January 30, 2012

William "Bill" Talbert - Law Enforcement - Maryland

Police Officer Bill Talbert, age 64, died on January 27, 2012, in Berkeley Springs, Maryland.

He had previously been a member of the Montgomery County Police Department, Maryland. He had 13 years of service. 

He died as the result of contracting Hepatitis C in the line of duty. Officer Talbert contracted the disease following a blood transfusion in 1980 after being injured by a drunk driver. He was standing between his patrol car and another vehicle when a drunk driver struck one of the vehicles, causing Officer Talbert to be pinned between them. He was transported to a local hospital where he underwent a blood transfusion. It was discovered later that the blood he received was infected with Hepatitis C.

He was forced to medically retire in 1984 and his health continued to deteriorate until he passed away on January 27, 2012.

Bill was born in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Surratsville High School in Clinton, Maryland, in 1965. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1966 and served most of his service as an engineman 3rd class on the U.S.S. Sea Poacher. He received an honorable discharge from the Navy after serving four years active duty and two years in the Naval Reserves.

In 1971, Bill joined the Montgomery County (Md.) Police Department. As a decorated officer, Bill received numerous awards for meritorious service and valor in the line of duty. He received multiple lifesaving awards, including a Governor's Citation and a Commendation for Heroism by the Veterans Administration. Bill received multiple awards from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, was an honorary lieutenant colonel in the Alabama State Militia and was recognized in the State, House and Senate of Maryland, in Maryland Senate Resolution 71. In 1978, he received the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce Bronze Medal of Valor for heroic lifesaving measures. 
Jesus, pray for Bill Talbert

Bill is survived by many loving friends and relatives including his wife, Judy Talbert; daughter Laura Talbert; sons - William Talbert, David Talbert and Gregory Talbert; and sister Ellen Talbert-Miller.

Pray for all who die due to doing their job. 

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

Sandy Rogers - Law Enforcement - South Carolina

Master Corporal Sandy Rogers, age 49, died in the line of duty on January 28, 2012, in Aiken, South Carolina.

Sandy was a member of the Aiken Department of Public Safety, South Carolina. She had 27 years of service.

She was was shot and killed while responding to a call for a suspicious vehicle at Eustis Park at approximately 7:50 am. She arrived on scene and radioed that she was approaching a blue vehicle. Another officer called for her one minute later and did not receive a response. She had been shot by the suspect. Sandy was transported to Aiken Regional Medical Centers where she succumbed to her wounds.

The suspect was linked to another shooting in Richmond County, Georgia, earlier in the day. He was apprehended in Batesville-Leesville several hours later.

Raphael, Archangel, pray
for Sandy
Sandy was a lifelong resident of Aiken County. 

Police Officials describe her as a invaluable street cop who exemplified the model of a Public Safety Officer and who was a highly skilled investigator and senior patrol officer on her shift. 

Friends stated that Sandy was a mentor to a lot of troubled individuals and that she loved her family and her job. 

Sandy is survived by many loving friends and relatives including her father, Clarence Rogers; her life partner Frances Williams; sister, Virginia; and brothers Jack and James. 

Pray for all who die in the line of duty.

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

Gajbahadur Gurung

British soldier Lance Corporal Gajbahadur Gurung, age 26, was killed on January 27, 2012, in the Khar Nikah area of Helmand, Afghanistan.

He was fatally wounded in an insurgent attack while on a foot patrol. 

Gajbahadur was a member of the 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment.

Father, place Gajbahadur on the
stairway to Heaven.
He was born in Majthana, Nepal. He joined the Brigade of Gurkhas on December 18, 2004. He served three times in Afghanistan during his military career.

Military officials describe him as intelligent, charismatic and a natural leader of men. He is also described as a humble man and a people person who got along well with everyone. 

Gajbahadur is survived by many loving friends and relatives including his wife Manisha, father Gum Bahadur, mother Lekh Maya, his brother Buddha and sister Junu.

