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Rate of American Casualties in Iraq & Afghanistan AcceleratesTim King Salem-News.com
Seven of the 14 killed were from states at or below the Mason-Dixon line. One is from New Mexico, one is from Pennsylvania, one is from Alaska, one is from Hawaii, one is from Nebraska and one is from New York.
(SALEM, Ore.) - The number of casualties reported out of Afghanistan and Iraq is steadily increasing. Last month was the deadliest in Iraq alone since last September.
As we complete the first week of June 2009, we report 14 servicemembers killed in the war theaters. That averages to more than two per day.
Two Marines who were killed died in what the military calls non-hostile incidents and one of the 14 listed in this report is a U.S. Army soldier who also died under non-hostile circumstances.
The other eleven Americans all died in combat.
The average age of the 14 killed is 26. Eight of the 14 were from states at or below the Mason-Dixon line. One is from New Mexico, one is from Pennsylvania, one is from Alaska, one is from Hawaii, one is from Nebraska and one is from New York.
All of the soldiers and Marines killed since the last day of May are male.
The first person listed in our report is a Marine from Pennsylvania who was killed two days ago in Iraq.
Lance Corporal Robert D. Ulmer, 22, of Landisville, Pennsylvania, died June 5th as a result of a non-hostile incident in Anbar province, Iraq.
He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune North Carolina.
The Department of Defense announced the death of a New Mexico soldier in Iraq.
U.S. Army Specialist Christopher M. Kurth, 23, of Alamogordo, New Mexico, died June 4th in Kirkuk, Iraq, of wounds suffered when his vehicle was struck by an anti-tank grenade.
He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
On his MySpace page, Chris wrote "My heroes are my fellow soldiers who are out there and my babe Robin". A relative of his left this comment, "dam cuz i cant understand it. i just talked to u. we love u and already miss u. ur a true hero."
Charles D. Parrish was a 23-year old Army Specialist from Jasper, Alaska. He died June 4th in Balad, Iraq, of wounds suffered earlier that day in Jalula, Iraq, when his vehicle was struck by an anti-tank grenade.
He was assigned to the 5th Engineer Battalion, 555th Engineer Brigade, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
The Pulaski County Daily reported that Charles Parrish was an Army medic with a wife and 4-year-old son.
Three Georgia Soldiers Killed in Kapisa, Afghanistan
Three U.S. Army soldiers were killed June 4th when their unit came under enemy fire in Kapisa, Afghanistan. Their unit reportedly came under heavy attack.
Major Kevin M. Jenrette of Lula, Georgia was 37-years old. He, along with two other soldiers from Georgia, died from wounds suffered in combat June 4th.
Georgia’s Gov. Sonny Perdue made this statement after learning of the death of the three Georgia Army National Guardsmen.
“Today’s news that Major Kevin Jenrette, SSG John Beale and SPC Jeffrey Jordan died serving in Afghanistan is a sobering reminder of the dangers our citizen soldiers face there everyday. I know the families of these Guardsmen have broken hearts and though we can not comprehend the loss they are feeling, Mary and I join them in mourning..."
Staff Sergeant John C. Beale of Riverdale, Georgia was 39-years old.
Along with the other two soldiers, he died near Kapisa, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device and small arms fire.
The Calhoun Times reports that the attack that killed these soldiers on Thursday is the third strike by militants in the area in less than a week. It is part of a growing surge in violence from the Taliban regime.
The third soldier from Georgia killed in the fighting that day was 21-year old Jeffrey W. Jordan.
Jeffrey was a Specialist from Rome, Georgia. All three soldiers were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 108th Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition Squadron, 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.
This is a unit comprised of members of the Georgia Army National Guard, Calhoun, Georgia.
A soldier killed in recent fighting in Afghanistan is Sergeant Jasper K. Obakrairur, 26, of Hilo, Hawaii.
Sgt. Obakrairur died June 1st in Nerkh, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.
He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, New York.
Another soldier killed in recent days in Afghanistan is Specialist Jarrett P. Griemel of La Porte, Texas who was 20-years old.
