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Jul-18-2009 01:30printcomments

Oregon Marine Among Casualties From Afghanistan

Seven U.S. servicemen are killed in action in Afghanistan, while a soldier in Iraq's death was not combat-related.,,,, The Associated Press

(SALEM, Ore.) - Reports of numerous casualties are being dispatched by the Department of Defense. We know based on PBS News and other reports, that three Americans were killed in an explosion in Basra, but no additional details were available.

Among those killed in Afghanistan are one Tualatin, Oregon Marine and another Marine from Glendale, California. They are among five Marine Corps casualties reported, as well as three soldiers in the U.S. Army. 28.75 is the average age of the soldiers and Marines referenced in this report.

The Marines lost two staff non-commissioned officers, a sergeant, a corporal and a lance corporal. Army losses include one warrant officer and two staff non-commissioned officers.

Sergeant 1st Class Jason J. Fabrizi, 29, of Seffner, Florida, died July 14th in Konar province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when his mounted patrol was attacked by enemy forces using rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire.

This was Jason Fabrizi's fourth tour in the Middle East. His prior deployments included three tours in Iraq. He was awarded two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart during his time of service.

The mother of a soldier who served under Jason Fabrizi, Samantha Sturgeon, said her son, Private first class Andrew Lansing, was there when the attack happened. She told reporters, "Sgt. Fabrizi watched out for him." Her son was not injured in the fatal attack.

Sturgeon said her son felt safe when he was around Fabrizi because the sergeant had made it through three previous tours.

He was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado.

Sergeant Michael W. Heede Jr., 22, of Delta, Pennsylvania, was killed during combat operations July 13th in Afghanistan's Helmand Province. He joined the Marines in 2005, shortly after his high school graduation. His stepfather, Jeff Crothers, told reporters that Michael had a passion for the military and for serving his country.

Michael was a star athlete in high school. His superintendent said was an outstanding young man, "he was a very admired and respected member of the community, as well as a star athlete."

His stepdad said, "Once the recruiters came to the high school, he just really wanted to be a Marine, he was really proud to be a Marine." Family and friends say they will remember Michael as a person who lived life to the fullest. "He was a great kid and he was very active in sports at school and a very likable person," said Patricia Pitman, family friend.

Michael Heede was assigned to 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California.

Staff Sergeant David S. Spicer, 33, of Zanesfield, Ohio, died July 13 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

His most recent duty station was Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

The graduate of more than a dozen service schools including Marine Scout Sniper School and Marine Close Quarters Combat Instructor’s Course, Dave Spicer had been selected for promotion to the rank of gunnery sergeant.

Dave Spicer is survived by his wife who is 36, and his one-year old daughter. He was was assigned to 8th Engineer Support Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Chief Warrant Officer Rodney A. Jarvis, 34, of Akron, Ohio, died July 13th in Baghdad of injuries sustained from a non-combat related incident.

The 14-year veteran was currently serving in Iraq. He was last home in March of 2009 on leave, and was scheduled to come home in September 2009. He apparently died if a heart attack, the same thing his father Robert Jarvis who was also a veteran, died from at the age of 55.

Friends described Rod Jarvis as a really funny and good natured person with a big heart. Rodney is married and the father of two daughters.

He was assigned to the 46th Engineer Battalion, 1st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Fort Polk, Louisiana. The Department of Defense says the circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation.

Staff Sergeant Eric J. Lindstrom, 27, of Flagstaff, Arizona, died July 12th near Barge Matal, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his dismounted patrol using small arms and indirect fire.

In addition to his role in the military, Eric Lindstrom has dedicated his life to law enforcement. He was a Flagstaff Police officer but after four years with the department, he returned to the Army in 2003.

Eric died at age 27 of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his dismounted patrol using small arms and indirect fire. He is married and the father of seven month old twins.

Eric's awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantry Badge, and Air Assault Badge.

He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, New York.

Lance Corporal Pedro A. Barbozaflores, 27, of Glendale, California, died July 11th while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. The Marine Corps did not disclose information about the circumstances that led to the loss of this Marine's life.

A person wrote on a tribute site for Pedro Barbozaflores, "Condolences to family and friends of LCpl Barbozaflores. Stand Down LCpl youre mission on earth is complete."

Pedro Barbozaflores joined the Marine Corps in March 2008. Last December he was promoted to lance corporal. His deployment to Afghanistan began last month.

In a statement, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said, "Maria and I are deeply saddened to hear of Pedro's passing and we join all Californians in remembering his admirable service and noble sacrifice."

He was assigned to 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Master Sergeant Jerome D. Hatfield, 36, of Axton, Virginia, also died in combat July 11th while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

A Marine named Tim Gratton issued a statement about the loss of his fellow Marines, "I am writing to you in memoriam of our two fallen comrades, MSgt Jerome Hatfield and LCpl Pedro Barbozaflores. The unit has been engaged for the past two weeks in continual combat operations in Helmand Province. The MSgt and LCpl fell to an improvised explosive device (IED) attack while moving from their company position to the battalion headquarters to transfer personnel for upcoming operations and to conduct resupply. These Marines epitomize the best we have in our ranks; there are no words to describe the sense of loss we feel."

