August 30, 2010

Adam Novak

Pvt. Adam Novak, age 20, of Prairie du Sac, was killed August 27, 2010, in the Dzardan district of Afghanistan. 

He had been serving in the 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division, based at Ft. Campbell, Ky. 

Adam Novak was an Infantryman whose awards and decorations include: Army Good Conduct Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon; NATO Medal; Combat Infantryman Badge and Weapons Qualification: M4 rifle (expert).

Adam is survived by his wife, Celeste N. Novak of Moorehead, Minn. and his mother, Susan K. Block of Prairie Du Sac, Wis.

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Adam Novak is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

Bryn T. Raver

Private First Class Bryn T. Raver, age 20, was in Nangahar, Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom. His vehicle was hit by rocket-propelled grenade fire on August 28, 2010. and he died. 

Bryn Raver was assigned to the 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. 

He is survived by his wife, who resides at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington; a daughter in Alpena, Ark.; and his father of Everton, Ark.

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Bryn Raver is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

James Robinson

Army Spc. James Robinson, age 27, died August 28, 2010, after his unit was hit with indirect fire from insurgents in the Paktika Province of Afghanistan.


James Robinson was based in Fort Campbell, Ky., and was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).


James joined the Army in February 2005 and was decorated with the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart, among other awards. He is survived by his wife, Kathryn E. Robinson, daughter Victoria A. Robinson and step-daughter, Emily B. Cable, all of Fort Campbell.


Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that James Robinson is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

Ellery Wallace

33-year-old Capt. Ellery R. Wallace of Salt Lake City died August 29, 2010, a day after enemy forces attacked his vehicle with a rocket-propelled grenade.  Ellery Wallace was hit in Nangahar, Afghanistan.

He joined the Army in 2003 and was assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division in Fort Campbell, Ky.

Ellery Wallace is survived by his wife, Janelle L. Wallace, and four children, Liam, Adara, Kael and Ehlana, who live in Clarksville, Tenn; and his parents, Elton and Elaine Wallace of Elkhart, Texas.

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Ellery Wallace is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

James Ide

Army Staff Sergeant James Ide the Fifth was killed while on duty on August 29, 2010. He was age 32. 

James Ide was a dog handler, who trained dogs for bomb sniffing. He was a thirteen year military man, who loved his job and being in the military. Carol Kline, his aunt had this to say "it's very hard for everyone in our family. we're a very large family and we're clinging to each other trying to help each other"

James Ide came from a military family, his father was retired Air Force and knew the risk associated with his job, "He knew the risk. He accepted it and it didn't matter because he was doing what he loved. He wasn't out for glory or recognition. He just loved it. That's all he could talk about was how much he loved the work he was doing for his country".

Sergeant Ide knew from the moment he graduates from DeSoto High School in 1997, that he wanted to go to the Army. During his career, he served a tour in Korea and two tours in Iraq, before going to Afghanistan.

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that James Ide is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

Brian Pinksen

A Canadian soldier injured eight days ago while conducting a foot patrol in dangerous Panjwaii district, Afghanistan, has died in a German hospital.

Cpl. Brian Pinksen was walking a short distance between two Canadian combat outposts on August 22, 2010, in the village of Nakhonay, 18 kilometres south west of Kandahar city, when an improvised explosive device planted by insurgents was detonated, injuring the soldier and one of his fellow servicemen.  Both soldiers were treated at the scene before being airlifted to Kandahar Airfield's Role 3 Multi-National Medical Facility. They were flown to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Centre hospital in Ramstein, Germany three days later. The second soldier is recovering. 

Cpl. Pinksen was from the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Newfoundland Regiment, based in Corner Brook, and served with the 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group.

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Brian Pinksen is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

Another sort of victim of war - Brandon Barrett

Brandon Barrett was a ghost for two months. From the time he got back from his first deployment in Afghanistan until last week, Barrett, a 28-year-old soldier stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, was a specter as far as the U.S. Army was concerned. That changed on Friday afternoon, when Barrett was shot and killed during a shootout in downtown Salt Lake City.

Barrett came back to the states on June 20. His dad, Bill, a Gulf War veteran, didn't notice anything unusual during his son's recent trip home to Tucson, Arizona. "He really just seemed very happy to be home," said Barrett. "There was a smile on his face, and he said he was looking forward to going onto his next duty station."