He died June 3rd at Forward Operating Base Gardez, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered from a non-combat related incident.
He was assigned to the 425th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska.
The Department of Defense reports that the circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation.
Another soldier killed in Afghanistan is Specialist Roberto A. Hernandez I, 21, of Far Rockaway, New York.
He died June 2nd in Paktya, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when his mounted patrol was attacked with an improvised explosive device and small arms fire.
Specialist Hernandez was assigned to the 549th Military Police Company, 385th Military Police Battalion, 16th Military Police Brigade (Airborne), Fort Stewart, Georgia.
A soldier killed in Iraq June 2nd is 31-year old Specialist Justin J. Duffy of Cozad, Nebraska. Some sources list his rank as sergeant.
He died in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. He was assigned the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
A Guest Book in tribute to Spc. Duffy contains this quote from Suzanne MacDaniel, entered today, which read: "To the Duffy family: I know there are no words to say at this time, except how sorry that I am. I truly feel your loss and pain. Justin shall never be forgotten."
10th Mountain Loses 3 in Nerkh, Afghanistan
In addition to the trio of deaths already reported, the government also announced the death of three U.S. Army soldiers in Nerkh, Afghanistan.
One of the soldiers who died June 1st in Nerkh, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device was Staff Sergeant Jeffrey A. Hall.
Jeff Hall was 28-years old and he was from Huntsville, Alabama.
Jeffrey had two previous deployments to Afghanistan, December 2001 to April 2002 and January 2006 to May 2007. In addition to a long list of medals and commendations for his military service, he was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star, posthumously. Jeffrey was a graduate of the Ranger Course, Airborne Course, Jumpmaster Course and Warrior Leader Course.
Private first-class Matthew D. Ogden, 33, of Corpus Christi, Texas, also died June 1st when the IED detonated near their vehicle.
Matthew D. Ogden was from Texas and the oldest of three brothers.
He grew up in Flour Bluff and graduated from King High School in 1994. He joined the Army in October of 2007. After completing training at Fort Benning, Georgia, he was assigned to Fort Drum in February 2008.
The Army infantry gunner, had joined the military hoping for a new start according to his father, Michael Ogden.
The third soldier killed in that incident is an Army Private first-class named Matthew W. Wilson. Matthew, who was 19-years old, was from Miller, Missouri.
According to dailykos.com, Matthew W. Wilson lived in Idaho before he came to Miller, Missouri and attended Miller High School. His mother had died and his father was ill, so Matthew was in foster care during most of his teens. His father James made the statement, "Parents aren't supposed to outlive their children."
Matthew Wilson joined the Army in February of 2008 and went through training at Fort Benning in Georgia. In June of 2008, he was assigned to Fort Drum, New York.
The three soldiers were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division.
A Marine from Texas was killed May 31st in Afghanistan as a result of non-hostile incident, the government reports.
Lance Corporal Matthew G. Reza of Austin, Texas, who was 27-years old, was killed as a result of a non-hostile incident in Khandahar province, Afghanistan.
He was assigned to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31, Marine Aircraft Group 31, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina.
The incident is currently under investigation according to the DoD.
This is the time of year particularly in Afghanistan, when Anti-Coalition militias including the Taliban typically renew attacks. The cold winter months often bring a lull to much of the fighting.
Special thanks to dailykos, newswatch50.com, Pulaski County Daily, Calhoun Times.
For our recent casualty reports, visit these links:
From June 2nd 2009: War Casualties Mounting in Iraq & Afghanistan - Tim King Salem-News.com
From May 11th 2009: Five Americans Killed in Baghdad by Fellow U.S. Army Soldier - Salem-News.com
From May 5th 2009: Two California Soldiers Killed in Iraq - Tim King Salem-News.com
From April 20th 2009: The Faces of Four Americans Killed in Iraq and Afghanistan - Salem-News.com
From April 12th 2009: Five Soldiers Killed by VBIED in Iraq Among Latest Casualties - Tim King Salem-News.com
From April 7th 2009: More Casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq - Tim King Salem-News.com
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 Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor.
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