This page was last updated on 24 October 2013.
Even though I've heard "Wounded Soldier" sung by John Steer and Britt Small many times--Helen Baylor's version brings tears to my eyes whenever I hear it. I first heard this particular version of the song at Freedom Fest when the Maitland Church Youth Group performed it--and it has haunted me ever since. I felt this was an appropriate place to share it with you.
Killed in Afghanistan or in support of Operation Enduring Freedom:
2002: 3 US Military women, 0 US Civilian women
2003: 1 US Military woman, 0 US Civilian women
2004: 1 US Military woman, 1 US Civilian woman
2005: 3 US Military women, 3 US Civilian women
2006: 3 US Military women, 0 US Civilian women
2007: 2 US Military women, 2 US Civilian women
2008: 1 US Military woman, 1 US Civilian woman
2009: 6 US Military women, 3 US Civilian women
2010: 4 US Military women, 2 US Civilian women
2011: 10 US Military women, 0 US Civilian women
2012: 8 US Military women, 0 US Civilian women
2013: 7 US Military women, 1 US Civilian women
Total a/o 9 Oct 13: 49 US Military women, 13 US Civilian women
62 US women killed during OEF
6 Oct 13:
CPT Jennifer M. Moreno, 25, a native of San Diego, CA, was assigned to Madigan Army Medical Center, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA. She died along with three other soldiers while on foot patrol on a Special Operations mission in Zhari District from injuries she sustained when enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device. Jennifer attended San Diego High School and graduated in 2006 with a scholarship. During her high school years she was a member of the JrROTC program and was one of the leading cadets. Jennifer was called the Staff S-1 and given the title of Cadet Lieutenant Colonel according to her JrROTC instructtor, 1st Sgt. Lawrance Mayorga. One of her sisters, and her brother, also joined JrROTC at San Diego High School. Her brother, Ivan, also joined the Army, and is still on active duty. Jennifer went on and graduated from the University of San Francisco where she was commissioned in the US Army as a nurse corps officer. This was her first deployment and she was attached to the 75th Ranger Regiment. Jennifer had volunteered for the position with US Army Special Operations Command after completing Army airborne training in 2009. Not only was she a nurse but also a Cultural Support Team member. This was her first deployment, leaving Madigan where she served as a clinical staff nurse on a medical surgical unit in June 2013 and she was attached to the 75th Ranger Regiment. She had already been awarded the Combat Action Badge, Meritorious Service Medal, Purple Heart, Afghanistan Campaign Medal and NATO Medal and was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star. She is survived by her mother, Marie, sisters Jearaldy and Yaritza, and her brother, Ivan who also serves in the US Army. More information has been released about this incident. The soldiers were ambushed during a special operations night raid aimed at a high-value Taliban target. The Rangers were arranged along the wall of the targeted compound and preparing to enter when an insurgent detonated a suicide vest. It may have been a female suicide bomber. In addition to those killed, 30 more US Rangers were injured on the mission. Then a series of IEDs went off in the compound. Hashim Agha, the district governor of Zhari, said the IEDs were detonated first, followed by attacks by multiple suicide bombers in the compound. Criminal Investigative Division said investigators often accompany special operations forces on missions to assist with evidence collection. No one knew how many of the wounded were medically evacuated from Afghanistan and how many remained in the country to recuperate. The incident also killed one military working dog. Jennifer was laid to rest at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. Six female soldiers, all members of the Army’s cultural support team, carried her flag-draped coffin. One of them was her “battle buddy” MSG Catherine Harris who said “Jenny” took her job seriously but managed to let her personality shine through. Soldiers dominated the Fort Rosecrans service which followed a memorial mass at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. An honor guard from the 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, fired a 21-gun salute. A bugler played a solemn “Taps.” Then the six female pallbearers slowly and carefully folded the flag, presenting it to her grieving mother, with the thanks of a grateful nation. Jenny’s headstone reads: Loving daughter. Awesome sister. Caring & giving. It also says, like many others around her: KIA. Her Bronze Star with V citation reads:
For exceptionally valorous achievement as a cultural support team leader for a joint task force in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. During this period, CPT Moreno assaulted a remote compound occupied by enemy insurgents. During the assault, the enemy triggered multiple suicide explosive devices and improvised explosive devices, wounding several Rangers. Fully knowing the extreme and imminent danger to herself, CPT Moreno moved throughout an improvised explosive device belt to render medical aid to casualties and assist with evacuation. Through her distinctive accomplishments, CPT Moreno reflected great credit upon herself, this command, and the United States Army.
27 Jul 13:
USA SPC Caryn E Nouv, 29, of Newport News, VA died in Ghazni from wounds she received when enemy forces attacked the vehicle she was in with an improvised explosive device and small arms fire. She was assigned to the 359th Transportation Company, 10th Transportation Battalion, 7th Sustainment Brigade, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, VA. Caryn deployed to Bagram Air Base in January. She grew up in Yorktown, VA, graduating from Tabb High School in 2002. Caryn enlisted in the Army in 2009 and was trained as a convoy driver. This was her first deployment. She is survived by two young children.
2 Jul 13:
USA SPC Hilda I (Ortiz) Clayton, 22, of Augusta, GA died as the result of a non-combat related incident that happened in Qaraghahi near Jalalabad. She was assigned to the 55th Signal Company (Combat Camera), 21st Signal Brigade, Fort George G. Meade, MD. Hilda graduated from Westside High School in Omaha, NE in 2009 and then majored in business studies and cosmetology at Augusta Technical College. While in Augusta, she met her husband, Chase Clayton, who is also in the Army. In July 2012 Hilda graduated from the Defense Information School at Ft Meade and was assigned to the Army’s 55th Signal CO, as a combat documentation specialist in the 21st Signal Brigade. As part of her job, she documented combat situations along with overseas security missions on the battlefield for the Department of Defense and Department of the Army. Hilda was a combat camera specialist attached to the Long Knife Brigade to document the development of the Afghan National Security Forces. Her photos have been seen on Department of Defense and Department of the Army Web sites, as well as in print stories read around the world. They told the story of the US efforts in Afghanistan, as well as the maturation of the Afghan National Security Forces. Hilda died during an Afghan National Army training exercise Tuesday, when a mortar weapons system failed and exploded killing her along with three Afghan soldiers and wounding 11 others. Her husband said that she died doing what she loved for her country. Arrangements are under the direction of the Poteet Funeral Home in Augusta. Survivors include her husband SPC Chase E. Clayton, member of Charlie Company 1-30 IN 2 ABCT, 3rd IN Fort Stewart, GA; her mother Evelyn Suarez of Augusta, GA; and her father Ellis Ortiz of Orlando, FL.
18 Jun 13:
USA SPC Ember M Alt, 21, of Beech Island, SC died at the Bagram Air Base along with three other soldiers from wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their unit with indirect fire. She was assigned to 68th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 43rd Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, CO. Militants had fired two rockets into the base late Tuesday. Ember graduated from Killeen High School in Texas 2009. While there she ran track at Killeen High and was a stand-out on the Lady Roos’ track team. Ember ran the first leg of the Lady Roos’ 1,600-meter relay team that finished seventh at the University Interscholastic League State Track and Field Championships in 2009. She called the relay team the “Fantastic 4-by-4” and she also was a regional qualifier in the 300-meter hurdles but had a love-hate relationship with the mile relay. Friends described her as a very loving person who always had hugs for everyone. Following high school Ember took some classes at Central Texas College but she was living along the Georgia and South Carolina border when she entered the Army in May 2011 and had entered her home of record as Beech Island instead of Killeen. She was trained to be a wheeled vehicle mechanic and had been assigned to Ft Carson since November 2011. Just before Ember deployed her stepmother and sister drove to Colorado for a farewell get-together. They visited some tourist spots, drove up to the mountains and talked about plans for when she returned home. They are now thankful that they had that time together. Ember deployed to Afghanistan on 26 November 2012 and was serving her first overseas tour. She has already been awarded the Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Army Service Ribbon. Ember’s father was already in Afghanistan as a civilian contractor and escorted the body of his oldest daughter to Dover Air Force Base in Dover, MD on Friday. Her family was waiting at Dover Delaware Air Force Base to meet the plane bringing her home. Her family was waiting at Dover Delaware Air Force Base to meet the plane bringing her home. Ember was buried at Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery near Ft Hood. She is survived by her father Charles Alt Jr, stepmother (since Ember was 2 years old) Jennifer Owens, and sister Kayla.
