Major Andrew “Drew” Vuillemot, USMC (ret.) passed away at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda late on July 7, 2022, after a prolonged battle with cancer. Despite leaving us earlier than expected, Drew lived a full life and was many things to those around him - a friend, a Marine, a father and husband. He always had time for friends and family and had a sharp wit and loud laugh at the ready. He always lived life to the fullest and was stubborn to the end.
Drew was born in Hammond, Indiana and moved to Michigan where he graduated from Saugatuck High School. From there, he attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He graduated 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in History. He was in the 6th Battalion and was in two companies - first in 33rd Company as a Plebe and then in 36th company for the remainder of his tenure. While at Navy, Drew never missed a chance to sing or hum “Hail to the Victors” loudly in the vicinity of his classmates that were from Ohio or were Ohio State Buckeye fans. He always loved the tradition of the Army/Navy rivalry and supported Navy Athletics every chance he had. Never one to mince words, he would want to let everyone know, “Go Navy! Beat Army!”
Drew was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps upon graduating from Navy on May 20, 1987. He attended The Basic School at Marine Corps Base Quantico and Field Artillery Officer training at Ft. Sill Oklahoma. He was then stationed at Camp Pendleton as an artillery officer with Delta Battery, 2nd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. Like many of his peers, he answered the call to go to war and deployed to Kuwait and Iraq for Operation Desert Storm. His next assignment was at Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., “The Oldest Post in The Corps” where he served as an artillery course writer for the Marine Corps Institute (MCI). His subsequent assignments included attending the Amphibious Warfare School at Quantico; staff officer with the 10th Marine Regiment at Camp Lejeune; Commanding Officer of Battery C in 1st Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment; Inspector-Instructor with 5th Battalion, 14th Marine Regiment in Aurora, CO; Battalion Executive Officer for the Combined Arms Training Center in Camp Fuji, Japan. He also attended the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterrey, California, where he earned a Master of Science in Information Technology Management.
His military awards include: The Meritorious Service Medal with Gold Star, the Navy and Marine Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal; the Navy Combat Action Ribbon; the Navy Unit Commendation Medal with Bronze Star; the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal; the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star; the Southwest Asia Service Medal; the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; The Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon; the Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon; the Kuwait Liberation Medal presented by the Saudi Arabian government; the Kuwait Liberation Medal presented by the government of Kuwait; and the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara by the United States Field Artillery Association.
He retired from active duty on May 31, 2007, after serving in Headquarters Service Battalion at Marine Corps Base Quantico. After retirement he continued is his service to the country as a government contractor for VMWare in the information technology arena where he was a Client Solutions Director.
He deeply adored his wife Julie and children, James and Jeannine and they shared countless adventures together. Drew and his family loved trips to Colorado to ski, Nashville for country music and any trip that involved hockey, baseball or Navy Football. Drew was always first to jump at the chance to travel and became the “travel agent“ planning trips and adventures for friends and family. To Drew, holidays were meant for fun, and he rarely missed the chance to enjoy celebrating with friends and family; including an annual St. Patrick’s Day tradition which began with breakfast and ended late in the evening. He also liked to cook his “family gumbo recipe” and hosted many Mardi Gras celebrations.
Drew was an avid sports fan, especially Navy football - and was an active member of the USNA ’87 Tailgate Volunteer crew. He enjoyed spending his Saturdays during college football season setting up, cooking and spending time with his fellow Naval Academy classmates.
Drew was also a participant and fan of anything to do with baseball, hockey, and skiing. He coached youth hockey (even a few times when his children were NOT on his team) and was the team captain for the Hotdogs of the adult beer hockey league for many years. His passion for sports never wavered. Despite his declining health, he continued to attend Capitals hockey games, Nationals, Orioles and Rockies baseball games and even managed to attend Game 2 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals in Colorado in June cheering his favorite team, the Colorado Avalanche, to victory.
Drew is survived by his wife, Julie, adult children James and Jeannine, sisters Liz Wilson of Saugatuck, MI and Annie Vuillemot of South Lyon, MI, his mother Sandra Vuillemot and his stepmother Nancy Vuillemot both of Milford, MI. His father, George Vuillemot preceded him in death.
The family requests those who wish to express sympathy consider donating to Hockey Fights Cancer, the USNA Foundation, or a charity of your choice in Drew’s name. Drew will be buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.