Memorial Page Established By-Cynthia Woodard
In Honor Of Sgt. Michael P. Scusa
Spc. Michael P. Scusa
Michael P. Scusa would have turned 23 on Monday Oct 5. He left behind his wife, Alyssa, and
1-year-old son, Connor, who live in Colorado, and his mom, Cynthia Woodard, who lives in
Oct 5, Scusa's remains arrived at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware along with those of other
His mother, Cynthia Woodard, of Mount Holly, watched her son's flag-draped coffin carried
reverently from the back of a C-17 cargo plane as soldiers saluted.
She was joined by Scusa's wife, Alyssa, who lives in Fountain, Colo., with the couple's year-
old son, Connor Allen, named after a friend of Scusa's, a soldier lost in Iraq.
Also present were Scusa's siblings, James Woodard,of Elverson, Berks County; John
Woodard, of Philadelphia; and Susan Woodard, also of Elverson.
Michael Scusa "was all about the military," said James Woodard. "That's what he wanted to
do from the get-go."
"It was his calling," said John Woodard. When talking with the family, "he left a lot out
because he didn't want us or Mom to worry.
Woodard kept in touch with her son via e-mail, sometimes staying up into the early-morning
hours to chat.
"She waited up to hear from him," In one of their last contacts, "they talked about his
birthday." He would have turned 23 on Monday.
Michael "also talked about it being hot where he was . . . ," His mother "felt good whenever
she heard from him."
In Lower Township, others remembered Scusa as a "sweet" and "fun" high school youth
with a serious side.
The terrorist attacks on 9/11, when Scusa was 14 years old, persuaded him to "fight for the
freedoms of our country,"
"He was a good kid. He was fun to be with, the bright spot, "Now he's a hero. . . . He's a gold
star in heaven."
After the soldier returned from his first deployment. "He wasn't a kid no more,"
When a family friend spoke about a year and a half ago, Scusa told him that he wanted to go
to Afghanistan, Shuhart said. They used to joke about how the letters usa appeared in
Scusa's name, making him an "all-American kid."
"If it wasn't for people like Mike, willing to fight for our freedom so we can rest easy at night,
we wouldn't have the country and the freedoms we have, He's always going to be in my
A few doors away from Shuhart, 22-year-old Justin Smith spoke of growing up with Scusa.
"I never told him how much I looked up to him, kind of like a mentor," he said yesterday. "I
wish I had told him when I knew him. He was a good guy."
At nearby Lower Township Regional High School, Valerie Davis taught Scusa 11th- and 12th-
grade math and recalled hoping that he would take a different career path - one that was safer.
Valerie Davis, a math teacher at Lower Cape May High School in New Jersey, remembered
her former student as a "sweetheart" who talked passionately about his drive to join the
military and serve his country.
"It was like he was in the military in class, too," she said. "It was always, 'Yes, ma'am, no
ma'am.' He was a boy any mom would be proud to have. I'm just heartbroken."
Scusa returned to the school during a break from this tour in Afghanistan and took the time
to chat with students and answer questions about life in the warzone. He seemed to choose
his answers carefully, she said.
"He made me feel it wasn't as bad as it was," she said. "I guess he wasn't telling me
"He was always talking about joining the military, and I had hoped he would have changed his
mind," Davis said. "He was such a nice, sweet kid, the kind that you cannot say enough good
The high school's assistant principal, Bert Kern, agreed with Davis. Scusa was a "kid who
stood out, not because he was one of the bad kids, but because he was so good," he said.
"You never like to see kids going off to war and putting themselves in harm's way," said Kern,
a Vietnam-era veteran. "The military is a leg up for some kids.
"It rounds them out and provides them with opportunities they might not otherwise have," he
said. "On the other hand, there is always the risk that they might not come home."
Alyssa Scusa said where he was based, that her husband deployed in May. It was his
second deployment. His first deployment was for 15 months in Iraq. from October 2006 –
Scusa had received the following medals for his service:
Bronze Star Medal,
Army Good Conduct Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal w/ Campaign Star
Iraq Campaign Medal w/ Campaign Star
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Overseas Service Ribbon
Combat Action Badge
Drivers Mechanic Badge - Wheeled Vehicle.
Scusa was a soldier in Bravo Troop, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade
Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.
Sgt. Scusa will be buried on Oct. 16 at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver.
Michael had so much energy since the day he was born. He never got into trouble besides
the normal fighting with his siblings. But they all loved each other and were always there
when they needed each other. I raised all my kids alone. Michael's father never had anything
to do with him. Michael always had a smile on his face and had away of story telling that made
you laugh, the way he made faces and moved his mouth while telling them. Michael would
always be watching the History Channel and the Military Channel, And then 9-11 came and I
knew that he would be the one to join from a young age. When I got to chat with him on
Yahoo, sometimes I would wait all hours just to get a chance to see his words on the screen.
Just knowing that he was OK made my day. Then on Oct 3 2009 two dressed Army men came
to my door and I knew it was one of two things. A part of me died that night. I have one
daughter and then the three boys, Michael was my youngest like I am. I felt the pain of both
parents, and my heart is torn, knowing I will never get to hear his voice and see that smile of
his again. Looking at that toe head little boy makes me cry. Michael would always sign off by
saying I love you mama, and bye 4 now. When he was doing his 15 months in Iraq he would
always tell me not to worry, but that was my job to worry. He told me remember "It's All
Good". Michael left me a link, his name is Connor Allen Scusa, he turned 1 Sept 19. He is a
spitting image of his daddy. I want to make sure that he knows all about his daddy and what a
great man, soldier he was, A True American Hero. God gave me Michael for a reason, I
believe it was to make a mark in this world. He never would wear his inform because he didn't
want any special treatment. But the whole world knows who Sgt Michael P. Scusa is now. My
baby, my son and he grow up to be a man. And he is missed by many.
Love you Michael, your mama
July 25, 2010
Thank you for your brave sacrifice.
June 02, 2010
Dr. Roberta Whitlock Baeta
Michael I only wish I had more time to have gotten to know you more. You early departure
from this world has left an emptyness in the lives of so many, but none so as your beautiful
wife Alyssa and your son Conner. Rest in peace my friend.
|Sgt. Michael P. Scusa
United States Army
KIA 03 October 2009, Afghanistan
|Michael with wife Alyssa, son Connor amd Mother Cynthia