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September 29, 2010

Donald S. Morrison

23-year-old Spc. Donald S. Morrison of Cincinnati, Ohio, was killed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on Sept. 26, 2010, of wounds suffered when insurgents bombed his military vehicle a day earlier.

He was assigned to the 20th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade at Fort Hood.

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

Mark A. Simpson

40-year-old Sgt. Mark A. Simpson, of Peoria, Ill., died Sept. 26, 2010, at Kandahar, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents bombed his military vehicle a day earlier.  He was assigned to the 20th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade at Fort Hood. 

He was deployed with the Fort Hood, Texas-based 584th Mobility Augmentation Company, 20th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade.

Mark Simpson, a 1988 Richwoods High School graduate, enlisted in the Army in late 2004 after working a series of odd jobs in Peoria. Mark Simpson met his wife and after a brief romance, was married in 1996. The family was in Peoria until 2005 when he finished basic training. After that, they moved to New York and later to Texas.  He initially was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division before transferring to the 20th Engineer Battalion. He deployed to Iraq in August 2006 where he served in the "Triangle of Death," a then volatile region south of Baghdad.

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

Clinton Springer

U.S. Army Spc. Clinton Springer, age 21, was killed September 24, 2010, in Kabul, Afghanistan, in a non-combative incident.

He grew up in the Cape Cod area. He finished high school in New Hampshire, but is still well known in town, his friend, Terean O’Reilly said. “People are just in shock,” she said.

Clinton Springer was a light infantryman assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division out of Fort Drum, N.Y. It was his first tour of duty overseas. The Army said Springer joined up in March 2009 and was deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in January.He is described as a jokester who lit up a room wherever he went. He was due to come home in November. 

Despite his short tenure in the military, Clinton Springer was a decorated soldier. His had earned the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Afghanistan Campaign Medal. He had also completed the Combat Lifesavers Course this year before deploying. 

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

Jaysine Petree

PFC Jaysine Petree, age 19, a motor transport operator from the 109th out of Fort Richardson in Alaska was killed in Afghanistan Friday, September 24, by an improvised explosive device.

She was a citizen of Guam. She had served 19 months and enlisted only two days after she graduated from Simon Sanchez High School.

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

Kazimierz Kasprzak

Polish soldier, Sgt. Kazimierz Kasprzak, age 32, has been killed in a roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan.

Sgt. Kasprzak, the squad commander of a group of soldiers from the Bravo Combat Group, was injured but not killed when a roadside bomb exploded during their patrol, after which he was airlifted to an on-base hospital nearby. However, his wounds were too grave and he died in hospital during an operation that day. 

He leaves behind a wife and two children.

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

William Brandon Dawson

Army Pvt. William Brandon Dawson, age 20, was killed on September 24, 2010, in Kabul, Afghanistan, when his vehicle was struck by a missile. 

William Dawson was the eldest of his mother's four sons. Joseph Dawson, 18, said the family last saw his older brother about four months ago when he was on leave from Alaska. He said William Dawson stayed in touch with the family after he arrived in Afghanistan.  "He called a lot and we talked on Facebook every day. He never talked about what was going on down there. He just talked about what he wanted to do when he came back here," Joseph Dawson said.

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

Matthew Thomas


British Army engineer, Matthew Thomas, age 24, was killed September 25, 2010, in the Garmsir district of Helmand Province, Afghanistan. 

He was with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and died when the vehicle he was driving was hit by an improvised explosive device. 

Cpl Thomas, known as "Tommo", was attached to the Special Forces Support Group.  His comrades paid tribute to an "intelligent, dedicated and courageous" soldier.

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

September 27, 2010

Liam Riley


British Corporal Liam Riley, age 21, was killed by a roadside bomb in February, 2010, in Afghanistan. 

Corporal Riley, of 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, was described by his friend, Prince Harry, as a 'legend' in a rare public tribute. The two young men from very different backgrounds trained together in Canada two years ago to prepare them for the rigours of war. Liam Riley's brother said "'If I had one last chance, Liam, to see you and speak to you, I'd tell you what an amazing brother you've been to me."
'His ability and professionalism stood out from the start. It was clear that he was destined for the highest ranks of his profession. Corporal Riley was blessed with the broadest and most disarming smile you are likely to encounter."

