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.”
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.
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.
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.
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
The Associated Press
Jessica A. Ellis was friends with everybody in high school, said Bob Nash, her former principal.
“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
By Kathleen Kreller, The Idaho Statesman via AP
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.
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?”
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.
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
The Associated Press
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.
“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
By James MacPherson Associated Press Writer, Jul 6, 2010
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.”
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.
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.
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
May 27, 2012| by Ari Bloomekatz, Los Angeles Times
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.
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!'”
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.
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.
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
By Kristen Cates
Great Falls (Mont.) Tribune
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.
“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
Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2012
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.
“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.
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.
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.”
— Associated Press
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.
— Associated Press
Fallen Hero HM2Michael V 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.”
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.
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
By Eric Tucker
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.”
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
Manchester Union Leader, June 25, 2005
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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
By Holbrook Mohr
The Associated Press
JACKSON, Miss. — One of the fallen Mississippi Army National Guard soldiers became the most highly decorated man in his brigade.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Died March 28, 2006 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom
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
By Wilson Ring
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
By Wilson Ring
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.
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.
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.
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
By Beau Hodai
Pacific Daily News
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.
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.”
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.
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. Carlos E. Wilcox IV.
Died July 16, 2009 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
27, of Cottage Grove, Minn., assigned to the 34th Military Police Company, 34th Infantry Division, Minnesota Army National Guard, Stillwater, Minn.; died July 16 in Basra, Iraq, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit using indirect fire. Also killed were Spc. James D. Wertish and Spc. Daniel P. Drevnick.
Minnesota mourns guardsmen killed in Iraq
The Associated Press
STILLWATER, Minn. — Condolences poured in from across the state Saturday after three soldiers with the Minnesota National Guard were killed in Iraq.
The Pentagon on Saturday confirmed the slain soldiers were 22-year-old Spc. Daniel P. Drevnick, of Woodbury; 20-year-old Spc. James D. Wertish, of Olivia; and 27-year-old Spc. Carlos E. Wilcox IV, of Cottage Grove. All three were assigned to Stillwater-based 34th Military Police Company, 34th “Red Bull” Infantry Division. “We mourn the loss of these three soldiers,” said Maj. Gen. Larry Shellito, the Minnesota National Guard’s adjutant general, in a statement. “They were truly part of our National Guard family.” The soldiers were killed Thursday evening when insurgents attacked their Basra position with mortars, rockets and artillery.
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said in a statement Saturday that she was “deeply saddened” by the soldiers’ deaths. “They made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation, and for that we are forever grateful,” she said.
Funeral details were not immediately provided. But an organization that supports military families and troops returning from duty planned a silent vigil to honor the three soldiers and their families. The Yellow Ribbon Network of Washington County said the vigil, to be held Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Stillwater Veterans Memorial, would also honor all deployed service members and their families.
Iraqi authorities said Saturday that they arrested a member of an Iranian-backed militia suspected in an attack that killed three U.S. soldiers in southern Iraq. It wasn’t immediately clear whether those three soldiers were the Minnesota guardsmen. Maj. Gen. Adil Daham, chief of the Basra provincial police, said the militiaman confessed early Saturday to the attack on a U.S. base near the airport. The rocket attack was a rare assault on troops in the comparatively quiet south, the U.S. military said.
The last time three Minnesota soldiers were killed on the same day in Iraq was Feb. 21, 2005, when three National Guard troops were killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad.
Wilcox, who wanted to become a doctor, had been on his first deployment to Iraq since May, his mother told The Associated Press on Friday. “He was a very proud young man, just very proud to serve his country,” said Charlene Wilcox.
Carlos Wilcox grew up in Minnesota and graduated from Tartan High School in Oakdale, his mother said. He studied at Arizona State University and in Granada, Spain. He then returned to Minnesota and graduated from Metropolitan State University with a biology degree.
Medical school was in his future
The Associated Press
Carlos Wilcox had his sights on medicine. He earned a biology degree from Metro State University, returning to Minnesota after spending time studying at Arizona State University and in Granada, Spain. Even when deployed to Iraq, he found time to study while helping his comrades as a health care specialist.
“He wanted to become a doctor,” said his mother, Charlene Wilcox. “I had just sent him books to study for the MCAT [entrance exam] so he could apply for medical school.”
Wilcox, 27, of Collage Grove, Minn., died July 16 alongside two other Minnesota Army National Guard soldiers during an insurgent attack in Iraq. His mother said Wilcox was on his first deployment and had been in Iraq since May. His unit was based in Stillwater, Minn.
