Category Archives: War on Terror

William C. Stacey

In a letter left behind for his family, a Seattle Marine who was recently killed in the line of duty is providing inspiration to all of us.

SGT William Stacey was on foot patrol Tuesday in Afghanistan when an enemy bomb went off, killing the 23-year-old.

Though he is now gone, Stacey is still speaking through a letter he left his parents to open in case he didn’t make it home from the war.

“My death did not change the world,” he begins, but where he goes next is startling in its optimism.

This son of teachers, who never loved school but in the Marines he thrived, was just weeks away from coming home after five deployments.

His letter was weighing what would make dying worth it.

“…there is a greater meaning to it,” he writes. And obviously he has seen a lot of kids during his time in the Marines, because he then says: “there will be a child who will live.”

He wrote because of the sacrifice he made, “this child will learn in the new schools that have been built. He will walk his streets not worried … He will grow into a fine man. He will have the gift of freedom …”

In a way, Stacey was writing about a child free to become the man he himself became. And with all the pain this is causing his parents today, these are Stacey’s parting words near the end of his letter, meant to comfort them:

“If my life buys the safety of a child who will one day change this world, then I know that it was all worth it,” he writes.

Words of promise; and those worlds don’t die, they live and wait for the outcome the one Will Stacey died for.

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SGT Stacey is the 1,890th American to die in Afghanistan … ich hatt’ einen Kameraden

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Posted by on February 15, 2012 in War on Terror



David Johnson

An Army officer from Mayville, Wis., has been killed in action in Afghanistan, his family said in a news release Thursday.

Family members said the military informed them Wednesday night of the death 1LT David Johnson, 24.

The U.S. Department of Defense said later Thursday that Johnson was on foot patrol Wednesday when an improvised explosive device exploded and fatally wounded him.

Johnson, a platoon leader, was assigned to the Army’s 5th Battalion; 20th Infantry Regiment; 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team; 2nd Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.

“We are very proud of our son,” said the release from the soldier’s parents, Andrew and Laura Johnson. “He is a hero. He first was a man of God. He has been a strong leader at Mayville High School, at Evangel University and to the men in his unit. David had no fear of adversity; he lived life to the fullest. There are no regrets. He is an American hero. We love him very much and miss him very much.”

Andrew Johnson is publisher of the Dodge County Pioneer in Mayville, in southeastern Wisconsin.

The community has been hit hard by news of the death, said Katie Leb, an acquaintance of David Johnson and editor of the newspaper.

“In this town, the Johnson family is well-known and well-loved, and to lose David has saddened everyone,” Leb said Thursday. “Everyone here was tremendously proud of him and what he did for our country.”

Johnson joined the Army soon after graduating from high school in 2006 and was a leader in the ROTC during college, Leb said.

Johnson’s family was traveling to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, where the soldier’s remains were being sent.

Johnson was a 2011 graduate of Evangel University in Springfield, Mo., a school his brother Michael attends. Campus pastor John Plake said David was the oldest of four siblings. He had two brothers and a sister.

1LT Johnson is the 1,888th American to die in Afghanistan … Ich hatt’ einen Kameraden

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Posted by on January 28, 2012 in War on Terror


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Christopher G. Singer

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a United States Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

CPL Christopher G. Singer, 23, of Temecula, Calif., died Jan. 21 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion; 1st Marine Division; I Marine Expeditionary Force out of Twentynine Palms, Calif.

For additional information news media representatives may contact the 1st Marine Division public affairs office at 760-725-8766.

CPL Singer is the 1,887th American to die in Afghanistan … Ich hatt’ einen Kameraden

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Posted by on January 26, 2012 in War on Terror



President Obama and the Navy Seals 2, al-Qaida 0

The Associated Press (AP) is reporting that the same U.S. Navy SEAL team which took Osama bin Laden out has parachuted into Somalia under cover of darkness, crept up to an outdoor camp where an American woman and Danish man were being held hostage, killed nine al-Qaida–linked Somali “pirates” and freed the hostages.

The President reportedly authorized the mission by SEAL Team Six earlier in the week, and minutes after he gave his State of the Union address to Congress he called the former American hostage’s father to tell him his daughter was safe.

The AP says the Danish Refugee Council confirmed the two aid workers, American Jessica Buchanan and Dane Poul Hagen Thisted, were “on their way to be reunited with their families.”

The duo, Buchanan, 32, and Thisted, 60, were working with a de-mining unit of the Danish Refugee Council when gunmen kidnapped the two in October.

The Seals hit the camp quickly, reportedly catching the guards as they were sleeping after having chewed the narcotic leaf qat for much of the evening, killing nine pirates and possibly taking three as prisoners.

The United States confirmed media reports that SEAL Team Six parachuted into the area before moving on foot to the target near the Somali town of Adado.

“As Commander-in-Chief, I could not be prouder of the troops who carried out this mission, and the dedicated professionals who supported their efforts,” President Obama said in a statement released by the White House. “The United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people, and will spare no effort to secure the safety of our citizens and to bring their captors to justice.”

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Posted by on January 26, 2012 in War on Terror


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Six Marines killed in Afghan chopper crash

Six Marines were killed in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan, officials said on 20 Jan 12, indicating the incident was not believed to be the result of enemy fire.

The helicopter, a CH-53 Sea Stallion, went down in the volatile Helmand province, according to one US official who said: “Initial indications are that this was not hostile fire.” The dead were members of the US military, another US official told AFP. In a brief statement, NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said the cause of the crash was under investigation. “However, initial reporting indicates there was no enemy activity in the area at the time of the crash,” it said. The helicopter came down in the Musa Qala district of Helmand province on Thursday “due to technical failure”, the provincial Afghan army corps commander Sayed Mulook said.

Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, a spokesman for the Taliban militia, which is leading a 10-year insurgency in Afghanistan, claimed the insurgents had shot down the helicopter. Mulook rejected the claim. The Sea Stallion is a heavy transport aircraft capable of carrying about 40 people. The US officials did not say whether anyone else was on board, other than the six victims. An ISAF spokesman said in Kabul that the crash occurred late Thursday.

He stressed that “there was no enemy around”, but could not give further information such as the terrain at the crash site or the weather.

Killed in the crash were CPT Nathan R. McHone, CPT Daniel B. Bartle, MSG Travis Riddick, CPL Kevin Reinhard, CPL Jessie W. Stities and CPL Joseph Logan all from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force.

The lost Marines were the 1,881st, 1,882nd, 1,883rd, 1,884th, 1,885th and 1,886th Americans to die in Afghanistan … Ich hatt’ einen Kameraden

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Posted by on January 21, 2012 in War on Terror


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Phillip D. McGeath

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

CPL Phillip D. McGeath, 25, Glendale, Ariz.., died Jan. 18 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment; 2nd Marine Division; II Marine Expeditionary Force; Camp Lejeune, N.C.

For additional background information on this Marine, news media representatives may contact the 2nd Marine Division public affairs office at 910-450-6575.

CPL McGeath is the 1,880th American to die in Afghanistan … Ich hatt’ einen Kameraden

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Posted by on January 21, 2012 in War on Terror



Keith D. Benson

SPC Keith D Benson, a 27-year-old Army combat medic who grew up in Norwood, died 18 Jan 12 of an unspecified cause in the Paktika Province in Southeastern Afghanistan, close to the Pakistan border.

Benson, who graduated from Norwood High School in 2002, was assigned to the Second Battalion; 28th Infantry Regiment; 172d Infantry Brigade; based in Grafenwoehr, Germany.

The Pentagon did not announce a cause of death, but said it is under investigation.

Benson’s family has declined to comment, but several of the soldier’s friends posted somber condolences on his Facebook page.

Lisa Malinowski, in a telephone interview, described Benson, whom she knew for 12 years, as “the nicest person I will probably meet in my entire life.” She said she last spoke with him several years ago, before he entered the military.

“He said he was thinking about going into the Army, but wasn’t sure about whether he would get in because of a bad knee,’’ she said. “He was always a gentleman and would come over whenever we had backyard barbecues and say ‘Hi,’ and give my mother a kiss. I’m in shock that he’s gone.”

Benson was an avid fan of music, Malinowski said. He enjoyed music classes in high school and attended numerous concerts, including Aerosmith.

Benson had indicated that he wanted to become an EMT after retiring from the Army.

Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray made a brief remark about Benson’s death earlier today, saying, “Our thoughts are with his immediate family in Norwood and Mansfield, his friends, and his unit.”

SPC Benson is the 1,879th American to die in Afghanistan … Ich hatt’ einen Kameraden

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Posted by on January 21, 2012 in War on Terror



Benjamin B. Wise

A Special Forces Soldier died 15 Jan 12, from injuries sustained when his unit was engaged by enemy small-arms fire in Konduz Province, Afghanistan.

SFC Benjamin B. Wise, 34, was assigned to Company A; 3rd Battalion; 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne); at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

A native of El Dorado, Ark., he enlisted in the U.S. Army in November 2000 as an infantryman.

SFC Wise is the 1,878th American to die in Afghanistan … Ich hatt’ einen Kameraden

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Posted by on January 17, 2012 in War on Terror



Kenneth E. Cochran

The Department of Defense says a U.S. Marine from Wilder, Idaho has been killed in Afghanistan.

Lance CPL Kenneth E. Cochran, 20, was killed Sunday conducting combat operations in Helmand Province.

Also killed was CPL Jon-Luke Bateman, 22, of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Lance CPL Cochran was assigned to 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force based in Okinawa, Japan.

His family released the following statement to the media:

“Kenneth was a graduate of Parma High School Class of 2010. Kenneth was a very nice young man who didn’t know any strangers. He was well liked and admired by his classmates and his fellow Marines.

He is survived by his father, former U.S. Marine George Cochran of Wilder, his mother, U.S. Army Captain Julia Cochran, sister U.S. Army Specialist Joyce Cochran, brother George (Geo) Cochran, and sister Michael Cochran.

He and his bubbly personality will be greatly missed by all who knew him.”

Lance CPL Cochran is the 1,877th American to die in Afghanistan … Ich hatt’ einen Kameraden

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Posted by on January 16, 2012 in War on Terror



Jon-Luke Bateman

CPL Jon-Luke Bateman, 22, died while conducting combat operations in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, the Department of Defense announced Tuesday evening.

Bateman was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force out of Camp Pendleton, Calif.

It was not immediately clear Tuesday night how Bateman was connected to Tulsa. Listings in Tulsa for neither Bateman nor his family could be found Tuesday night.

However, television station KPVM in Pahrump, Nev., reported that a 22-year-old Marine named Jon-Luke Bateman who died in Afghanistan over the weekend had graduated from Pahrump Valley High School in 2007.

According to Tulsa World archives, 21 Marines from the state have died in Afghanistan and Iraq since the wars there began in 2001 and 2003, respectively. Another retired Marine from Oklahoma died in Iraq while working with a private security company, and a Marine from New Jersey who had played baseball at Oral Roberts University died in Afghanistan in September.

CPL Bateman is the 1,876th American to die in Afghanistan … Ich hatt’ einen Kameraden

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Posted by on January 16, 2012 in War on Terror