Even the friends of Princes die in these wars. No one is immune to tragedy. 

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

Marc Whisenant


A family in Daytona Beach, Florida, is mourning the death of a local soldier who was killed during a training exercise overseas, in September, 2010. 

Marc Whisenant, age 23, of Daytona Beach, died when the Humvee he was riding in rolled over during a training exercise in Kuwait.  One of the other soldiers in the Humvee suffered a broken back in the incident.

Marc Whisenanthad already completed two tours in Iraq when he was recalled by the Army in February 2010.  Marc Whisenant's father said the fallen soldier was proud to be a tank operator, but he did not like the Humvee machine gunner job.

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

Gebrah Noonan

Army Private First Class Gebrah Noonan, age 26, was killed in Iraq on September 26, 2010.

Gebrah Noonan was a resident of Watertown, Connecticut, and was helping with Operation New Dawn in Iraq.

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


Julio Vargas

Julio Vargas and his wife Rosita were looking forward to starting a family.  The two had married in December,  and bought a house near Camp Pendleton, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. Before Vargas deployed to Afghanistan, he had asked his father if he was ready to be a grandfather.

The 23-year-old Marine had been expected home at the end of September but was killed July 20, 2010, by a roadside bomb in Helmand province. He listed Sylmar, Calif., as his hometown.

"He was a good kid," Adalberto Cruz, a longtime family neighbor, told the newspaper. "He was always smiling and you'd never see him mad or anything. He was always real polite, really outgoing."  He graduated from Sylmar High School, and in February 2008, enlisted in the mlitary. He had been a vehicle gunner in Afghanistan.  

"He was a real-life hero, one of our nation's bravest individuals, and his service and sacrifice in the name of freedom will not be forgotten," California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement.

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

September 25, 2010

Simon Jorgensen

Danish soldier Simon Mundt Jorgensen was killed in September, 2010, by an explosive device south of the patrol base Bridzar six miles northeast of Gereshk, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. 

He was from Charlie Company who are seconded from the Royal Life Guards.

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

Daniel Read

British soldier, Captain Daniel Read, from 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps, part of the Counter-IED Task Force, was killed in Afghanistan on Monday 11 January 2010.

Captain Daniel Read was killed as a result of an explosion which happened in the Musa Qaleh area of northern Helmand province. He was 31 years old when he was tragically killed in an IED blast whilst he was on task supporting Battle Group (North West).

Captain Read was an experienced operator. He attended 21 tasks in Afghanistan, and had already dealt with 32 IEDs. Captain Read was passionate about his role as a High Threat Improvised Explosive Device Disposal Operator, always displaying a boundless enthusiasm and energy for the tasks he undertook.

Captain Read leaves his wife Lorraine, parents and sisters behind. His wife stated: "Dan was so brave, he was my hero and best friend, he was a loving husband, son, brother, uncle and friend. He will never be forgotten and always in my heart. I'm so proud and privileged to have been your wife."

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

David Santos

Marine Cpl. Dave M. Santos, age 21, of Rota, Marianas Islands of the Pacific, died on July 16, 2010, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Cpl. Santos was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

A fellow Marine is accused of killing Dave Santos. An investigation will follow. 

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

Anthony Rosa

Marine Lance Cpl. Anthony "Chuckie" Rosa, 20, of Swanton, was killed September 23, 2010, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. 

He was part of G Company of the 2nd Marine Battalion. He was from Vermont.

Officials stated that "Lance Corporal Rosa loved life, loved Vermont and loved his country. His loss is a devastating blow — to the town of Swanton, to the state of Vermont and, most devastatingly, to his family."

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

Justus Bartelt

U.S. Marines Staff Sgt. Justus S. Bartelt, age 27, was killed July 16, 2010, in Helmand province in Afghanistan.  The son of Steve Bartelt and Jeannie Kyker, he was on his third combat deployment. 

Justus Bartelt joined the Marines shortly after he graduated from high school. He was a platoon sergeant assigned to Regimental Combat Team 2, 1st Marine Division Forward, I Marine Expeditionary Force Forward. He joined the Marine Corps in June 2001, and was promoted to the rank of staff sergeant on Jan. 1 of this year. He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from March to October 2005 and again from August 2008 to March 2009. He was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in February 2010.

His awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

His mother stated "My son is my hero for the courage and sacrifice he has made....without them we wouldn't have this country."  

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

September 23, 2010

Karl Bowen


Ex-Welsh Guard Karl Bowen, age 30, was killed on 14 September, 2010, in Afghanistan.

He had been working in the Kirkuk region of the country providing close protection for a private security firm. He was not in the military at the time of his death.  He had spent about nine years in the Welsh Guards, serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and Bosnia.  His mother said that he returned to Iraq after a spell in civilian jobs, because he wanted to return to work with former army colleagues.

Karl Bowen had two daughters but was separated from his former wife, and was living with his girlfriend. 

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

Marvin R. Calhoun


Sgt. Marvin Ray Calhoun Jr., age 23, of Osceola, In., was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on September 21, 2010.   Marvin Calhoun was a construction equipment repairer serving as a door gunner and was assigned to Bravo Company, 5th Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade.

His awards and decorations include: Army Commendation Medal; Joint Meritorious Unit Award; Army Good Conduct Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Korean Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon; NATO Medal and Army Aviator Badge.

Marvin Calhoun is survived by his wife, Yamili Sanchez and daughter, Yohani Sanchez of Fort Hood, TX. and parents, Marvin Calhoun, Sr. and Susan Needham of Elkhart, IN.

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

Joshua David Powell


Staff Sgt. Joshua David Powell, age 25, was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on September 21, 2010. 

Staff Sgt. Joshua David Powell, 25, of New Berlin, IL. Powell entered the Army in November 2004 and arrived at Fort Campbell in June 2005. Joshua Powell was a UH-60 Black Hawk crew chief assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 6th Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade. 

His awards and decorations include: Air Medal; Army Achievement Medal; Joint Meritorious Unit Award; Meritorious Unit Commendation; Army Good Conduct Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Iraq Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon; Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal; NATO Medal; Combat Action Badge and Army Air Crewmember Badge.

Joshua Powell is survived by his father, David A. Powell of Springfield, IL and his mother, Susan B. Needham of Pleasant Plains, IL. 

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

Jonah D. McClellan



Army Chief Warrant Officer Jonah D. McClellan, age 26, was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on September 21, 2010. 

He was with the 101st Airborne Division based at Fort Campbell, Ky. 

He had been involved in a variety of missions, including medical recovery, transporting troops and dropping ammunition. 

Jonah McClellan leaves behind his wife, Nina, and three small children and his parents. 

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

Matthew G. Wagstaff

Chief Warrant Officer Matthew G. Wagstaff, age 34, was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on September 21, 2010. 

"Matt died doing what he loved to do — and that was to fly," said a statement from the Wagstaff family. "He was a tremendous husband, son, brother and uncle, and he served his country well."  Assigned to the 101st    Combat Aviation Brigade, Matthew Wagstaff was a 10-year Army veteran on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan. He had also done a stint in Iraq.

Matthew Wagstaff was still a newlywed when he died. He met his wife, Tiffany, at Fort Campbell, and they married in January. He deployed to Afghanistan in March. He was due home on leave next month.  Matthew Wagstaff's is survived by his wife and parents, Ronald and Suzanne Wagstaff and a younger brother and sister.

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

Robert F. Baldwin

Maj. Robert F. Baldwin, age 39, was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on September 21, 2010. 

Major Robert Francis Baldwin graduated in 1989 from Sherrard High School and then graduated with a degree in industrial technology and a minor in military studies from Western Illinois University in 1993. While attending college, Major Baldwin was an active member in the Delta Upsilon fraternity. For 17 years, Major Robert Baldwin served his country. He joined the Army following his graduation from WIU's ROTC program. He served three tours of duty in Afghanistan, along with a tour in Bosnia. In 2007, he became a member of the 101st combat Aviation brigade and the 101st Airborne division, both based in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

The 39-year old leaves behind a wife, Danielle, and four children, Rachel (8), Kegan (4), Megan (3), and Patrick (8 months). Patrick was born just two weeks before Major Baldwin left for his latest tour in Afghanistan in February.  Robert Baldwin also leaves behind his parents who are devastated by his death. 

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

Denis Miranda

Denis Miranda, age 24, was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on September 21, 2010. 

