Emilio Campo

Since its inception, each month LHCP has honored a military service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Every box which is shipped from LHCP is labeled with information about the Honoree. The monthly Honoree’s story is attached to the box so others can read about those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. This month’s Honoree is Marine Lance Cpl. Jacob A. Ross.


Army Spc. Emilio J. Campo

Died June 6, 2011 Serving During Operation New Dawn

20, of Madelia, Minn., assigned to 1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.; died of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with indirect fire June 6 in Baghdad.


Family: Soldier from Madelia killed in Iraq

MADELIA, Minn. — A 20-year-old medic from the southern Minnesota town of Madelia who joined the Army to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor has died while serving in Iraq, relatives said.

Army Spc. Emilio J. Campo
Army Spc. Emilio J. Campo

Sgt. Emilio Campo Jr. was killed in combat June 6, family members said. The Defense Department did not immediately release details of how he died. Campo’s parents traveled to Dover Air Force Base, Del., for the return of his body.

Campo’s cousin Marcella Rivera said Campo wanted a career in medicine and thought the Army was his best opportunity for that. “He thought he wanted to be a doctor, but he told his mom, ‘I’ve got to be realistic because we can’t pay for college.'”

Campo followed his older brother, Hector, into the military. His younger brother, Hugo, will be a senior at Madelia High School next fall, his friends said.  Campo graduated in 2009 from Madelia High School, where Principal Allan Beyer said Campo played basketball as his main sport but also participated in track, football and choir.

“He was a real credit to his family, his school and his community. Every time he was home on leave, he’d come to visit with schoolmates, teachers and staff. He was very proud of what he was doing,” the principal said.

Five of Campo’s classmates stopped by June 7 to share their grief and their memories, Beyer said.  “It’s like losing a son, even though he’s not my son,” said Kathy Schumacher, a teacher at the school. Schumacher’s son, Tom, has been friends with Campo since they were in third grade. 
Dustin VanHale, a classmate and good friend, said Campo “was always best friends with everybody.” He was a motivator, telling basketball teammates after a 25-point loss, “don’t worry, we’ll get ’em next time.”

“He’s not the best-looking guy in the world but he was always getting all the girls,” VanHale said. “We’d be playing basketball and he’d leave with two, three girls’ phone numbers. He was always traveling to different places to hang with this girl or that girl.”  But when he died he also had a steady girlfriend, Samantha Crowley, who was prom queen when Campo was prom king in 2009.

Longtime friend Tom Schumacher said Campo was “a very social person,” ”a smooth talker,” ”a big partier,” and “a regular Casanova.”  “He was always the most calm. He was the funny one. We did a lot of stuff, he just loved doing stuff,” Schumacher said. “He just tried to live his life to the fullest. He was always helping other people. He felt (the Army) was one way he could help.”

Brendon Caraway said he joined the Marine Reserves about the same time Campo joined the Army. “I haven’t been overseas,” Caraway said. “When he came home in February he was talking to me about what it’s like and everything: He’s a medic, just doing his job, just gotta do the best you can and be careful.”  Schumacher said Campo appeared to be unafraid.

“Everybody always worried about him, told him to come home,” Schumacher said. “He was always the one who told everybody not to worry, shrugged it off like it was no big deal. Made it seem like he was invincible. That’s what we always said.”


Former classmates remember fallen Minn. soldier

MADELIA, Minn. — Former classmates of a soldier killed recently in Iraq remembered the man as someone who was charismatic, joyful and impulsive.

Army Spc. Emilio J. Campo
Army Spc. Emilio J. Campo

Sgt. Emilio Campo Jr., 20, of Madelia was one of five soldiers who died in a rocket attack June 6.  Campo’s former classmates at Madelia High School gathered for a memorial June 9 where they reminisced about the former homecoming king.  Samantha Bestick recalled going to the mall with him and watching him get joyfully boisterous, having a good time all by himself.  Jared Bridges says his former classmate wanted to go into sports medicine. He jokes it was because Campo always got hurt playing sports. 

According to the Free Press of Mankato, Campo’s favorite quote was: “Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.”

Sources:

Jacob Ross

Since its inception, each month LHCP has honored a military service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Every box which is shipped from LHCP is labeled with information about the Honoree. The monthly Honoree’s story is attached to the box so others can read about those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. This month’s Honoree is Marine Lance Cpl. Jacob A. Ross.


Marine Lance Cpl. Jacob A. Ross

Died March 24, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

19, of Gillette, Wyo.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died March 24, while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.


Marine from Gillette killed in Afghanistan

GILLETTE, Wyo. — A Marine from Gillette has been killed while supporting combat operations in Afghanistan, the Department of Defense confirmed Monday.

Marine Lance Cpl. Jacob A. Ross
Marine Lance Cpl. Jacob A. Ross

Lance Cpl. Jacob A. Ross, 19, died Wednesday in Helmand province, military officials said Monday.  He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Ross’ uncle, Steve Sundermeyer, told the Gillette News-Record that Ross’ deployment was supposed to end in May. Ross’ survivors include his wife, sister and brother who is in high school but also plans to join the Marines, Sundermeyer said.

Ross’ father also had joined the Marines.

Ross played soccer and also swam at Campbell County High School. He started working as a carpenter for Shober Builders as a teen and also was a state champion in the Skills USA carpentry competition.

“We sure thought a lot of him,” said his boss, Mick Shober. “I would give him a job back in a heartbeat.” Shober’s eyes welled with tears as he talked about his former employee. He said he admired Ross’ sacrifice.  “It’s the sad part of war, but you can’t let the rest of the world stomp you down.”

Those who knew Ross said he was quiet, polite, intelligent, hardworking and kindhearted.

Friend Miles Fortner, 21, said Ross enjoyed hunting, fishing, hiking and camping.

In 2008, the two decided to canoe the Belle Fourche River. They began paddling near Hulett and continued for more than 100 miles to Belle Fourche, S.D. During their journey, an oar broke and they lost a couple bottles of water.  “It just added to the adventure,” Fortner said.

The two kept in touch after high school, and last month Ross called him from a satellite phone. They chatted about Afghanistan. “He said he was having a great time over there, doing what he wanted to do and wouldn’t take it back for nothing,” Fortner said.


Marine was ‘was absolutely fearless’

One of Jacob Ross’ friends said the 19-year-old Marine was “fearless.” Another friend said he had a “backbone like an iron rod.”