What Bill didn't know was that his son had gone AWOL. On August 19, after nearly two months without contact, Barrett was labeled a deserter and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Police officers showed up at Bill's home, asking for his boy. Barrett wasn't home at the time. And when he left the next day, Bill assumed his final destination was Tacoma, back to his command. It wasn't.

On Friday afternoon, Salt Lake officers responded to reports of an armed man pacing in the middle of one of the city's busiest intersections. There they found Barrett, in full battle gear and strapped with an assault rifle. Barrett opened fire, wounding one of the cops in the leg. The cops fired back, killing Barrett.

Barrett's unit, like many others in Afghanistan, suffered some casualties during its deployment. But there was very little indication of Barrett's inner mood.

The key words here are "Salt Lake Police officers responded to reports of an armed man pacing....." Does "an armed man pacing" sound like a mentally competent man? Did this man receive counselling from the military? Did any of his comrades report that he was acting strangely?

God help him and all like him who are lost in the system.  God help the person he wounded. 

Charles M. High IV

Army Pvt. Charles M. High IV was killed August 24, 2010, in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. He was 21 years old. 

He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) from Fort Campbell, Ky.

He was born in Albuquerque, attended Albuquerque's Eldorado High School and New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell. He joined the Army in June 2007 and served in Iraq in 2008.

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Charles High IV is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

August 28, 2010

The Lost Men - Addicts and Panhandlers...

I live in a large city.  I don't live in a small town.  We have a pan-handler problem in our City - women and men begging on the streets continually for money. They approach you at bus stops, at bank machines, at inter-sections - looking you in the eye and pleading for money. It is continuous. 


Today, I was at the local bar and had a few drinks, and came back to the Drug Store to get a pack of cigarettes and when I came out of the drug-store, a man asked me for money.  He was pan-handling.  I gave him $1.00 and asked him his age. He is 36.  He didn't look that bad, bearded (so am I); he looked clean and fairly "together". 


I said "Why are you begging for money on the streets?" He said "Because I am addicted to drugs and alcohol.  I can't work and I don't want to work".   I said to him "Why have you given up on life at age 36?" And he said "I don't know.  I won't live that long anyway." 


And I said to him  "Jesus, Mary and Joseph pray for you and all of us."   And I walked away.   I left this encounter feeling out of sorts and confused.  I wanted to cry but I didn't.  I wanted to help, but I didn't know how to.  I don't know what to do for the lost men.  What do you do for those who have given up on life at age 36?  How do you help them?  

Benjamen Chisholm

A Fort Worth-area soldier killed in Afghanistan is being remembered as a young man full of joy and eager to learn.  About 100 people packed into a Fredericksburg church Wednesday morning for funeral services honoring Pfc. Benjamen Chisholm. 

The 24-year-old and another soldier died August 17, 2010 after their vehicle was the target of a roadside bomb. Ben Chisholm graduated from Northwest High School, and used to volunteer at an equine therapy center in Keller. He was a member of the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry of the 101st Airborne Division, based in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Ben was on his first deployment, and a newlywed, when he died.

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Benjamen Chisholm is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

August 27, 2010

Michael Bock



Staff Sgt. Michael Bock died August 13 after bring shot in Helmand province while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. His body was flown to Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old was about six months into his second tour of duty in Afghanistan when he was killed. Bock also spent two tours in Iraq and served in Australia and Indonesia, including aiding the tsunami relief in 2004.
MIchael Bock grew up in Springfield, Nebraska, before moving to Leesburg with his family when he was in high school. His parents said he was an active member of the ROTC at Leesburg High School. He was also a member of the school’s football team in 2000 and 2001.

Michael Bock turned 18-years-old on September 11, 2001, the same day terrorists hijacked four planes, crashing two of them into the World Trade Center and one into the Pentagon. Michael’s parents said he decided that day to join the military.

A month after his high school graduation in 2002 Bock went off to Marine boot camp.

He worked as a combat engineer helping to stop combat explosives. He was assigned to the 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, which is based at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California.

Michael Bock leaves behind his wife of seven years and a 3-year-old son, Zander. Both live in Omaha. He is also survived by his parents Sandra and David Bock who still reside in Leesburg, brothers David and Paul, and sister Christine.

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Michael Bock is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

James Brown and David Leslie Kirkness


David Kirkness
An heroic soldier killed by a Taliban suicide bomb in Afghanistan is to be remembered on a war memorial.
James Brown

Rifleman James Brown, aged 18, from Orpington, died in December, 2009, when two suicide bombers drove towards a checkpoint on a route into central Sangin in northern Helmand, Afghanistan. 

