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The 2024 Freedom Games will honor Army Sgt. Joseph Derrick, 25, of Columbia, SC.

Derrick, who previously served in Bosnia and South Korea, was assigned to Fort Hood and was on deployment when he was killed Sept. 23, 2005 by small-arms fire near Baghdad.


He was a graduate of Marion Military Institute, lettering in varsity football, baseball and basketball. He was named the class of 1998’s “Best All Round Athlete” and was named to Alabama’s All Star Baseball Team in 1998. He later attended Francis Marion University. “He had a passion for service,” said Carey Shealy, Derrick’s stepfather of 23 years.

Joseph Derrick’s nickname was “Braveheart” by his fellow comrades.



In 2023, The Freedom Games honored Corporal David Weimortz,

28, of Irmo, SC.


Weimortz was serving his third deployment to Iraq when he died in a roadside bomb attack on August 26, 2006. He attended Dutch Fork High School and graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1999. After experimenting with a series of various jobs, Weimortz found a higher calling. Spurred by the events of September 11, 2001, and a love for his country, he joined the Marine Corps and ultimately gave his life in order to protect our freedom. 



In 2022, the Freedom Games will honored TSgt Phillip Myers, 30, of Hopewell, Virginia.


Myers was killed in action on April 4, 2009 while serving near Helmund Province, Afghanistan. The U.S. Air Force technical Sergeant was serving with the 48th Civil Engineer Squadron, Explosive Ordnance Flight, RAF Lakenheath, England when he was killed from an improvised explosive device. TSgt Myers is survived by his wife Aimee, daughter, Dakotah, and son, Kaiden, who now reside in Anderson, South Carolina. 



In 2021, the Freedom Games honored Army Spc. Geoffrey Whitsitt, 21, of Taylors, South Carolina


Whitsitt was assigned to Fort Bragg, NC. On January 13, 2010, while serving during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, Geoffrey's Humvee hit a homemade bomb leaving him fatally wounded.

The Whitsitts remember their son as a young man who was living his dream, but also as a man of faith who was trying to live a life that was “pleasing to God".



In 2020, The Freedom Games honored Cpl. Matthew Dillon, 25, of Aiken, SC.


Cpl. Matthew Dillon, 25, served in the support squadron of Miramar, Calif., which is part of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. In 2006, Matthew was deployed to Operation Iraq Freedom, serving as a Military Policeman fire team leader. On December 11, 2006, Matthew’s Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb leaving him fatally wounded. 



In 2019, The Freedom Games honored Army Spc. Thomas Day Caughman, 20, of Lexington, South Carolina.


Thomas Caughman was killed in Iraq on June 9, 2004 after volunteering for overseas deployment. During this deployment, he was reassigned to the 458th Engineer Battalion, a unit that had been activated for deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The primary mission of Caughman’s unit was to patrol the streets of Baghdad in search of roadside bombs. While on such a mission, the up-armored Humvee on which Thomas was riding was struck by rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire leaving Thomas mortally wounded. 


In 2018, the Freedom Games honored Army Captain, Kimberly Nicole Hampton, 27, of Easley, SC

Capt. Kimberly Hampton, 27, died January 2, 2004 after her OH-58 Kiowa helicopter went down in enemy fire near Fallujah. 

Hampton, an Easley High School graduate, also was the first woman from South Carolina killed in combat in Iraq.

She was stationed in Iraq with the 82nd Airborne Division based at Fort Bragg. She lived in Fayetteville, N.C., before she left for Iraq on Aug. 31.

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