Denis Miranda joined the Navy in September 2003 and attended aviation technical training at NAS Pensacola, Florida before being assigned to Patrol Squadron 8 in Jacksonville, Fla. where he worked as a maintenance technician. He moved to Coronado, Calif. after his acceptance into Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training. After successfully completing BUD/S, Miranda reported to The Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek in Norfolk, Virginia. Fellow sailors described him as a budding superstar with promising career as a Navy SEAL. 

Denis Miranda is survived by his parents.

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

Adam O. Smith

Adam O. Smith, age 26, was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on September 21, 2010. 

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


David McLendon


David McLendon, age 30, was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on September 21, 2010. 

David McLendon, age 30, was a Navy cryptologic technician assigned to an east coast Naval Special Warfare unit. He entered the Navy in 1998 and was a graduate of Thomas County Central High School in Georgia. During his 12-year Navy career, David McLendon served at various Navy commands in Norfolk, Pearl Harbor, and Brunswick, Maine.

His fellow service members said they remember David as a consummate Navy professional.

David McClendon is survived by his wife and parents.

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

Brendan Looney


Brendan Looney, age 29, was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on September 21, 2010. 

Brendan Looney graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2004. 

Brendan Looney is survived by his wife, Amy; younger sisters Bridget, Erin and Kelly; as well as his parents, Kevin and Maureen Looney. 

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

September 21, 2010

Barbara Vieyra

Army Pfc. Barbara Vieyra, age 22, died Sept. 18, 2010, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked her unit using an improvised explosive device and rocket propelled grenade fire in Kunar Province, Afghanistan.

She was assigned to the 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, at Fort Hood, Texas.

Barbara Vieyra was the mother of a little girl. 

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

Andrew Jones


British soldier, Sgt Andrew Jones, age 35, of the Royal Engineers, was killed while patrolling Lashkar Gah, in Afghanistan.  Sgt Jones, of Newport in south Wales, leaves wife Joanne and three children.

"Andrew was a happy, funny and caring man. He was a loving husband, father and son, and he will leave a gaping hole in our lives."  He was serving as a reconnaisance engineer, as part of Fondouk Squadron, the Queen's Royal Lancers in Helmand when he was killed.  "His courage and good-humoured leadership inspired all those in his troop, particularly when the going was hard. A proud Welshman, who exhibited all the fortitude of his countrymen, he was at heart a devoted family man."

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

Eric Yates

Eric Yates, age 26, a native of Rineyville, Kentucky, died September 18, 2010, when his unit was attacked by insurgents in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. 

Eric was a 2008 graduate of Western’s ROTC program. He was a member of the 101st Airborne Division, based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

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

Jaime C. Newman


Staff Sgt. Jaime C. Newman, a 27-year old soldier from Richmond, Va., was killed on September 17, 2010, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his dismounted patrol in Maquan, Zhari District, Afghanistan.  

Jaime Newman was an Infantryman assigned to Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.  Jaime Newman entered the service in July 2003 and arrived at Fort Campbell in March 2004.

His awards and decorations include: Purple Heart Medal; Army Achievement Medal; Army Good Conduct Medal; Army Commendation Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Service Medal; Iraqi Campaign Service Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Non Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon; Combat Infantryman Badge; Expert Infantryman Badge; Air Assault Badge; Driver and Mechanic Badge.

He is survived by his son Damarques J. Newman of Powhatan, Va.; daughter Jaidan I. Cox of Richmond, Va.; mother, Helen C. Newman of Richmond, Va.; and father, Angel Ramos.

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

Joshua Harton

A U.S. Army specialist from Bethlehem was killed September 18, 2010, in an ambush in Afghanistan. 


Joshua Harton, age 23, was the 50-caliber rear gunner in his platoon. Joshua Harton's platoon was on its way back from patrol and was ambushed. He had served a tour in Iraq and was most recently stationed at Forward Operating Base Griffin in Afghanistan. His mother stated "He had the real dry humor. He'd do a sideways joke and you'd catch up on the punch line like 2 minutes later type thing. He was just a cool kid." 


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

Ronald Aaron Grider

Sergeant 1st Class Ronald "Aaron" Grider, age 30, died after being hit by machine gun fire September 18, 2010, during a combat operation in Konduz Province, Afghanistan. 

