Military Spotlight: Saluting Our Service Members

By the Major Brent Taylor Foundation, Barbara Rogers and Jenny Goldsberry

Craig Rogers

With a low number drawn in the lottery during the Vietnam war, it was inevitable that Craig would be serving in the military. He chose to enlist in the Air Force Reserves. He went to basic training right after high school in 1970 and served in the Aerial Port Squadron of the 319th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base for six years.

After completing his education in 1984, Craig was qualified to re-enlist as an officer. He was endorsed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to apply to be a Chaplain. He was sworn in to serve what would end up being another 27 years in the 419th Fighter Wing at Hill. During his service, he advanced from Jr. Chaplain and Captain to Sr. Chaplain and Lieutenant Colonel, serving 2,700 Airmen on the Base.

During his tenure, he traveled to Hawaii, Denmark, and Germany. In 2009, he deployed during Desert Storm to Qatar. This deployment was shared with his son, Justin, who was able to fly out with Craig on his way to serve as an Air Force firefighter in Iraq.

Craig retired on July 4, 2011. He is grateful for his years in service to his country and the opportunity he had to meet and serve with some of America’s finest. He is the husband of Barbara Thomas Rogers, the father of four amazing children, and the proud grandfather to sixteen of the greatest grandchildren around!

Rick Koci

Rick served in the Marine Corps. He enlisted straight out of high school, in August of 2000. He was very active and athletic in high school, and he chose the Marines because he knew he didn’t want an easy job in the military. Instead, he preferred action. As a result, he served as a machine gunner in the 2nd Battalion 1st Marine Division Echo Company.

When he enlisted, the world was relatively at peace. Then, following September 11, his marine unit was part of the initial invasion into Iraq in March 2003. Around that same time, many enlisted in all branches of the military as a result of the terrorist attacks. Rick deployed again in 2004, and, this time, his Marine combat unit deployed straight to Al-Fallujah Iraq. Both times, his unit saw extensive combat action, yet he got out without a scratch on him. Marines train and prepare for years, and most will never do any more than train. As terrifying as combat action sounds, its almost like an opportunity to see how good we really are compared to the enemy.

After he retired in 2004, he met and married his wife Heather. In February, they will have been married for 12 years. Together, they have four children: Elisabeth, JD, Mike, and Bella. Now, Rick owns an insurance agency in Layton, Utah, and says his job isn’t so filled with action. He’s okay with that.

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