8 Jun 13:
USA MAJ Jaimie E Leonard, 39, of Warwick, NY died in Sharana from injuries suffered from small arms fire received at Zarghun Shahr. There were two other men killed with her who were also from New York. She was assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, NY. Jaimie was training Afghan soldiers at a base in Paktika province when she and the others were shot by a man in an Afghan army uniform. The attacker was also killed. She graduated from Warwick Valley High School in 1992. Her high school teachers and acquaintances remembered that she was passionate, dedicated and determined to serve her country. From Warwick she went a bit northward attending and graduating from West Point in 1997. Following graduation she went on to become an Intelligence Officer. Jaimie had been deployed previously to Bosnia in 1999 and Iraq in 2005. She arrived at Fort Drum in July 2010 and deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 and again to there with her unit in January 2013. Among Jaimie’s awards and decorations are two Bronze Stars, two Meritorious Service Medals, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, three Army Commendation Medals, the Valorous Unit Award, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, the National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medals, Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, five Overseas Service Ribbons, the NATO Badge, Parachutist Badge, and the Army Staff Identification Badge. She had completed the Intermediate Level Education Qualification and Common Core Courses, the Counter Intelligent Agent Course, the Combined Arms Services Staff School Course, the Basic and Advanced Military Intelligence Officer Course, the Airborne Course, the Air Movement Operator Course, the Nuclear Biological and Chemical Officer Course, and the Master Fitness Trainer Course. Jaimie is survived by five siblings.
3 May 13:
USAF CPT Victoria A Pinckney, 27, originally from Palmdale, CA, lived in Colorado Springs, CO before relocating to Spokane, WA died along with two others near Chon-Aryk, Kyrgzstan. They were aboard a KC-135 aircraft which is used for mid-air refueling of other aircraft that crashed about 100 miles west of the base the US operates to support military operations in Afghanistan. They were assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild Air Force Base, WA. This incident is under investigation. Victoria graduated from the USAF Academy in 2008 where she played rugby and had a black belt in karate. In her spare time she liked to crochet and scrapbook. She is survived by her husband Richard, a 7-month-old son, her parents and two sisters.
6 Apr 13:
CIVILIAN Anne Smedinghoff, 25, from River Forest, IL was working for the US State Department as a young diplomatic press officer. She was on a mission to donate books to students in a school in Zabul Provine in southern Afghanistan when the convoy she was riding in was struck by another vehicle that exploded. Also killed in the convoy were a civilian working for the Defense Department, three US military service members and an Afghan doctor. Four other State Department employees were injured, one critically. Anne attended Fenwick High School in Oak Park where she was on the track team and enjoyed running, cycling and hiking. Family members thought she wanted to become a lawyer but instead she earned a degree in international relations at Johns Hopkins University. She took the foreign-service exam and joined the Foreign Service after graduating. But just after college, she took the time to ride a bicycle from Baltimore to San Francisco to raise money for cancer research. That’s the kind of young woman she was—always thinking of others! Anne reported to the State Department and her first assignment was in Venezuela. Then she volunteered for the assignment in Kabul, Afghanistan, and started her job there in July. Anne recently assisted Secretary of State John Kerry serving as a guide on his two-day visit to Afghanistan—considered an honor in the foreign service. She was vivacious, smart, capable and often chosen by the ambassador to be the lead person because of her capacity. She believed in the possibilities of diplomacy to improve people’s lives. Anne enjoyed working directly with the Afghan people and was always looking for opportunities to reach out and help to make a difference in the lives of those living in a war torn country. She is the first American diplomat killed in Afghanistan since the war began and on the job since last year’s attack on the US diplomatic installation in Benghazi, Libya. Anne died doing what she loved. She is survived by her parents, Tom and Mary Beth Smedinghoff, a brother and two sisters.
11 Mar 13:
USA CPT Sara M (Knutson) Cullen, 27, of Eldersburg, MD died from injuries sustained in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash near Kandahar along with four other soldiers. They were on a training mission during heavy rain from a sudden storm and powerful winds. She was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Hunter Army Airfield, GA. Sara graduated in 2003 from Liberty High School and was a 2007 graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point where she studied law and was a member of the Judo team. In November 2012 she married former Black Hawk pilot Chris Cullen from Quincy, MA. Sara deployed to Afghanistan in January and Chris went over in February to work with a private company and to be near her. They would meet weekends or in the mornings for coffee. Sara had also served at Fort Wainwright, AK and deployed on a humanitarian mission to Pakistan. She is survived by her husband, parents, brother, sister (a Major, US Army), her brother-in-law, and her nieces.
13 Oct 12:
USA SPC Brittany B Gordon, 24, of St Petersburg, FL died in Kandahar from wounds she suffered when enemy forces attacked her unit while they were escorting a delegation including US coalition members delivering furniture to an intelligence office in the Maruf district, a remote area of Kandahar providence. The attacker wore a suicide vest beneath his intelligence service uniform which he detonated shortly after the delegation arrived. Killed along with Brittany were a former US military officer, the deputy intelligence director for Kandahar providence, two of his bodyguards and another Afghan intelligence employee. Brittany was assigned to the 572 Military Intelligence Company, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA. She grew up in St. Petersburg, attended the Canterbury School of Florida, Admiral Farragut Academy, John Hopkins Middle School and St. Petersburg High School, where she graduated in 2006. Brittany attended the University of Florida and St. Petersburg College expressing an interest in political science and law. She immediately embarked on a fitness regimen to ensure she made the military weight limit. Brittany enlisted in 2010, graduated from basic training and spent a year in Seattle before being sent to Afghanistan. She had a focused determination, infectious smile, was an accomplished pianist, basketball player and recreational dancer but her real passion was helping others. Brittany had no fear and wanted to make a difference because that’s what military people do: make a difference in the lives of others. She trained and worked in military communications doing computer technology. This was Brittany’s first deployment. She was scheduled to return home in December. Brittany is the first female soldier from the Tampa Bay area killed in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. She is the 12th female soldier from Florida to die in the wars. Brittany had just turned 24 and was the daughter of St. Petersburg Assistant Police Chief Cedric Gordon and his former wife, Brenda Gordon. She is survived by her parents and many other family members including her aunt, the Rev. Debbie Thompson and cousin the Rev. Evelyn Thompson and many friends.
3 Oct 12:
USMC SGT Camella M (Alsbrooks) Steedley, 31, from San Diego, CA died in Helmand province while supporting combat operations. She was assigned to Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, CA. The Pentagon originally stated she was killed in combat. But now they say her cause of death is under investigation. Camella enlisted on 11 Dec 2001 and was an air operations clerk with CLR-17. She was on her first deployment. Her awards include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal (second award), Letter of Appreciation (seventh award), NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Certificate of Commendation (third award), Meritorious Mast (second award), Certificate of Appreciation, Navy Unit Commendation, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and National Defense Service Medal. Her father, Marcus Alsbrooks said that the family was gathering and had not decided what information to release to the public. Camella was a San Clemente resident and married to fellow Marine James Steedley. They were married eight years and had four children. Besides her husband and children Camella is also survived by her mother, Ardraine Alsbrooks of San Diego and her father.
1 Oct 12:
NCARNG SSG Donna R Johnson, 29, of Raeford, NC was one of three North Carolina National Guard soldiers who were killed in Khost and died from injuries they suffered when an insurgent detonated a suicide vest while they were on dismounted patrol. The soldiers were all assigned to the 514th Military Police Company, 60th Troop Command, Winterville, NC. A Taliban suicide bomber rammed a motorcycle packed with explosives into a joint US-Afghan patrol killing at least 14 people. The soldiers had just gotten out of their vehicles to walk through a market area. Donna had enlisted in the guard in August 2006 and had already been deployed to Iraq in 2007. The 514th had left North Carolina for training at Fort Bliss, TX in June and departed for Afghanistan in early August. Her remains were flown into Dover Air Force Base Tuesday evening. Donna’s family has a long military history dating back to the Revolutionary War and she is the first in her family to die during combat. Her awards and decorations included the Combat Action Badge, Iraq Campaign Medal and Army Commendation Medal. Donna loved cars, motorcycles, Carolina Basketball and her partner of several years, who also serves in the military. They had been together for years, before the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was repealed. She is survived by her soldierwife--Tracy Dice Johnson, as well as her mother, father, sister Rene Johnson, niece and nephew.
5 Sep 12:
USA CWO2 Thalia S Ramirez (Belbeck), 28, of San Antonio, TX though originally from Nairobi, Kenya died in Logar Province along with another CWO2 when the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter they were flying crashed. Both soldiers were assigned to the 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, NC. There are indications the Kiowa Warrior was shot down but an investigation continues. Thalia joined the Army in 2003 as a water purification specialist and then trained to become a pilot in 2008. She was on her second deployment and had already flown more than 270 missions and 650 hours during her latest tour of duty. She had recently escaped an insurgent attack with machine guns on her aircraft. Thalia is survived by her husband Jesse Belbeck in the United States and her parents Justin Ramirez and Alexandra Moll in Kenya.