The terrorists had planned to detonate their lethal device at a nearby market but instead detonated it at the checkpoint, killing both Rifleman Brown and fellow soldier Lance Corporal David Leslie Kirkness, aged 24.

Both men were from the 3 Rifles Reconnaissance Platoon.

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that James Brown is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that David Leslie Kirkness is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

Justin Shoecraft

Pfc. Justin Shoecraft, age 28, died August 24, 2010, in Afghanistan from a road-side bomb.

"I'm very proud that he joined the army, and I'm proud that he wanted to serve his country. I'm just not proud that they took him," Donna Shoecraft, Justin Shoecraft's mother, said as she held back her tears. "I never thought I'd have to go through this."

Pfc. Shoecraft joined the Army about two years ago. He was stationed in Germany with the 1st Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment. He was in Afghanistan for only five weeks.

His father remembers him not only as a soldier but also as his hard-working son. "If you said, 'Hey, I need help with something,' he was there to help you," Blue Shoecraft said. Together they worked on the two things they both loved — old cars and old bicycles.

"I never wanted to go through this, and I hope another parent never has to go through this," Donna Shoecraft said.

Pfc. Shoecraft is survived by his wife, Jessica. 

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Justin Shoecraft is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

August 25, 2010

Amy Tirador

The US Army has concluded its criminal investigation into the death of a soldier in Iraq last November, determining Amy Tirador died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The US Army Criminal Investigation Command said Wednesday it wrapped up a "very thorough and detailed" investigation into the death of Staff Sgt. Amy Tirador and concluded Tirador did commit suicide, corroborating a pathological examination by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.

Amy Tirador's parents have maintained Amy Tirador was killed by someone else.

Let us pray that if Amy Tirador was killed by someone else, that this person is brought to justice. 

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Amy Tirador is in heaven. Let us pray that she is at peace and is with God. Amen

Ronald A. Rodriguez

Sgt. Ronald A. Rodriguez, age 26, was killed in an IED blast in Afghanistan's Helmand province on August 23, 2010. 

He served as a field artillery cannoneer with the U.S. Marine Corps 11th Marine Regiment, based at Camp Pendleton, Calif. 

He was from Falls Church, Virginia. 

Ronald Rodriguez also served two tours in Iraq during his eight years as a Marine, earning more than a dozen personal service awards, including the Purple Heart. 

His family issued the following statement Tuesday night:  "We love our son and we will miss him so much. He served his country with honor and courage. He will always be in our hearts. Our prayers go out to all other families of fallen heroes, and we thank you for all of your support."

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Robert Rodriguez is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

Robert J. Newton

Lance Cpl. Robert J. Newton, age 21, was killed by enemy small arms fire while conducting dismounted combat operations against enemy forces in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. 

An infantryman, Newton was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif.

Robert Newton joined the Marine Corps more than three years ago, enlisting in June 2007. This was his second combat deployment. He was previously deployed to Iraq in 2008.

His personal service awards include the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Presidential Unit Citation, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment and the NATO Medal.

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Robert Newton is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

Jared MacKinney

An Australian soldier, serving as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), was shot dead by Taliban militants in Afghanistan on August 24, 2010.

Lance Corporal Jared MacKinney died in a firefight while on patrol. The 28-year-old soldier is survived by his expecting wife Beckie and a three-year-old daughter.  He is remembered as a loving husband and father. 

He was a member of the Brisbane-based 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR). 

His wife is pregnant with the couple's second child. Lance Corporal MacKinney leaves behind a very large extended family.

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Jared MacKinney is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

Jean-Nicolas Panezyck and Lorenzo Mezzasalma

Lorenzo Mezzasalma
Jean-Nicolas Panezyck

French Marines Corporal Jean-Nicolas Panezyck, age 25, and Lieutenant Lorenzo Mezzasalma, age 43, were killed August 23, 2010, during an operation south of Tagab, Afghanistan. They died from gunshot wounds. 

The two men were assigned to the 21st Marine Infantry Regiment. 

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Jean-Nicolas Panezyck and Lorenzo Mezzasalma are in heaven. Let us pray that they are at peace and are with God. Amen

Brandon E. Maggart

Sgt. Brandon E. Maggart, age 24, of Kirksville, Mo., died Aug. 22, 2010, at Basrah, Iraq after being wounded when his unit was attacked by insurgents.