Let us pray to God the Father that Gajbahadur Gurung is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

January 28, 2012

David Johnson

1st Lt. David A. Johnson, age 24, of Mayville, Wisconsin, died on January 25, 2012, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered after encountering an improvised explosive device while conducting a dismounted patrol.

David was assigned to the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

He graduated from Mayville High School in 2006 and later graduated from Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri. David deployed to Afghanistan in December of 2011. 

Jesus, pray for David
His military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, Global War on Terror Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge and the Overseas Service Bar. His military education includes an Infantry Basic Officer Leadership Course, Combatives level 1 and 2, and the Stryker Brigade Combat Team Leaders Course. 

Family members describe David as a man of God and their hero, who will be forever missed. 

Military officials describe David as destined to be in the military and a well-mannered and kind young man. 

Friends describe him as a fine young man whose smile could light up a room. 

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

Joshua Pairsh

Capt. Joshua C. Pairsh, age 29, of Equality, Illinois, died on January 22, 2012, in the United States of a non-combat related illness. 

He was assigned to 4th Civil Affairs Group, Marine Forces Reserve, based out of Washington, D.C.  He was a ground supply officer.

Joshua was born in Gallatin, Illinois.  He graduated from Murray State University in Kentucky.  He had earned a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He had been deployed to Iraq in 2007-2008.

Father, place Joshua on the
stairway to Heaven
Joshua died of lymphoma.  

Joshua will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved him. He is described as a loving son and husband and a devoted father. 

He is survived by many loving friends and relatives including his parents, David and Charlotte Pairsh; his wife Tanya; children Avery and Lawson; brother, Jake; and sister, Kendra.

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

January 25, 2012

Ian Sartorius-Jones

British soldier, Signaller Ian Sartorius-Jones, age 21, died on January 24, 2012, in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Ian was a member of the 200 Signal Squadron. 

Ian died of a gunshot wound not related to combat. 

Ian was from Runcorn in Cheshire. Ian enlisted with the Royal Corps of Signals in February of 2007, joined his squadron in May of 2008 and was then deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Family members describe him as a lovable character and a devoted family man who will be sorely missed.
Saint Maximilian Kolbe,
pray for Ian

Military officials describe him as a gregarious, immensely respected and highly capable Signaller, who had accrued a vast amount of experience in his short career. He is also described as dedicated to his mates, upbeat in nature with a cutting sense of humour. He always had a smile on his face and was always at the centre of any activity. He was popular.

Ian is survived by many loving friends and relatives including his parents, Robert and Amanda; his wife Kellyanne; his son Dylan; and his brother, Alan. 

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

James Thacker - Law Enforcement - Kentucky

Deputy Sheriff James Thacker, age 53, died on January 23, 2012, in Kentucky.

James was a member of the Pike County Sheriff's Office, Kentucky. Deputy Thacker had served with the Pike County Sheriff's Department for one year and had previously served as an elected county constable for four years.

He was killed in an automobile accident on U.S. 460, at approximately 9:00 pm. He was en route to Elkhorn City to serve civil papers towards the end of his shift when an SUV crossed the center line and struck his patrol car head-on. The SUV then collided with another vehicle. Deputy Thacker succumbed to his injuries at the scene.

Michael, Archangel,
Patron Saint of the Police,
pray for James
He was a Marine veteran and dedicated 32 years of his life to law enforcement at various levels.

Police Officials describe James as an excellent deputy and stated that anytime they'd call him, day or night, he would respond. He is also described as kind and compassionate, who treated others as he would want to be treated. 

James is survived by many loving friends and relatives including 4 children, 2 step-children and 6 grandchildren. 

Pray for all who die in the line of duty. 

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

Gail Thomas - Law Enforcement - Georgia

Senior Police Officer Gail Thomas, age 46, died on January 24, 2012, in Georgia.

Gail was a member of the Atlanta Police Department. She had 15 years of service. 