He leaves behind a wife and young daughter. It was his ninth military deployment overseas. He went seven times to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan. His honors include three Bronze Star Medals and a Purple Heart.

Ronald Aaron Grider is survived by his wife, Brittany Grider, daughter Katie-Anne, and his parents Ron and Rita Grider. 

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

Timothy L. Johnson

Specialist Timothy L. Johnson, age 24, of Randolph, N.Y., died September 16, 2010, in Kandahar, Afghanistan, when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device at Arghandab River Valley, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado.

Timothy Johnson moved to California when he was 18 and worked at a local truck stop before enlisting in the military. Timothy is survived by a wife and child.   Timothy Johnson also served in Iraq from 2008-2009. He received several awards since joining the Army in 2007, including:  Army Commendation Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star; Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star; Global War on Terrorism Medal;  Army Service Ribbon;  Overseas Service Ribbon. 

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

Andrew Howarth


British soldier, Andrew Howarth, age 20, a trooper in Fondouk Squadron, the Queen’s Royal Lancers, was killed in an explosion on September 18, 2010, in Afghanistan. He died while on vehicle patrol in the Lashkar Gah district of Helmand Province alongside one of his colleagues, a soldier from the Royal Engineers who had not been named last night.

Andrew, nicknamed Steptoe by his fellow soldiers “for his natural and endearing scruffiness”, was described by them as “professional”, “selfless” and “the perfect reconnaissance soldier” whose career was “destined for greatness”. He was also known for his “incessant smile” and ability to “find humour in the darkest of places”.

He leaves behind his father - John, older brother - Marcus and mother - Sarah. 

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

September 18, 2010

Aaron K. Kramer


A 101st Airborne Division Soldier died September 16, 2010, when his unit was attacked by small arms fire as he was on a routine patrol in Howzemadad, Afghanistan. 

Sergeant Aaron K. Kramer, age 22, of Salt Lake City, was an Infantryman, assigned to 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). He joined the Army in June 2006 and arrived at Fort Campbell in March 2007.

His awards and decorations include: Army Commendation Medal; Army Achievement Medal; Army Good Conduct Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Iraq Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon; Air Assault Badge; Parachutists Badge and the Ranger Tab. 

Aaron Kramer is survived by his wife, Jacklyn M. Kramer of Pleasant Prairie, WI; and parents, Richard and Shannon L. Kramer, both of Salt Lake City, UT. 

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

Daniel R. Sanchez

Senior Airman Daniel R. Sanchez died September 16, 2010, during combat in Afghanistan. 

Daniel Sanchez, age 23, of El Paso, Texas, was an Air Force Special Operations Command combat controller assigned to the 23rd Special Tactics Squad-ron at Hurlburt Field. He died supporting Operation Enduring Freedom after he was wounded by enemy fire in Oruzgan province. He was later pronounced dead from a gunshot wound at Tarin Kwot, Afghanistan.

“This terrible loss is evidence of the ultimate sacrifice our men in the Air Force Special Operations Command make to protect our country and our way of life,” Major Chris Larkin, commander of the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron, said in a statement. “Danny was a fine airman and a valuable member of our close community and he will be sorely missed. My deepest sympathies go out to the Sanchez family.”

Daniel Sanchez was assigned to Hurlburt Field in September 2008 after qualifying as a combat controller. He leaves behind no dependents.

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

Deangelo Snow

Spc. Deangelo Snow, of Saginaw, Mich., age 22, died Sept. 17, 2010, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, after insurgents attached his vehicle with a rocket propelled grenade.

Deangelo Snow was assigned to the 526th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. 

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

John F. Burner

John reaching out
to his daughter
Sgt. John F. Burner III, age 32, died September 16, 2010, in Iskandariya, Iraq. He was assigned to the 63rd Signal Battalion, 35th Signal Brigade, Fort Gordon, Ga. He was from Baltimore. 

John Burner's death was the result of a medical condition. He leaves behind his wife and two children, ages six and 10. 

John Burner joined the military in 1996 and was in charge of a satellite system crew. His battalion deployed Aug. 21. John Burner lived in Grovetown, Ga., but his family lives in Baltimore. He was promoted to sergeant in April 2005.

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

James Hansen

A 25-year-old airman called a “rising star” by his squadron commander was killed September 15, 2010, during a controlled detonation in Iraq.