Once, while on a winter camping trip, the Wyoming native took to a nearby hill with his skis, said friend Dave Jones. Earlier that day, he had been huddled in a tent with Jones’ children watching snow fall.  “Jake was absolutely fearless,” Jones said. “That was just Jake.”

Friend Miles Fortner remembered Ross as a boy who stood up for his beliefs and readily defended others. “Ever since I met Jake, he’s always wanted to be a Marine,” Fortner said. “He was bent one way that was the Marine way. … He had a backbone like an iron rod.”  Fortner added that he thought Ross was quick to forgive and always treated others with respect.

Marine Lance Cpl. Jacob A. Ross
Marine Lance Cpl. Jacob A. Ross

Ross, of Gillette, WY, died March 24 in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Camp Lejeune. 

“A hero is somebody that loves. … Eventually if you love deeply and long enough, you will die for that,” said family friend Kenneth Royce. “There are funerals not happening today because of Lance Cpl. Jake Ross.”

Ross graduated from Campbell County High School in northeastern Wyoming.  Family members said he was on his final mission of a deployment that was scheduled to end in May.

Sources:

Carl Enis

Since its inception, each month LHCP has honored a military service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Every box which is shipped from LHCP is labeled with information about the Honoree. The monthly Honoree’s story is attached to the box so others can read about those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. This month’s Honoree is Staff Sgt. Carl Enis.


Staff Sgt. Carl Enis

Died March 15, 2018 Serving During Operation Inherent Resolve

31, of Tallahassee, Florida, died March 15 when an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter crashed in western Iraq. Enis was assigned to the Air Force Reserve’s 308th Rescue Squadron at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida.


The Defense Department on Saturday released the names of seven airmen who were killed this week when their HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter crashed in western Iraq. The airmen, who were deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, belonged to three different units — the 38th Rescue Squadron at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia; the 106th Rescue Wing of the New York National Guard; and the Air Force Reserve’s 308th Rescue Squadron at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida.

Staff Sgt. Carl Enis
Staff Sgt. Carl Enis

Staff Sgt. Carl Enis, 31, of Tallahassee, Florida. Enis also was a member of the 308th Rescue Squadron. Enis joined the unit in 2010 and served for eight years, according to the 920th Rescue Wing. Enis was a pararescueman who also worked as a commercial real estate salesman for TLG Real Estate Services in Tallahassee, Florida, according to a family friend who spoke to Air Force Times on Friday.

Ben Wilkinson, the president and co-owner of TLG, said in a Friday interview that when he met Enis four years ago, he was struck by what a “steady” and “solid guy” Enis was, and they quickly became close friends. “He was golden,” Wilkinson said. “He was a great guy. Carl seemed to have met more people than you could ever imagine for someone his age. Honest to God, no one ever spoke an ill word about him.”

Enis’ awards and decorations include the Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal with bronze oak leaf cluster, the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. In the past two years, Enis received multiple awards, to include Airman of the Year for both the 920th Rescue Wing and Air Force Reserve Command.

The airmen were killed Thursday when their Pave Hawk crashed in western Iraq, near the town of al-Qa’im in Anbar province. The crash does not appear to have resulted from enemy fire. The incident is under investigation, according to officials.

The incident was immediately reported by another U.S. helicopter flying with the one that crashed, and a quick-reaction force comprised of Iraqi Security Forces and coalition members was dispatched to secure the scene.

Lt. Col. Damien Pickart, spokesman for U.S. Air Forces Central Command, said in an email Friday that the Pave Hawk was deployed to AFCENT from the Alaska Air National Guard’s 176th Wing from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.


SSGT Carl Phillippe Enis

 

Staff Sergeant Carl P. Enis was born March 31, 1986, in Miami, Florida. In 2004, he moved to Tallahassee, Florida, to study at Florida State University and graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies. Sergeant Enis later returned to his studies at Florida State University and graduated in 2017 with a Master’s in Business Administration.

He was a pararescueman in the United States Air Force and was a member of the 308th Rescue Squadron, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida.

Staff Sgt. Carl Enis
Staff Sgt. Carl Enis

On March 15, 2018, at 31 years of age, Sergeant Enis was killed in a helicopter crash in western Iraq along with six others. Pararescuemen, or PJs, are elite Guardian Angel Airmen who serve as highly trained rescue specialists, providing life-saving trauma care and search and rescue. They are expert marksmen, parachutists, SCUBA divers, mountaineers, and trauma medics. They have a special skill set that allows them to perform rescue anytime, anywhere. They live by the Pararescue Creed: These things we do, that others may live.

Sergeant Enis embodied the PJ creed and, in 2013, was named 920th Rescue Wing Airman of the Year and Air Force Reserve Command Pararescueman of the Year. He was posthumously awarded the Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal (with combat device.)

Sergeant Enis was a true American hero who was known to his family and friends as being the most genuine, selfless, talented, and humble man you would ever know. He was passionate about the outdoors and was an expert at hunting birds and big game as well as offshore fishing, spearfishing, and diving. He has left more lasting memories than most would in a longer lifetime.

Sergeant Enis is survived by his wife, Angela Drzewiecki; his mother, Dr. Colleen Enis; brother, Eddie Enis; and sister, Heather Hyatt

Sources:

William Ortega

Since its inception, each month LHCP has honored a military service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Every box which is shipped from LHCP is labeled with information about the Honoree. The monthly Honoree’s story is attached to the box so others can read about those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. This month’s Honoree is Navy Hospital Corpsman William Ortega.


Died June 18, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

23, of Miami, Fla.; assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; died June 18 in Garmsir district, Helmand province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations.


On Friday, Seaman William F. Ortega will return home

After graduating from South Dade Senior High in 2005, he joined the U.S. Navy in May 2008 and moved to Camp Pendleton in California to train as a corpsman, which is similar to a medic.

“He wanted to deploy. He wanted to serve his country,” said friend Ana Miller, “and he did.”

Navy Hospital Corpsman William Ortega
Navy Hospital Corpsman William Ortega

Ortega died June 18, two days before Father’s Day, after a bomb exploded as he rode in a patrol vehicle “while conducting combat operations against enemy forces,” in Helmand Province, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

At the start of training in California, adjusting to West Coast life was hard for Ortega, Miller said. But Ortega adapted and made friends, including Miller, 21, and her husband, Jeremy, a fellow corpsman.

Still, the 23-year-old longed for home.

“He was telling me that when he came back from his deployment, if he was given the choice of where to go, he was going to choose Miami,” said Miller.

Ortega’s relatives declined to comment, saying it was too difficult.

