Thursday, November 14, 2013

New website

Please visit FALLENHEROES.INFO for the latest news and postings. All future posts will be added to that site as they happen.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

US Army Captain Aaron Blanchard

US Army Captain Aaron R. Blanchard, serving with the 2nd Aviation Battalion, was one of two American soldiers killed on 23rd April 2013 in Pul-e-Alam.

32-year-old Capt. Blanchard, from Selah, Washington, was commissioned in the US Army in June 2009, having previously served with the US Marine Corps. He trained as an Apache helicopter pilot and transferred to the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York, in 2011. He deployed with his unit to Afghanistan in April this year.

His awards include the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, NATO Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Combat Action Badge and the Army Achievement Medal, among many other decorations.

Captain Blanchard leaves his wife, two children, mother, father and two brothers.

Captain Blanchard and his colleague, 1st Lt. Robert J. Hess, died from "wounds suffered from enemy indirect fire," according to a statement by the US department of Defense.

Friday, April 26, 2013

US Army Pfc. Barrett Austin

20-year-old US Army Pfc. Barrett L. Austin, serving with the 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, died on 21st April 2013 at a hospital in Landstuhl, Germany.

Pfc. Austin, from Easley, South Carolina, had been severely injured on 17th April when his vehicle was hit by a homemade bomb in Wardak province.

He was based at Fort Stewart, Georgia, as part of the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.

Pfc. Austin leaves his wife, Heather, his parents and a sister.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

US Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Matthew Ruffner killed in helicopter crash

US Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Matthew Ruffner, serving with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard’s Company B, 1-104th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, was one of two soldiers killed on 9th April 2013 when their helicopter crashed during a reconnaissance mission in Nangarhar province.

34-year-old CWO3 Ruffner graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in criminology. He joined the military in 1997, serving initially as a mechanic in the Army Reserve’s 705th Transportation Company in Dayton, Ohio, before transferring to the Army National Guard’s 110th Infantry.

He went on to complete warrant officer training and transferred to the aviation career field in 2005 serving as an aviation life support equipment officer, tactical operations officer and instructor pilot. More recently, he was employed as a full-time Apache instructor pilot for the Pennsylvania National Guard’s Army Aviation Support Facility.

His awards and decorations include the Army Achievement Medal, three Army Reserve Component Achievement Medals and the Parachutist Badge.

The other Pennsylvania National Guardsman killed in the crash was Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jarett Yoder.

The cause of the crash is being investigated.

US Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jarett Yoder killed in helicopter crash

US Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jarett Yoder, serving with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard’s Company B, 1-104th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, was one of two soldiers killed on 9th April 2013 when their helicopter crashed during a reconnaissance mission in Nangarhar province.

27-year-old CWO2 Yoder joined the military in 2005 after graduating from High School the same year. He served as an infantryman and deployed to Iraq in 2008 with the 56th Stryker Brigade. In 2010, he became an Apache Helicopter pilot. His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge and Driver and Mechanic Badge.

As reported on the Pennsylvania National Guard website, CWO2 Yoder’s wife Heather Garay-Yoder released the following statement: "Jarett is my American Hero. He always dreamed of being an Apache pilot and he followed those dreams to continue to fight for our country. Jarett died doing what he loved and dreamed of doing, a true hero. There are so many people who love him and we will never forget. I love you, always and forever. Your loving wife, Heather."

The other Pennsylvania National Guardsman killed in the crash was Chief Warrant Officer 3 Matthew Ruffner.

The cause of the crash is being investigated.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Three American soldiers killed by suicide bomber in Zabul

Three US soldiers were named as victims of a suicide bomber who struck their convoy with a car on 6th April 2013.

The soldiers were part of a convoy of officials travelling to a school in Qalot, the provincial capital of Zabul province, to donate books for the students there. The suicide bomber drove a car packed with explosives into the convoy, killing six people and injuring at least ten more.

The soldiers, all serving with the 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, based at Fort Stewart, Georgia, were named by the US Department of Defense as:

24-year-old Staff Sgt. Christopher M. Ward, 25-year-old Spc. Wilbel Robles-Santa and 24-year-old Spc. Deflin M. Santos Jr.

Also among the victims was US Diplomat Anne Smedinghoff aged 25.

More information to follow.

US Diplomat Anne Smedinghoff

25-year-old US diplomat Anne Smedinghoff, was among a group of six killed on 6th April 2013 by a suicide bomber who drove a car into a convoy of American military and civilian personnel. The attack happened in Zabul province.

Ms Smedinghoff, from Chicago, Illinois, joined the US Foreign Service after she graduated from University in 2009. She had previously served in Venezuela.

She was an Assistant Information Officer and had volunteered for the Afghanistan posting. At the time of the attack, her group were on their way to deliver a consignment of books to a local school in Qalot, the provincial capital.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Six Americans killed in separate attacks in Afghanistan

Six American citizens lost their lives today (6th April 2013) in a day of violence across Afghanistan.

Five were killed by a suicide car-bomber in Qalat, Zabul province. They were in a convoy of vehicles heading for a local school to give books to students, when the bomber struck. Three American military personnel, a female officer with the State Foreign Service Department and a civilian with the Department of Defense were killed. 10 people were injured by the blast, one State Department employee critically.

In a separate incident, an American civilian was killed in eastern Afghanistan during an insurgent attack.

More information to follow.

USAF F16 pilot killed in crash near Bagram

US Air Force Captain James Michael Steel was killed on 3rd April 2013 in an air crash near Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan.

29-year-old Captain Steel, from Tampa, Florida, was an F-16 pilot with 77th Fighter Squadron based at Shaw AFB, South Carolina. He was on approach to land at Bagram after a mission late in the evening, when his wingman and air-traffic control lost contact with him. The incident happened approximately 10 miles south of the runway.

Officials later said there was no enemy action in the area at the time of the incident.

He graduated from the US Air Force Academy in 2006 and transferred to Shaw AFB in 2010.

More information to follow.

Monday, April 1, 2013

US Army CWO Curtis Reagan

43-year-old US Army Chief Warrant Officer Curtis S. Reagan, from Summerville, South Carolina, died in Kandahar on 29th March 2013 from a non-combat related illness.

CWO Reagan served with the 603rd Aviation Support Battalion, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, based at Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia.

No further details are available at this time. More to follow.

US Army Sergeant Michael Cable

26-year-old US Army Sergeant Michael C. Cable died on 27th March after being stabbed by a teenager in Nangarhar province.

Sgt. Cable, from Kentucky, was part of a unit tasked with securing an area for a joint US-Afghan meeting in Shinwar district of the province. At the time of the attack, he was outside the security cordon talking with a group of Afghan children. A teenager approached him from behind and stabbed him in the neck with a knife.

Sgt. Cable was serving with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

His body was repatriated to Dover Air Force Base last week.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

British Army Lance Corporal Jamie Webb dies in hospital after being wounded in enemy attack

British Army Lance Corporal Jamie Webb, of 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire), died in an ISAF Hospital in Afghanistan on 26th March 2013. He had been wounded during an enemy attack on his base at Nad 'Ali the previous day.

Born in October 1988, he joined the British Army when he was 18-years-old. He joined The Cheshire Regiment in 2006 and deployed to Northern Ireland. On his return, he deployed to Iraq for three months. In 2010, he deployed to Afghanistan with The Mercian Regiment, serving with the Danish Battle Group in Helmand as a rifle section second-in-command.

He deployed on this tour to Afghanistan in October last year. During his time in the Army, he proudly served on four operational missions and was described as being "outgoing, upbeat and a popular member of C Company who will be sorely missed by his brothers-in-arms."

Lieutenant Colonel Phil Kimber MBE, Commanding Officer 1 MERCIAN, described Lance Corporal Webb as being "A real character, a totally professional soldier and a great friend to many." He went on to say that "Lance Corporal Webb was exactly the type of man you wanted around. Always with a smile on his face, always willing to engage in some witty and mischievous banter, he really did lift the morale of all around him."

Lance Corporal Jamie Webb leaves behind his much loved parents Dave and Sue, and his close family.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

British soldier dies in hospital after being wounded during enemy action in Helmand

A British soldier from 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment has died in hospital from injuries received on 25th March.

The soldier was wounded during enemy action in the Nad 'Ali district of Helmand. The soldier was evacuated to a military hospital at Camp Bastion but died before being flown to the UK.

Ten other soldiers were injured in the attack, suspected to be a suicide bomb.

The soldier has been named as Lance Corporal Jamie Webb.

Monday, March 25, 2013

US Army Sgt. Tristan Wade killed by IED in Ghazni

US Army Sergeant Tristan M. Wade, from Indianapolis, was killed on 22nd March when a bomb exploded during an operation in Qarah Bagh, Ghazni.

23-year-old Sgt. Wade served as a combat engineer with the 573rd Clearance Company, 2nd Engineer Battalion which is based in New Mexico.

More information to follow.

US Army Special Forces NCO dies in hospital in Germany

31-year-old US Army Special Forces Sgt. 1st Class James F. Grissom died on 21st March 2013 at the US Military Hospital, in Landstuhl, Germany.

Sfc. Grissom, from Hayward, California, had been transferred to the hospital after being wounded by small-arms fire during an operation in Paktika province on 18th March. This was his fifth deployment to Afghanistan.

He joined the US Army in June 2003 after attending the Art Institute of Of San Francisco, from where he earned a degree. At the time of his death, he was serving with the 4th Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), based in Washington.

Sfc. Grissom, who leaves his wife, parents and sister, has been posthumously awarded the Bronze Star.