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Thread: In Memoriam

  1. #1066
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    6 November 2010

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

    Pfc. Shane M. Reifert, 23, of Cottrellville, Mich., died Nov. 6 in Kunar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.

  2. #1067
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    The young man from post #1064 -


    From the ProJo -

    MIDDLETOWN — They were proud to be there in Boston in August 2007, when their son was sworn in as a volunteer in the Army. They were there in Kentucky when he graduated from advanced basic training.

    But Saturday night, the family of Sgt. Michael F. Paranzino, a 2006 graduate of Middletown High School, were present for an honor they would have gladly forsaken as his flag-draped coffin was somberly removed from a plane at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

    The Department of Defense said Paranzino, just shy of 23, was killed Friday by an improvised explosive device while serving near Kandahar in Afghanistan. The decorated soldier had been a cavalry scout with the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division.

    He had been in Afghanistan since March, after serving a tour in Iraq.

    Throughout the day on Sunday, an electronic sign in front of the Middletown Police Department summed it up in flashing lights: “MPD salutes fallen hero Sgt. Michael Paranzino.”

    More honors will follow once the Army releases his body and he is brought back to Rhode Island for burial. Those arrangements were still incomplete Sunday.

    Paranzino leaves behind a wife, Lindsey, and sons Maxton and Logan, all in Calcium, N.Y., outside Fort Drum, and his parents, Melane and Francis “Butch” Paranzino of Middletown.

    Being a soldier was a job Michael did proudly, his sleep-deprived father said Sunday afternoon. He and his wife had just returned from the “dignified transfer” ceremony marking the return of their son late Saturday night at Dover.

    Family and friends were beginning to arrive at the home, tucked away at the edge of a farm on Vanicek Avenue. A friend, fresh from church where a Mass of Remembrance was said on Michael’s behalf, brought food. Others lingered sorrowfully in the kitchen. The Paranzino answering machine gave a beep every 10 seconds, signifying messages waiting to be checked.

    “He was a very good soldier,” Butch Paranzino said. “Needless to say, we were very proud of him.”

    Michael Paranzino graduated from Middletown High School in 2006. He did some wrestling there. He was also a good archer, his mother said.

    He didn’t want to go to college right away and explored other options, such as working at a tent company and toiling on fishing boats. Ultimately he decided to volunteer for the military.

    “He said, ‘I don’t want to be a nobody and hang around here. I want to make something of my life,’ ” his father recalled.

    Butch and Melane stood with him when he took his oath in Boston. “When he completed his advanced basic training, we were there at Fort Knox” in Kentucky, the father said.

    “He learned what it was to work hard, respect authority and discipline. As a youngster, he kind of made his own rules,” Butch said. The Army “was very good for him. It was wonderful, except for the danger.”

    Butch Paranzino said his son was proud of how far he had come as a soldier.

    “He did like it. He was doing what he wanted to do. I don’t think there was any talking him out of it,” he said. “He went from teenager to man,” intent on providing for his family, being a good son and being a good soldier to his country.

    “He took pride in the responsibility he had for the other guys. When he made sergeant, I asked how it felt. And he said, ‘Well, can you imagine being in charge of a bunch of crazy teenagers with guns?’ So even at 22, he had that parental attitude.”

    Cell-phone and Internet service wasn’t easy to come by in that region of Afghanistan. “I would either get a text message, a phone call or some contact by Facebook every 7 to 10 days,” Melane said.

    “As a parent, you live to hear that he said something,” said Butch, especially when “we knew it was a very active area” of Afghanistan.

    “Even if he said something to someone else,” she explained, “I knew he logged on and he was okay.”

    Melane would send him weekly care packages of clean socks, beef jerky and homemade peanut butter balls.

    The couple last saw their son two weeks ago. “He was back here on a mid-tour leave and we had the absolute best time,” Butch Paranzino said, then fighting back tears. “He promised us he’d come home safe.”