She was struck and killed by a suspected drunk driver while assisting other officers with a traffic incident on a local interstate highway. She had just exited her vehicle when she was struck by the drunk driver. She was struck again by other vehicles after initially being struck by the drunk driver. Gail died at the scene.

Michael, Archangel, Patron
Saint of the Police, pray for Gail
The driver of the first vehicle to strike Officer Thomas (a 22 year old woman) was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide, DUI, and reckless driving. 

Fellow officers describe Gail as a great police officer who loved policing, who will be greatly missed. It was also stated that she was a sweet person, with an infectious smile, who could brighten up a room. 

Police Officials describe Gail as a veteran police officer whose sense of duty and commitment to public safety inspired many of her fellow officers.

Gail is survived by many loving friends and relatives. 

Pray for all who die in the line of duty. 

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

Christopher Singer

Cpl. Christopher G. Singer, age 23, of Temecula, California, died on January 21, 2012, while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. 

He was assigned to 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, California.

Christopher was a graduate of Chaparral High School. He joined the Marines shortly after graduation.

Relatives stated that joining the military was Christopher's dream since childhood and that he died doing what he loved. 

Jesus, pray for Christopher
He spent his military career at Camp Pendleton and the base at Twentynine Palms, serving as a member of the military police for part of that time. After his recovery from a knee injury and his re-enlistment in December 2010, he was deployed to Afghanistan in September.

His personal service awards include the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Marine Corps Good Conduct medal, Afghanistan Campaign medal, Global War on Terrorism Service medal and the National Defense Service medal. 

Christopher is survived by many loving friends and family members including his parents, Marlene and Greg Singer; his wife Brooke Singer and their 2 year old daughter Briyana; his sister Jessica Shaw and his brother Jordan Singer. 

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

January 23, 2012

Cops - Abusers or Heroes?

Somebody said to me recently: "You post memorials to cops. Many of them are abusers of civil rights". 

My response is: No, not many of them are abusers. Most of them are men and women who go to work to do a job and put their lives on the line every day that they are on duty. 

Many cops are also killed "off-duty" in circumstances in which they come across a burglary or an assault or a problem, and step in to help resolve the situation. They feel that it their duty to do so. 

There are lots of abusers in this world - husbands to wives; fathers to their children; soldiers in war who torture their enemies; politicians who further their own gains at the expense of others; bankers and investors who will steal your life savings without a backward glance; Catholic Priests and Protestant Ministers and Pastors and Hockey and Football coaches who abuse kids for sex; and so on, ad infinitum. 

A Police Abuser - pepper spraying peaceful demonstrators.
Abuse is endemic and pandemic. Abuse is not the sole property of the police. 

By and large, Law Enforcement officers are no worse than anyone else and many are heroes. 
Police Officer, shot in the
neck, on duty.

For example, I have posted a good number of blog posts in the past year regarding law enforcement officers who tried to save drowning people. Some of these officers were "off duty". They didn't have to step up to the plate, but they did anyway due to a sense of obligation, and then lost their own lives in an attempt to save others. 

These are the true heroes of the modern era. 

God help the Police. 

Michael, Patron Saint of the Police, pray for them. Amen.

Garret Davis - Law Enforcement - Hawaii

Officer Garret Davis, age 28, died in the line of duty on January 21, 2012, in Honolulu, Hawaii. 

He was a member of the Honolulu Police Department. He had 3 years of service. 

Garret was killed in an automobile accident when his patrol car was rear-ended. He had stopped his marked patrol car behind a stalled vehicle on the left shoulder. Before he was able to exit his car it was struck from behind by another vehicle and his vehicle burst into flames. He was unable to exit his burning patrol car. Garret suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene. Two civilians were also injured in the crash.

The driver of the vehicle that crashed into Officer Davis may be charged with criminal negligence.

Michael, Archangel, Patron Saint
of the Police, pray for Garret
Garret grew up in Folsom, California, attended San Francisco State University and moved to Honolulu to join the police department. He graduated from the Honolulu Police Department Academy in 2008. 

