Tuesday, October 15, 2013

25 Heroes Who Died August 20 to October 13, 2013

August 20 - Master Sgt. George A. Bannar Jr., 37, of Orange, Va., died of injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire in Wardak Province, Afghanistan.

August 23 - They died in Haft Asiab, Afghanistan, from wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device during combat operations. Killed were:
- Spc. Kenneth Clifford Alvarez, 23, of Santa Maria, Calif., and
- Pvt. Jonathon Michael Dean Hostetter, 20, of Humphreys, Mo.

August 26 - 1st Lt. Jason Togi, 24, of Pago Pago, American Samoa, died in Hasan Karez, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device.

August 28 - Sgt. 1st Class Ricardo D. Young, 34, of Rosston, Ark., died in Farah Province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire.
- Staff Sgt. Michael H. Ollis, 24, of Staten Island, N.Y., died in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device, small arms and indirect fire.

August 31 - Staff Sgt. Joshua J. Bowden, 28, of Villa Rica, Ga., died in Ghazni, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire while on dismounted patrol.

September 5 - Staff Sgt. Todd J. Lobraico Jr., 22, of New Fairfield, Conn., died from wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire near Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.

September 13 - Staff Sgt. Robert E. Thomas Jr., 24, of Fontana, Calif., died at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, of wounds suffered during a non-combat related incident on April 21, 2013, in Maiwand, Afghanistan.
- Staff Sgt. Randall R. Lane, 43, of Indianapolis, Ind., died in Kabul, Afghanistan, from a non-combat related illness.

September 19 - Sgt. William D. Brown III, 44, of Franklin, N.C., died in Laghman Province, Afghanistan, from a non-combat incident. The soldier's death is under investigation.

September 20 - Spc. James T. Wickliffchacin, 22, of Edmond, Okla., died at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his dismounted patrol during combat operations in Pul-E-Alam, Afghanistan on Aug. 12.

September 21 - They died at Forward Operating Base Shank, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their unit with small arms fire while conducting range training in Gardez, Paktia Province, Afghanistan. Killed were:
- Staff Sgt. Liam J. Nevins, 32, of Denver, Colo.,
- Staff Sgt. Timothy R. McGill, 30, of Ramsey, N.J.,
- Spc. Joshua J. Strickland, 23, of Woodstock, Ga.

September 22 - They died as a result of an MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter crash while operating in the central Red Sea. Killed were:
- Lt. Cmdr. Landon L. Jones, 35, of Lompoc, Calif., and
Jonathon S. Gibson
- Chief Warrant Officer Jonathan S. Gibson, 32, of Aurora, Ore.  The Oregonian reports:
Chief Warrant Officer Jonathan Shelby Gibson, 32, who formerly lived in Aurora, and Lt. Cmdr. Landon L. Jones, 35, of Lompoc, Calif., were reported missing after an MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter crashed while trying to land on the deck of the USS William P. Lawrence, a guided-missile destroyer, authorities said.

Three others aboard the helicopter were rescued from the sea.

The cause of the helicopter is not believed to be linked to any hostile activity.

Gibson joined the Navy in 1998 and worked as an aviation operations technician. Kelly Gibson of Aurora, his stepmother, described Jonathan as a dedicated family man known for being athletic, having a sharp sense of humor and showing a strong sense of duty.

She said he lived with his wife, Christina, and two children, Kaylie, 6, and Alexander, 4, in the San Diego area.

Gibson spent much of his childhood in Kentucky with his older brother, James, and their birth mother. He moved to Oregon to live with his father, Scott Gibson, after graduating from high school and enlisted soon after that.

His father’s serving in the U.S. Army was a big influence on Gibson, his stepmother said.

“We found out about this on Sunday and we’re all still very much in shock,” said Kelly Gibson. “He loved his job and his family very, very much.”

Gibson was nearing the end of a nine-month deployment to sea, his stepmother said. He planned to become a flight instructor and spend more time with his family. 
September 26 - Staff Sgt. Thomas A. Baysore, Jr., 31, of Milton, Pa., died in Paktya Province, Afghanistan, from wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire during combat operations.

October 5 - Lance Cpl. Jeremiah M. Collins, Jr., 19, of Milwaukee, Wis., died while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
- Spc. Angel L. Lopez, 27, of Parma, Ohio, died in Zabul province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire.

October 6 - They died in Zhari District, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device.  Killed were:
- 1st Lt. Jennifer M. Moreno, 25, of San Diego, Calif., 
- Sgt. Patrick C. Hawkins, 25, of Carlisle, Pa., 
- Sgt. Joseph M. Peters, 24, of Springfield, Mo.,
Cody J. Patterson
- Pfc. Cody J. Patterson, 24, of Philomath, Ore.  KPTV reports:
Pfc. Cody Patterson was 24 years old.

He was killed Sunday in the Zhari District of Afghanistan, where enemy forces used an improvised explosive device, DOD officials said. The Los Angeles Times reports the Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing, and that two suicide bombers were involved.

Patterson was born in Corvallis and graduated from Philomath High School.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army, completed basic training as an infantryman in Fort Benning, GA, and then graduated from the basic Airborne Course there. He went on to graduate from the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program, and then was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment as a rifleman.

This was Patterson's second deployment to Afghanistan.

The commander of his regiment, Col. Christopher Vanek, said Patterson had "a limitless future."
"He would have been successful in whatever path he had chosen in life," Vanek said. "He chose to serve his country by volunteering for the most difficult and challenging duties of a United States Army Ranger."

Patterson, who was awarded several medals, badges and service ribbons during his time in the Army, was posthumously awarded the Combat Infantryman's Badge, Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Purple Heart and NATO Medal.

Patterson is survived by his mother, Nancy Wilson, who lives in Corvallis; and his father, Randy Patterson, and sister, Taylor, who both live in Philomath.
Pfc. Patterson was one of the military heroes whose family was denied military benefits by the Obama administration Department of Defense under the government shut(slim)down. A private charity, Fisher House Foundation, stepped in to supply needed funds to the military families. KOIN:
As if grieving isn't hard enough for his family, the federal government shutdown -- stretching into its second week -- is taking another toll. This week his family learned that not only is their beloved 24-year-old gone, but so are his military death benefits -- at least for now.

"[It's] very disrespectful," said Arlene Walters on hearing the news of the shutdown's impacts on the U.S. military's death benefit. "My husband says it's the lowest you can get."

Her son, Staff Sgt. Donald Walters of Salem, was killed in Iraq in 2003. She is saddened to learn that soldier's promised death benefits are on hold due to the government shutdown.

"I would be very disgusted with the government," she said. "What if we say we're not going to fight if they're not going to respect us when they die?"

Normally soldier's families receive a $100,000 death benefit within 36 hours to help pay for the funeral costs and the cost of flying families to be there when the bodies of their loved ones are returned to U.S. soil, according to a CBS report. All U.S. military members killed overseas are flown to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware "for processing," according to the Associated Press.

Private charities have stepped forward to cover expenses for families like Cody Patterson's -- as Congress scrambles to reinstate the military benefit. At last word a bipartisan group of senators is asking the defense secretary to restore death benefits for families.
October 13 - Staff Sgt. Patrick H. Quinn, 26, of Quarryville, Pa., died in Paktika Province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when the enemy attacked his base with small arms fire.


OregonGuy said...

Lord, hear our prayers.

T. D. said...

Thank you for your prayers for the families of these brave men and women, OG. And for always caring.