This morning, the Pentagon announced the death of a Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier who was killed while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
Staff Sgt. Kenneth W. Bennett, 26, of Glendora, Calif., died Nov. 10, 2012, in Sperwan Gar, Afghanistan, from injuries sustained when he encountered an improvised explosive device during combat operations.
Unit records indicate Staff Sgt. Bennett entered in the Army in November 2004, and attended Initial Army Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; Advanced Individual Training (AIT) was at both Redstone Arsenal, Al. and Eglin Air Force Base, Fl.
His AIT training was for that of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Specialist.
Staff Sgt. Bennett arrived at JBLM in February 2009, was assigned to the 53rd Ordnance Company (EOD), 3rd Ordnance Battalion (EOD).
LA Times April 28, 2012
Staff Sgt. Joseph Fankhauser, 30, an explosive ordnance disposal technican, was killed Sunday by a roadside bomb during combat operations in Helmand province. He was part of the 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.
On Friday, Heather Fankhauser issued a statement mourning the loss of “the love of my life” but yet celebrating her husband’s devotion to duty:
“During the past seven years, we’ve endured four combat deployments. As hard as they were and as unbearable as this is now, we would not have changed any of it. He loved his country and he did what he did so that fellow service members could safely return to their families.”
The family dogs are waiting for Fankhauser’s return, his wife said.
“I’ve been trying to figure out how to explain to our dogs that they can stop pacing the door, waiting for Joseph to return again. They jump every time they hear his car alarm. I miss him every day and he will never be forgotten.”
Associated Press March 11, 2012
PRESCOTT, Ark. — When their older brother Jeremy died in Afghanistan, Ben and Beau Wise did what loyal brothers and soldiers do. They stood solemnly in uniform at his memorial, laid red roses in front of his picture, and Ben spoke bravely to a chapel full of loved ones who came to mourn
Soldiers themselves, Ben and Beau knew what their fallen brother had experienced and seen. They knew the difficulties of being a warrior and a devoted husband, and what a testament it was to Jeremy’s character that he had excelled at both.
“Jeremy, I miss you and I love you, brother,” Ben said. “And see you again.”
Two years later, Ben died at a hospital in Germany after an insurgent attack left him with injuries that first cost him his legs, then cost him his life. He was 34, a year younger than Jeremy was when a suicide bomber killed him at a CIA base where he was working as a defense contractor.
For a family that had already paid the highest price of war, it was time for another funeral, another eulogy, another grave.
The eldest Wise boys are two of the thousands of Americans who have died since the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan began. But they share a link that most do not: They were brothers.
“They laid down their lives, both of them, so that others could live,” their mother, Mary Wise, said.
Jeremy had just retired as a Navy SEAL and was working as a defense contractor in Afghanistan. He thought he could spend more time with his family that way and still serve his country. When he was home in Virginia, he played ninjas with his stepson, Ethan, and hung around his wife, Dana, even if she was doing something as mundane as laundry.
January 18, 2012
A Clay County helicopter pilot was killed this week in a crash in Afghanistan.
Michael Clawson, who worked for AAR Airlift of Chicago, was in Afghanistan doing work for the U.S. Defense Department.
Clawson leaves a wife and five children, said Father John Bamman, OFM Conv., of St. Joseph’s University Parish, where Clawson and his family attended worship services in Terre Haute.
The crash happened in southern Afghanistan on Monday morning. Two other people were killed, all employees of AAR Airlift, which is a unit of Wood Dale, Ill.-based AAR Corp.
NATO forces reportedly have secured the area of the crash and were attempting to determine what happened, according to news reports.
Funeral arrangements are pending this morning
By Kirk Mitchell The Denver Post January 7, 2012
Airman 1st Class Matthew R. Seidler, who is from Westminster, Md., was serving in southern Afghanistan when he was killed, according to a Peterson Air Force Base news release.
Seidler, an explosive ordnance disposal technician with the 21st Civil Engineer Squadron, was deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
He and the other two men were part of a road clearance team in the Helmand province when their vehicle was struck by the road-side bomb, according to a Department of Defense news release.
Also killed by the bomb were Senior Airman Bryan R. Bell, 23, of Erie, Pa. He was assigned to the 2nd Civil Engineer Squadron, Barksdale Air Force Base, La. Tech. Sgt. Matthew S. Schwartz, 34, of Traverse City, Mich., assigned to the 90th Civil Engineer Squadron, F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo.
“This is a tragic day for Team Pete, the 21st Space Wing, the 21st Civil Engineer Squadron and especially for Matt’s family,” said Col. Chris Crawford, 21st SW commander. “We will come together to help Matt’s family and friends through their grief.”
Lt. Col. Mark Donnithorne, 21st CES commander, said Seidler’s fellow soldiers will never forget his sacrifice and dedication to his “critical, yet dangerous, mission.”
Seidler, 24, entered active duty in November 2009.
A memorial service will be announced at a later date.
BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, LA (KSLA) – January 6, 2012
23-year-old Bryan Bell died after he was hit by an I-E-D.
Bryan was a member of an elite ‘Explosive Ordinance Division’ (Bomb Squad) based at Barksdale.
His parents say Bryan was originally from Erie, Pennsylvania. He joined the Air Force in April of 2007 and got his bomb disposal training at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida before being assigned to Barksdale.
