his infectious smile, his gentle demeanor, or his beaming sense of pride when he discussed his real estate goals that moved Dawn to offer him a position at her fledgling real estate brokerage, Sold Buy the Sea Realty.  As a realtor at Sold Buy the Sea since 2013, Shawn helped the company grow from four agents and one office to twenty-five agents and a second office in Hampstead, North Carolina.  Because of his service in the Marine Corps, Shawn had a heart for veterans and helped them achieve the dream of home ownership in Wilmington by guiding them through the VA home loan program and addressing their unique challenges.  Shawn was adored by his clients and his colleagues loved him dearly.  

 When not working, Shawn longed to be in nature and especially enjoyed the area beaches where he and his sister would often make impromptu trips to enjoy each other’s company and reminisce about good times spent together during Shawn’s Marine Corps service.  He enjoyed riding Harley Davidson motorcycles and was an amazing chef, second only to his mother.  He liked to draw and was learning to play piano and guitar.  Shawn was a passionate reader.  He loved reading for pleasure and to learn.  He would read at least two books per week and was always known for taking his Nook everywhere he went.  Shawn was also an avid golfer, a sport taught to him by his mother-in-law, Karen Harris, while living in eastern Oregon.  His love of golf was passed down to his brother, Matt, whom Shawn taught how to play at the age of thirteen.  Matt would visit Shawn and Kimberly for several weeks at a time during each summer of his middle and high school years.  He and Shawn bonded during this time spent together, much of it spent playing golf.  Shawn and Kimberly recently started attending Port City Community Church and Shawn found peace in rekindling his relationship with the Lord through his Christian faith.

Katherine Anne Henderson Spouse

Corporal Lloyd R. Henderson USAR

Army Good Conduct Medal Ribbon
National Defense Service

John Allen McAbee II USN

3/27/1943- 12/11/2018

Petty Officer Joseph C. McDonald USN

1/8/1973 – 1/15/2021

Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon
Navy Good Conduct Medal Ribbon
National Defense Service
Vietnam Service Medal
Specialist John L. McGann USAR
Army Good Conduct Medal Ribbon

Daniel Kenneth Meigs Jr. USAF

12/20/1944 – 10/13/2020

Meigs Jr Bio

Lieutenant Colonel Meigs was born December 20, 1944 in Charlotte, NC. He graduated from Garinger High School in 1962 and in the fall of that year enrolled in North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering Operations in 1966. He eventually went onto complete a Master of Science Degree in Business Administration from Webster College in 1982.

Colonel Meigs received his commission in 1968 through Officer Training School in Lackland AFB, Texas. He was then assigned to Wright Patterson AFB Ohio where he was in charge of purchasing aircraft subsystems for the Aeronautical Systems Division. In 1971 he was assigned to Washington, DC as a consultant for the Commission of Goverment Procurement. From 1972 – 1974 he was assigned as Cheif, Avionics Central, Air Force Avionics Laboratory in Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio. In 1974 he was reassigned to Air Force Systems Command at Andrews AFB in Maryland as a Staff Officer and Inspector. During 1978 he was a student in AFIT’s Education with Industry Program where he worked at Hughes Aircraft in Newport Beach, CA. From 1979 – 1983 he was Executive Officer and Chief, Information Systems Branc at the Air Force Human Resources Lab at Brooks AFB in Texas. From 1983 – 1986 he was Chief, Data Systems Support Division, at Randolph AFB in Texas. In 1987 he assumed his current position as Commander of the 3302 Technical Training Squadron.

After retirement Dan went on to start a custom database software company where he worked for many years before turning his professional skills and love of the water to the Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 10-6. He served there as Air Crew and Boat Crew and held many leadership positions.  Dan was a problem solver.  He was passionate about the work of the Coast Guard and the Auxiliary and spent years working on software that would improve navigational aids and could be used to increase successful search and rescue.
Dan was married to Chery for 54 years.  His daughter Carrie was a source of great pride. He was fascinated by her work as a trial lawyer.  But his greatest achievement may have been as “Pops” to his two grandsons, Tyler and Logan. He always found time for deep conversations and for games of all types. He was determined to teach them both to fish and throw a cast net and he did. He made everyone feel special.
Dan loved his country, his family and his friends. Dan never met a stranger and he embraced life. There was a spirit of adventure in Dan which he shared with all. 