Police officials describe Garret as a fine, young Officer, with a future in his Department.

In 2010, Garret received a merit certificate for helping save a suicidal woman at risk in the seas surrounding Honolulu. Garret couldn't swim, but assisted lifeguards and was able to bring the woman ashore safely. 

Garret is survived by many loving friends and relatives including a young daughter who lives in California.

Pray for all who die in the line of duty. 

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

Jesse Stites

Cpl. Jesse W. Stites, age 23, died on January 19, 2012, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

He was a member of the Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. 

He died in a helicopter crash. The cause of the crash is undetermined at this time.

Pray for Jesse
Jesse is listed by the Military as being from North Beach, Maryland. However, family members have stated that he grew up in Florida, went to high school there and never lived in Maryland.

Cpl. Stites enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2008 and was on his second deployment to Afghanistan. 

Friends describe Jesse as a great guy, who was a straight-A student, who will be greatly missed by all who knew him. They also describe him as kind, respectful, smart and destined to be a marine.

Jesse is survived by many loving friends and relatives including his mother Carol Stites; and his wife. He was predeceased by his father, John Stites. He also leaves behind two sisters.

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

Joseph Logan

Cpl. Joseph D. Logan, age 22, of Willis, Texas, died on January 19, 2012, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

He was a member of the Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. 

He died in a helicopter crash. The cause of the crash is undetermined at this time.
Father, lead Joseph Logan
to Heaven

Joseph was a graduate of Willis High School. He enlisted in November of 2008 and joined the Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363 in May as an aerial observer. This was his second deployment.

Joseph's awards include an Air Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and NATO ISAF Medal.

Family members stated that he loved being a Marine and that he was a brave and courageous young man. 

Joseph is survived by many loving friends and relatives including his parents (mother - Deborah Logan); his wife - Melissa; siblings and other close relatives.

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

Nathan McHone

Capt. Nathan R. McHone, age 29, of Crystal Lake, Illinois, died on January 19, 2012, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

He was a member of the Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. 

He died in a helicopter crash. The cause of the crash is undetermined at this time.

Nathan graduated from Crystal Lake South High School in 2001. He graduated from Western Michigan University in 2005. Nathan was commissioned into the Marine Corps in September 2005 and joined the Helicopter squadron in October of 2009. He served in the military for six years and four months, and was on his second deployment to Afghanistan when he was killed.
Angels of God, pray for Nathan

Friends describe Nathan as friendly and easy-going, a hard worker and an accomplished athlete.

His personal awards include two Air Medals, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and the NATO ISAF Medal.

Nathan is survived by many loving friends and relatives including his parents, Ronald and Sylvia McHone; his sister, Stephanie Oduro; and his brother, Ben McHone.

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

January 22, 2012

Daniel Bartle

Capt. Daniel B. Bartle, age 27, of Ferndale, Washington, died on January 19, 2012, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

He was a member of the Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. 

He died in a helicopter crash. The cause of the crash is undetermined at this time.

Daniel grew up in Missoula, Montona, and moved to Ferndale while in high school, graduating in 2002. He decided to serve his country while working as a congressional page in Washington, D.C. Daniel graduated from the Naval Academy in 2006. He was commissioned into the Marine Corps in May 2006, and reported for duty with the Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363 in July 2011. He had been promoted to captain the year before. 
Father, place Daniel on
the road to Heaven

Daniel had been decorated with two Air Medals and a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, among other awards. This was his second to deployment to Afghanistan. 

Family members describe him as a man of humility and honor. They also stated that he was a loving son, brother, uncle and friend, and though his death saddens them greatly, they are finding consolation in all the love, laughter and joy that he gave to those who were fortunate enough to know him. 

Daniel is survived by many loving friends and relatives, including his parents John and Sandra, and a sister and brother. 

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

January 21, 2012

Kevin Reinhard

Cpl. Kevin J. Reinhard, age 25, of Colonia, New Jersey, died on January 19, 2012, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

He was a member of the Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. 

