Van Andrew Wilson

Tender Warrior


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Reply Zach Hoover
5:34 PM on May 30, 2016 

I went through mini-BUD/s with Van and didn't know anyone when I headed down there. He invited out to ice cream at Moo Time on one of the first few nights which helped me meet more people in the training. He was always a positive voice and made the summer easier for everyone down there. I remember Chief Walker betting everyone that he could beat them in a shooting exercise. No one else even came close but Van beat him by a good 4-5 seconds and got taken out to dinner. He was a good man and will be missed, thinking of him this Memorial Day.

Reply Chris Seifert
2:18 AM on January 13, 2015 

I met Van in my late 20s, and wrestling coach Bill Bofinger allowed me to train wrestling with his team. So I would usually wrestle Van, Nick VanZee, and Leonce Crump. Van was very friendly, a tough wrestler, and quick with a joke/laugh. In a way similar to Crocodile Steve Irwin, Van is a man who continues to inspire others with a combo of strength and helping others.

Reply Toni
11:43 AM on May 17, 2014 

Hello, and so sorry for your loss. We are a group in Coronado trying to bring recognition to our service members by designating our roadway the Avenue of Heroes. Thought you might like to comment on our post and image of his memorial bench.

Reply Emily
10:51 AM on December 20, 2013 

Heavy on my mind today. Missing you.

Reply Mich
4:27 PM on September 3, 2013 

Happy birthday Angel in Heaven! You are very missed and thought of daily. I know you are in a wonderful place and God needed you for something bigger than this here. It's still just hard to know that in this lifetime we will not get to see you again or hear your voice making us laugh. One day though! :) What a really sweet day that will be, in Heaven where there are so many answers with such glory and grace to see. One day! Until then I'm going to keep living a life that I think would make you proud of me. I'm working hard to do good things for your brothers you loved so much. And I adore your family and feel as though they have been my own all along. Thank you for your love and help in leading me to be who I am. You're always remembered and never forgotten! Big 31st birthday in Heaven as the lighting and thunder is crashing at this very moment! :)

Reply Kataleah Smith
12:19 PM on June 6, 2013 

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Reply javier
9:55 PM on June 4, 2013 

Bud/s class 254?

Reply Kelli
11:21 AM on April 25, 2013 

Missing you so much today. I think about you every single day still. I still feel it just isnt fair for you to be gone. When im running and about to quit, i imagine you at the other end telling me to keep going and my reward is hugging you once more..silly motivation but youre with me daily.... Missing you so much!

Reply Emily H.
3:26 PM on January 25, 2013 

So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:6-8

7 years tomorrow.. really miss you, Van

Reply Blake
4:38 PM on June 13, 2012 

Inspirational man. I'm in awe of how a relatively short life can make such an inspirational impact. 

Reply a new friend
9:54 AM on January 24, 2012 

Van- I didn't know you, but have had the pleasure of getting to know the beautiful love of your life over the past few months. Through her, I have learned about pieces of you. You would be so proud of her grace; the way she helps others through their own loss by doing nothing more than just being herself. I am certain you were quite an amazing man. I am also certain you stand firm with other "tender warriors" in heaven watching over us all.

I realize it is a sad week for those that knew you best, but please know that even still, there are people you don't know who continue to pray for your family and friends. I will be thinking of all of them this week, and of you. I look forward to getting to know you better through the eyes of those who love you. Until that day when we all meet our tender warriors for the first time, or again...


Reply Emily
7:57 AM on October 12, 2011 

You are on my mind today! Miss you as always!

Reply Mich
8:20 PM on September 3, 2011 
Happy birthday Van! The day of your birth is always a perfect day to celebrate and smile and of course toast with a little whisky. You are so missed an loved! I'm a better person for knowing you and so lucky to be loved by you. You taught me so much, thank you! Happy birthday wonderful man!! Love, Mich
Reply Robert Nelson
5:20 PM on May 12, 2011 

A remarkable, remarkable life.  Inspires me to do more with the time I have.  This is a special tribute to an extraordinary human being.  Take care.

Reply Daphne
9:14 AM on May 2, 2011 

Your Seal brothers did it for us, Van.  I know you are just as proud as we are.  And we are grateful as well.  God bless you all...