Brandon Maggart was assigned to the 5th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment at Lewis-McChord. 


He joined the Army in 2006 and served with the Fort Lewis-based regiment for his entire military career. This was his second deployment to Iraq.


Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Brandon Maggart is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

Alexis Vincente Maldonado

Pfc. Alexis Vincente Maldonado, age 20, of Wichita Falls was killed August 21, 2010, in Afghanistan. He suffered fatal wounds when insurgents attacked his unit using small-arms fire.

Having joined the Army in Oct. 2008 as a combat engineer, Alexis Maldonado was assigned to the 510th Clearance Company, 20th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade out of Fort Hood, Texas, in July, 2010. He deployed to Afghanistan in December 2009.

His awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with combat service star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NATO Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon and Army Service Ribbon.

Parents of the fallen soldier are Sergio and Alicia Maldonado of Wichita Falls.  

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Alexis Vincente Maldonado is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

Tristan H. Southworth

Spec. Tristan H. Southworth, age 21, of West Danville, Vt., died in Afghanistan on August 22, 2010, when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire.

He was serving in Afghanistan with the Vermont National Guard and was assigned to the 172nd Infantry, 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team in Jericho, Vt.

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Tristan Southworth is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

Pedro A. Millet Meletiche

Spc. Pedro A. Millet Meletiche, age 20, died Aug. 22 at Arghandab River Valley, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device. 


He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.


Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Pedro Millet Meletiche is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

Steven J. DeLuzio

Army Sgt. Steven J. DeLuzio, age 25, of South Glastonbury, Connecticut, died in Afghanistan on August 22, 2010, when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire.

He was serving in Afghanistan with the Vermont National Guard and was assigned to the 172nd Infantry, 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team in Jericho, Vt.

His parents live in South Glastonbury, and his brother, Scott, is a member of the Connecticut National Guard.

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Steven DeLuzio is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

August 23, 2010

Judit Abraham Papp

Hungary's Defense Ministry has confirmed that a Hungarian soldier has been killed and three wounded in an attack on their military convoy in northern Afghanistan.

The attack took place at in August, 2010, when the convoy carrying Hungarian troops to the city of Mazar-e-Sharif was fired on from several sides after a roadside explosion. The vehicle carrying the injured troops was also hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.

A 32-year-old female solider, Judit Abraham Papp, died at the scene, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) northwest of the town of Pul-e-Khumri, while another suffered life-threatening injuries and two more were seriously hurt.

Some of the troops in the 18-vehicle convoy were on their way back to Hungary after having completed their tours of duty.


Let us pray to God the Father that Judit Abraham Papp is in heaven. Let us pray that she is at peace and is with God. Amen

Jordan Dean Bancroft


British soldier, Lance Corporal Jordan Dean Bancroft, age 25, of 1st Battalion Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, was killed in August of 2010, as he completed patrols in the southern Nad-e Ali district of Afghanistan.

He was killed during an exchange of fire with insurgents on while providing security for elders and international security troops in the village of Sayedebad, central Helmand.

In a statement his parents, along with brothers Paul and Leighton, sister Toni and girlfriend Lauren, said: "We will always remember Jordan loving a challenge, in particular outdoor pursuits. He was a keen snow skier and often skied for the Regiment. He loved all watersports and took any opportunity to ride a jet ski or drive a speed boat. We will miss Jordan so much and it will leave a huge hole in all our lives. You will always be in our hearts, Jordan.”

Lance Cpl Bancroft joined the Army aged 16 in September 2001 and was posted to the 1st Battalion, The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment before its amalgamation in 2006.  This was his third operational tour, begun in March with the Anzio Company, having deployed twice to Iraq on Op TELIC 2 and 11.

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Jordan Dean Bancroft is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

August 21, 2010

Why do I do this blog?

Our Image of God the Father
Today...As I was doing this blog, I asked myself "why are you doing this?  Why are you listing the dead and asking God to take these dead men and women to heaven?  And then......the reasons are:


That many people have died unjustly due to wars and do so every day.  Suffering in war is endless  and human suffering is inherently evil.   I cry for the unjustly dead and so do many others.  