Comrades said they had fun joking around with Wilcox but were always a bit amazed by how professional and astute he was while deployed. “Wilcox always took care of us,” one of his fellow soldiers said. “If anyone was hurting or had a medical issue, he took care of it.”
Wilcox grew up in Minnesota and graduated from Tartan High School in Oakdale. He enlisted in the National Guard in 2006, after a short break from service with the Army Reserve. He is survived by his mother. “He was a very proud young man, just very proud to serve his country,” she said.
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. John M. Dawson.
Died April 8, 2015 Serving During Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
22, of Whitinsville, Mass., died April 8 in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, of wounds caused by small-arms fire while on an escort mission. He was a combat medic assigned to the First Squadron, 33d Cavalry Regiment, Third Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.
An outpouring of emotion, memories at soldier’s funeral
UPTON — Bagpipes wailed in the background as dozens of soldiers and veterans with the Patriot Guard Riders stood in the rain outside St. Gabriel the Archangel Church Monday morning, clutching towering poles topped with drenched American flags. A casket bearing the body of Army Corporal John M. Dawson, who was killed in Afghanistan on April 8, was carried into the church by a six-member honor guard.
Dawson, 22, died in Jalalabad after an Afghan National Army soldier “turned traitor” fired at the group of US soldiers at the provincial governor’s compound in eastern Afghanistan. Dawson was hit by small-arms fire. Other soldiers were also wounded that day. His fellow servicemen gave Dawson’s family his personal belongings, which included a dog tag that read, “Greater love has no other than this, than to lay down your life for your friends.” The back of the dog tag read, “In memory of an American hero.” “You will always be our hero, John,” said the slain soldier’s father, Michael Dawson, after reciting the phrase from his dog tag. Several people wiped away tears as Dawson spoke. “Thank you for the 22 years you provided us.” Eulogizing his son, Dawson said, “If you knew John, you knew a respectable, kind, caring, thoughtful, smart, witty, and fun kid.”
John Dawson, who grew up in Northbridge, was as an “old soul . . . old school,” Major General Steve Townsend of the 18th Airborne Corps said during the service, adding that he loved the Patriots, Bruins, flip cellphones, cigar magazines, the stock market, and conspiracy theories. Townsend said that anytime something happened to the platoon Dawson would “scream about a conspiracy theory,” adding that one soldier joked that “only Dawson can actually make it sound real.” Townsend shared stories he heard from soldiers who knew Dawson, including the time he entered a soldier’s room spraying silly string. The soldier was angry until he realized it was Dawson. Then there was the time Dawson just got a new pair of sunglasses. He told everyone the glasses could see through the water and to the fish below, Townsend said. Dawson tried to demonstrate that and the glasses fell from his face into the water. His team got a good laugh.
Another soldier, who had experienced a death in his family, struggled with the omnipresent death that came from being in the Army and on the streets of Afghanistan. Dawson helped him work through it. “‘I am now and forever will be a better man because of Dawson,’ ” Townsend recalled the soldier tell him. “Some people say sports stars are heroes, some say movie stars are heroes. . . . My heroes are the 20-something year-old Americans who wear the uniform of American law enforcement,” Townsend said. “He was doing what he loved.” The young soldier had a favorite quote, Townsend said: “It’s the journey not the destination that matters.”
Dawson was a combat medic assigned to the First Squadron, 33d Cavalry Regiment, Third Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, according to the Department of Defense. He trained for service at Fort Sill, Okla.; Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio; and Fort Campbell, Ky.
The Rev. Michael Broderick, formerly of St. Patrick’s Parish in Whitinsville, said Dawson was an active member of the Young Neighbors in Action. He was also cycling enthusiast who rode with the 10th Gear Christian Bicycle Group. Broderick said that Dawson had “a mischievous sense of fun,” adding that he would often jump into pictures being taken and was “photobombing before photobombing was trending.” He went on to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay and Quinsigamond Community College before enlisting in the Army in 2012.
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. Levi E. Nuncio.
Army Spc. Levi E. Nuncio
Died June 22, 2011 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom
24, of Harrisonburg, Va., a combat medic assigned to 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; died June 22 of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with small-arms fire in Narang district, Kunar province, Afghanistan.
SP4 Levi E. Nuncio – In memory of our fallen brother
The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, SP4 Levi E. Nuncio, who died in the service of his country on June 22nd, 2011 in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. The cause of death was listed as Small Arms Fire. At the time of his death Levi was 24 years of age. He was from Harrisonburg, Virginia.