Reply Mich
6:39 AM on January 26, 2011 
It's been 5 years ago today where you left me. I miss you! I think about you every day and look forward to seeing you again! Today is a day I hate! But I keep my faith that this is all for a reason, that it's apart of His plan! I know you'd be dissappointed in me if I believed any differently! If feels good to know that! Thank you for loving me, for giving me your beautiful family that has become mine, for showing me love! You have forever changed me and push me still to be the best woman I can be. Don't worry, I am doing good and finding happiness, but that never means you'll ever be forgotten! Until I see you again, I love you Van!
Reply Daphne
9:54 AM on October 16, 2010 

I saw your mom and dad on the news last night. The climbing wall at the BREC park looks awesome. I'm sure you're pleased. Lots of imagination and dreams will be inspired in the young lives who venture there. Maybe even a future Seal or two. You never know...

Reply Michael
11:16 PM on October 15, 2010 

Van, you are such an inspiration.  You remind me of how to be a better man. MIssin ya bro.

Reply Mich
3:05 PM on July 21, 2010 
I miss everything about you!
Reply Erin Monachello Stockwell
12:29 AM on October 4, 2009 
just thinking of you! love you always Erin
Reply Katelyn Benton
10:04 PM on September 24, 2009 
Miss you, Van.
Reply Michael
10:31 PM on September 3, 2009 
In Baghdad celebrating you today on your Birthday!
Reply Mich
1:34 PM on September 3, 2009 
Today is Van's birthday. What a beautiful person! He is someone that touched so many lives in his short life. Just thinking about Van especially today and celebrating his life. Love and miss you Van!
Reply MAD
8:12 PM on August 5, 2009 
Although it is difficult for me to visit your website, you are on my mind often. The example you set and standards you lived are always with me. Keeping a small shrine of you on all the trips I go serves as inspiration to live up to your example wherever I serve. I recently received one of your T-shirts from your special lady friend. I was shocked and honored to have something of yours with me in Iraq. You are an incredible man who I admire and greatly miss. I feel I can lean on you all the time. Thank you for all of your inspiration. I look forward to when we meet next, brother.
Reply Nate
11:50 PM on August 1, 2009 
I accidently stumbled upon this site while searching for Navy SEAL information. I'm from Erath, Louisiana and though I've never met Van, I feel like we would have been great buddies. I just recently signed a contract with the Navy. Where Van left off is exactly where I dream to be. R.I.P. Van.
Reply GB
12:33 AM on July 29, 2009 
I know time has gone by, I still feel a need to say thank you Van and you inspired me, I will never forget you GB.
Reply D
3:44 AM on July 26, 2009 
I have been at ST-10 for 6 years now..i remember hearing about this big stud AOIC coming to 10, all the instructors called and told us to get ready..because a badass is coming our way..everyone i ever talked to about Van had only great things to say...Rest easy brother...see you on the other side.
Reply anonymous
8:29 PM on July 20, 2009 
i do not know Van or have ever met and just stumbled on this website. Though reading all the messages and heart felt memories is truly inspiring and life changing. Reading this makes me want to be a better man myself, role model and mentor for other people. It is amazing how someone you just met can move you in a positive way and sometimes it is a person you have never met......
Reply Walt
12:17 AM on May 24, 2009 
Hey Steve and Claire. Rachel and I had the honor of spending the day with unit 22 from Stennis. A couple of the guys remember Van and had some nice things to say about him. They're some good guys.
Reply susan nash
1:53 PM on April 5, 2009 
I am on staff at church of Van's parents and know them. Through them I know him. His mom told me of this website today and I am touched by missing someone I have never met but am looking forward to meeting one day.
Reply cuz
10:00 PM on September 4, 2008 
happy belated. love and miss you.
Reply Chris Maranto
12:30 AM on July 12, 2008 
It had been 11 years since I heard Van's name mentioned, and I couldn't believe it was to learn of his passing. We went to middle school together, and were good friends up until we went to different high-schools. Upon coming back to Louisiana for a vacation after my time in the military, I ran into another friend from middle school who told me about what happened. In middle school, I remember Van deciding he wanted to become a SEAL. He actually bought some workout video made by a former SEAL that he made me do when I spent the night over at his house. I suspect it was motivation like that which enabled him to make it through SEAL training. The love and respect I see conveyed here is amazing, and he is a very fortunate person to have friends and family like everyone I see here. I plan to go pay my respect to Van as soon as I return to Louisiana permanently. All the best to his family and friends. HOO-YAH!
Reply Anonymous
3:02 PM on June 11, 2008 
I do not know Van or have ever met him but I happened to come about this website and I have been greatly moved by all the love and support that you give to him...My dream is to become a Navy SEAL one day and when that day arrives I will be thinking of Van. I think that all the love and support that he gets is great and I think that this is a very good website.
Reply Mich
6:39 PM on May 29, 2008 
There is not one day that doesn't go by and I don't think of Van. I miss his laugh.