Senior Airman James A. Hansen of Athens, Mich., and a soldier were disposing of unexploded bombs at Joint Base Balad when the incident occurred, according to U.S Forces-Iraq. The blast immediately killed James Hansen and injured the soldier.   “We are deeply saddened by Airman Hansen's death,” said squadron commander Lt. Col. David Radomski. “He was a rising star in the Air Force and served his country well, but Jimmy was also a great person who had a positive impact on everyone around him.”

James Hansen served as an airfield management operations coordinator with the 46th Operations Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. He followed the footsteps of his father, who served in the Air National Guard, by joining the Air Force in 2008. 

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

Christopher Boyd


Marine Cpl. Christopher J. Boyd was killed in action, Aug. 19, 2010. He was 22 years old. 

Christopher Boyd was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 2.  “Corporal Boyd was a wealth of knowledge, and played a key role in the platoon’s success. Couple his natural leadership with his unselfish attitude, and he was the warrior everyone wanted,” said 1st Lt. John Somers, the platoon commander for Company F, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines. “He was the epitome of a warrior and was ready to do whatever it took in order to help his team, squad or platoon against the enemy.”

Christopher Boyd attended Palatine High School in Chicago. He began his Marine Corps career, June 10, 2006.  He successfully completed his military occupational specialty school and became an infantry rifleman. Christopher Boyd was first assigned to Company C, Marine Special Operations Command, Camp Pendleton, Calif. On Sept. 7, 2007, he was reassigned to Company F, 2nd Bn., 4th Marines where he deployed several times as an instructor for various foreign military units between January 2008 and September 2009. Soon after returning from his last deployment in May 2010, he immediately volunteered to redeploy to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduing Freedom one month later. “The Marines Corps has lost one of its finest warriors, and a first class leader,” officials stated. “I am proud to have been his platoon commander, and to have fought side-by-side with him.”

Christopher Boyd is survived by his wife, Danielle, and two sons, Jack and Evan.

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

Jonathan Woodgate

British soldier Lance Corporal Jonathan Woodgate, age 26, from Lavenham, was killed in the Sangin District of Afghanistan by a grenade while on foot patrol on March 23, 2010.

L-Cpl Woodgate was patrolling in a village when a child was seen using a mirror to reflect the sun. Locals then returned to their compounds before the attack 15 minutes later.  L-Cpl Woodgate had suffered "unsurvivable" injuries and that nothing further could have been done by colleagues or medical staff to save his life. L-Cpl Woodgate, of the Household Cavalry Regiment, was due to return home just a short time after the attack took place.

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

September 15, 2010

9-11 Attacks - the 9th Anniversary

The collapse

Today, I watched several new documentaries regarding the September 11th tragedy. Watching these films brings it all back with a vengence - it is not 2001, it is now. It brings back all of the senseless tragedy and suffering of it all.

Man falling to his death
Some of the survivors of the victims have gotten on with their lives after 9 years. Some have not and some will never recover from their loss. Some of the partners and spouses and parents of the victims have committed suicide. Some children, whose parents died that day, will never know their fathers or their mothers, because they were too young (age 2 or 3) to know who their fathers or mothers were. 

It is unknown exactly how many people died in the attacks that day. According to the New York State Health Department, 836 responders, including firefighters and police personnel, have died as of June 2009. Among the 2,752 victims who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center were 343 firefighters and 60 police officers from New York City and the Port Authority. 184 people were killed in the attacks on the Pentagon. The overwhelming majority of casualties were civilians, including nationals of over 70 countries. 

The bravery of many of those killed is undisputed, including the bravery of the airplane victims, who on one plane, stormed the cockpit in an attempt to overpower the terrorists. 

In this documentary I watched today, one man in the World Trade Center was trapped in an elevator and was choking to death from the smoke. He realized he had to get out of the elevator or he would smother to death. He managed to pry open the elevator doors and squeezed through an 18 inch opening into the lobby, whereupon he fell across a headless corpse with only a spinal column sticking out. He survived and dragged an injured woman with him down 80 floors to safety. 

God help us and save us from terrorism.  

God have mercy on all of the innocent men and women who died that day.   God have mercy on the man depicted above, you threw himself out of a window to certain death.  Jesus, Mary and Joseph have mercy on him and all like him, who died on that day. 

