Nov. 2, 2013 / Sarasota, Fla. — On Sun., Nov. 10, the Church of the Redeemer in downtown Sarasota invites the community to join the parish as it honors veterans of American wars and U.S. military personnel. As part of the day’s events, Captain Kenneth A. Niederberger, Navy Special Warfare Officer and Director of Afghanistan Operations, U.S. Special Operations Command, will speak in the church’s Gillespie Hall at 10:15. Preaching that morning at the 7:30, 9 and 11 a.m. Masses will be Redeemer’s Associate Rector, the Rev. Richard C. Marsden, a commissioned officer with the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army (1974-1982). Rev. Marsden has served the U.S. as a helicopter pilot, flight section leader and staff officer.
Niederberger, who serves directly under Admiral William H. McRaven, Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, will speak during the special Veterans Sunday observance, which takes place between the 9 and 11 a.m. worship. Niederberger will be introduced by Redeemer’s Captain Jim Holds, USN (Ret.), who reached out to the Special Warfare community at Special Operations Command in Tampa to locate one of our nation’s finest warriors. Niederberger responded that it would be his “pleasure and an honor” to be a part of Redeemer’s 2013 Veterans Recognition Program.
During all services, veterans in the congregation and military personnel in service throughout the world will be acknowledged and thanked. Parishioner Brigadier General Charly Shugg, US Air Force (Ret.) will present information for the congregation about ways they can assist local veterans groups, and between services, children in the congregation will be given special opportunities to meet, thank and talk with veterans.
Captain Niederberger was born in Queens, N.Y., and grew up in Long Island. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1990, and was designated a SEAL in 1991. Assigned to a number of SEAL teams, he served as an element leader for a maritime mobility element and was deployed to Bosnia in support of a Joint Task Force. Later, he was assigned to the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (once known as SEAL Team Six) as a TEAM Leader and Squadron Commander deployed multiple times to combat zones worldwide supporting various joint operations such as Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Iraqi Freedom in Iraq.
Captain Niederberger’s awards include the Silver Star, Five Bronze Stars (three with Combat V), two Meritorious Service Medals, two Defense Meritorious Service medals, the Joint Service Commendation, Navy Commendation and two Navy Achievement Medals, plus several combat action and campaign ribbons. He and his wife Christine (née Morgan) Niederberger have four children: Alex , 9; Keely , 4; Andrew, 2; and Keira Grace, 8 months.
The Church of the Redeemer is located at 222 S. Palm Ave., in downtown Sarasota. Call 941-955-4263 for more information or visit redeemersarasota.org.