27 Aug 12:
MEARNG SSG Jessica M Wing, 42, of Alexandria, VA and Glenburn (near Bangor), ME died in Kuwait City, Kuwait from a non-combat incident. Details about how she died have not been released. She was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom at the time of her death as a helicopter crew chief assigned to the 1st Battalion, 126th Aviation Regiment out of Bangor. The unit provides medical evacuation to patients and military personnel using medically equipped UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. Jessica had been mobilized three times during her 11 years fixing helicopters as an active-duty US Army soldier, once to Haiti and twice to Bosnia. After getting out of the regular Army she served as a citizen soldier in Washington, DC. Upon moving back to Maine Jessica joined the 126th Medevac unit, known as the “Black Bears” eight years ago. She was on her third deployment with the Maine Army National Guard to the Middle East. In addition to her Guard job, Jessica also had a second job fixing and maintaining helicopters at the Army Aviation Support Facility in Bangor. With two decades of experience fixing and maintaining helicopters Black Hawk, Huey, Apache and other aircraft she was the unit’s go-to person. Jessica loved her job and spent 23 years in uniform. Jessica had grown up in Bowdoinham, ME. She attended the Bowdoinham Community School and graduated from Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham in 1988. Growing up Jessica was a Tomboy. She loved rum and cokes, dogs and horror movies. Jessica was featured in a 2005 Bangor Daily News story before her fourth deployment. She and three other helicopter mechanics with the 126th were leaving for Kuwait, and she acknowledged that even with her previous experience there are no guarantees in life. Her mother died about two years ago. She is survived by her father, and two sisters. Jessica is the third soldier from Maine to die while deployed overseas this year. Funeral arrangements for her have not yet been made.
24 Aug 12:
USA PFC Patricia L Horne, 20, of Greenwood, MS died in Bagram. She was assigned to the 96th Aviation Support Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, KY. Patricia graduated from Greenwood High School in 2010 and enlisted. She wanted to be a doctor and the Army would pay for her training. Patricia enjoyed serving her country and was going to re-enlist. She had been at Ft Campbell most of her career as a personnel office clerk and had been in Afghanistan for about a month. Patricia is the 36th military woman to die in Afghanistan during the past 11 years. She is survived by her mother, Betty Horne and five siblings.
17 Jul 12:
USA SPC Krystal M Fitts, 26, of Houston, TX died at a combat outpost in Kandahar province’s Zharay district from injuries she received from indirect fire. She was assigned to E Company, 782nd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division and served as a member of a Female Engagement Team attached to C Company, 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, NC. Krystal had moved to Houston in 2009 and enlisted in the Army that October as a chemical operations specialist. She trained at Fort Jackson, SC, Fort Leonard Wood, MO, and Fort Benning, GA, before being assigned to Fort Bragg in May 2010. Krystal filled a critical role in the unit and took on an ever-increasing number of duties well beyond the scope of her experience and training. She impressed those around her with her motivation, tenacity and drive to learn. Krystal was on her first deployment and had volunteered to serve on a Female Engagement Team and learned Pashtu to help soldiers communicate with local Afghans. The FETs, typically comprised of a few female soldiers attached to a larger, more traditional combat unit, go on patrols with U.S. troops and often participate in humanitarian projects aimed at women and children. Her awards include a Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Action Badge and Parachutist Badge. She is survived by her mother Deanna, stepfather Gary Bailey and others.
8 Jul 12:
USA SPC Erica P (Alecksen) Bailey, 21, of Eatonton, GA died in Maidan Shahr, Wardak Province just south of Kabul from wounds she sustained from an improvised explosive device when the armored vehicle she was in struck the IED. Five other soldiers were also killed. They were all assigned to the 978th Military Police Company, 93rd Military Police Battalion, Fort Bliss, TX. Erica was a tomboyish country girl, catching a small rattlesnake and taking tents, tarps and a cooler to the other side of the family pond where she and her brother set up a base camp. A few years later she spent a week sleeping in the doghouse to make sure Angel didn’t roll over on her newly born litter. Erica often went to bed wearing a bathing suit saying she didn’t want to waste time changing clothes in the morning so she was ready to jump in the pond. She was a daddy’s girl, learning how to take engines apart and put them back together, restoring cars, attending auto shows with her dad. He had encouraged her to join the Army, learn a skill and see the world. Erica served in her high school’s ROTC program and was always interested in the Army. She graduated from Putnam County High School in 2009 and married Tim Bailey in February 2010. A month later Erica enlisted in the Army, went to Fort Leonard Wood, MO for training and then transferred to Fort Bliss, TX. She deployed to Afghanistan as a military police officer in February 2012. During her career Erica earned six medals including the Good Conduct Medal, the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. She became the third woman from Georgia to die in the fighting since the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. In addition to her husband Tim Bailey, Erica is survived by her parents Doria and Lars Alecksen; brother Charles; grandparents Hal & Maurine Huggins and Dick & Betty Alecksen; three aunts; an uncle and many other relatives.
21 Dec 11:
USA SPC Mikayla A. Bragg, 21, of Longview, WA., was found shot and killed in a guard tower in Khowst province, Afghanistan. She was assigned as a motor transport operator with the 201st Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Knox, KY. Mikayla who graduated from Mark Morris High School in 2008, graduated basic training at Fort Sill, was classified as a sharpshooter because of her accuracy with a rifle, deployed from Fort Knox in August and was due to return to the United States on 6 Jan. Mikayla joined the Army to earn money to pay for college and she hoped to go into a field helping people or animals. Her father flew to Dover Air Force Base to identify her remains and the Army was planning to do an autopsy. Further investigation will be done as it has been reported that Mikayla had mental health issues, had spent time in the hospital while at Ft Knox, and personnel there didn't pass along that information to her commanding officers. Survivors include her father Steve Bragg, stepmother Amber Bragg, mother Sheyanne Baker, sister Kandyce Bragg, half-brother Allen Davids, and half-siblings Joseph Bragg and Ariel, Darien and Julian DeForge.
1 Nov 11:
OKARNG SPC Sarina N Butcher, 19, of Checotah, formerly of Crossett, OK died in Paktia province with another soldier from wounds suffered when their vehicle was attacked by an improvised explosive device. They were assigned to the 700th Brigade Support Battalion, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oklahoma National Guard, Tulsa, OK. Sarina had attended Checotah Public Schools for two years before joining the Army National Guard in March 2010. She graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC followed by advanced training at Fort Lee, VA, where she served from October 2010 through April 2011, as an Automated Logistical Specialist at Fort Lee prior to deploying to Afghanistan, where she was assigned similar duties. Her job was to determine what supplies go where and how they are stocked. She is the youngest Oklahoma National Guard member to die in combat and is the youngest to have been killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. Sarina has been awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and the Oklahoma National Guard Good Conduct Medal during her 18 months of service. She was the mother of a two-year old daughter, who lived with Sarina’s grandparents James and Martha Mills, of El Dorado during her deployment.
22 Oct 11:
NCARNG 1LT Ashley I. (White) Stumpf, 24, of Alliance, OH, died along with two other soldiers (both Rangers) in Kandahar province of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device. Ashley was assigned to 230th Brigade Support Battalion, 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, North Carolina National Guard, Goldsboro, NC and served as a member of the Cultural Support Team (CST) attached to a Joint Special Operations Task Force--a Ranger unit--in Afghanistan. Born to Robert and Deborah (Miller) White, Ashley was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Mogadore, graduated from Marlington High School in 2005 and Kent State University in 2009. After college Ashley was commissioned as a medical corps officer. She supported special operations combat forces and her primary task was to engage the local female population. She was a passionate runner, dedicated to her Physical Fitness Routines and was often able to outperform the men. US Army Special Operations Command wrote in a press release that Ashley "played a crucial role as a member of a special operations strike force. As a CST member Ashley and others in her capacity were able to identify men dressed in women's clothing, women carrying weapons, and were able to alert their team members. Thanks to John Johnson for providing some of this crucial information. She is survived by her husband, USA CPT Jason Stumpf to whom she was married in May 2011; her parents; twin sister Brittany White of Alliance; brother and sister-in-law, Josh and Catherine White of Hagerstown, MD and their daughter Evelyn; grandparents, Robert and Irene Miller of Marlboro, OH; Ronald and Rose White of Gilmer, TX and other family members and friends. Services were held at Marlington High School with a mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church. Burial was in the Church Cemetery.