Us Today?
That these wars never stop.  There is one after another, year after year. Century after century.  There is something very odd about the human condition.  We don't learn from the past. We just keep repeating the same errors.  We don't evolve.   We are only one step away from the cave men.  That "war' is just a word, until you live in it.   In reality, war is ugly and so is death and so is human suffering.  That I feel a great deal of sadness over the death of the young.  


Money
That I wish that our governments were really looking out for the well-being of their citizens.  They are not.   That I wish that our corporations - oil, water, banking corporations and others, were responsible to the world at large and not just to their shareholders.  They are killing us softly - with greed.  Global corporations are all about money. These corporations are not all about ethics. 


That the billions of dollars spent each year on war by numerous governments could be directed to the alleviation of poverty, to research on food production, to medical research, to increased health care in all areas of the world, to stopping global warming, to helping control the conditions in the oceans, towards social justice.  And instead it goes to...War. 


and as I write this:
  • some shit-ass general in Africa will be plotting to take over his country and kill 50,000 people who don't belong to "his tribe";
  • some village idiot will strap a bomb on himself and blow up 60 people in Iraq or Afghanistan or downtown USA, or somewhere else. 
Each human being hangs to life by a thread as thin as a hair. Who will ask God for mercy for the dead?  Will you? Who will speak up to the governments and demand peace?  Will you?

God save us. 

Grant Kirby and Thomas Dale

Thomas Dale to the left - Grant Kirby to the right

Two Australian soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan, just weeks before their unit was due to return home after one of the deadliest deployments for Australian troops in the conflict.

Their deaths in a roadside bombing occurred on August 13, 2010.  

Privates Grant Kirby and Tomas Dale of the Brisbane-based 6th Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment were patrolling with Afghan troops in Oruzgan province when they were killed by an improvised explosive device. Two other Australian soldiers were wounded.

Troops from the battalion form the bulk of the First Mentoring Taskforce (1MTF), which has lost five soldiers since its deployment started in February. At least 24 members of the taskforce have been wounded.

Private Kirby, a 35-year-old father of two on his first tour of Afghanistan, had also served in East Timor and Iraq.

Private Dale, age 21, was also on his first tour. They died about 4pm on Friday, Melbourne time.

The men were standing near their Bushmaster armoured vehicle when they were taken by surprise by an explosion.

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Grant Kirby and Thomas Dale are in heaven. Let us pray that they are at peace and are with God. Amen

Christopher Wright


The family of a Tollesboro soldier recently killed in Afghanistan has received an outpouring of support from friends and the community who lament the loss of a young man all acknowledge as a hero.  "It's amazing," said Michele Cochran, step-mother of Christopher Wright. "You don't realize what good friends you have until something like this happens."

In a small community, even those who did not know Wright have felt the loss and expressed sympathy for the family.  "He was a hero," she said. "He deserves a hero's welcome home."

Christopher Wright, age 23, was a 2005 graduate of Lewis County High School. His father, Jim Cochran, and stepmother own Tollesboro Supply and T-City Pizza. He has two younger stepbrothers in Tollesboro as well as siblings in Indiana, where more of his family resides, Michele Cochran said.

Christopher Wright, an Army Ranger, had been stationed in Afghanistan since early this year, his second tour of duty in Afghanistan. He had previously also served a tour in Iraq.

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Christopher Wright is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

Martin Lugo


Sgt. Martin Lugo Jr. was described as a "true warrior who died leading his Rangers in a fierce firefight that killed a Taliban commander and 13 other Taliban fighters" in Logar province, Afghanistan.

"He is a hero to our nation, the Army and his family," Col. Michael E. Kurilla, commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment, said in a news release.

Martin Lugo, a 2004 Tucson High Magnet School graduate who enlisted after graduation and then re-enlisted in February, was on his sixth combat deployment when he was killed Thursday.

Martin Lugo was wounded during the firefight and was treated by a medical unit before he was evacuated to a treatment facility where he later died, states the release.

The Ranger was assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment in Hunter Army Airfield, Ga. Lugo had previously deployed three times to Afghanistan and twice to Iraq.

He served in the regiment as an ammunition handler, automatic rifleman, team leader and squad leader.

Martin Lugo, age 24, received more than a dozen awards and decorations, and posthumously was awarded the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal and Purple Heart.

"Sgt. Lugo was a phenomenal warrior who was universally respected by every member of this command," said Lt. Col. Mike Foster, the 1st Ranger Battalion commander.  "He died while protecting our nation from her enemies and we will not forget his sacrifice."  "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Lugo family."