    Sunday, Melane Paranzino wore a necklace consisting of Michael’s identification, along with dog-tag-size photos of her soldier.

    “I wore these during his first tour [in Iraq]. He got an extra dog tag and gave it to me,” she said. As for the pendant with photos on either side, “I had this made because I wanted to be able to see him and keep him close to my heart. And now, I’ll never take them off.”

    “I believe he’s a hero,” Butch Paranzino said. “He fought so we can have what we enjoy here. Whatever challenges you have in your life, if you think of him and do the best you can to succeed, you’re honoring his memory.”

    [email protected]

  3. #1068
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    5 November 2010

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

    Staff Sgt. Jordan B. Emrick, 26, of Hoyleton, Ill., died Nov. 5 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 1st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

  4. #1069
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    6 November 2010

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

    Lance Cpl. Randy R. Braggs, 21, of Sierra Vista, Ariz., died Nov. 6 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

  5. #1070
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    Korea


    Soldier Missing from Korean War Identified

    The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

    Army Cpl. Floyd E. Hooper, 27, of Stratton, Colo., will be buried on Nov. 13 in his hometown. In February 1951, his unit, the 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, fought against Chinese Communist forces in support of Operation Thunderbolt, an operation to sweep and clear enemy forces occupying areas south of the Han River. Strong enemy forces supported by artillery fire forced his unit to withdraw to a defensive perimeter where he was captured on Feb. 4, 1951, near Yangp’yong, Korea. After the 1953 armistice, it was learned from surviving POWs that he had been held in a POW camp in Suan County, North Korea, and died of malnutrition and dysentery just a few months later.

    Between 1991 and 1994, North Korea gave the United States 208 boxes of remains believed to contain the remains of 200-400 servicemen. North Korean documents turned over with one of the boxes indicated the remains were exhumed near Suan County. This location correlates with Hooper’s last known location.

    Analysts from DPMO developed case leads with information spanning more than 58 years. Through interviews with surviving POW eyewitnesses, experts validated circumstances surrounding the soldier’s captivity and death, confirming wartime documentation of his loss.

    Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command used dental comparisons and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used mitochondrial DNA – which matched that of his brother – in the identification of his remains.

    More than 2,000 servicemen died as prisoners of war during the Korean War. With this accounting, more than 8,000 service members still remain missing from the conflict.

  6. #1071
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    2 more from Illinois past few days

    From Fox News Chicago - A soldier from Plainfield has died in Afghanistan. The Department of Defense said Private First Class Andrew Meari died when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. A 24-year-old army specialist from Massachussetts also died in the attack.

    From the St. Louis news: Springfield, IL (KSDK) -- A 25-year-old soldier from Rochester, Illinois was killed earlier this week while in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, the US Department of Defense said Friday. Spc. James Young died November 3 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan from wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device (IED).

    Specialist Young was assigned to the 863rd Engineer Battalion out of Darien, Illinois. His job was to travel ahead of other vehicles and convoys to clear the road of any explosives. Family members said Young went to Afghanistan earlier this year and had been home on leave less than two weeks ago.

    Rochester is located about seven miles south-southeast of Springfield, Illinois.



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    "That's the power of kittens (and puppies too, of course): They can reduce us to quivering masses of Jell-O in about two seconds flat and make us like it. Good thing they don't have opposable thumbs or they'd surely have taken over the world by now." -- Paul Lukas

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  7. #1072
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    7 November 2010


    The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. They died Nov. 7 in Kunar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked their unit with small arms fire.

    Killed were:

    Sgt. Aaron B. Cruttenden, 25, of Mesa, Ariz.

    Spc. Dale J. Kridlo, 33, Hughestown, Pa.

    They were assigned to the 27th Engineer Battalion, 20th Engineer Brigade, XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, N.C.

  8. #1073
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    4 November 2010


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

    Sgt. Jason J. McCluskey, 26, of McAlester, Okla., died Nov. 4 at Zarghun Shahr, Mohammad Agha district, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire. He was assigned to the 27th Engineer Battalion, 20th Engineer Brigade, XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, N.C.