He died in a helicopter crash. The cause of the crash is undetermined at this time.

Kevin Reinhard, grew up in Colonia. He attended St. John Vianney School and Colonia Middle School. In 2005, he graduated from St. Joseph High School in Metuchen. He attended Ramapo College during his freshman year, then transferred to Middlesex County College. But with a strong desire to serve his country, Kevin interrupted his studies, and in the spring of 2008 enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Family members, who are grief-stricken, said that Kevin wanted to serve his country. 

Mary, pray for Kevin
They stated that Kevin loved to fly and was also a sports enthusiast. They also stated that he had a great sense of humor but was also passionate about his commitment to family and friends.

Kevin is survived by many loving friends and family members including his parents, James and Kathleen Reinhard; and his sister, Kathleen.

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

Travis Riddick

MSgt. Travis W. Riddick, age 40, of Centerville, Iowa, died on January 19, 2012, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

He was a member of the Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. 

He died in a helicopter crash. The cause of the crash is undetermined at this time.
Light a candle for Travis.
Light his way to Heaven.

Travis grew up in Iowa and met his wife while stationed at the Marine base in Quantico. He had approximately 21 years of military service. 

Family members describe Travis as a gregarious and personable man, and a devoted husband and father. 

Travis is survived by many loving friends and relatives including his father, John Riddick; his wife, Jennifer and their daughter, Victoria (age 11) and son Levi (age 19). Other children include Charles, Matt, Jamie and Zachary. 

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

Brandon Little - Firefighter - Pennsylvania

Firefighter Brandon Little, age 19, died on January 18, 2012, in the line of duty, in Abbottstown, Pennsylvania.

Brandon was a volunteer member of United Hook and Ladder Company No. 33, based in New Oxford, Pennsylvania. 

Brandon was responding to a structure fire call, when his private vehicle left the roadway and crashed into a tree. It is believed that he was ejected from his car and that speed may have been a factor in the accident. 

Family members stated that Brandon loved life and that the fire company was his second home. His dream was to become a full-time firefighter. 
Saint Florian, Patron Saint
of Firefighters, pray for
Brandon

Brandon was a 2010 graduate of New Oxford High School. 

He is survived by many loving friends and family members including his parents Keith and Nancy Little; his brother, Shawn; sister Alexis; and paternal grandparents Lester and Marie Little.

Pray for all who die in the line of duty. 

Pray for all who die while rushing to the call of duty. 

Pray for the 19 year olds who die before their time. They are only teenagers after all. 

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

Barbara Ester - Corrections Officer - Arkansas

Sergeant Barbara Ester, age 47, died in the line of duty on January 20, 2012, in Brickeys, Arkansas. 

She was a member of the Arkansas Department of Corrections. She had 12 years of service. 

Angels of God, pray for
Barbara
Barbara was stabbed to death by an inmate. She had observed an inmate in possession of a contraband pair of sneakers and entered the open barracks to confiscate them. As she approached the inmate he suddenly stabbed her in the chest and abdomen with a shank.

Sergeant Ester was flown to a hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, where she succumbed to her wounds.

The inmate, who had was serving a life sentence for murder, was immediately taken into custody and transferred to the maximum security wing of the prison.

Barbara is survived by many loving friends and relatives including her husband who also works at the Facility. 

Pray for all who die in the line of duty. 

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

Geoffrey Baumela

French Soldier, Chief Sergeant Geoffrey Baumela, age 27, died on January 20, 2012, at a military base in Kapisa Province, Afghanistan.

A renegade Afghan soldier shot dead four French unarmed troops participating with the Afghans in a sporting event. Another 15 French soldiers were wounded. The attacker was arrested. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

Saint Veronica, pray for Geoffrey
He was born in Echirolles and enlisted in the Army in 2006. He joined the 93rd Mountain Regiment. 

