A memorial service was held on January 26 for Bush School student Michael Vogel, who died on January 18. Vogel’s fellow students, faculty, and staff members gathered to remember him in the Orientation Theater of the Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University.
Bush School Student Government Association president, Carly Hilly, opened the service and introduced Acting Dean Andrew H. Card.
“This is a gathering we hoped we wouldn’t have to have, but it’s a gathering for someone who represented much of what George H.W. Bush believes is public service,” Card said. “Michael was a patriot. He answered a noble call to service. Then he came to the Bush School, where he answered a call with a different purpose. Michael had a tremendous passion for the Bush School, but he had a deeper passion for his country,” Card added.
“I remember Mike. I praise Mike. I celebrate Mike. I care for Mike’s memory, and I appreciate the service he gave. He gave more than he took, and he will continue to give in absentia,” he concluded.
Several of Michael’s fellow students also spoke. Jeniece Howe recalled Michael’s drive to excel and the time she and Michael spent together studying language in El Salvador. Gabe Beddingfield read two poems that speak to the conflicting feelings that come from losing a comrade. A video tribute chronicled Michael’s life, highlighting his military service and his world travels, both of which were pivotal points in his life. Jack Hughley read an excerpt from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, one of Mike’s favorites, to conclude the service.
After graduating from Westerly High School in Westerly, Rhode Island, and serving with the Marines in Iraq in 2007, Michael graduated summa cum laude from the University of Rhode Island in December 2010 with a BA in political science. While an undergraduate, he was a recipient of the Horatio Alger Military Scholarship; and in 2011, he was named the David Warren International Relations Scholar-of-the-Year. Michael circumnavigated the globe in 2010. During his travels, he was exposed to a variety of cultures in the countries of Japan, China, Viet Nam, India, South Africa, and Brazil. He completed an internship with the Strategy and Policy department at the US Naval War College and the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC. In the fall of 2011, Mike was named a Robertson Fellow at the Bush School. His awards and decorations include Expert Rifleman Badge, Combat Action Ribbon, Marine Corps Selected Reservist Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Duty Ribbon, and the Marine Corps Reservist Medal.
Michael will be honored at Silver Taps on February 7th. His family has suggested the Wounded Warrior Project, http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/, for memorial contributions.