Ortega was deployed to Afghanistan, attached to the Third Battalion, First Marine Regiment, First Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force.

His battalion, nicknamed the Thundering Third, took full command of the province in May, when he was deployed overseas.

After the bombing, Ortega was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, NATO Non Article V Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

Navy Hospital Corpsman William Ortega
Navy Hospital Corpsman William Ortega

On Friday, his remains will be returned to South Florida in a private event for his family at Homestead Air Reserve Base. There will be a funeral Saturday in Kendall, after which his body will be taken to Arlington National Cemetery, where he will be buried July 9, 2010.

He is survived by his parents, William and Marianela Ortega; sisters Karla Ortega, Edna Ortega, Maria Ortega, Aracely Ortega and Evelyn Lopez; brother-in-law Juan Martinez of the U.S. Navy; grandmother Gladys Francisca Gutierrez and grandfather Jose Centeno.

Sources:

Jessica Ellis

Since its inception, each month LHCP has honored a military service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Every box which is shipped from LHCP is labeled with information about the Honoree. The monthly Honoree’s story is attached to the box so others can read about those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. This month’s Honoree is Army Cpl. Jessica A. Ellis.


Army Cpl. Jessica A. Ellis

Died May 11, 2008 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

24, of Bend, Ore., assigned to the 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.; died May 11 in Baghdad of wounds sustained when her vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device.


Army Cpl. Jessica A. Ellis remembered

Jessica A. Ellis was friends with everybody in high school, said Bob Nash, her former principal.

Army Cpl. Jessica A. Ellis
Army Cpl. Jessica A. Ellis

“The typical barriers that separate certain types of people did not have any impact on her,” Nash said. “Whether they were a good student, a bad student, a top-notch athlete, she got on very well with everybody.”  Ellis, 24, a medic from Bend, Ore., was killed May 11 by a roadside bomb in Baghdad. She was assigned to Fort Campbell and was on her second tour of Iraq.

“She was a joy,” said Linda Conroy, who taught Ellis jazz, tap and ballet. “She was always helping, and she was just part of the group, a team player.” Ellis participated in cross country, swimming and track. She graduated high school in 2002 and attended Central Oregon Community College in Bend — majoring in education — for a few years before entering the Army. “You could always count on her,” said physical education teacher Bobbie Steninger. “Some people are good in a wide variety of ways, and she was the kind of person who always had a smile on her face.”


Former Joint Chiefs chairman wears fallen Idaho soldier’s name

BOISE, Idaho — In an Oct. 2 interview with CBS “Sunday Morning,” Adm. Mike Mullen said he wears a bracelet with Jessica Ellis’ name in memory of all the service members who have died while he served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  “I’ve tried to keep that as close to me every single day, every waking moment,” Mullen told CBS. “It’s a reminder to others but also to myself. … We routinely go by her grave.”   “We were not aware he was wearing that,” said Steve Ellis, the father of Ellis. “It is quite a tribute to Jessie and who she was.”

In 2008, Steve and Linda Ellis stood at the Arlington National Cemetery grave of their 24-year-old daughter, an Army corporal.  The medic from Idaho died on Mother’s Day that year, killed by explosives on an Iraqi road. As the family mourned at Ellis’ simple white grave marker, they were joined by Mullen and his wife, Debra.  Mullen had spoken of Ellis’ sacrifice in his Memorial Day message to the nation that year.

Army Cpl. Jessica A. Ellis
Army Cpl. Jessica A. Ellis

Jessica A. Ellis was born in Burley and raised in Idaho, Oregon, Virginia and other states as her dad changed jobs with the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. He now serves as Idaho director for the BLM.  “That’s part of having a father that works for the federal government: You get moved around quite a bit,” Steve Ellis said.

Still, Jessica thrived, running cross country and participating in track.  After high school in Lakeview, Ore., Ellis earned an associate of arts degree from community college and went to work as a wildland firefighter. Eventually, she was motivated to join the Army and work as a medic, stationed with the 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell, Ky.

She was twice deployed to Iraq — both times as a combat medic with the Army’s Screaming Eagles.

Sgt. Bruce Hillway, one of Ellis’ close friends from Fort Campbell, was present on both deployments, the first time in 2005. Ellis was friends with Hillway’s then-wife. “We both happened to be in a shopette one day, she saw me and recognized the name on my chest and just walked up an introduced herself and shook my hand,” Hillway said.  Ellis loved spending time with the couple’s young twin girls, he said. She was known in the 101st for her cheerful nature and desire to help her fellow soldiers.  “She was the type of person if she saw somebody who wasn’t smiling, she made them smile,” Hillway said. “She was that bright, friendly personality, and she made it her business to make people happy.”

Hillway would often have Ellis help train other soldiers in first aid. She was competent, funny and well-liked.  Both Ellis and Hillway deployed again in 2008. After the first deployment, Ellis became more serious and deliberative, Steve Ellis said.  Still, she was determined to help “her boys” in the 101st. 

She regularly accompanied road-clearing convoys to offer medical assistance. She witnessed several explosions, her father said. Known as “Doc Ellis,” she had volunteered that Mother’s Day to replace another medic on a road-clearing convoy.  Such missions take hours and are dangerous because the convoys travel slowly and make easy targets.  “She wanted to look after the soldiers,” Hillway said. “Other soldiers kind of saw her as their goofy little sister.”

Ellis was sitting behind the driver in an armored vehicle when three projectile bombs detonated. She died of wounds suffered in the attack.  Hillway was on an airplane returning from leave when he heard Ellis had been killed. He was one of the soldiers who fired a rifle salute at her Baghdad service; the crowd overflowed the small chapel and its foyer.  Ellis was posthumously promoted to corporal and awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

Though Jessica Ellis lived for just 24 years, she made an impact. She is memorialized in places beyond Mike Mullen’s wrist, including Idaho’s Fallen Soldiers Memorial.  Steve Ellis is grateful for such “honorable places” as Arlington.

“The section 60 families, they understand the journey,” he said. “It’s just difficult; you don’t get over it. It’s a journey.  “It is a club you didn’t want to be in but you can never resign. Behind every headstone out there in Section 60 is a family like ours going through this.”  Every story of another Idahoan killed in action reopens the wound, Ellis said.  Jessica Ellis is one of 59 Idahoans, and one of two Idaho women who have died since Sept. 11, 2001, in the war on terror.  “We never want to forget her and her sacrifices,” Steve Ellis said. “It changes the family forever. We are the price of freedom, are we not?”

Sources:

Keenan Cooper

Since its inception, each month LHCP has honored a military service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Every box which is shipped from LHCP is labeled with information about the Honoree. The monthly Honoree’s story is attached to the box so others can read about those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. This month’s Honoree is Army Spc. Keenan A. Cooper.


Army Spc. Keenan A. Cooper

Died July 5, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

19, of Wahpeton, N.D.; assigned to the 4th Squadron, 73rd Armor Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died July 5 in Yakuta, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device. Also killed was Spc. Jerod H. Osborne.


Soft-spoken soldier had long wanted to join Army

Spc. Keenan Cooper often didn’t say much and just wanted to do his job, but that didn’t mean he was boring.

His jokes always seemed funnier because people didn’t expect it from the quiet guy, said Karley Vetter, a fellow 2008 graduate of Wahpeton High School in Cooper’s hometown of Wahpeton, N.D.

Army Spc. Keenan A. Cooper
Army Spc. Keenan A. Cooper

“He was the most soft-spoken person,” she said, “but you could tell the wheels were always going in his head.”

Cooper was an avid outdoorsman and loved going on archery shoots with his father, driving new Mustangs and playing with Coal, the family dog, said the Rev. Mike Adams, who’d known him for years.

Adams said Cooper had long wanted to be in the military.

“He knew when he was in fourth grade that he would be in the Army someday,” Adams said. “When he made up his mind to do something, he did it.”

Cooper was killed in a roadside bombing in Yakuta, Afghanistan, on July 5, the week before his 20th birthday and a month before he was slated to return home. He was assigned to Fort Bragg.

Survivors include April Travis, the girl he planned to marry in October; his parents, David and Heather; and four younger siblings, Dawson, Twyla, Gabriella and Carly.


Wahpeton soldier killed in Afghanistan

An Army soldier from Wahpeton has been killed in Afghanistan, his family’s spokesman said Tuesday.

Nineteen-year-old Army Spc. Keenan Cooper was killed on Monday, said the spokesman, the Rev. Mike Adams, of Faith Church in Wahpeton.

The military did not release details of Cooper’s death to his family, Adams said.

“Everybody is pretty sure it was a roadside bomb,” Adams said. “That’s what was insinuated.”

Army Spc. Keenan A. Cooper
Army Spc. Keenan A. Cooper

Cooper was serving with the Fort Bragg, N.C.-based 82nd Airborne Division, said Adams, who said he had known Cooper since the soldier was eight years old.

Adams said the soldier’s parents, Dave and Heather Cooper, were notified Monday night. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Keenan Cooper would have celebrated his 20th birthday next week and was slated to complete his first tour of duty in Afghanistan next month, Adams said.

“He was just about ready to come home,” Adams said.

Cooper was engaged to April Travis and the couple planned to marry in October, Adams said.

The lifelong Wahpeton resident had returned to his hometown last month for a visit.

“He was in good spirits,” Adams said. “He was quite happy to see his fiancé and seemed happy to be in church. He was doing really well.”

Cooper’s parents and his fiancée were scheduled to travel to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware when his body is returned this week, Adams said.

“He knew when he was in fourth grade that he would be in the Army someday,” Adams said. “When he made up his mind to do something, he did it.”

Cooper, a 2008 graduate of Wahpeton High School, was friendly and soft-spoken, Adams said.

“He was a man of few words but if you caught him at the right time, he could be as funny as possible,” Adams said.

As of July 5, 2010, 16 U.S. service members from North Dakota or serving with North Dakota military units have been reported killed while on duty in Iraq. Five others were killed in Afghanistan.

Sources:

Edward Acosta

Since its inception, each month LHCP has honored a military service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Every box which is shipped from LHCP is labeled with information about the Honoree. The monthly Honoree’s story is attached to the box so others can read about those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. This month’s Honoree is Army Spc. Edward J. Acosta.


Army Spc. Edward J. Acosta

Died March 5, 2012 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

21, of Hesperia, Calif.; assigned to 2nd Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas; died March 5 in La Jolla, Calif., of injuries sustained Dec. 3 in Wardak province, Afghanistan, when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device.


Army Spc. Edward J. Acosta, 21, Hesperia; killed by bomb in Afghanistan

Although his family had urged him to go to college rather than the Army, he was determined. ‘He knew what he was getting himself into … but he didn’t doubt his actions for a second,’ his wife says.

Army Spc. Edward J. Acosta
Army Spc. Edward J. Acosta

Laura Acosta fondly remembers hunting with her older brother when they were younger, snowboarding in Mammoth and biking together in the Eastern Sierra.  She and Edward Acosta shared a room until she was 9. She looked up to him and jokingly called him “sausage toes” because his feet were chubby. The siblings grew closer when he learned to drive and took her to school each morning.

At 6-feet-6, Edward Acosta played offensive lineman for Hesperia Christian School before graduating from Hesperia High School. He joined the Army in 2008. While abroad, he was still protective of his younger sister, using snarky online messages to shoo away boys he thought were no good.

Then in December, the vehicle Army Spc. Edward J. Acosta was riding in was struck by a roadside bomb in central Afghanistan’s Wardak province, killing three other soldiers and severely injuring Acosta. To see her “huge brother in a bed, not even able to wipe his face and having limited function,” was very painful, said Laura, 19.  Acosta, 21, died on March 5 at the Veterans Affairs hospital in La Jolla from complications from his injuries.

“Those three months were definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through,” his younger sister said. “I think he’s just a hero for going through all of it.”

Edward Acosta was born April 30, 1990 in Ventura. When he was 3 years old his family moved to June Lake — east of Yosemite National Park — where his father, Ernest Acosta, worked as a fish and game warden. About eight years later they moved to Victorville and eventually to Hesperia.

Ernest Acosta tried to persuade his son to go to college after graduating from high school, instead of joining the Army. But it was a hard sell because Ernest Acosta had been in the Army himself, and so had one of Edward’s grandfathers.

“He just wanted to serve his country,” the elder Acosta said. “We tried to talk him into going into college, but he wanted to serve.”  “There is nothing in your lifetime that can prepare you for the loss of a child,” he said. “There’s just nothing that can prepare you to cope with a loss like that. It’s just so devastating.”

Edward’s older sister, Noelle, said there was a passage of Scripture, Isaiah 6:8, that was particularly important to him and influenced his thinking about joining the Army: “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!'”

Army Spc. Edward J. Acosta
Army Spc. Edward J. Acosta

Edward had a tattoo of a cross with the passage number on his upper arm and “really believed that. It was in his heart and there was no persuading him,” Noelle Acosta said.

Edward Acosta’s first assignment after training was in Korea for about a year. When he came back on leave he married his girlfriend, Lindsay, before eventually being deployed to Afghanistan. They had a daughter, Emmalyn, in November.

“He was never scared of anything. He knew what he was getting himself into, and he knew there was a possibility he would never come home, but he didn’t doubt his actions for a second,” Lindsay Acosta said. “He was just so brave.”

Besides his father Ernest, sisters Noelle and Laura, wife Lindsay and daughter Emmalyn, Edward Acosta is survived by his mother, Sheryl Acosta of Hesperia; Aunt Maureen Green and uncle Rick Green of Ventura; and grandmother Betty McCarthy of Ventura.

Sources:

Antonio Burnside

Since its inception, each month LHCP has honored a military service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Every box which is shipped from LHCP is labeled with information about the Honoree. The monthly Honoree’s story is attached to the box so others can read about those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. This month’s Honoree is Army Cpl. Antonio C. Burnside.


Army Cpl. Antonio C. Burnside

Died April 6, 2012 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

31, of Great Falls, Mont.; assigned to 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died Apr. 6 in Mushaki, Afghanistan, of wounds caused by small-arms fire.


Blackfeet Nation pays tribute to fallen soldier

In addition to close family and friends, the Blackfeet Nation is mourning the loss of one of its “warriors” in the wake of Army Cpl. Antonio C. Burnside’s death in Afghanistan on April 6.

Burnside (Many Hides, his Blackfeet family name), was killed when insurgents attacked his unit with small-arms fire in the Ghazni province of Afghanistan.

The 31-year-old, originally from Great Falls, Mont., leaves behind his wife, four children, parents and siblings, as well as a grieving Blackfeet Nation.

Tribal officials said that Burnside’s parents were on their way to Dover Air Force Base, Del., to retrieve his body and bring him home to the Blackfeet Reservation for services and burial.

Army Cpl. Antonio C. Burnside
Army Cpl. Antonio C. Burnside

“All Blackfeet hearts are broken today as we learn we must bury one of our warriors whose life was tragically cut short on the far side of the world,” said Blackfeet Chairman T. J. Show. “We are reminded how inadequate our words are when a warrior has made the ultimate sacrifice. Tony represents the best among us and our thoughts and prayers are with the family as they struggle to deal with the shock of this terrible loss.”

Tribe officials say that from an early age Burnside was active in Blackfeet tribal life, was a traditional dancer and grass dancer, and participated in Blackfeet traditional ceremonies. He sang with the Gray Horse Singers and studied Cree in school.

Burnside is the second Blackfeet warrior killed in the current conflict. According to the tribe, retired Army Master Sgt. William F. “Chief” Carlson was killed in the Konar province, Afghanistan, in 2003, shortly after leaving his Fort Bragg unit to work for the CIA.

“For 10,000 years, the Blackfeet have reserved our highest honors for warriors killed defending our homeland,” said Henry Butterfly, a tribal councilman and a Navy veteran. “As Spc. Burnside makes his final journey home, we await his arrival and reflect on the great pride he has brought the Blackfeet Nation. He served with pride, dignity, and integrity and we thank him for his service.”

Burnside (Many Hides) is survived by his father Bob Burnside, mother Annie Burnside (Many Hides), spouse Christine Burnside, daughters Ariana, Hartlynn, Angel and son Tony Jr., Sister Ramona and brother Milo, and grandparents David Chippewa Jr. and Marilyn Many Hides.

He was assigned to the 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, based in Fort Bragg, N.C.


Blackfeet Nation soldier killed in Afghanistan laid to rest

U.S. Army Spc. Antonio C. Burnside, a member of the Blackfeet Nation of Montana who was killed in Afghanistan, is being laid to rest today.

Burnside, 31, was motivated to join the military after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, his mother said. He served one tour of duty in Afghanistan and decided to re-enlist in 2010.

Army Cpl. Antonio C. Burnside
Army Cpl. Antonio C. Burnside

“Mom, I’m proud to be a soldier,” Annie Burnside recall her son saying, The Great Falls Tribune reported. “There’s a brotherhood that you can’t understand.”

During that second tour in Afghanistan, Burnside was killed by small arms fire on April 6. His body was returned to the reservation yesterday for his burial.

“There are a lot of things I’ve faced in my life,” Annie Burnside told the paper. “And now I’m going through one of the greatest fears I’ve ever had — that’s what I’m facing now. Nobody can understand that but another parent.”

Annie Burnside said she’s grateful to her family, the Blackfeet Nation and others for supporting her as she grieves the loss of her son. Chairman T.J. Show will honor Antonio Burnside tomorrow when he plans to ask for a moment of silence at a hearing before the House Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs.

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Michael V Johnson Jr

Since its inception, each month LHCP has honored a military service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Every box which is shipped from LHCP is labeled with information about the Honoree. The monthly Honoree’s story is attached to the box so others can read about those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. This month’s Honoree is Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Michael V. Johnson Jr.


Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Michael V. Johnson Jr.

Died March 25, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

25, of Little Rock, Ark.; assigned to Naval Medical Center San Diego, 3rd Marine Division Detachment, Fleet Marine Force, San Diego; killed March 25 while tending to wounded colleagues in Iraq.


Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Michael V. Johnson Jr
Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Michael V. Johnson Jr

Among the photos that covered his mother’s coffee table are snapshots of Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Michael Vann Johnson Jr. the way his family remembers him: grinning in Mickey Mouse ears and waving at the camera.

“He was just a big kid,” said his sister, Janisa Hooks. “Mikey was a fun person. He liked to draw and he loved basketball, a real people’s person.”

Johnson, 25, was killed March 25 when he was hit by shrapnel while tending to injured colleagues.

He was raised in Little Rock, Ark., and graduated from the University of Central Arkansas. He and his wife, Cherice, lived in San Diego, where he was assigned to the 1st Marine Division.

Shortly before his death, his mother received a letter from him. “Mom,” he wrote, “I love you, and don’t be afraid if I don’t return, realize I’m in heaven with God.


Navy dedicates San Diego clinic to slain sailor

SAN DIEGO — Friends and family of Navy Corpsman Michael Vann Johnson Jr. gathered Sept. 17 as his Marine Corps recruit depot dedicated a medical clinic to the sailor, who was killed in Iraq.

“We hope that by naming the branch medical clinic after Michael Johnson, we’ll preserve the sacrifices and memories of Johnson and all those who served with him,” Lt. Del Signore said.

Johnson’s wife and members of his family were in California for the ceremony, where they watched as a new sign at the clinic’s front door was revealed, renaming it Johnson Hall.

Signore said several Marines from Johnson’s unit also attended. Afterward, members of the Navy band played “Anchors Away” and the “Marine Hymn.

Johnson died March 25 when he was struck by shrapnel from a grenade while helping a wounded Marine. The Little Rock native was the first Arkansan killed in the conflict.


Fallen Hero Corpsman 3rd Class Michael Vann Johnson Jr.

Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Michael Vann Johnson Jr. was raised in Little Rock Arkansas and graduated from the University of Central Arkansas. “He was just a big kid,” said his sister, Janisa Hooks. “Mikey was a fun person. He liked to draw and he loved basketball, a real people’s person.”

Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Michael V. Johnson Jr
Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Michael V. Johnson Jr

After graduation, Michael joined the Navy. He was assigned to Naval l Medical Center, First Marine Division Detachment San Diego California. He was then as an assigned to Third Battalion Fifth Marines (3/5), in First Marine Division (1st MAR DIV) for the duration of the Iraq War. He was what is called MAP personnel (Medical Augmented Personnel). In March 2003, Michael was deployed to Iraq. He was put with Weapons Company in the CAAT Platoon. He traveled with his men in their Humvee and took care of them. On March 25, 2003 Michael was killed by a rocket propelled grenade that entered his Humvee and detonated. Michael was tending to a wounded soldier at the time

Shortly before his death, his mother received a letter from him. “Mom,” he wrote, “I love you, and don’t be afraid if I don’t return, realize I’m in heaven with God.” Michael was the first serviceman from Arkansas to die in the war in Iraq. The Michael Vann Johnson Jr. American Legion Post No. 74 was named in his honor. 

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Holly Charette

Since its inception, each month LHCP has honored a military service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Every box which is shipped from LHCP is labeled with information about the Honoree. The monthly Honoree’s story is attached to the box so others can read about those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. This month’s Honoree is Marine Lance Cpl. Holly A. Charette.


Marine Lance Cpl. Holly A. Charette

Died June 23, 2005 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

21, of Cranston, R.I.; assigned to Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; killed June 23 when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near her convoy vehicle in Fallujah, Iraq.


Rhode Island Marine killed in Iraq bombing

Marine Lance Cpl. Holly A. Charette
Marine Lance Cpl. Holly A. Charette

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A female Marine from Cranston who died in a suicide bombing attack in Iraq was remembered Saturday as a popular high school cheerleader who was “always ready to help anyone out.”  Lance Cpl. Holly A. Charette, 21, died Thursday after a vehicle carrying explosives struck her vehicle in Fallujah, the Defense Department said. She was the first female Marine killed in Iraq.

“She wanted to become a Marine after 9-11,” Charlene Wheetman, Charette’s aunt, said Saturday in a statement on behalf of the family. “She wanted to do something for her country. She was a very proud Marine.”

Jaime Caniglia said she didn’t know her former teammate on the Cranston High School East hockey cheerleading squad was serving in Iraq until she saw Charette’s photo in a newspaper Saturday. “She was an awesome, awesome girl,” said Caniglia, who also worked with Charette at a CVS store. “I can definitely see her (joining the Marines). She was always ready to help anyone out.”

Gov. Don Carcieri on Saturday ordered state flags lowered in honor Charette.  A suicide bomber struck Charette’s convoy as she and a group of Marines returned to their base Thursday. At least four Marines, including Charette, were killed, and 11 of the 13 injured troops were women, the Pentagon said Saturday.  Al-Qaida in Iraq said it carried out the fatal ambush.

“Holly was a happy girl and loved by all of us and everyone that she knew,” Wheetman said. “Holly always looked at the positive side of everything. We are all missing a part of our hearts without her here.”

Marine Lance Cpl. Holly A. Charette
Marine Lance Cpl. Holly A. Charette

State flags will fly at half-staff until Charette’s internment, Carcieri said in a statement. “Her sacrifice represents the best Rhode Island has to offer,” Carcieri said. U.S. Rep. James Langevin, D-R.I., expressed “profound sorrow… As a soldier in Iraq and Rhode Island citizen she served with dignity and honor.”

Charette, a 2001 graduate of Cranston High School East, was based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and was assigned to Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force.

Charette recently deployed to Iraq’s Anbar province from Camp Lejeune, where she worked delivering mail, according to a story from early last month posted on the Marine Corps official Web site. Charette is at least the seventh Rhode Island resident to die in Iraq and was the second military woman with ties to the state to be killed.


Rhode Island woman killed by suicide bomber in Iraq

CONVOY AMBUSHED: Rhode Island woman killed by suicide bomber in Iraq Associated Press

BAGHDAD, Iraq – A suicide car bomber and gunmen ambushed a convoy carrying female U.S. Marines in Fallujah, killing two Marines and leaving another four American troops presumed dead, the military said Friday.  At least one woman, a Marine from Rhode Island, was killed and 11 of 13 wounded were female.

Holly A. Charette
Holly A. Charette

The terror group al-Qaida in Iraq claimed it carried out the bombing, one of the single deadliest attacks against the Marines – and against women – in this country. The high number of female casualties spoke to the lack of any real front lines in Iraq, where U.S. troops are battling a raging insurgency and American women soldiers have taken part in more close-quarters combat than in any previous military conflict. The Defense Department identified the Rhode Island Marine as Lance Cpl. Holly A. Charette, 21, of Cranston. Charette was based at Camp Lejeune, N.C. She was assigned to Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force. Women do not serve in combat but female Marines are used at various checkpoints around the city to search Iraqi women in order to be sensitive to Muslim culture.

Charette was with a group of Marines returning to their base after a long day of duty, when the suicide car bomber struck the convoy. Then gunmen opened fire, killing a male Marine, the military said. 

She said she had never thought about joining the Marines until college, when a recruiter was canvassing and showed her a video about boot camp.  “When I get out, I plan to apply to the U.S. Post Office,” Charette said at the time. “It won’t be the same as being a Marine, but at least I’m still in uniform.”

Another four American troops were presumed dead in the Fallujah attack, the military said Friday. Eleven of 13 wounded were female.  The terror group al-Qaida in Iraq claimed it carried out the attack, one of the single deadliest against the Marines – and against women – in Iraq.

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Robert Pugh

Since its inception, each month LHCP has honored a military service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Every box which is shipped from LHCP is labeled with information about the Honoree. The monthly Honoree’s story is attached to the box so others can read about those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. This month’s Honoree is Army SGT Robert S. Pugh.


Army SGT Robert S. Pugh

Died March 2, 2005 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

25, of Meridian, Miss.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 155th Infantry, Mississippi Army National Guard, McComb, Miss.; killed March 2 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his military vehicle in Iskandariyah, Iraq.


Family, friends honor fallen Meridian soldier

MERIDIAN, Miss. — A National Guard soldier who died of his injuries after helping a wounded comrade was buried here Thursday.  Sgt. Robert Shane Pugh, 25, died March 2 after an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. He was a combat medic with the Army National Guard’s 155th Brigade Combat Team.

Army SGT Robert S. Pugh
Army SGT Robert S. Pugh

“Shane was an expert in dealing with wounds that come when that happens,” said Maj. Gen. Harold Cross, adjutant general for the Mississippi National Guard. “Though he was injured himself, another soldier lay wounded next to him. Shane directed a group of primarily engineers on what to do to stop that soldier’s bleeding enough to where he could be stabilized.” Pugh didn’t survive his injuries.

“Shane was a beloved son, a devoted husband, a friend of his community and a citizen soldier,” said Brig. Gen. Ben Gaston, who spoke at Pugh’s service.  Pugh was a phlebotomist for United Blood Services in Meridian. He and his wife, Amanda, would have celebrated their first anniversary March 25.

“I remember Shane as being one of the most spiritual kids in my church. He was an example to other youth,” said the Rev. Calvin Farmer. “Shane Pugh did not die without purpose. Shane is a hero.” The 155th Combat Team consists of nearly 3,500 soldiers from Mississippi, Arkansas and Vermont. The soldiers trained at Camp Shelby near Hattiesburg and deployed in January.

Pugh is the fifth member of the unit to die in Iraq and the 25th soldier with Mississippi ties to die in the war.


Armories to be named for fallen Miss. Guard soldiers

JACKSON, Miss. — One of the fallen Mississippi Army National Guard soldiers became the most highly decorated man in his brigade.

Army SGT Robert S. Pugh
Army SGT Robert S. Pugh

Maj. Gen. Harold A. Cross, Mississippi’s adjutant general, wants to dedicate military facilities throughout the state for Guard soldiers who “paid the ultimate sacrifice,” said Tim Powell, a Guard spokesman.

The National Guard Readiness Center in Morton will be named for Pugh during a ceremony April 15. A similar ceremony was planned April 14 to rename the Readiness Center in Quitman for McNail.

Pugh, a 25-year-old medic from Meridian, was mortally wounded by a roadside bomb March 2, 2005. Despite serious injuries, he was able to instruct a group of primarily combat engineers to care for and stabilize a severely wounded comrade, Sgt. 1st Class Ellis Ray Martin. 

Martin, who had a piece of shrapnel in his stomach, survived. Pugh died later that day. For his selfless actions, Pugh was posthumously awarded the Silver Star, the third-highest military honor, as well as the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Mississippi Medal of Valor.

Army SGT Robert S. Pugh
Army SGT Robert S. Pugh’s marker

Pugh was a licensed paramedic and worked as a phlebotomist for United Blood Services in Meridian. The soldier enjoyed playing his PlayStation and watching football, but his favorite things were NASCAR and wrestling, his family says. Friends say he could always make them laugh.

Pugh transferred to the 1st Battalion of the 155th Infantry before deploying. He had served in the 204th Air Defense Artillery unit that has a battery in Morton.

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2017 Healing Heroes

The 6th Annual Healing Heroes Benefits at Grace Chapel was held this past September 10th. Raven Cliff sing our National Anthem,a cappella, that alone was worth the $10 ticket. Songwriters Leslie Satcher Dan Demay, and Craig Morgan filled the night with tears, laughter and love.

Brian and I are so blessed to call Leslie Satcher, David Allen, Even and Korene Stevens our friends. To do this show year after year, when it takes months of planning, is truly a loyal friend and shows true dedication in supporting our USAF, Marines, Navy and Army. Thank you all!

PS. Jeannie and mama we know you are the glue behind the scenes.

 

 

John T. Stone

Since its inception, each month LHCP has honored a military service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Every box which is shipped from LHCP is labeled with information about the Honoree. The monthly Honoree’s story is attached to the box so others can read about those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. This month’s Honoree is Army Sgt. 1st Class John T. Stone.


Army Sgt. 1st Class John T. Stone

Died March 28, 2006 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

52, of Norwich, Vt.; assigned to the 15th Civil Support Team, Vermont Army National Guard, South Burlington, Vt.; killed March 28 as a result of enemy mortar and small arms attacks during combat operations in Lashkagar, Afghanistan.


Finding lost brother motivated soldier to enlist

John T. Stone
John T. Stone

MONTPELIER, Vt. — John Thomas Stone was a junior in high school when his older brother Dana, a freelance photographer, disappeared in Cambodia along with Sean Flynn, the son of the actor Errol Flynn.

Tom Stone joined the Army in 1971 shortly after he graduated from Woodstock High School, motivated at least in part by a desire to learn what had happened to his brother. On Wednesday, Stone, still a soldier 35 years later but now in the Vermont National Guard, was killed in combat in Afghanistan. “He had it in his mind he might go and try to find his brother,” when he enlisted, said Elisha Morgan, now of Norwich, who played football with Stone in high school. Dana Stone was listed as missing in action for years and was eventually listed as dead. But Tom Stone never lost the sense of adventure the military imbued in him or his desire to help those around him.

Sgt. 1st Class Stone, 52, was killed by small arms fire in Afghanistan Tuesday afternoon, Vermont time, while he was helping Afghan soldiers repel an attack on their forward operating base in the southern part of the country. “He was the best friend anyone could have, anybody,” Morgan said. “I know when he was shot he was helping others. That’s all he did. He never cared about financial gain. He did it out of love for humanity.” Over the years Stone served in the regular Army, the reserves and the Vermont National Guard. Between 1992 and 2000 he walked around the world, literally, 22,000 miles through 29 countries.

Stone was on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan with the Vermont National Guard when he was killed. Guard officials and Stone’s friends remember a man who dedicated himself to others. During his earlier Afghan tours, Stone, a trained medic, set up a clinic for Afghan civilians in a shipping container. It served thousands of people.

It was in a similarly foreign land that Stone lost his brother. On April 6, 1970, Dana Stone was on assignment for CBS News and Flynn for Time Magazine. They had ridden into the Cambodian countryside on motorbikes when they were captured by communist guerrillas. They were never heard from again.