4 Jun 11:
USA SGT Devin A Snyder, 20, of Cohocton, NY died near Mehter Lam in Laghman province after her unit was attacked by insurgents with IEDs in a roadside bomb. She was a military policewoman assigned to the 793rd Military Police Battalion, 3rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK. The Steuben County, NY soldier had graduated from Wayland-Cohocton Central School where she excelled on both the track and soccer teams among other things. Devin enlisted in the Army in August 2008, went to Ft Leonard Wood, MO for her training. From there she was assigned to Ft Richardson in February 2009. This was Devin's first deployment (going to Afghanistan in March) and she wanted a career in law enforcement. Devin came from a military family. Her father had served in the Navy, her brother Damien is in the Army and her sister Natasha is in the Navy. Devin was due home in July for a two-week leave. Her parents flew to Dover, DE to be there when their daughter's remains arrived. The school is planning a memorial in her honor. Walter E Baird & Sons Funeral Home in Wayland will be arranging her funeral which will be held Saturday 18 June. Devin is survived by her parents Ed and Dineen Snyder, brothers Damien and Derek and sister Natasha, and many other relatives and friends. In August 2012 it was announced that a section of I-390 from Exit 2 at Cohocton to Exit 3 near Wayland in Steuben County was going to be named in Devin's honor!
27 Apr 11:
USAF MSG Tara R. Brown, 33, of Deltona, FL died at Kabul International Airport. She was assigned as the client support technician in charge of a personnel division to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Joint Base Andrews, MD. Tara was among the eight Americans who were killed by gunfire when a veteran Afghani pilot opened fire on instructors and advisors in the operations room following an argument with a foreign colleague. She deployed to Afghanistan in January to train Afghan airmen on computer and networking skills.
16 Apr 11:
Two women, assigned to the 101st Special Troops Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, KY, were killed along with three men at Forward Operating Base Gamberi, Nangarhar province, from wounds they suffered when an Afghan National Army soldier attacked them with multiple grenades. The man was described as a Taliban sleeper agent who detonated a bomb vest he was wearing in a meeting attended by about 40 people.
USA SSG Cynthia R. Taylor, 39, of Columbus, GA was a wheeled vehicle mechanic. She enlisted in the Army in November 2003, arriving at Fort Campbell in April 2004. Her awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the Iraq Campaign Medal. Cynthia is survived by her daughter, Maggie Taylor of Clarksville, TN; her son, Joseph Goodwin of Oak Grove, KY; and her mother, Judy A. Hart of Clarksville, TN.
USA SGT Linda L. Pierre, 28, of Immokalee, FL was in her first tour overseas and had been deployed in late 2010. She served as a human resource specialist helping train Afghan soldiers and had also been on foot patrols. Linda graduated in 2001 from Immokalee High School, attended Edison State College in Lee County for two years where she studied pre-med and was enrolled in Columbia Southern University, an online university pursuing a criminal justice degree. When she was 21 she enlisted in the Army in 2004 and wanted to make the military her career. Linda was described as “both kind and generous and a reliable and positive person.” She enjoyed playing softball and golf. A funeral for Pierre is expected on April 30 in Immokalee, according to family members. Survivors include her father Jean Baptiste Lamour; mother Elvina Pierre; her four brothers, SSG Jean Robert Lamour, Kevin Tanelus, Jimmy Lamour, and David Lamour; and sister, Cindy Lamour Watson.
20 Jan 11:
USA PFC Amy R Sinkler, 23, from Chadbourn, NC died in Baghlan province from wounds she sustained when her unit was attacked with an RPG. She was assigned as a motor transport operator to the 109th Transportation Company “Rough Riders”, 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Fort Richardson, Alaska. Amy grew up in Chadbourn, a small town in Columbus County and joined the Army to see the world. She attended Chadbourn Middle School and graduated from West Columbus High School in 2006. Amy enlisted in August 2009 and went to Fort Leonard Wood, MO for her training. She was then transferred to Fort Richardson in January 2010. Amy married her high school boyfriend, Doug Sinkler in 2010. She deployed to Afghanistan in July 2010. Amy was manning the turret gun of a mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle in a convoy headed to Forward Operating Base Killaghey when the vehicle was hit with a rocket-propelled grenade.
18 Jan 11:
USN OS2 Dominique Cruz, 26, of Panama City, FL went missing from aboard the USS Halsey in the Gulf of Oman while supporting OEF. Her body was found 19 Jan 11. She had been an Operations Specialist Petty Officer 2nd Class on the ship. The Halsey calls San Diego, CA home but it was on a six month deployment which began in September assigned to the Fifth Fleet area of responsibility doing security operations in the Western Pacific and Arabian Sea. A search began for her after she failed to report for watch duty. Helicopters from Halsey, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), USNS Rainier (T-AOE-7) and the Royal Navy’s HMS Cumberland (F 85), F/A 18 Hornets from the Lincoln and P-3 maritime patrol aircraft participated in the search operations. Dominique enlisted in the Navy in June 2006, and was assigned to the Halsey that December. She worked in the destroyer’s combat information center, an operation that provides an electronic picture of the area for the ship. The Navy is investigating her death.
12 Jan 11:
USA SGT Zainah C Creamer, 28, of Texarkana, TX, died in Kandahar province from wounds she sustained when her unit was attacked with an IED. She was assigned to the 212th Military Police Detachment, Headquarters Battalion, Fort Belvoir, VA. Zainah had been in the Army for a little over six years and had been with the 212th since October 2009. While this was her third deployment, it was her first as a Military Working Dog handler. She and her canine partner, Jofa, left for Afghanistan on 26 Oct 2010. They were attached to the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment when the attack occurred. Jofa was not injured in the attack. Zainah graduated from high school in Texarkana where her aunt and extended family reside in 2000 and later from the University of Maryland. Her mother and brother are in the Philippines which is where she will be buried. Her family has requested to adopt Jofa.
16 Nov 10:
USAF LTC Gwendolyn A Locht, 46, of Fort Walton Beach, FL died in Houston, TX after being medically evacuated from Kandahar on 22 May for treatment of a non-combat related illness. She was assigned to the 96th Inpatient Operations Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, FL. Born 5 June 1964 at Eglin Air Force Base, Gwen graduated from Choctawhatchee High School—then received her nursing degree from the University of South Alabama. On 8 Oct 88 she married David Locht. She worked in a hospital in Fort Walton Beach before she joined the Air Force. Gwen was assigned to Eglin, deployed for Operation Desert Storm, then to Maxwell AFB, AL. She switched to the USAF Reserve for two years during which she had her son. Gwen returned to active duty and was assigned to Patrick AFB, FL, then to Elmendorf AFB, AK where her daughter was born. The family of four then returned to Florida and was assigned to Hurlburt Field and to Eglin once again from which Gwen deployed to Afghanistan. While in Afghanistan she was diagnosed with having Leukemia and began treatment but to no avail. Gwen had a love of the sea, beach, salt air so she was fortunate to have had assignments that kept her near the oceans and gulf. She is survived by her husband David, son David Jr, daughter Danielle, brother Jerry and other family members. Gwen and her family had kept a journal throughout her illness--it can be seen at CaringBridge.
22 Oct 10:
USA SSG Aracely Gonzalez O’Malley, 31, of Brawley, CA died in Hamburg, Germany from injuries she sustained in a non-combat incident when she suffered a brain aneurysm on 12 Oct at Mazar-a Sharif. She was assigned as a Communications Staff Sergeant to the 307th Integrated Theater Signal Battalion, 516th Signal Brigade, 311th Signal Command, Schofield Barracks, HI. She had served in deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa. Aracely enjoyed music, photography, scrapbooking, dancing and San Diego Chargers Football. She is survived by her husband, Ryan O’Malley; children, Sidney, Riley and Sean; parents, Armando Gonzalez and Juanita Buzo; brothers, Santiago and Armando Gonzalez; and sisters, Lizbeth and Paulette Gonzalez. She was buried at Desert Lawn Memorial Park in Yuma, AZ
8 Oct 10:
CIVILIAN Linda Norgrove, 36, a British citizen who worked for USAID--which is why I chose to post her on this list since she was employed by the US agency however she is not included in the US civilian casualty count, was killed during the attempt to rescue her from Taliban captors--see Aid Worker Linda Norgrove Killed in NATO Rescue Attempt. She was kidnapped along with three Afghan colleagues in September while working on an American project in eastern Kunar province when her convoy was ambushed on 26 Sep. The Afghans were released while she was kept hostage for two weeks. NATO troops tried to rescue her but she was killed during the attempt. Linda was born in Scotland and grew up in the Outer Hebrides, which are islands off Scotland's west coast. She studied in Scotland, Oregon, London and Mexico, and wrote her PhD thesis on indigenous people in Uganda. She had worked for the World Wildlife Fund in Peru, the United Nations in Laos and then in Afghanistan. Before her death Linda was the regional director for a five-year, $150 million USAID project in Afghanistan designed to create jobs, boost the economy and improve local Afghan leadership.