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Martin Lugo is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

Simon Annis

The family and friends of a Salford soldier killed in Afghanistan have marked the first anniversary of his death.

Fusilier Simon Annis, from Cadishead, was only 22 when he was killed with two comrades from the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in Afghanistan on August 16 last year as he tried to save his section commander following an explosion.

His loved ones marked the anniversary by visiting Simon’s grave, before releasing 20 lanterns into the night sky from Cadishead Park.

Speaking about the last year, Simon’s mum Ann said the family, including dad Peter, sister Natalie and brother Stuart, has struggled to cope with the tragedy. It has been an horrendous year," she said. "Losing Simon was devastating, then it all came back with the inquest and now the anniversary. "Every time you watch the TV, Afghanistan is mentioned and it hits home that Simon is gone. "We are coming to terms with Simon’s death very slowly, but we’ll never fully get over it." 

The family has set up the Simon Annis Appeal, which raises money for the Fusilier Aid Society, and in the past year has collected £28,000. Ann says the appeal is helping the family look to the future. "Without that support and the appeal to focus on, I don’t know how I would have gone on," she said. "But we have to look to the future. The support from the local community has been unbelievable and is growing all the time." Simon joined the regiment in 2009 and married his sweetheart Caroline weeks before he left for Afghanistan. 

Alongside comrade Fus Louis Carter, 18, Simon rushed to the aid of Lance Corporal James Fullarton, 24, after he was caught in an explosion as he crossed a river bed in Helmand. As the pair lifted L/Cpl Fullarton on to a stretcher, they triggered a second device, causing an explosion which killed all three soldiers.

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Simon Annis, James Fullarton and and Louis Carter are in heaven. Let us pray that they are at peace and are with God. Amen

August 18, 2010

Derek Farley


Staff Sgt. Derek Farley, who received a Purple Heart in Iraq after losing his hearing in one ear from a bomb explosion, died at 5 a.m. August 17, 2010, while trying to take apart an improvised explosive device in Kafar, Afghanistan. They recalled the young soldier from Nassau as a man of integrity.

He was awarded with a Purple Heart in 2007 for being wounded during his service in Iraq.

"The world is much worse place now that he is not here any more." "He held himself to a higher standard."

Derek Farley was 24 years old. He was promoted last year to staff sergeant while preparing for Afghanistan as an explosives ordnance disposal technician with the 702nd Ordnance Co. in Grafenwoehr, Germany.

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Derek Farley is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

Jason Brown

Australian soldier, 29 year old Trooper Jason Brown died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds sustained during an engagement with Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan early in the morning of Saturday August 14, 2010.

He was a member of the elite Perth-based Special Air Service Regiment. 

He was a described as a professional soldier who strove to excel in everything he did.

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Jason Brown is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

Jamal Rhett

A soldier from New Jersey was killed in Iraq Sunday after insurgents attacked his vehicle with grenades.

He is Specialist Jamal Rhett, age 24, of Palmyra, New Jersey.

Jamal Rhett was a combat medic who aspired to be a doctor. He enlisted in the Army after one year of college because he wanted help paying for college and medical school. Jamal was on his second tour in Iraq. 

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Jamal Rhett is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

Bernadette in South Africa

Dear Brothers and Sisters, please pray for my 50 year old husband, Henry. 


We live in Johannesburg, South Africa, and we are in real desperate need of him finding employment. We also have great financial difficulties and every day without him being employed drains our self-esteem and finances as the interests on the debts are escalating. 

I pray for all who are finding themselves in a similar position and know that by the grace of our Heavenly Father our prayers will be answered. 



Thank you for all your prayers.  God Bless - Bernadette (South Africa)

August 17, 2010

Remand Kulung

A British soldier who died following a helicopter incident at a base in Afghanistan was "kind, brave and honest", his wife has said.

Rifleman Remand Kulung, age 27, from 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment, was originally from Nepal and joined The Royal Gurkha Rifles in December 2004.  Rfn Kulung's wife, Sophy, said: "My husband, Rfn Remand Kulung, was a kind, brave and very honest soldier.  "He has always been sincere and devoted towards his responsibilities as a soldier, which Gurkha soldiers are renowned for.  "He sacrificed his great life while he was doing his duty.  "Though it was a great loss that cannot be replaced, his passing has left me the reason to be proud of being a wife of a brave soldier like him.  "He'll be missed by me and my family forever."

