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Jun-21-2009 20:37printcomments

IED's Blamed in at Least Half of Latest Iraq and Afghanistan War Casualties

Four of the 12 died in circumstances that were not combat-related. 6 Army soldiers were killed in explosions stemming from improvised explosive devices or 'IED's'.

Image from the Field of Flags display
Image from the Field of Flags display

(SALEM, Ore.) - The United States has reported a significant number of casualties in June, 2009.

This latest report is the third that we have issued so far in June, and includes one person who died aboard a Navy ship on the North Arabian Sea whose death was not combat-related. Seven of the casualties were in Afghanistan and four were in Iraq.

The average age of this group of 12 Americans is 30. Two of those killed are over 40-years old and one was 52.

Four of the 12 died in circumstances that were not combat-related. 6 Army soldiers were killed in explosions stemming from improvised explosive devices or 'IED's'. In the case of the two Marines who were killed, it was only stated that they died during combat operations.

Local sources in Indiana report that the death of 25-year old Chancellor A. Keesling, marks the 102nd military death from Indiana in Iraq so far.

Specialist Chancellor A. Keesling of Indianapolis, Indiana, died June 19th in Baghdad, Iraq of a non-combat related incident.

He was assigned to the 961st Engineer Company, Sharonville, Ohio.

The government reports that the circumstances surrounding this incident are under investigation.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting operations in Afghanistan.

A U.S. Army Sergeant and a Staff Sergeant died in Kandahar, Afghanistan when their vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device.

Sergeant Paul G. Smith, 43, of Peoria, Ilinois was killed in the explosion. He was an Illinois Army National Guardsman assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 106th Cavalry, Aurora, Illinois.

Staff Sergeant Joshua A. Melton, 26, of Carlyle, Illinois also died of wounds suffered in the incident. He was an Illinois Army National Guardsman assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 130th Infantry, Marion, Illinois.

The Department of Defense announced the death of a sailor who was supporting operations in Iraq and maritime security operations in the Fifth Fleet area of responsibility.

Command Master Chief Jeffrey J. Garber who was 43 years old, died of non-hostile causes June 20th aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the North Arabian Sea.

He is from Hemingford, Nebraska The DoD reports that the incident aboard the Eisenhower that led to the death of Jeff Garber is under investigation.

A Texas Army sergeant was killed June 16th in Iraq. The DoD did not specifically state the location of the incident.

They say 25-year old Joshua W. Soto of San Angelo, Texas, died from wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.

He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss Texas.

A 52-year old Massachusetts soldier died in a Texas military hospital June 17th from wounds suffered in Afghanistan March 8th 2009.

The DoD reports that Sergeant 1st Class Kevin A. Dupont of Templeton, Massachusetts, died June 17th at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, of wounds suffered March 8th in Kandau, Afghanistan, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.

He was assigned to the 79th Troop Command, Rehoboth, Massachusetts.

A U.S. Army officer from Los Angeles, California died of a non-combat related incident June 16th in Mosul, Iraq.

Captain Kafele H. Sims of Los Angeles who was 32-years old, died June 16th in a non-combat related incident. The government reports that the circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation.

He was assigned to the 18th Engineer Brigade, Schwetzingen, Germany.

The Department of Defense released information about another soldier who died in a U.S. hospital after being evacuated from a battlefields in Afghanistan.

22-year old Jonathan C. O'Neill, an Army Specialist from Zephyrhills, Florida, died June 15th at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, of wounds suffered June 2nd in Paktya, Afghanistan, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.

He was assigned to the 549th Military Police Company, 385th Military Police Battalion, 16th Military Police Brigade (Airborne) at Fort Stewart, Georgia.

A soldier killed June 13th in Samarra City, Iraq, was part of an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team that was trying to "neutralize" an IED when it exploded.

Staff Sergeant Edmond L. Lo, is from Salem, New Hampshire. He was 23-years old and assigned to the 797th Ordnance Company, 79th Ordnance Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas.

A Marine officer from Missouri was killed in Afghanistan during combat operations in the Farah Province.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ricky L. Richardson Jr. of Franklin, Missouri was 33-years old. He died June 10th during combat operations.

He was assigned to 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Okinawa, Japan.

A soldier killed in Afghanistan June 9th was part of the Army's Airborne Air Assault forces.

Specialist Eduardo S. Silva, 25, of Greenfield, California, died at Bagram Airfield of Afghanistan, in a non-combat related incident.

He was assigned to the 563rd Aviation Support Battalion, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

The government states in a news release that the circumstances surrounding Specialist Silva's death are under investigation.

A 20-year old Marine was killed in Afghanistan June 6th.