24 Sep 10:
USA PFC Jaysine S Petree, 19, from Yigo, Guam which is in the northeast corner of the island that includes Anderson Air Force Base died from wounds from an IED. She was assigned to the 109th Transport Company out of Fort Richardson in Anchorage AK. Jaysine was born in the Philippines but had moved to Guam in 2002 and was a graduate of Simon Sanchez High School. She enlisted in the Army right after graduation to get funding for college and has served about 19 months. Jaysine’s remains arrived at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware and will no doubt soon be in Guam. She is survived by her father Herbert Petree and others. Funeral arrangements have not been finalized.
18 Sep 10:
USA PFC Barbara Vieyra, 22, of Mesa. AZ died from wounds she suffered when insurgents attacked her unit using an improvised explosive device and rocket propelled grenade fire in Kunar province. She was assigned to the 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas. Barbara grew up on an east Mesa dairy farm. She graduated in 2006 from Skyline High School in Mesa where she loved painting and played on the junior varsity softball team during her sophomore year. She was also a competitive swimming and dancer. She was the first southeast Valley woman killed in either the Iraq or Afghanistan conflicts. She was an expert marksman and had previously served in Korea. She was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart and had already been awarded the Army Commendation Medal. Her parents, Raul and Elizabeth, flew to Delaware to identify her body. Besides her parents Barbara is survived by her daughter Evelyn and younger sister, Guadalupe. A wonderful article and photos can be found at Mesa family honors life of first female E.V. soldier killed in Afghanistan.
5 Aug 10:
CIVILIAN Cheryl Beckett, 32, from Knoxville, TN was murdered by Taliban fighters in northern Afghanistan along with nine other civilian humanitarians. Cheryl was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH, grew up in Owensville, OH and graduated as valedictorian from an area high school. She went on to attend college at Indiana Wesleyan University where she received a degree in biology. Her parents relocated to Knoxville where her father is a pastor. Cheryl traveled around the world and was in Afghanistan helping with nutritional gardening and mother-child health care.
30 Dec 09:
Two women died in an attack in Khost along with several other members of the CIA at Forward Operating Base Chapman, a small, heavily fortified compound near the town of Khost, on Afghanistan’s eastern border with Pakistan. They were killed by an informant who had set a trap saying he had infiltrated al-Qaeda’s innermost circle. This was the deadliest single attack on the spy agency in 25 years. The Memorial Wall in the Langley headquarters has 102 stars designating officers and contract employees killed on the job since 1947. A leather-bound volume beneath the display lists 62 names; the 40 others are denoted only by a gold star and a blank space.
CIVILIAN Jennifer L Matthews, 45, of Fredericksburg, VA was the chief of the CIA’s Forward Operating Base Chapman. Jennifer was an expert on al-Qaeda and a veteran targeteer in the agency’s air war against terrorist groups and had been in Khost for seven months. She is remembered as a passionate analyst, among the first to specialize in the study of an obscure group of pan-Arab terrorists who called themselves “the Base,” or al-Qaeda. Jennifer had worked in the Osama bin Laden unit, known as Alec Station, and also served a brief stint in London. She was the mother of three. No photo located.
CIVILIAN Elizabeth Hanson, 30, a native from Illinois was a CIA anaylst was also assigned to the CIA’s Forward Operating Base Chapman. Elizabeth was a 1997 graduate of Keith Country Day School in Rockford, IL where she was friendly and talkative and had an intellectual curiosity and gregarious nature. Elizabeth was voted most talkative girl by her classmates during her senior year and had the nickname Bitsy. She graduated in 2001 from Colby College in Waterville, ME with a desire to understand the world around her. She majored in economics and minored in Russian language and literature. Her father Duane Hanson, Jr. admitted that he didn’t know much about his daughter’s work, but he had begged her not to go to Afghanistan. A family friend had posted notice of her death to friends on Facebook.
25 Oct 09:
USA SGT Eduviges G (Preciado) Wolf, 24, of Hawthorne, CA died in Kunar province from wounds she received when insurgents attacked her vehicle with a rocket propelled grenade. She enlisted in November 2003 and joined her current unit in June 2009. Eduviges had been in Afghanistan since June. She was an Automated Logistical Specialist assigned to the 704th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, CO. Friends knew her as “Duvi.” She had always wanted to join the military from the time she was a child. She graduated from Leuzinger High School where she had joined the Junior ROTC program. During this same time frame she was part of the Hawthorne Police Department’s Explorer program where she worked fingerprinting children, working traffic control at parades and learning what it took to become a police officer. The youngest of four sisters who immigrated with their parents to Southern California from Mexico in addition to serving her country, she had told her father that serving the United States was a path for her to become a citizen. She is the first woman among the 18 South Bay and Harbor Area residents of the Los Angeles area to die while fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Eduviges is survived by her husband Josh who is also serving in Afghanistan; her two young daughters Valerie and Isabel; her parents and siblings.
8 Aug 09:
USA SSG Tara J Smith, 33, of Nashville, NC died in Bagram at Camp Phoenix. Her death resulted from an apparent non-combat medical condition which occurred on 4 August. She was assigned to the 50th Signal Bn, 35th Signal Brigade, XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, NY. Her death is under investigation. Tara was a native of North Carolina born in Spring Lake. She enlisted in February 1997 and had served tours in Arifjan, Kuwait; Camp Casey, South Korea; and Fort Huachuca, AZ. She is survived by her husband, Deron, and sons, David, 8, and Jordan, 6.
26 May 09:
USAF SrAirman Ashton L M Goodman, 21, of Indianapolis died near Bagram Air Field from wounds she sustained from an Improvised Explosive Device. She was assigned to the 43rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, Pope Air Force Base, NC. Ashton graduated from Warren Central High School in 2006 where she had been a member of the Japan Club and Zoo Teen Club where she volunteered at the Indianapolis Zoo. She had worked at PetSmart before enlisting, was fond of animals and was working toward becoming a veterinarian. After joining the Air Force in July 2006, Ashton was assigned to the 43rd Airlift Wing based at Pope Air Force Base. She was a driver for that wing, becoming certified to drive tractor-trailers and volunteering to serve in Iraq where she drove supplies around the country. She also volunteered to go to Afghanistan and was working with the Panshir Provincial Reconstruction Team helping to rebuild roads and schools in Afghanistan. Ashton would have finished her tour of duty in Afghanistan in a couple of months and had served in as a driver for the Air Force’s 43rd Airlift Wing. She is the third Indiana woman to die in military action during the Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002.
20 May 09:
1LT Roslyn L Schulte pronounced
27 Mar 09:
USN LT Florence B Choe, 35, of El Cajon, CA died when an Afghan National Army soldier opened fire on personnel assigned to Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan at Camp Shaheen, Mazar-E-Sharif. She was serving as a medical administration and logistics mentor to the Afghan National Army. She volunteered to go to Afghanistan and deployed July 2008. She was mentoring personnel in an Afghan hospital. She and two others were shot while out conducting physical training. Florence was born at Naval Medical Center San Diego, graduated from Monte Vista High School. She earned an associate’s degree from Cuyamaca Community College in 1994, a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California San Diego in 1997 and a master’s degree in public health and health care administration in 2001 from San Diego State University. She joined the Navy and was commissioned as a Medical Service Corps member on 21 Feb 2002. She eventually returned to the San Diego Naval Medical Center, where she and her husband both worked. Florence is survived by her husband LtCDR Chong “Jay” Choe; daughter Kristen; mother Francisca Bacong; father Rufino Bacong Sr; and brothers Rufino Bacong Jr. and Ron Bacong and other family members and friends. She was buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego.
1 Mar 09:
ILARNG SPC Simone A Robinson, 21, of Dixmoor, IL died at Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, TX from wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near her security post on 17 Jan 09 in Kabul. She was assigned to the 634th Brigade Support Battalion of the Illinois Army National Guard, Crestwood. Simone joined the National Guard during her senior year of school in December 2004 and graduated from Thornton High School in south suburban Harvey in 2005. Though assigned to Company G, 634th Brigade Support Battalion in Crestwood, she deployed with E Company, a sister unit in Joliet in August 2008. The unit arrived in Afghanistan in December, just weeks before the incident in which Robinson was fatally wounded. It was her first time in a war zone. Simone and her comrades were just outside the gate of Camp Eggers providing security for a fuel truck outside the base when a suicide bomber attacked. The explosion trapped her between a burning vehicle and the wall of the compound. She was the most seriously injured, with burns covering half her body. She had been in critical condition at Brooke Army Medical Center where she was being treated for severe burns, an amputated leg and a skull fracture. Simone was a single mother from Robbins, IL and is survived by her 2-year-old daughter.
7 Jan 09:
CIVILIAN Paula Loyd, 36, from the San Antonio area, died at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, TX from burns she received on 4 November 2008 in Maywand, near Kandahar, when doused with fuel and set afire by an irate Afghan civilian. Paula, a social scientist/anthropologist, worked for BAE Systems as part of the Human Terrain Team helping US soldiers navigate the local culture. Prior to this position Paula had served in the Army for 4 years and the USAR for another 4 years where she attained the rank of staff sergeant. Her expertise in both components led her to accept the position with BAE. Her goal had been to rebuild both lives and services within foreign countries. Paula had graduated from Wellesley College with both a cultural anthropology degree and another in Spanish. She got her Masters in Foreign Service for Foreign Policy and International Security from Georgetown University as well as a Certificate in Refugee and Humanitarian Studies. While as a member of the USAR she served in Bosnia. She had also spent lots of time in Afghanistan first as a civilian military officer for a UN Assistance Mission and then as a field program officer for the US Agency for International Development before joining BAE. Paula is survived by her parents, step-parents, brothers, sisters and fiancé.
13 Aug 08:
CIVILIAN Nicole Dial, 30, was a dual citizen of the United States and Trinidad. Her permanent residence was in Trincity, Trinidad and Tobago, WI. She died in Logar, south of Kabul from multiple gun shot wounds along with co-workers Shirley Case, 30, of Williams Lake, British Columbia; Jacqueline (Jackie) Kirk, PhD, 40, of Outrement, Quebec, a dual citizen of Canada and the United Kingdom; and their driver Mohammad Aimal, 25, of Kabul after militants ambushed their vehicle. A second Afghan driver was seriously wounded in the attack and has been hospitalized. They all worked for the New York based International Rescue Committee. Their IRC white vehicle was riddled with hundreds of bullets even though it had stickers on the side of it saying IRC. The women were traveling from the eastern city of Gardez to Kabul when they were attacked. The IRC provides emergency relief, rehabilitation, protection of human rights and post-conflict development in countries around the world. Nicole had worked with Search for Common Ground before joining the IRC on May 21 in Afghanistan as a coordinator in the agency’s programs for children. The IRC carries out humanitarian relief and development programs in 42 countries and operates a network of refugee resettlement offices in 24 cities in the United States. It has headquarters in New York, London, Brussels and Geneva. It has been working in Afghanistan for 20 years, providing lifesaving aid and recovery assistance to the Afghan people. As of July, the staff comprised 531 Afghans and 11 expatriates. Due to this recent incident the IRC has suspended operations in Afghanistan indefinitely. Nicole is survived by her parents and a brother.
25 Jul 08:
USA SPC Seteria L (Harris) Brown, 22,of Orlando, FL, died in Sharana of injuries sustained in a non-combat incident. She was assigned to the 62nd Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade, Fort Hood TX. The incident is under investigation. Seteria was actually from Aliceville, AL. She enlisted in the Army in July 2004 after graduating from Aliceville High School. She was trained as a food service specialist and then assigned to the 62nd Eng Bn since February 2008. Seteria deployed to Afghanistan in April 2008. This was her second deployment! She enjoyed Army life and re-enlisted after her initial four-year contract expired. Her decorations and awards include the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and Overseas Service Ribbon. Her mother, Michelle Harris, was told that Seteria died from a gunshot wound to the chest but exactly what happened isn’t clear yet. Seteria was buried in New Cemetery outside Aliceville in McMullen, Pickens County and accompanied by the Patriot Guard. Besides her mother, Seteria is survived by her seven-year-old daughter and younger brother Keiwan Harris.
28 Sep 07:
MAARNG SPC Ciara (pronounced Kee-ra) Durkin, 30, of Quincy, MA died at Bagram Airfield from a non-combat gunshot. She was a member of the 726th Finance Battalion of the Massachusetts Army National Guard from West Newton and assigned to Task Force Diamond as part of her finance unit that deployed to Afghanistan in November 2006. Ciara had traveled extensively in Afghanistan handling payroll for her unit. She was found with a single gunshot wound to her head lying near her church on a secure military base and the incident is under investigation by US Central Command. Ciara may have been on her way to or from church when she was killed. She had changed to a nine-to-five shift so she would be safer and apparently had finished work as she had changed into casual clothes. Ciara had asked her relatives to press for answers if anything happened to her while she was deployed. Ciara feared something might happen to her after she had seen things that she didn’t like and had raised concerns that annoyed some people. Though she was openly gay the family does not believe that had anything to do with her death. Family members think that Ciara was killed by a fellow service member, intentionally or accidentally, and they are confident that she did not commit suicide. They are appealing to the Irish government, in addition to American congressmen, for additional help in clearing up the details of her death. Military officials told family members it could take anywhere from three weeks to three months for Ciara’s autopsy report to be released and the investigation could take as long as eight weeks. Ciara was originally from the island of Eanach Mheain in Connemara, Ireland where she was born to an Irish mother and American father Tommy Durkin (now deceased). Her family left Connemara and moved to Boston in 1986. She graduated from Fontbonne Academy in Milton and worked a number of jobs including one in information technology for a healthcare company before joining the Army National Guard in 2005. She admired military discipline and wanted to do something for her country. She had a sense of humor, was very intelligent and hard working. Ciara moved to Quincy a few years ago from Dorchester. She was just home for two weeks with her family early last month. On her way back to Afghanistan, her plane stopped for refueling in Shannon, Ireland, where she called two sisters and a brother who still live there. She had planned to move in with her younger brother Pierce and was looking at working in law enforcement or finance when she returned home in January. Pierce last heard from Ciara when she left him a birthday greeting on his voicemail at 1 a.m. Friday EST--the morning of her death. She is survived by her mother Angela (Cloherty) Durkin; 5 sisters Maura Durkin, Deirdre Durkin, Fiona (Durkin) Canavan, Aine Durkin and Angela (Durkin) Conneely; 3 brothers Pierce, Tom and Owen Durkin; 18 nieces and nephews; and her many friends, especially her best friend Haidee. She requested to be and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. On 24 June 2008 it was reported on WBZ TV in Boston that the Army announced that they determined Ciara's death was a suicide! Likewise Boston Globe printed Army rules soldier from Mass. killed self but I certainly don't believe it--neither does her family or others who have been looking into her death. Then on 7 October 2008 Boston Herald printed Report details Quincy GI's suicide! If you think she committed suicide--think again--and listen to CPL Ciara M Durkin audio recording to her brother on the day she died!
28 Jun 07:
CIVILIAN Santa Garcia Ramirez, 33, from Florence, AZ died near Kabul when a suicide car bomber detonated near her convoy. Santa, who was born in Casa Grande, AZ, had been a corrections officer in Florence for 12 years before joining Pacific Architects & Engineers servicing the US State Department working for the NATO led International Security Assistance Force. She had joined PAE in August 2006 and had been in Afghanistan since October as an advisor helping to rebuild their prison system. Other than a Reuters report of the incident the public would not be aware of her death except that Lockheed Martin which is the parent company of PAE sent a notice to its employees. Santa is survived by her husband, Carlos Garcia; one daughter, Soriah Prokopich; her parents, Fermin and Eddy (Ramirez) Mendivil; three brothers, David Garcia, Francisco Garcia, and Joe Bojorquez of Eloy; and six sisters, Marina Bojorquez, Erica Rodriguez, Eddy Rodriguez, Lupita Rodriguez, Naomi Rodriguez and Janette Rodriguez.
27 Feb 07:
CIVILIAN Geraldine Marquez, 31, from Victorville, CA died at Bagram Air Base when a bomb exploded at the front gate the day that Vice President Dick Cheney visited. She lived in Ontario for several years before moving to Victorville. She was a civilian contractor for Lockheed Martin and had previously served in the US Air Force. Her birthday was the day before her death. She was escorting several Afghan truck drivers inside the gate when a suicide bomber approached and blew himself up killing many people. She had been in Afghanistan since October 2006. Her main job was handling incoming shipments of supplies for the base and mostly doing the paperwork for those supplies. Geraldine was born in Nogales, Mexico then moved to several places including Glendora, Ontario and Victorville. She had been home-schooled and wanted a life filled with travel and learning. She joined the Air Force and got out after eight years in June 2003. She then accepted jobs as a civilian contractor for several companies working in Turkey, Germany and, finally, Afghanistan. The youngest of five siblings Geraldine is survived by many family members including her sister, Yuri Abraamyan of Valencia and brother, Alfredo Marquez of Victorville.
12 Feb 07:
USN MA2 Laquita (Pate) James, 33, of Orange Park, FL apparently died of natural causes. She was on a 6-month deployment onboard the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. She was a Master-at-Arms Petty Officer 2nd Class (E-5) supporting operations off the horn of Africa. Laquita graduated from Ribault High School in 1991. She had called home over the weekend to talk to her kids and complained of having flu-like symptoms however an investigation is being done. She is survived by her two sons 16-year-old Stephen and 11-year-old D'Jimon, her father Cecil Pate, sister Cecily Pate, and many other family members and friends.
8 Sep 06:
USAR SFC Merideth L (Howard) Hvolboll, 52, of Alameda, CA died in Kabul when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near her HMMWV. She was assigned to the 405th Civil Affairs Battalion at Fort Bragg, NC. Merideth is the oldest female casualty of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. She had a degree in Marine Resource Management, worked briefly as a firefighter in Texas, and was working as a fire safety consultant from her home. Merideth had enlisted in the Army Reserve in 1988. In 1991 she met Hugh Hvolboll—they married in December 2005 after she was called to active duty. They had a home in Alameda as well as an apartment in Waukesha, WI. Merideth is survived by her husband Hugh Hvolboll, cousins Melissa Lanier and Lorraine Stevenson as well as many friends.
19 Aug 06:
USA SGT Wakkuna A Jackson, 21, of Jacksonville, FL died in Kunar. She was assigned to the 710th Combat Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, NY. She and two men were in a vehicle that hit an improvised explosive device. They were moving medical supplies to a new post. Wakkuna graduated in 2003 from Stanton Preparatory School in Jacksonville. She joined the Army in 2004. She enlisted because she wanted to save up money for college and then become a doctor after she left the service. She is survived by her mother and father, Teresita Jackson and Sherman Jackson; two sisters, Shenka and Lisa Jackson; two nephews, Ky'Ree and Keamon Coleman, other relatives and friends.
17 Feb 06:
USAF SrAirman Alecia S Good, 23,of Broadview Heights, OH, died when two CH-53 helicopters crashed into the Gulf of Aden in the vicinity of Ras Siyyan, northern Djibouti, while flying a training mission in the Godoria Range area. Marines and airmen were deployed to Djibouti as part of the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Alecia was assigned to the 92nd Communications Squadron of Fairchild Air Force Base, Spokane, WA as a tactical radio operator/maintainer. Alecia had graduated from Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School in 2001 and loved snowboarding. She enlisted a month after 11 September. She was assigned to bases in San Antonio, TX, Biloxi, MS and finally at Fairchild. Survivors living in Dixon, CA include her loving daughter, Tabatha Jordyn Good; her parents Paul and Claire; and her brother Paul Good; while her twin sister, Ashley Good resides in Pacifica, CA. Alecia will be buried in Dixon near her family with full military honors in the Silveyville Cemetery. A Trust Fund has been set up for Tabatha. This report was originally listed on my Iraq list until I noticed she should have been here on OEF.
18 Aug 05:
USA 1LT Laura M. Walker, 24, originally of Texas died in Kandahar when an improvised explosive device detonated underneath the HMMWV she and another soldier were in during ground assault convoy operations. Both soldiers were assigned to the Army’s 864th Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy), 555th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (Provisional), Fort Lewis, WA. Laura graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY in 2003. In February 2004, she deployed to Iraq with the 555th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade. Following that deployment in March of 2005 she deployed to Afghanistan with B/864th Combat Engineer Battalion (Heavy), where she completed her fifteen months as a platoon leader. Most recently she was the Task Force Pacemaker Public Affairs Officer. She wrote articles about her unit’s work and took photographs of their progression building roads in Afghanistan. She is the first woman from Fort Lewis to be killed in Afghanistan and the fifth female service member with Washington state connections to be killed since the onset of the war in October 2001. 1LT Laura Walker is survived by her parents, COL Keith (Class of ‘76) and Valerie Walker; brothers, 2LT Brian Walker (Class of ’05) and Cadet Duncan Walker (Class of ’08); a younger sister; grandparents GEN (Ret) Volney F. (Class of ’50) and Janice Warner, also LTG (Ret) Glenn and Margaret Walker; uncles BG Volney J. Warner (Class of ’76) and Jerry Warner. Laura will be buried at the United States Military Academy’s cemetery at West Point, NY. Photo courtesy of Academy Photo.
6 Apr 05:
Several soldiers died when a CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed in bad weather in Afghanistan near Ghazni. Two of those casualties were women.
USA SGM Barbaralien Banks, 41, of Harvey, LA was on a supply and transport mission when the helicopter she was on crashed. She was assigned to Division Artillery, 25th Infantry Division (Light), Schofield Barracks, HI but had been in Afghanistan since June 2004. She was a senior food management supervisor and due to rotate home in a couple of months. Born in New Orleans she earned master’s degrees in business management and computer information system management at Webster University. The oldest of five siblings Barbaralien joined the Army in 1988. One of her sisters, SFC Cassandra Jeanpierre, is currently stationed in Kuwait. Another sibling is in the Marine Corps. Survivors include two grown children: a son, Kent Kelly, and a daughter, Lashuwnta Kelly; her mother, Sylvia Clofer; three brothers, Tommie and Victorian Williams and Fred Clofer; two sisters, Cassandra Bradley and Vanessa Day; and three grandchildren.
SCARNG SPC Chrystal Gaye Stout, 23, of Travelers Rest, SC died as a result of injuries received in the crash of the CH-47 Chinook helicopter she was onboard. Chrystal was assigned to the Army National Guard’s 228th Signal Brigade out of Spartanburg, SC. She was a basketball player who after graduating from Trinity Christian Academy in 2001 joined the Nation Guard a month before the 11 Sep 01 attack on the World Trade Center. Chrystal had worked at banks and in the food service industry and had applied to Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA before she was called to active duty. She is survived by her father Tony Stout of Easley, SC. Chrystal is honored--Fallen S.C. soldier honored with naming of armory room!
3 Feb 05:
The next three women, Carmen, Cristin and Amy, were part of the Management in Sciences for Health (MSH) a non-profit organization based in Cambridge, MA. They had been in Afghanistan as humanitarians helping the Afghans to improve the struggling nation’s public health system. All three were communications employees. They were onboard the Kam Air Boeing 737-200 jet from Herat that vanished from radar screens as it approached the airport in Kabul and crashed into a mountain. Cristi had been working in Kabul since September 2003. Carmen and Amy were on a three-week business trip, implementing a communications plan for a company health-care program that provides services to Afghans in rural villages. All three women were scheduled to return to Cambridge the following weekend. MSH has 350 Afghan workers and 30 group international staff in the country. The company has set up a memorial fund for the three women, which will be used to further the work they dedicated themselves to.
CIVILIAN Carmen Christina Urdaneta, 32, was born 13 February 1972 in Venezuela, raised partly there in Maracaibo and grew up in Topeka, KS but was residing in Brookline, MA at the time of her death. She graduated from Hayden High School where she was on the honor roll, a member of Amnesty International, the International Club, Hispanic Club, campus ministry and the volleyball team. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in human biology from the University of Kansas in 1994 and participated in a study abroad program in France. In 1997 she earned a master’s degree in public health from Boston University’s School of Public Health. She began her professional career at the AIDS Bureau in Boston, where she worked on an epidemiologic project on AIDS. She then moved to Washington, D.C., where she worked for the Worldspace Foundation, an organization whose mission is to improve access to information in the developing world. In 1999, Carmen became a senior communications associate in the Family Planning Management Program at Management Sciences for Health. In 2001, she served as the director of communications for the firm’s Equity Project, residing in Pretoria, South Africa. She had worked to combat AIDS in Africa and to improve health services in Angola. She was well known in the global health community for her writing and photography. She returned to Boston in late 2003 where she became a senior communications associate at MSH. Carmen was a key member of the team responsible for developing and implementing communication strategies for MSH's various global health programs. She traveled extensively, visiting program sites throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America to capture firsthand the beneficial impact of MS H initiatives. Carmen is well-known in the global health community for both her writing and photography. Her stories have been featured in a variety of publications, and she was a finalist in several photography competitions. She told stories of the people she met around the world. She captured their faces in photographs. She spoke of how MSH programs affected their lives and what they needed to make their lives better. Her stories, published by MSH and in public health news magazines, along with her photos, had won awards. Carmen had been with working for the MSH for five years. She was in Afghanistan to help develop a comprehensive communications strategy for expansion of Afghanistan’s community-based health care plan. Carmen’s last comments in an email before she boarded the plane were that she loved the country and couldn’t wait to go back and do more. In her spare time, Carmen enjoyed the simple things in life such as reading, music, dancing salsa and merengue, the arts and a good cup of coffee. She was fluent in Spanish and French. The family is setting up the Carmen Christina Urdaneta Memorial Fund, which will probably be a scholarship for studying international health or funding for a project that would benefit the people she tried to help. She is survived by her parents Dr. Leonel Urdaneta and Judy Urdaneta; her mother Lia Urdaneta and Larry Lundquist; brothers Dr. JosŽ Urdaneta of Phoenix, AZ and Dr. Leonel Urdaneta of Manhattan, NY; her stepbrothers, Bo and Justin Bowen of Topeka; her stepsisters, Lea Araujo of CO and Christine Owens of Topeka; her nephew and niece Jace Haizley Bowen of Topeka; other very close relatives in Venezuela; and a host of global family and friends.
