NAVY LEAGUE NEWS
The tragic events in Chattanooga, Tenn., on July 16 that left four Marines and a Navy petty officer
dead, as well as a police officer and Marine injured, saw
the community come together in an unprecedented display of thoughtfulness, generosity and patriotism.
One example of the best in people came from 7-
year-old Amanda Giovengo. Like many others, she
wanted to do something to support the families of this
tragedy, so she decided to sell lemonade and donate the
proceeds to the victims’ families, according to Ron
Galante, president of the Navy League’s Greater
Chattanooga Area/John J. Spittler Council.
Amanda, her brother and a cousin sold the lemonade for 50 cents a cup over three days in July, and
ended up raising more than $300. When she was done,
Amanda entrusted the lion’s share of the money she
collected, $267, to the Greater Chattanooga Area/John
J. Spittler Council.
“I felt sorry for the people who died, and I wanted
to make some money to give to their families,” she told
Chattanooga news station WDEF.
Galante accepted her check July 23 on behalf of the
victim’s families to carry out Amanda’s wishes. Upon
accepting the check at the Navy Operational Support
Center in Chattanooga, where the worst of the tragedy
unfolded, Galante read the front of the envelope
Amanda handed him, “It says, ‘To the families of our
fallen heroes, thank you for your service,’” WDEF
Galante also read aloud a letter Amanda had writ-
ten: “To the families of U.S. Navy Petty Officer Randall
Smith, Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan,
Marine Corps Sgt. Carson Holmquist, Marine Corps
Lance Corporal Skip Wells, Marine Corps Staff
Sergeant David Wyatt: I am sorry for your loss. I had a
lemonade stand to make some money to give you.”
The Marines and Sailor were killed when a gunman,
identified as Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, opened
fire on a facility housing a Navy Operational Support
Center and Marine Reserve Center in Chattanooga, after
shooting first at the Combined Armed Forces Recruiting
Center seven miles away. He was killed in a shoot-out
with Chattanooga police about a half-hour after the inci-
dent began, according to published reports.
The four Marines served a combined total of more
than 35 years in the Corps. Three had served multiple
tours in Iraq, Afghanistan and other parts of the globe.
Sullivan was a two-time Purple Heart recipient. Wells
had joined the Marines in 2014 and already had earned
a National Defense Service Medal.
All four Marines had moved to Chattanooga after
being assigned to perform “administrative and logisti-
cal support” for the Mike Battery, 3rd Battalion, 14th
Marine Regiment, at the Navy Operational Support
Center, according to published reports.
Smith, a logistics specialist who sustained major
injuries during the attack, died two days after the
Tragedy in Chattanooga
Brings Community Together
By PETER ATKINSON, Deputy Editor
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG 54 SEAPOWER / OCTOBER 2015
Father Frank Brett, chaplain of the Greater Chattanooga
Area/John J. Spittler Council, stands with Amanda
Giovengo aboard the riverboat Southern Belle on Aug. 20
prior to a memorial service for the Marines and Sailor
killed in Chattanooga during a July 16 shooting. Amanda
raised more than $300 selling lemonade to benefit the
families of the victims, and entrusted most of it to the
council to distribute. She was made an honorary member
of the council for her generosity.