Rifleman Remand was injured while on sentry duty on Tuesday when part of a Chinook helicopter came into contact with a sangar at Bahadur patrol base. The sangar collapsed, seriously injuring the soldier.

He was treated in Afghanistan before being moved to the UK, where he died on August 12, 2010, in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, with his family at his bedside.

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Remand Kulung is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

August 16, 2010

John Charles Sanderson


A soldier who died in a UK hospital a month after he was wounded in Afghanistan has been named by the MoD as Lt John Charles Sanderson.

Lt Sanderson of 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) was wounded by a blast on patrol in Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand, on 13 July, 2010.  US-born Lt Sanderson was surrounded by his family when he died. at 330.

Lt Sanderson had been attached to 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles Battlegroup.

His mother, father and sister, who all live in Windlesham, Surrey, said they would miss Lt Sanderson immensely. 

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that John Charles Sanderson is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

Darren Foster

British soldier, Darren Foster, age 20, was killed after 3 weeks in Afghanistan. 

He was killed during small arms fire in the Nad-e Ali District of Helmand Province on Friday, August 13, 2010.

His family paid tribute to him in a joint statement saying: "He was a loving son, grandson and brother... his only aim was to serve in the Army, for which he made us all proud."

Darren Foster joined Ripon-based 21 Engineer Regiment in May, having previously enlisted into the the Royal Engineers in September 2008.

He went to Afghanistan on 20 July to support 40 Commando Royal Marines in construction and combat engineering tasks, the Ministry of Defence said.  “He arrived full of energy, itching to join his fellow Sappers and was quickly in the thick of it in Sangin."

“He was with the regiment for just three months and in Afghanistan for just three weeks, but in that time he made his mark.

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Darren Foster is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

Ishwar Gurung

Twenty-three-year old Ishwar Gurung, a resident of Bhujrungkhola of Sardikhoal-1, was killed by Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan on August 13, 2010. He died a day after another British Gurkha Rifleman, Remand Kulung, succumbed to the injuries he sustained in a freak accident in an army base camp in Afghanistan.

Ishwar's death has caused a great deal of sorrow for the Gurung family, with relatives pouring in at their residence to console the aggrieved mother, Sunkumari Gurung, including Ishwar's elder brother and little sister.

Residents of Bhujrungkhola, a small village in Kaski, said it was hard for them to believe Ishwar is dead.

Tekraj Acharya knew Ishwar since childhood and described him as "an affable and good-hearted boy".

Ishwar was also very good in studies and had recently passed the School Leaving Certificate with good grades.

But the very poor financial condition of his family meant that Ishwar had little option other than to leave his studies and join thousands of youths like him to go through rigorous physical challenges to get recruited into the British Army.

After joining the British Army three years ago, Ishwar became the main bread-winner and the family's condition had greatly improved because of the relatively well-paying job.

Ishwar was deployed in Afghanistan only six months ago. He was scheduled to come home in September to receive tika from his mother during Dashain.

Meanwhile, Sunkumari, accompanied by her elder son, left for the capital from her village on Sunday, after being summoned by the British Embassy. They will head to the UK to attend a memorial service to be held in the honour of Ishwar's departed soul.

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Ishwar Gurung is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

August 14, 2010

Kevin Cornelius

Lance Cpl. Kevin M. Cornelius was shot in combat and killed in the Helmand province in southwest Afghanistan on Aug. 7, 2010. 

He was 20 years old.

Kevin Cornelius served with the 3rd Platoon, Company C, of the 1st Battalion of the 2nd Marines. 

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Kevin Cornelius is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

Vincent Gammone III

Pfc Vincent E. Gammone III, age 19, passed away Saturday, August 7, 2010 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

He was born in Mineola, N.Y. and was a 2008 graduate of Eagleville High School. He was an original member of the Eagleville High School marching band, a member of JROTC for 4 years, the Raider Rifle Team, and the Drill/Color Guard. He was a member of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church.


He enlisted in the Marines in September 2008 and was assigned to 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Vincent is survived by his parents, Vincent and Lorraine Gammone of Christiana; Fiancé, Jessica West of Christiana; grandmother, Eleanor Correa of Christiana; uncles, Gregory Priest; Jeffrey Priest both of New York; and aunt, Rosalind Huster of New York.

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Vincent Gammone is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen