WILLIAMSBURG, Va. –
Virginia National Guard Soldiers helped honor 1st Lt. Todd W. Weaver, during a military appreciation football game Nov. 13, 2021, at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Weaver began his military career as a combat engineer in the VNG and was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2010. The event included Weaver’s induction into the ROTC Hall of Fame, a flyover by two VNG UH-60 helicopters and cannon fire from VNG artillerymen.
Weaver joined the Virginia National Guard in 2002. He supported relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Isabel in 2003 and deployed to Iraq in 2004 with Charlie Company, 276th Engineer Battalion as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After his deployment, Weaver enrolled in the College of William & Mary, joined the ROTC program there and continued his service in the VNG through the Simultaneous Member Program, or SMP, which allows ROTC cadets to simultaneously serve in the Guard as they work toward their degrees. At the end of his college career, Weaver earned the designation of Distinguished Military Graduate and commissioned into the infantry. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division and deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. On Sept. 9, 2010, Weaver was killed in action while leading his platoon on a night ambush.
“He was the best dozer operator we had,” said Lt. Col. David A. Kaulfers, who served as Weaver’s company commander during their deployment to Iraq. “I recall when he helped contain a fire on our base with his dozer. Had it gotten off base, it would have burned the local wheat fields.”
Kaulfers attended Weaver’s burial at Arlington National Cemetery and remembered Adm. Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time, handing the flag to his parents.
“It was very touching,” Kaulfers said. “Todd is a great person!”
During halftime, Brig. Gen. James W. Ring, Director of the Joint Staff for the Virginia National Guard, presided over Weaver’s induction into the ROTC Hall of Fame, which included Weaver’s parents, U.S. Army veteran Donn and Jeanne Weaver and his brother, Glenn Weaver.
“Ladies and gentleman, our family is a William & Mary tribe,” said Donn Weaver. “We have four graduates and an alumnus honorary from this wonderful college. Todd loved this college, Todd loved his country, and we will paint this country among the best in the world. We are one tribe, one family.”
In addition to their support of the ROTC induction, Virginia National Guard Soldiers made their presence known throughout the day. Two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from the Sandston-based 2nd Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment, 29th Infantry Division, conducted a flyover during the National Anthem, and artillerymen assigned to the Hanover-based Alpha Battery, 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team fired their howitzers throughout the game.
"I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to participate in honoring and recognizing service members during the game," Sgt. 1st Class Thomas E. Mogush, one of the artillerymen who supported the event, said. "Especially having one of our own Virginia Army National Guardsmen being recognized for his service to our country."
Staff Sgt. Austin Sturtz, a Virginia Army National Guard recruiter, expressed the significance of sharing VNG capabilities with the public.
"The importance of having a flyover and cannon on display at the game is to not only represent the National Guard's presence, but to remind the community that the National Guard is always standing by and ready to respond," he said.