Lance Corporal Joshua R. Whittle of Downey, California, died while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

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

For our recent casualty reports, visit these links:

From June 7th 2009: Rate of American Casualties in Iraq & Afghanistan Accelerates - Tim King

From June 2nd 2009: War Casualties Mounting in Iraq & Afghanistan - Tim King

From May 24th 2009: Average Age Among 11 Recent War Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan is 32 - Tim King

From May 11th 2009: Five Americans Killed in Baghdad by Fellow U.S. Army Soldier -

From May 5th 2009: Two California Soldiers Killed in Iraq - Tim King

From May 4th 2009: Two Soldiers Killed and One Missing in Action in Afghanistan -

From April 20th 2009: The Faces of Four Americans Killed in Iraq and Afghanistan -

From May 2nd 2009: Deaths in Iraq Jump: 6 Americans Killed in Recent Days - Tim King

From April 12th 2009: Five Soldiers Killed by VBIED in Iraq Among Latest Casualties - Tim King

From April 7th 2009: More Casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq - Tim King

From March 29th 2009: Two U.S. Navy Officers Killed by Insurgent Posing as Afghan Soldier - Tim King

From March 24th 2009: More Marines and Soldiers Pay the Ultimate Price in Afghanistan and Iraq - Tim King


Tim King in 2007, covering the Afghanistan War

Tim King: Editor and Writer

Tim King has more than 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 is a former U.S. Marine.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Silver Spoke Award by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (2011), Excellence in Journalism Award by the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (2010), Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), First-place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Tim was a member of the National Press Photographer's Association for several years and is a current member of the Orange County Press Club.

Serving the community in very real terms, is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 102 writers. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can write to Tim at this address:

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.

Gilda January 9, 2013 11:47 am (Pacific time)

Dearest Sarah,I've missed you! It's ermletexy late and I'm having a problem getting to sleep. I wanted to let you know that I haven't been on my dear friend's blog sites in a week or two until tonight. My husband has been ill and still is, so I've been posting about him on my site and updating everyone there. It's been stressful and exhausting to say the least, but I wanted to stop by to at least say hello.I'm so happy that your sister is finally coming home. I deeply love and respect those who serve to defend our country. I hope that your family is able to make it to the homecoming for her!Again, I wanted to stop in and see what's been happening. I don't know when I'll be back on again, hopefully soon...depending on what the following days hold with my husband Ron.I love you dear one,Alleluiabelle

Vandehay June 22, 2009 4:49 pm (Pacific time)

Let's say your private "family" insurance is billed for your treatment for PTSD, or your past wounds you suffered in combat. What's that going to do to your policy limitations for other family members? Or just you if you're the only one on the policy? Why should the disabled veteran have to pay an insurance premium for injuries incurred while in the military? How about privacy issues? Pre-existing conditions? I could go on, but this has nothing to do with greedy insurance companies, but about taking care of our disabled veterans. Possibly Obama did not know about how this would play when he first suggested it, and I imagine in time it will be forgotten, but it is out there.

Editor: Well it is important and on the minds of many, so I am glad you were able to get it out in front of people.  They will have to decide for themselves what it all means.  God bless our tired combat troops, there is not enough we can do for them.

Vandehey June 22, 2009 4:15 pm (Pacific time)

Can you name any elected offical who has ever suggested that service-connected veterans should have their private insurance (if they even have coverage) billed for injuries from military service? This is not propaganda on my part but a report done by the Washington Post, not exactly an anti-Obama publication.

Editor: I understand that, but an effort to make the greedy insurance companies pick up a piece of the cost is not something that shouldn't at least be looked at.  This was instantly used as an anti-Obama tool and every time I hear that kind of take on something, and then I listen to Obama, I hear a different story.  My apologies to you if I owe you one, I understand being gravely concerned with anything having to do with veterans.   I just don't think he's "out to get us" and too many people want others to believe that.  Thanks for your comment. 

Vic June 22, 2009 3:28 pm (Pacific time)

Cowardly tactics ? Like using drones to kill from 10,000 miles away? Or dropping one ton bombs from a mile and a half up? That kind of cowardice? Funny, the Brits accused the American revolutionaries of cowardice because they hid behind trees and fought Indian-style...Im sure you think the founding fathers were cowards too. Im sure you think the resistance fighters of WW2 were cowards also because they did not attack the Nazi war machine head on and instead used sabatoge and hit-and-run attacks. Might makes right, eh?

Mike H. June 22, 2009 12:44 pm (Pacific time)

What cowardly tactics they use. God bless our soldiers, those willing to fight and die for the beliefs of our great nation. USA!

Vandehey June 22, 2009 12:26 pm (Pacific time)

I see where the poster below- "Anonymous"- is coming from; for when Obama went to Europe, then the middle east, he did essentially a constant mea culpa. It's still fresh in the minds of service-connected veterans a trial balloon Obama administration proposal that would rob disabled veterans of their promised health care.
That proposal, according to the Washington Post, would save the Department of Veterans Affairs $530 million a year by authorizing the VA to bill private insurance companies for combat-related injuries — conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, battle wounds and even amputations.
We might as well spit in their faces if we went ahead and attempted to do that. Obviously that proposal was pulled back, but it showed to all veterans the mindset that exists in the whitehouse.

Editor: Yeah, I guess he needs to be a real pal like that last President and send over 4,000 Americans and a million Iraqi's to their deaths over CRAP that was never true.  You need to look more closely at what you are construing to be anti-Obama propaganda.  You've had much worse people in charge of this country.

Henry Ruark June 22, 2009 9:41 am (Pacific time)

"Anon: Shameful it is, but not of Obama's doing, sir ~! Yours makes any true American patrior spew or otherwise react bottomwise. I note you fail to sign your statement, which tells us all too true with kind of coward you really are. World experts on diplomacy, rhetoric, history, and foreign relations praise both hi action and his precise and historic language...sure to exist long after you've departed to wherever such as your words reflect finally doth end up...

Anonymous June 21, 2009 10:06 pm (Pacific time)

it's a shame. here are soldiers getting killed or serious injured and obama apologizes to the muslim world and kisses their butts. shame on you, president obama.

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