The decorations earned by SP4 Levi E. Nuncio include: the Combat Medical Badge, the Soldiers Medal, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart,
SPC Nuncio was born in Laredo, Texas on September 10, 1986. He grew up in Harrisonburg, Virginia and enlisted in the United States Army on September 23, 2009. He received his Basic Combat Training in Fort Sill, Oklahoma and his Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas where he became a Health Care Specialist. He arrived to Headquarter and Headquarters Company, 2-35th Infantry on May 26, 2010. During his tenure in Cacti he held the position of Line Medic for 3rd Platoon, Charlie Company.
SPC Nuncio’s awards and decorations include: Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, and Combat Medical Badge.
SPC Nuncio died in action in support of Operation Enduring Freedom XII, Kunar Province, Afghanistan.
He is survived by both his parents Raul and Berta Nuncio, as well as his older brother Dan I. Nuncio.
(From The Washington Post)
Levi Nuncio, who was living in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley when he enlisted in the Army, “loved helping people”, his girlfriend said Sunday night. So when he had the opportunity to pick a specialty in the service, said Donnie Widdowfield, he became a medic.
Specialist 4 Levi E Nuncio, who listed Harrisonburg, VA as his hometown, was serving in Afghanistan on June 22 when he died in Kunar province of wounds suffered when his unit was attacked by small arms fire.
“He loved doing it,” Widdowfield said, “He was always excited when I talked to him”. Widdowfield, a resident of Elkton, VA, described Nuncio as real quiet and laid back. In addition, she said, no matter what the circumstance, he could always put a smile on your face somehow.
Nuncio, 24, was energetic and determined. After dropping out of high school, Widdowfield said, he earned his GED. One reason he enlisted, she said, was to obtain the money needed for further schooling. When his service was over, Widdowfield said, he hoped to study to become a dentist.
Patriotism was also a motivation, said Mary Widdowfield, Donnie’s grandmother. Before Nuncio went to Afghanistan she said, he flew back to Virginia from Hawaii where he had been stationed. Then Donnie Widdowfield took him to the airport for the first leg of the trip that would eventually take him to Afghanistan.
“He was going toward the plane,” said the grandmother, and he looked back and said, “I love you, but I have got to go, this is my job.” According to the older Widdowfield, “He was a wonderful person.”
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 Cpl. Lucas T. Pyeatt.
Marine Cpl. Lucas T. Pyeatt
Died February 5, 2011 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom
24, of West Chester, Ohio; assigned to 2nd Radio Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Feb. 5 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
Story of a Cryptologic Hero Sgt. Lucas T. Pyeatt
Sergeant Lucas T. Pyeatt was the epitome of a United States Marine. Raised in Newport News, Virginia, Lucas expressed from his earliest moments a keen interest in a wide range of topics and disciplines. Some might call him a Renaissance man. Growing up, whether he was pursuing the rank of Eagle Scout or expertly playing the stand-up bass, Lucas showed a unique passion and enthusiasm for life. In addition to using his many talents to accomplish many things, he lived his life in a way that would lead even a casual acquaintance to conclude that he was a person whose every action was characterized by kindness and consideration for others. For him, standing up for the little guy was a way of life. Among his many acts of benevolence toward his friends and family was taking the time to learn sign language in order to better communicate with a close friend who was deaf.
After high school, he would attend Old Dominion University for a short while, but Lucas was a young man in a hurry. He wanted something more out of life. In time, he would decide to follow in the footsteps of his father, a 30-year veteran of the United States military, and offer his service to his nation by enlisting in the United States Marine Corps.
Lucas put the same drive and devotion into being a Marine that he had exhibited in his formative
years. He excelled in his studies at the Defense Language Institute, becoming fluent in Russian. After training, he was assigned to the II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, at Camp Lejeune. 2011 would find him on the harsh unforgiving battlefields in southern Afghanistan.
While deployed, Pyeatt’s job was to translate, monitor and transcribe critical information in real time, with the aim of gaining intelligence on enemy insurgent operations and activities. During his brief but significant time in Afghanistan, Sergeant Pyeatt’s leadership and technical skills “were instrumental in the conduct of direction finding and enemy communications
in a contested region.” Sergeant Pyeatt had only been “in country” for two weeks when he
volunteered to participate in an important mission. While on his first foot patrol in February 2011, he lost his life due to an improvised explosive device.
During his life, Lucas T. Pyeatt was many things to many people. To his family, he was a devoted son. To his friends, he was someone they could always look to for help and support. To his nation, Sergeant Pyeatt was a loyal and dedicated member of the United States Marine Corps. His father said it best, noting his son had “accomplished more in his 24 years of life than most people accomplish in a lifetime.” In his service and sacrifice, Sergeant Pyeatt more than lived up to the motto of the Corps by being always faithful to his loved ones, his fellow Marines, and most of all to those principles and virtues that for over two centuries, have allowed our nation to remain free.