Morgan said Stone’s favorite poem was “The Men that don’t Fit In,” a 1916 work by Robert Service. The poem talks about men who can’t stay in one place and who break the hearts of their family members. “He was a man’s man,” Morgan said. “If he could have written he would have been an Ernest Hemingway.” Stone never married but he left a life partner, Rose Loving of Tunbridge, and a sister in Florida.

 “He was an individual, even though he was military. His motivation was always to help people in need, particularly kids,” said Smith. “I used to sit back and say he had it right. He had that sense of the world that ‘I need to help.’ He was an adventurer and he sought people out and tried to help them.”


Vermont guardsman killed in Taliban attack

COLCHESTER, Vt. — A Vermont National Guard soldier serving on a base with Afghan soldiers in the southern part of the country was killed Wednesday during an attack by Taliban militants, Guard officials announced.  Sgt. 1st Class John Thomas Stone, 52, of Tunbridge, who was known as Thomas, was killed by small arms fire, said Gen. Martha Rainville, commander of the Vermont Guard. Stone was on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan, she said, and was attached to Task Force Catamount. “He felt he was making a difference,” Rainville said. “He cared very much about others in the world.” Also killed in the attack was a Canadian soldier, identified as Pvt. Robert Costall of the 1st Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, based in Edmonton, Alberta.

Stone was unmarried but left a longtime partner, Rose Loving of Tunbridge, Rainville said. He had no children but a sister lives in Florida. Stone joined the Army after his graduation from Woodstock Union High School in 1971 and has served in the active duty Army, the Reserves or the National Guard since, officials said. He has worked full-time for the Vermont Guard since 2000.

Army Sgt. 1st Class John T. Stone's marker
Army Sgt. 1st Class John T. Stone’s marker

The attack took place early in the morning Wednesday in Afghanistan, which was still Tuesday afternoon in Vermont. He was assigned to train Afghan troops and was directing the soldiers when he was shot, Rainville said. He was wearing full body armor at the time. Officials in Afghanistan said at least five coalition troops were wounded in the same attack, including three Canadians and an American. A small contingent of Canadian and American forces serve alongside Afghan troops at the base in the Sangin

Vermont National Guard Capt. Jeff Roosevelt served in Afghanistan two years ago during Stone’s previous deployment. “He always had a positive attitude, always looked at the bright sides of things,” Roosevelt said after Rainville’s news conference at Vermont National Guard headquarters in Colchester.

Stone, who was trained as a medic and known as “Doc,” set up medical clinics for the Afghans that Roosevelt said probably saved hundreds of civilian lives.

Sources:

Anthony M. Carbullido

Since its inception, each month LHCP has honored a military service member who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Every box which is shipped from LHCP is labeled with information about the Honoree. The monthly Honoree’s story is attached to the box so others can read about those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. This month’s Honoree is Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Anthony M. Carbullido.


Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Anthony M. Carbullido

Died August 8, 2008, Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

25, of Agat, Guam; assigned to the Naval Hospital Corps School in Great Lakes, Ill.; died Aug. 8, in Sangatesh, Afghanistan, from injuries sustained when his convoy vehicle hit an improvised explosive device.


Family, friends mourn sailor: Acting governor orders flags to half-staff

Family and friends of Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Anthony M. “Tony” Carbullido gathered at the family’s home in Agat yesterday to mark his passing. Throughout intermittent showers, family members in chairs under an awning recited the rosary.

Anthony Carbullido, 25, is the 17th serviceman from Guam to die since the outset of the War on Terror in 2001 and the fifth this year. The total number of regional casualties is 29.

Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Anthony M. Carbullido
Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Anthony M. Carbullido

Anthony Carbullido, the sailor’s father, said that the family was notified of his son’s death early Saturday morning.  The sailor is survived by his wife, Summer, and his daughter, Lexie, both of whom live in Chicago. According to a statement issued yesterday from the Navy’s Public Affairs office, the corpsman died from “injuries he suffered when his convoy vehicle hit an improvised explosive device while serving in Sangatesh, Afghanistan.” Lt. Donnell Evans, public affairs director for Naval Forces Marianas, said the sailor died Aug. 8.

Island leaders shared their condolences over the loss of another of Guam’s sons.

“We extend our sympathies and prayers to his family, friends and loved ones,” said Guam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo in a statement issued yesterday.  “Anthony will rest in the hearts and minds of a grateful people who are humbled by his ultimate sacrifice,” said acting Gov. Mike Cruz in a statement yesterday. “I have ordered all government … agencies to fly all flags at half-staff in honor of Petty Officer 2nd Class Anthony Carbullido.”

Those gathered at the Carbullido family home yesterday remembered Anthony M. Carbullido fondly. “He was a real doer,” said Austin Carbullido, the sailor’s brother. Austin Carbullido said his brother always approached challenges head-on and that he enlisted in the military because he wanted to be a doctor. Jermaine Alerta, who had been friends with the sailor since they were in kindergarten together, remembered his friend’s sense of humor. “He was a very funny guy, … always talking. He was fun to be around,” said Alerta. “He was a great guy, just a great guy.”

Anthony M. Carbullido
Anthony M. Carbullido

Alerta remembered the corpsman’s last visit to Guam in March. He was here for two weeks with his wife, Summer whom he had recently married.  “We took him and his wife around and had a good time,” said Alerta. Alerta said the couple talked about how they planned to move back to Guam to raise their family once his tour of duty in Afghanistan was completed.

According to the fallen sailor’s father, the corpsman was scheduled to leave Afghanistan in July for the 3rd Marine Reconnaissance Battalion in Okinawa, Japan.  But Anthony M. Carbullido’s tour was extended until Aug. 7. His tour was extended yet again, until the end of August.

“He was over there so we can have the way of life we always believed in,” his father said. “He was the kind of kid that always made the ultimate challenge, and he made this ultimate challenge so we can have freedom anywhere in the world.”

While he doesn’t know the exact date yet, the sailor’s father said he plans to meet his son’s remains when they arrive in Dover, Del.

Aurora Carbullido, the sailor’s mother, said that her son’s death was the realization of her fears as the mother of a sailor involved in active duty. “I’ve seen past pictures and articles (of troops who have died in combat) and it scared me because my son is over there,” said Aurora Carbullido. “This is a hard situation to be in,” his father said. “It’s hard to believe that this is happening to us.”

Aurora Carbullido asked the community to pray for them during their hardship and pray for other servicemen and women serving overseas in Operation Enduring Freedom.

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