Military officials describe him a valuable and versatile mechanic. He is also described as reliable. 

He had previously served in Guyana. 

Geoffrey Baumela is survived by many loving friends and relatives including his partner, Jessica, and his child; and a sister, Alison. 

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

Svilen Simeonov (Taner Mehmedov Uzonov)

French Soldier, Sergeant Svilen Simeonov, age 34, died on January 20, 2012, at a military base in Kapisa Province, Afghanistan.

A renegade Afghan soldier shot dead four French unarmed troops participating with the Afghans in a sporting event. Another 15 French soldiers were wounded. The attacker was arrested. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. 

Svilen was born in Rakovski, Bulgaria, near Razgrad. His Muslim name is Taner Mehmedov Uzonov.  He changed his name to Svilen Simeonov before he joined the Foreign Legion in 2001.
God the Father, place
Svilen on the stairway to
Heaven.
Military officials describe him as strongly motivated and committed. 

He had previously served in French Guiana, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti and once before in Afghanistan. He was killed just days before he was due to return home. 

Svilen is survived by many loving friends and relatives including his mother and father and his wife and young son. 

Let us pray to God the Father that Svilen Simeonov is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen

Denis Estin

French Soldier, Chief Warrant Officer Denis Estin, age 45, died on January 20, 2012, at a military base in Kapisa Province, Afghanistan.

A renegade Afghan soldier shot dead four French unarmed troops participating with the Afghans in a sporting event. Another 15 French soldiers were wounded. The attacker was arrested. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. 

He was born in Douai and enlisted in the military in 1984. He had 28 years of service with the military. In August of 2009, he was assigned to the 93rd Mountain Regiment. 
Raphael, Archangel,
pray for Denis

He had previously served in the Central African Republic, Chad, Martinique, Bosnia/Croatia and two previous tours in Afghanistan. 

Military officials describe him as having excellent professional qualities and impeccable behavior. He is also described as thorough and competent. 

Denis is survived by many loving friends and relatives including his wife and two children.

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

Fabien Willm

French Soldier, Fabien Willm, age 43, died on January 20, 2012, at a military base in Kapisa Province, Afghanistan.

A renegade Afghan soldier shot dead four French unarmed troops participating with the Afghans in a sporting event. Another 15 French soldiers were wounded. The attacker was arrested. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. 

Fabien was a Chief Warrant Officer. He had 25 years of service in the military. 

Pray for Fabien
He was born in Strasbourg and first joined the military in 1986 as a cadet. He had previously served in the Central African Republic, Guyana, French Polynesia, Chad, Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo and Côte d'Ivoire. He has also previously served several tours in Afghanistan. 

Military officials stated that he had a strong technical knowledge and was admired by his comrades. They also stated he had a strong work ethic. 

Fabien is survived by many loving friends and relatives including his wife and child.

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

Philip McGeath

Cpl. Philip D. McGeath, age 25, of Glendale, Arizona, died on January 18, 2012, while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. 

He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. 

He was a 2005 graduate of Cooper High School. He was scheduled to return home for good, in two weeks.

Light a candle for Philip.
Light his way to Heaven.
Family members stated that they love him very much. 

In high school he was a football letterman, a member of the choir, a dedicated student, and a loyal friend. 

Friends stated that he had an old soul and a sweet spirit.

Philip is survived by many loving friends and family members including his parents (mother - Phyllis); his wife Sarah; sister Amber-Laine, and 5 brothers.

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

Keith Benson

Spc. Keith D. Benson, age 27, of Brockton, Massachusetts, died on January 18, 2012, in Paktika province, Afghanistan. 

The cause of his death is unknown at this time. 

He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 172nd Infantry Brigade, Grafenwoehr, Germany. He was a combat medic. 

Keith grew up in Norwood, Massachusetts and graduated from Norwood High School in 2002.
Saint Francis of Assisi,
pray for Keith

Friends describe him as a gentleman. Others state that Keith wanted to become an EMT after retiring from the Army.

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