September 13, 2010

John Bishop

An Indiana Marine killed in Afghanistan leaves behind his pregnant wife. 25-year-old Corporal John Bishop of Columbus died September 8, 2010, during combat operations.

His wife, who is also a Marine, is expecting their first child. John Bishop also has a 4-year-old son from a previous marriage.  "He always had a smile on his face and was always just ready for a joke, and to say something funny to get us all laughing."  

John Bishop planned to leave the Marines in February and wanted to pursue a career as a conservation officer. 

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

Jesse Balthaser

Jesse and his Beloved
Marine Sgt. Jesse Balthaser, age 23, of Columbus, Ohio, has been killed in Afghanistan during a combat operation in Helmand province. He stepped on a roadside bomb. 

Jesse was a combat engineer assigned to the 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, at the Air-Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2005 and had deployed twice to Iraq.

His partner is expecting the couple's first child, in December. Jesse Balthaser was slated to finish his deployment in November.

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

Darren Deady

A British soldier who died in hospital from injuries he suffered in Afghanistan has been named as Kingsman Darren Deady. The soldier, from 2nd Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, was shot in southern Afghanistan on August 23, 2010. The 22-year-old, from Bolton, died in hospital on September 10, 2010.

Darren Deady's family, who were with him when he died at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, said he fought to make a difference. Darren Deady joined the army in 2008 and was based in Cyprus before he was sent to Afghanistan. The Ministry of Defence said he was helping to protect a "vital location" in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand when his unit came under "prolonged, intense small arms and rocket propelled grenade fire". 

His commanding officer, said: "Kingsman Darren Deady was a tiny man with the heart of a lion."

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

Todd Weaver

1st Lt. Todd W. Weaver, age 26, was killed September 9, 2010, in Afghanistan by an improvised explosive device as he was leading a dismounted area reconnaissance. 

He was an Infantry officer assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). He joined the Army in October 2006 and arrived at Fort Campbell in April 2009. He was a 2008 graduate of the College of William and Mary and a 2002 graduate of Bruton High School.

"This is very sad news," a spokesman for the College of William and Mary stated...."by all accounts Todd was an exceptional person. While a student, he was a star as a cadet in the ROTC and very well-known by many on campus. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with Todd's family and friends."

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

Javier de la Garza Jr.

Javier de la Garza Jr., age 27, was killed during some sort of attack in Afghanistan in September, 2010. There are questions surrounding the circumstances of his death. 


He was an ex-soldier who was working in the IT department for a private contractor in Afghanistan. He lived in Austin for some time before joining the Army in 2000 and being deployed to Iraq. 

Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Javier de la Garza Jr. is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

September 11, 2010

American Soldiers accused of Killing Afghani Civilians

Photos of some of the soldiers
accused.  Where are the pictures of the
Victims?
A dozen US soldiers have been charged with a series of crimes committed in Afghanistan, including the murder of three Afghan civilians and the subsequent cover-up. Soldiers from the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division out of Washington state have been charged in connection with the attempted cover-up of the murder and assault of Afghan civilians, as well as the mutilation of dead Afghans, and drug use. The brigade operated near Kandahar. The cutting off of fingers from the dead bodies is one accusation against these men. 

Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, Cpl. Jeremy Morlock, Pfc. Andrew Holmes, Spc. Michael Wagnon, and Spc. Adam Winfield – all from the 5th Stryker Brigade – were charged in June with the murder of three Afghan civilians and other crimes, including stabbing a corpse, photographing casualties, and beating other men in an effort to keep them from talking to investigators.

The remaining seven soldiers were charged last month with conspiring to cover up the murders and other crimes, such as drug use. Pretrial hearings are to be held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State later this year.

Although the murders took place in January, February, and May of 2010, the Army has yet to review the cases. The cases are still in a preliminary phase and military prosecutors have yet to decide whether to move forward with the cases.

God help the victims of these alleged crimes. Civilians in Afghanistan are dead nonetheless and they of course, remain nameless, because we do not name our enemies. Naming them makes them real. Let us pray that they are at peace and with God, whoever they are. 

No one has proven these soldiers guilty. Let us pray that they are not. 

If they are guilty of these "war crimes" (and the killing of civilians is a war crime), then let us pray that God the Father has mercy on them as well as the victims. 

God help us all.