He married his wife, Alaina in August of 2008 and would have turned 24 next month. Bell also attended Louisiana Tech.
Bryan’s remains are expected to arrive at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware about 11:30 EST.
Family friend, Jim Hawryliw told KTAL’s sister station JET24/FOX66 that Bell was a volunteer firefighter who joined the Air Force in 2007.
Both Bryan and Alaina are from Pennsylvania, Friedley said, and they lived in base housing on Barksdale AFB.
Bell was a member of the 2nd Civil Engineering Squadron based at Barksdale, was an EOD (explosive ordinance disposal) Specialist.
KRCRTV January 3, 2012
Northstate sailor was killed in Afghanistan on Monday.According to Defense Department documents obtained by KRCR News Channel 7, 24-year-old Petty Officer Chad Regelin of Anderson was killed Monday, January 2nd while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
This is a huge loss for the Navy.
Regelin was named Sailor Of The Year last November.
Chad’s parents, Shirene and Scott, traveled from Anderson to the nation’s capitol last November to accept the award on his behalf
Regelin received the award for personally locating and destroying 24 explosive devices and preventing an insurgency attack against his team.
He served a tour of duty in Iraq and two in Afghanistan.He was stationed at Explosive Mobile Unit Three out of San Diego, Ca
24-year-old US Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad R. Regelin, from California, was killed in action during a combat operation in Helmand on 2nd January 2012. He died after being caught in the blast of an insurgent bomb.
PO Regelin served as a bomb disposal technician with Marine Special Operations Company Bravo. He was stationed at the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 3, San Diego, California.
PO Regelin’s family told local news that he was killed just an hour after he’d spoken to his family by telephone. His parents, Shirene and Scott Regelin of Anderson, were notified of his death shortly after 2 p.m.
“He called us while he was on watch,” PO Regelin’s brother, Justin, said. “He was really upbeat because he had just gotten his orders to come back stateside on Feb. 15. He told us that he had about a week to go (in Kandahar) before they could helicopter in the replacement team.”
Charlie Wood was just 34 when he lost his life while searching for hidden bombs. The bomb disposal expert was caught in an Improvised Explosive Device blast last December.
The Warrant Officer Class 2 from 23 Pioneer Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps, was described by his family as “a soldier through and through who did not die in vain”. A son, brother and husband, he had a “heart of gold that could melt the sun”.
Charlie was born and bred in Middlesbrough and the town came to a sombre standstill at his funeral service in January.
Charlie was a keen Boro fan and the cortege stopped off at the Riverside Stadium.
Now a memorial is to be unveiled in his home town. Middlesbrough will honour one of its bravest sons at 2pm tomorrow.
A lawyer, Joakim Dungel was dedicated to the advancement of human rights and had worked, amongst other things, with the War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague in respect of war crimes in the former Yugoslavia and in Rwanda.
Joakim Dungel, 33, followed his passion for defending human rights to some of the most difficult places in the world. A native of Sweden, Joakim trained as an international lawyer and was equally in his element writing scholarly articles and working on cases in Europe as he did interviewing victims of abuses at missions abroad. Before moving to Afghanistan in 2011, where he served as a human rights officer in Mazar-i-Sharif, he worked for the UN in Lebanon and with the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
Colleagues describe Joakim as wise beyond his years, generous, and exceptionally good humored. His ability to make connections with colleagues as well as human rights victims who were not able to speak for themselves was matched by his passion for justice.
Twenty-five-year-old Staff Sgt. Chauncy Mays of Cookville, Texas, and 22-year-old Spc. Christopher Stark of Monett, Mo., died Monday in Wardak province when enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device.
MARQUETTE COUNTY —
26-year-old Matthew Attilai was working security for a private contractor when he was killed by an IED.
He was on the Finland Calling program with his grandfather, George Koskimaki, who’s a World War II veteran and author.
Attilai followed in his grandfather’s footsteps by serving in the U.S. Army until 2009.
A memorial service is planned for this weekend at Faith Lutheran Church in Tilden Township.
Jawed was a cook at the Ministry of Public Health’s Eye Hospital in Kabul, and had been released in order to attend the Eye Camp as the team’s cook.
He also assisted with dispensing eyeglasses, the IAM said. He is survived by his wife and three young children.
“Jawed had been on several eye camps into Nuristan in the past, and was well loved for his sense of humor,” the organization said.
Terry came to Afghanistan in 1971, the IAM said, and “had a heart for the rural areas of Afghanistan.”
He worked for many years in the Lal-wa Sarjangal district of the country.
“Dan specialized in relating to local communities and liaising with aid organizations and the government to improve services in remote areas,” IAM said.
He is survived by his wife, three daughters and one granddaughter.
Carderelli was a professional freelance videographer who worked with a number of Afghan development and humanitarian organizations throughout the nation, the IAM said. “Brian quickly fell in love with the Afghan people and culture and hoped to stay within the country for another year.”
Beyer was a linguist and translator in German, English and Russian who also spoke Dari and was learning Pashto, the IAM said.
She worked for the organization between 2007 and 2009 doing linguistic research and joined the eye camp so she could translate for women patients.
She is survived by her parents and three siblings.