  9. #1074
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    England

    It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Senior Aircraftman Scott 'Scotty' Hughes serving with Number 1 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment died in Cyprus on Sunday 7 November 2010 following injuries sustained in an accident.

    Ministry of Defence statement

  10. #1075
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    8 November 2010


    Soldier With Maine Ties Killed In Afghanistan
    Spc. Andrew Hutchins Was 20

    POSTED: 9:26 am EST November 9, 2010
    UPDATED: 5:17 pm EST November 9, 2010

    AUGUSTA, Maine -- Another soldier with ties to Maine has been killed in Afghanistan.

    Spc. Andrew Hutchins, 20, was killed Monday.

    Hutchins was a military policeman serving with the 101st Airborne Division from Fort Campbell, Ky.

    “As Veterans Day approaches, we are painfully reminded that our country remains at war, and that our men and women in uniform are still called to duty for their country,” Gov. John Baldacci said.

    Baldacci said he spoke with Hutchins' father, who said his son had been wounded previously, but that he wanted to return to Afghanistan to be with his buddies.

    Hutchins’ mother lives in Waltham and his father lives in Leeds. His wife plans to stay in Maine with her mother until Hutchins’ funeral.

    Hutchins is the second person this month with Maine ties killed in Afghanistan. Marine First Lt. James R. Zimmerman, 25, died Nov. 2.
    source

  11. #1076
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    8 November 2010


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

    Spc. Anthony Vargas, 27, of Reading, Pa., died Nov. 8 in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to 1st Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.

  12. #1077
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    9 November 2010

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

    2nd Lt. Robert M. Kelly, 29, of Tallahassee, Fla., died Nov. 9 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

  13. #1078
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    Navy Commissions New Guided Missile Destroyer Jason Dunham

    The Navy will commission the newest Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer, Jason Dunham, during a 10 a.m. EST ceremony Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010, at Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The new destroyer honors Cpl. Jason L. Dunham, the first Marine awarded the Medal of Honor for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Amos will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Debra Dunham will serve as sponsor of the ship named for her late son. The ceremony will be highlighted by a time-honored Navy tradition when she gives the first order to “man our ship and bring her to life!”

    Dunham was born in Scio, N.Y., Nov. 10, 1981, sharing the same birthday as the U.S. Marine Corps. On April 14, 2004, Dunham’s squad was conducting a reconnaissance mission in Karabilah, Iraq, when his battalion commander’s convoy was ambushed. When Dunham’s squad approached to provide fire support, an Iraqi insurgent leapt out of a vehicle and attacked Dunham. As Dunham wrestled the insurgent to the ground, he noticed that the enemy fighter had a grenade in his hand and immediately alerted his fellow Marines. When the enemy dropped the live grenade, Dunham took off his Kevlar helmet, covered the grenade, and threw himself on top to smother the blast. In an ultimate selfless act of courage, in which he was mortally wounded, he saved the lives of two fellow Marines.

    Designated DDG 109, Jason Dunham, the 59th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, will be able to conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection. Jason Dunham will be capable of fighting air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously and will contain a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime warfare in keeping with “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower.”

    Cmdr. M. Scott Sciretta, born in South Amboy, N.J., will become the first commanding officer of the ship and will lead the crew of 276 officers and enlisted personnel. The 9,200-ton Jason Dunham was built by Bath Iron Works, a General Dynamics company. The ship is 509 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet, and a navigational draft of 31 feet. Four gas turbine engines will power the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots.

    The commissioning ceremony will be webcast live at the following location: http://www.navy.mil.

  14. #1079
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    10 November 2010


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

    Lance Cpl. James B. Stack, 20, of Arlington Heights, Ill., died Nov. 10 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

  15. #1080
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    9 November 2010

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

    Lance Cpl. Dakota R. Huse, 19, of Greenwood, La., died Nov. 9 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

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