Stefan Mrgan III USAR

5/16/1985 – 11/2/2021

Petty Officer Mark Mueller USN
National Defense Service
Navy & Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon
NATO Kosovo Medal Ribbon
Navy Expert Pistol Medal Ribbon
Petty Officer Mark Mueller USN

Operations Specialist 3rd Class petty Officer Mark Anthony Mueller entered the United States Navy July 10th, 2000. After completing boot camp, he reported to Operations Specialist “A” School in Dam Neck VA where he graduated in November 2000. From there he reported to Coronado, CA for Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL training, Class 235. He left the SPECWAR program and reported to Lackland Air Force Base, in San Antonio, TX where he completed Anti- Terrorism/Law Enforcement specialist training and was awarded Navy Enlisted Classification Code 9545.

OS3 Mueller reported for duty to Naval Air Station Sigonella Sicily, Security Detachment, Operations Dept, Charlie Section. He proved a to be a very intelligent and motivated Patrolman, handling numerous on/off base traffic accidents with/without injuries along with numerous other calls for assistance in response to the international state of emergency brought on by real world terrorist attacks. He was hand selected to the newly formed bike patrol team where he continued his success, completing his Emergency Medical Technician certification and NCIS first responder certifications. OS3 Mueller completed his tour and received an Honorable Discharge in October of 2004.

Amongst his awards were a National Defense Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon (2), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NATO Medal, NATO Medal for Kosovo Operations, Expert Pistol Medal and Sharpshooter Rifle Ribbon.

OS3 Mueller’s service true display of exceptional professionalism, unrelenting perseverance and loyal devotion to duty following the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks reflected credit upon himself and were keeping with the highest of traditions of the United States Navy!

Lorine Kaye Schmucker USAF

6/12/1960 – 06/14/2018

Schmucker Bio

Lori (Lorine) Kaye Schmucker, 58 of Ligonier passed away on Thursday, June 14, 2018 from suicide after a lifelong battle with mental illness.

She was born on June 12, 1960 in San Diego, CA to Gerald Schmucker and the late Sara (Bolby) Schmucker. Her four siblings from oldest to youngest include Vivkie King, Debbie King, Rina Piper, and Wayne Strauss. She is a mother of two children, Chay Marshall and Hannah Workman.

Lori graduated from Westmoreland County Community College with an Associates in Applied Science in electronics engineering technology. She served in the Air Force and receieved the Good Conduct Medal, Longevity Service Award. While in the Air Force she also served four years as a digital flight simulator specialist. It was her love of military service that inspired her brother to join the Air Force as well.

Lori enjoyed telling jokes, laughing, singing, and paying guitar with her friends and family. She was very much in harmony with all things from the earth. She had an avid appreciation of the outdoors, walks in the woods, bead collecting, and jewelry making. She would frequently give her creations to others as a gesture of her love.

Her family would like to share the message of hope that her difficulties healing will serve in some way to inspire other veterans who are suffering in their healing journey to seek treatment and to prevent them from taking their own lives.

Dean W Wyman USAR

07/06/1956 – 11/10/2021

Wyman Bio

Dean Wyman received his last set of wings on November 10, 2021. He was born in Houston, TX on July 6, 1956.

Dean proudly served as a member od the 3rd Special Forces Group and spent three tours in Haiti as an SF Medic where he eagerly assisted the Haitians and his fellow members. Soon after he transferred to the “puzzle palace” to teach you SF medics some of whom are still actively serving today. Prior to becoming an SF medic he was honored to be a part of the 247th Medical Detachment Unit located at Ft. Irwin, CA where he received three Sikorsky awards for saving life, limb, and/or eyesight as a flight medic. His other accomplishments include providing medical training as the Director of Training to new Federal Air Marshal officers post 9/11. Later he continued his service to our country fighting terrorism – serving multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and  providing medial support for Protective Sercurity Detail for the Department of State and the Department of Defense for Blackwater (now known as Academi) amd other similar companies. Immediately prior to Dean’s death he was actively engaged in activities to support underserved veterans under his corporatopm Ratel Group, Inc. The family will continue these activities as appropriate.

He is preceded in death by his father, Charles Edward Wyman, who also proudly served in the United States Army. Dean is survived by his mother, Carroll Lee Wyman of Kerrville, TX, his brother, Lee Jay Wyman of Everett, WA, his daughter, Valarie Rachelle Reilly of Edgemoor, SC, his two sons, Bradley Garrett Wyman and Zachery Robert Wyman of Wilmington, NC, and two grandchildren.

The video below is of Dean on Memorial Day 2019

Contact Joe Irrera at 910-264-5372 to discuss memorial services for your loved veteran who has passed.

Joe Irrera
Phone: 910-264-5372 

Thomas Marcinowski
Phone: 910-547-9277

Veteran Memorial in Carolina Beach, NC | Veterans Memorial Reef

Veterans Memorial Reef
419 Raleigh St. Ste. C
Wilmington, NC 28412

Hours: 24/7