CIVILIAN Cristin “Cristi” Gadue, 26, was born in Burlington, VT on 7 September 1978. She graduated from Burlington High School in 1996 and from Tufts University in Medford, MA in 2000 where she studied history and political science and was captain of the women’s fencing team. She started out doing clerical work for Management Sciences for Health. But with the assistance of a group of mentors at the company, Cristi flourished, picking up skills and helping to write grant proposals for a project in Afghanistan. She was soon awarded the prestigious Paul Alexander Fellowship through MSH that could bring her to any of MSH’s sites around the world, naturally she chose Afghanistan. Gadue made her first trip to Asia in the fall of 2003, spending her first Thanksgiving and Christmas away from home. She was there on a three-month traveling fellowship to gain valuable public health field-experience. At the conclusion of her fellowship, she was offered a two-year position in the REACH program reporting her company’s work and communicating their efforts to the US Agency for International Development, which was funding MSH’s presence in Afghanistan. She returned home for about a month, sold her car and prepared to make a major move before returning overseas in April 2004. She was soon in Kabul as a Reporting and Communications Officer where she managed internal communications efforts. She worked as a reporting and communication officer with the rural expansion of Afghanistan’s community-based health care program. The program tries to bring health care to 15 rural provinces in Afghanistan. Since then she had been in Kabul for nearly 16 months, gaining public health experience. Through her work, Cristi interacted with everyone from government ministers to domestic staff. Among the many things Cristi held dear were music, movies, books and animals. She was the only child of Michael Gadue of Burlington, VT. She is survived by him; her mother Nancy Murphy of Rutland, VT, her step-father William Anderson; many other relatives, friends and her beagle, Sebastian.
23 Oct 04:
CIVILIAN Jamie Michalsky, 23, from Cokato, MN had been visiting a doctor for a hand injury she had suffered weeks earlier in an automobile accident and was shopping in Kabul when a suicide bomber set off the grenades strapped to his body. Jamie had served in Afghanistan for nine months during 2003 with her Army Reserve unit. When her active duty there ended, she remained in the region by going to work under a U.S. military contract held by WorldWide Language Resources, a company based in Andover, Maine, as a Russian-language interpreter with an office in Uzbekistan. Jamie had learned Russian during a year of intensive Army Reserve language training in Monterey, Calif. Jamie was due to come home in about two months. She was a graduate of Cokato High School in 1998 and attended Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN, for a year. After college, she received law enforcement training and worked for the Police Department in Harker Heights, TX, about 60 miles north of Austin, near Fort Hood. She was training to become a full-fledged patrol officer when she was called for active duty in the Reserve. She even became a skydiver. She is survived by her mother Lissa, step-father Dan Everson, brother Sam Kinney, stepsister Laura Kinney, grandparents Don & Alice Michalsky of Cokato, uncle Dan Michaels, aunt Micki Blenkush, and many friends.
4 Jul 04:
USAR SPC Julie Rochelle Hickey, 20, of Galloway, OH was evacuated from Bagram after collapsing on June 30 while on duty in Asadabad assigned to the Provincial Reconstruction Team. She died in Landstuhl, Germany on July 4 from a non-combat related illness. She had apparently developed complications from diabetes that she didn’t have prior to enlisting or deploying. A graduate of Westland High School in 2002 Julie was employed by Wal-Mart optical in Obetz. Julie enlisted in June 2002, trained as a civil affairs specialist and assigned to the Army Reserve’s 412th Civil Affairs Battalion in Whitehall, OH. She was going to enroll at Ohio State University before she found out her unit was being mobilized. She left for additional training in November 2003 and headed to Afghanistan in January 2004 assigned to the 401st Civil Affairs Battalion from Webster, NY. Born 17 January 1984 in Columbus Julie was perfectly healthy when she entered the military and before deploying—she fainted at work, was stabilized and moved to a hospital in Bagram where she was diagnosed with diabetes. Following her transfer to Landstuhl she went into insulin shock and died the day before she was to be sent stateside to Walter Reed. She had been home on leave in May. She is survived by her parents Melody Hickey and Athena Myers; her father Joseph Hickey; step-father Terry Bruce; siblings Rachel, Joseph, Stephanie, and Makenzie Hickey, Joshua and Patrick Bruce, Selena and Hannah Myers; grandparents Russell and Loretta Daugherty, James and Janice Bruce, and Helen Hickey; many aunts, uncles, cousins, and countless friends. Julie was very much loved by fiancé, Jeff Lagrange, Aunt Susan Marcum, and special friends Audria Daniels, April Hartman, and Jaime Gomer. Julie was preceded in death by her great-grandmother Cloteen Daugherty. A special thank you went to Major Robin Bruno and Specialist Brian Smith. The entire family loves Julie and are very proud of her. She will be sadly missed. Calling hours were held on 12 July at Schoedinger Hilltop Chapel. Burial was the following morning at Interment Sunset Cemetery. Family and friends were requested to share special memories of Julie at her service as well as by email through www.schoedinger.com.
23 Mar 03:
USAF 1LT Tamara (Long) Archuleta, 23,was from Los Lunas, NM. She was assigned to the 41st Rescue Squadron, 347th Operations Group, 347th Rescue Wing from Moody AFB, GA. The HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter she was co-piloting crashed into a mountain at night. Three factors apparently contributed to the accident, according to an Air Combat Command accident investigation board report released 3 July 2003. First, the refueling tanker was flying 150 feet below the required altitude of 500 feet. Second, limited light reduced the effectiveness of night-vision goggles, which led to spatial disorientation and loss of situational awareness. Third, the terrain's high altitude 9,000 feet above sea level -- combined with the 30-degree bank during the refueling aircraft's climbing turn made it difficult to maintain the helicopter in the refueling position. They were enroute to Bagram Air Base on a rescue mission. The chopper’s call sign was Komodo 11. Tamara was on the list for promotion to captain and looking forward to her June wedding. A son Donaciano "Donny," her parents Richard and Cindy Long, brother Michael Long, grandmother Rebecca Long, fiancée 1LT Richard Moores and other relatives survive her.
12 Jun 02:
USAF SSG Anissa A. (Shuttleworth) Shero, 31,was originally from Grafton, WV. She was a loadmaster on MC-130H Combat Talon II with 15th Special Operations Squadron from Hurlburt Field, FL that crashed in the Paktika province of Afghanistan. The plane was later found to be overloaded as they flew between Kandahar and the Bande Sardeh Dam near Gardez. Anissa had enlisted in 1992. She met SSG Nathan Shero in 1997 at the Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas. They were married on 1 Sep 01 and bought a home in Navarre, FL.
18 Apr 02:
USN SN Katrina R Grady, 29, from Greenville, MS died in Bethesda Naval Medical Center, MD. She had been a Seaman (E-1) on board the USS Port Royal as part of Carrier Group Seven. The ship departed Pearl Harbor on 17 Nov 01 for the Persian Gulf. Katrina had either been injured or became ill on 21 Mar 02. She was medically evacuated from her ship sailing near Bahrain and transferred to Bethesda. Since her ship was deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom at the time of this incident I have listed her here for the time being but so far have been unable to find out anything else about her other than what you see here. DoD has not issued a News Release about her death however she is listed on the Casualty Report list.
9 Jan 02:
USMC SGT Jeannette L. Winters, 25,was from DuPage County, IL and Gary, IN. She was on a KC-130R Hercules plane that struck a mountainside and exploded as it approached an airfield in the town of Shamsi in Pakistan. The plane was later found to be flying too low at night without night-vision equipment. Jeannette was an E-5 radio operator (satellite communication technician) from Marine Wing Communications Squadron 38 assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352 (VMGR-352) based out of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS), Miramar, CA. VMGR-352, known as the "Raiders," was attached to Combined Task Force 58 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Jeanette joined the Marines and graduated with Platoon 4021 on 20 Jun 97. She was single and survived by her father and five siblings. An article appeared online just before Christmas '06 which talked about Jeannette as being the first from IL to perish in Afghanistan but its no longer available.
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