Sherpa Mieke Cermely

Activity: 8th Annual Justin Sisson Run/Walk for the Fallen

Date: March 2021

For eight years, Florida State University had been hosting a generous and well-received walk for the fallen commemorating 2LT Justin Sisson. Due to the pandemic and expected cadet turnover each year, Justin’s parents expressed fear that his event was beginning to be forgotten. Operation RSF took over the event after speaking with Justin’s parents and receiving their blessing. The event will be hosted for the first time by Operation RSF with aid from Justin’s parents in 2022 at the same time it always has been: the second week in March through the third week, with participation varying from walks to 5k’s. No distance is too short, no body turned away.

Here are a few pictures of the turnout from this year’s 8th Annual Justin Sisson Run/Walk for the Fallen:

Sherpas alone had raised ¼ of the total contributions for this year’s Run/Walk for the fallen, with many Sherpas (and their 4-legged friends) contributing to the miles logged! For 2022, the goal is to double the participation so we can shower Justin, his parents, and brother with love and gratitude!

From Justin’s website:
2LT Justin Lee Sisson was born July 16, 1989 to Kevin and Phyllis Sisson, and his older brother Ryan. Justin’s stated goal was to lead his soldiers into battle and be the best officer he possibly could. He dedicated himself to this pursuit, starting in his freshman year at FSU by joining the Florida National Guard.

He did this because he felt he had access to more training than just staying with ROTC. “I want to clearly understand what my men have to go through in order to better lead them.” That first summer, he completed Basic Training and AIT at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO., where was the Honor Graduate for his class. Between his sophomore and junior years at Florida State, he chose to deploy with his National Guard Unit as a PFC, for a year in Mosul, Iraq.

He was promoted to Specialist and received the Bronze Star for his exceptional service during this deployment, the only non-officer to receive this decoration.

Upon returning to FSU in 2010, Justin completed his education, graduated, and commissioned as a 2nd LT in the US Army in April 2012. He earned the George C. Marshall Award as the top cadet in FSU ROTC.

Justin completed IBOLC, as the Honor Graduate for his class. He completed Air Assault, Airborne, Sapper and Ranger schools before being assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, 1-506th IN, 4 BCT at Ft. Campbell, KY, in January 2013.
He deployed to Afghanistan in April 2013, where he was KIA by a Vehicle Borne Suicide Bomber on June 3, 2013 while leading his platoon and providing security for the Afghans in Chamkani.

Among his awards are:

Two Bronze Star Medals with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge, Army Achievement Medal, Sapper Tab and Ranger Tab, Air Assault Badge and Parachutist Badge.
Justin is buried at Leavenworth National Cemetery, Leavenworth, Kansas where both of his grandfathers who served are also buried.