He was assigned to 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Defense Department figures indicate that at least 660 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan began in late 2001.

Corporal Matthew R. Lembke, 22, of Tualatin, Oregon, died July 10th of wounds sustained on June 24th while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski ordered all flags at public institutions to be flown at half-staff on Monday, July 20th 2009 in memory of Marine Corporal Matthew R. Lembke of Tualatin, Oregon.

“Matthew was a dedicated soldier that served his country with pride, honor and courage,” said Governor Kulongoski. “He will be forever remembered by friends and family and his sacrifice for our nation will never be forgotten.”

He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.

We can not explain why the government is holding back with certain, general information about casualties. We also do not know why corporate media outlets were provided the information while the standard reporters who rely on the DoD Website were left out.

It causes us to believe that we may eventually just move to other systems of information in determining who is killed and where in the two combat theaters. We have that capability, and would not see any spreading of the government secrecy cloak as a positive development.

The military should be more transparent with information about war casualties. That does not mean they should release names before families are notified, but they should release the basic facts.

Iraq is a place where the violence is supposed to be going away, but the deaths that apparently stemmed from a mortar or rocket attack at Basra are a sad reminder, as 3,500 Oregon Guard soldiers arrive in this country this week, that the violence there toward U.S. forces is not over.


Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as's Executive News Editor.
Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), the first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several other awards including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website, affiliated with Google News and several other major search engines and news aggregators.
You can send Tim an email at this address:

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Mike H. July 27, 2009 1:00 pm (Pacific time)

Vic, the battle is always taken elsewhere so it does not have to be fought here. Or at least that is how it seems. I get your point though too, very sad, the whole circle. I have respect for anyone in the armed forces. They are not murderers in my eyes. Destroy all that which is evil. So that which is good may flourish. Never shall innocent blood be shed. Yet the blood of the wicked shall flow like a river.

Vic July 21, 2009 8:38 pm (Pacific time)

OK..I will be the devil's advocate...If I joined a terrorist organization that planned and trained to murder other people, and I got killed by a bomb that went off prematurely, would other people be on here offering condolences to my family and offering prayers?? I doubt it. What is the difference?? There is none....Murder is murder...killing is killing...period. People make stupid decisions and bear the result of their naivety and stupidity. It is sad yes....but the dead Marine is no more a hero than the dead terrorist/freedom fighter. Whenever you willfully chose to take up arms and kill other human beings, even if you have a also become a murderer....and not too many people have sympathy for murderers...even if the people they are murdering are brown...What is more honorable...the Marine who invades another cuntry and murders those who try to protect their families and children from the invading murderers, or people...fathers, sons, mothers and brothers who are trying to protect heir families, their villages and country from foreign invaders and murderers? Face it, folks...until someone invades the United States, we are the BAD GUYS !!! Invaders arer always the "bad guys". This Marine may have had the best of intentions, and probably did....but he was naive and he was used by a military/industrial money-making complex wo didnt care about him one iota...Sad from every angle...He probably was a nice guy who thought he was doing the right thing.

JB July 21, 2009 7:23 pm (Pacific time)

I don't think any foreign invader has been successful in Afghanistan in modern times. A verse from "Young British Soldier" by Rudyard Kipland sums it up pretty good, "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier."

Editor: I love that poem

Anonymous July 21, 2009 11:08 am (Pacific time)

There is barely an important piece of land in Afghanistan that has not been occupied by one of our soldiers at some time or another,” the commander said. “Nevertheless, much of the territory stays in the hands of the terrorists. We control the provincial centres, but we cannot maintain political control over the territory that we seize.” He added: “Our soldiers are not to blame. They’ve fought incredibly bravely in adverse conditions. But to occupy towns and villages temporarily has little value in such a vast land, where the insurgents can just disappear into the hills.” They could have been the words of a Nato general in the past few days. In fact they were spoken by Marshal Sergei Akhromeyev, commander of Soviet armed forces, to the USSR’s politburo in the Kremlin on November 13, 1986. the rest of the article on at timesonline. by victor sebestyen Fighting in Afghanistan was one of the main reasons of the soviet fall.

Anonymous July 21, 2009 10:54 am (Pacific time)

point taken...thanks :-)

Anonymous July 20, 2009 12:10 pm (Pacific time)

In my posting, I did not make his birth certificate the overall issue. I made the issue in regards to the legislation obama signed which would include his birth certificate. The legislation obama signed was my issue, and wondering why it was so important when the rest of the country is in such chaos.
I thought it was a good question.
Your "get a life comment" was not warranted. Altho, I have focused on other more important things, the birth certificate is actually a valid concern. Research it yourself. And I dont mean snopes, I mean spend time researching.
The b.c. issue is very small tho compared to other things going on, such as this:

EDITOR: Perhaps that was harsh, granted. But don't assume the worst about us because your comment didn't show up quickly. We want you to have your voice. I found this comment in the SPAM folder, probably because it included a link- which we don't readily post as you should already know. In this case, you're taking our viewers to Alex Jones' site. I'll allow it this time, but we are thoughtful about the propaganda pushers, so please use discretion in that regard.

Anonymous July 20, 2009 1:13 pm (Pacific time)

Concerned: I will keep your child in my prayers. I would not normally do this, the subject for someone who has a child in the military is touchy. But there are some of us that feel the wars are all based on lies, and we have good reason to believe that.. darnit, darnit darnit.. I am so torn. You have a child in the marines, and I should have compassion, and I do. You have my word I will keep him/her in my prayers. But I feel we are there based on lies, and building an empire. I also believe, as more innocent mothers and children are killed by faulty drone attacks, that..grrrrr. What if you lost your child to a faulty drone attack? It is time to think about the overall situation. I am so sorry I felt to share with you what I feel is the truth. Again, I PROMISE to keep your child in my prayers. I will keep you in my prayers also that God gives you strength and wisdom. I think, that if I just say, the "concerned" poster, God will know who I mean. :-)

Concerned parent July 20, 2009 11:25 am (Pacific time)

i am the mother of a US deployed Marine and for those of you who say why are we even there i say to you would you rather have men like bin laden here, we have no choice and as far as the US goverment cutting funding to our troops the goverment should remember exactly what is our most precious resource "our people "

Anonymous July 19, 2009 3:32 pm (Pacific time)

I also want to add. Russia had 500,000 soldiers on foot in Afghanistan and lost. We have 70,000? I feel a draft? The last country that won Afghanistan was Kahn, and it didnt last long. Maybe our government should read a history book? Why are we even there? The U.S. empire is about do go away. But, the SCARY part? When backed into a corner, desperation sets in. What are they gonna do now? Another 911? Nah, we are up to those tricks. Swine flu? dunno. I even hear there is inside fighting among the elites. The next few months are going to be interesting to say the least.

Anonymous July 19, 2009 3:23 pm (Pacific time)

I know this is a pro-obama website, even tho he has went a total 180 in everything he promised, totally disappointed me, and is following the bush agenda, but now, we find out he signed executive orders that can bar any type of proof of who he is and where he was born? executive orders signed by him that would bar anyone from seeing his long form birth certificate? This was his important agenda when he became president? It really is time to wake up.
I had a bit of hope at one time, but my hope, along with millions of others, is gone.
In fact, this is why he is pushing the health care agenda so much. His popularity is going down, and the elite need to get this done before his popularity is even worse.

Editor: Get a life, will you?  The lamest thing of all is the birth certificate argument.  I mean you should really be embarassed.  

unknown July 18, 2009 3:54 pm (Pacific time)

New rules of engagement and cutting the funding for our troops, way to go Obama. What side is he on? Our soldiers are sitting ducks. Bring them home if they get no support from our communist dictator Obama

Editor: Have some respect or your next comment will not appear.  Place blame where it belongs, and quit looking for chances to say Obama is a Communist.  Are you a Nazi?  Want to be called that?  Please say no.

jb July 18, 2009 10:07 am (Pacific time)

I'm wondering where all the protesters are, Is it because Obama sent these fine young men to their deaths instead of Bush?

Update July 18, 2009 9:27 am (Pacific time)

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of three soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died July16 in Basra of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked their unit using indirect fire.

Killed were:

Spc. Daniel P. Drevnick, 22, of Woodbury, Minn.;

Spc. James D. Wertish, 20, of Olivia, Minn.; and

Spc. Carlos E. Wilcox IV, 27, of Cottage Grove, Minn.

All three soldiers were assigned to the 34th Military Police Company, 34th Infantry Division, Minnesota Army National Guard, Stillwater, Minn.

Also... July 18, 2009 1:47 am (Pacific time)

(CNN) -- A helicopter from private military contractor Xe crashed outside Baghdad on Friday, killing two crew members and leaving two other injured, a company spokeswoman said. The MD-530 "Little Bird" went down Friday morning at Butler Range, a training facility outside Baghdad, said Stacy Capace, a spokeswoman for the company formerly known as Blackwater. An investigation into the crash is under way, and it was not known whether there was any hostile fire in the area at the time, Capace said. "On behalf of all the employees of Xe Services, our thoughts and prayers are with our four brothers involved in this incident and with their families," the company said in a statement on the crash. "We are reminded of the risk in serving our nation and ever more proud of the men and women who bravely accept that risk on behalf of all Americans." The company and its role in the 6-year-old war in Iraq have been magnets for controversy since 2004, when four Blackwater contractors were killed and their bodies mutilated in the insurgent-riddled city of Fallujah. After a shooting in a Baghdad square in 2007 left 17 Iraqi civilians dead, Iraq's government refused to renew Blackwater's operating license, and it lost its contract to protect U.S. State Department personnel in Iraq earlier this year

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.