November 2, 2016
Staff Sgt. David J. Whitcher, 30, of Bradford, New Hampshire, died Nov. 2, 2016 during a dive training exercise off the coast of Key West, Florida.
He was born on July 4, 1986, in New London, N.H., the son of Horace ""Bud"" and Kathleen (Morrison) Whitcher. David grew up in Bradford, N.H. He knew from the age of six that he wanted to serve in the military, and that is just what he did, joining the Army after high school and gaining the Honor Grad Award in Basic Training 2004, serving two combat tours in Afghanistan, and then achieving his dream of becoming a Special Forces Soldier-Green Beret.
David leaves behind his Wife of 12 years.
Victoria was David’s first girlfriend and they married 6 months after meeting. They had a son together which they named David J Whitcher Jr. He was 7 years old when he lost his father.
Whitcher was a generous and a kind soul. He was always going out of his way to help and support those around him. The youngest of 9 siblings. He grew up homeschooled all his life in the woods of New Hampshire in an A frame. He loved farming and carpentry. He had his first fulltime job at 12 running his own carpenter business. You can still see the work he created driving around Bradford NH. He was a Master Carpenter that could build and fix anything. His last final project was a Tiny house on hinges that collapsed for travel. He built this and took David and Victoria to Alaska where they lived off the grid for a year. He was adventurous and hard to keep tamed. He was always doing something and had big dreams. He was a family man that loved church and his family. He took great pride in being the best husband and father. He took daily walks each day with his son where they took adventures that normally followed with the line “don’t tell your mother”. He really lived each day like it was his last. He also was notorious for his smile. The same smile his son inherited. His loss has created a huge gap in his family and is missed beyond belief.
Whitcher was a student in the Combat Diver Qualification Course (CDQC) assigned to Company C, 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group,
U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.
Prior to his attendance at CDQC, Whitcher was assigned to Company C, 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group as a Special Forces engineer sergeant.
David enlisted in the Active-Duty Army in 2004 and was assigned to 27th Engineer Battalion with 82nd Airborne Division where he served a tour in Afghanistan. David then finished his enlisted to return to NH. During his time home from Active-duty David enlisted in the New Hampshire National Guard in 2008 as a carpentry and masonry specialist. He earned many awards, the Army Commendation Medal (3rd award), Army Achievement Medal (4th award), Valorous Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. David was a student in the Combat Diver Qualification Course (CDQC) assigned to Company C, 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group, U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School. He also earned an associate degree in criminal justice from NHTI in Concord, N.H., in 2012.
In 2013, David came on active duty and was assigned to the 6th Engineer Battalion, 2nd Engineer Brigade, Fort Richardson, Alaska. During this time in Alaska, he volunteered for a humanitarian mission to Palau, to rebuild roads, schools, and hospitals. In 2014, David volunteered for Special Forces training. He graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Courses in 2016.
David was known best by those who were close to him as a free spirit. He enjoyed the outdoors and spending time with his friends and family. He was amazing at everything he did. His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal (3rd award), Army Achievement Medal (4th award), Valorous Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon (numeral 2), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, New Hampshire State Active Service Ribbon, Expert in Competition Bronze Pistol Badge, Expert in Competition Bronze Rifle badge, Governors 20 Tab, Combat Action Badge, Parachutist Badge and Special Forces Tab.