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Mar-31-2011 04:25printcomments

Military Deaths Nearly Every Day in March; Almost a Third are Californians

20 dead in Afghanistan.

U.S. War Dead
Image: einhornpress.com

(SALEM, Ore.) - I realized something tonight while looking at the astonishing numbers of U.S. war dead in casualty reports issued by the Dept. of Defense; I have as the editor of this news group, fallen into the trap of complacency that seems to be taking place everywhere with regard to our fallen service members. I used to cover the casualties regularly and will again try to stay on track with this important information.

As you read through these events that claimed the lives of Americans overseas, you will note that two soldiers killed in Afghanistan were allegedly shot with small arms fire by an individual from a military security group. Military security group means private contractor, like the group formerly known as Blackwater.

One death reported by the Air Force was the result of a shooting that happened at the Frankfurt Airport, Germany.

You will also see that Americans are still dying in Iraq. The name of the Iraq conflict is officially now 'Operation New Dawn' by the way. The war in Afghanistan is still called 'Operation Enduring Freedom' and considering that it began nearly a decade ago, the first half of the name has proven to be very accurate, while in many ways it remains to be seen how much freedom the occupational war will lead to.

Of 25 individuals killed, between 2 March and 26 March 2011:

  • 18 were soldiers in the U.S. Army
  • 5 were U.S. Marines
  • 2 were members of the U.S. Air Force
  • One was a U.S. Navy sailor

18 of the Army deaths were combat related; however it appears that 2 may ultimately be regarded as 'friendly fire'-type incidents.

All 5 of the Marines died in combat.

The Navy's casualty was non-combat related, as was one Air Force death.

Of the areas where service members were killed, service members hailed from 17 U.S. states:

Colorado, South Carolina, Oklahoma, California, Illinois, Arkansas, West Virginia, Connecticut, Vermont, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Washington, Florida, Arizona, Ohio, Maryland and Texas, which lost two.

The state of California paid a heavy price in the month of March 2011; almost one third of all those killed are from the Golden State. Seven of the eight were killed in a combat environment; one was possibly friendly fire-related. Only one of the eight Californians killed died under 'non-combat' circumstances.


U.S. Army- Afghanistan - combat related

Staff Sergeant Bryan A. Burgess, 29, of Cleburne, Texas is one of two soldiers who died during a small arms fire attack that happened in Afghanistan's Kunar Province. He died from his wounds 29 March at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Private first class Dustin J. Feldhaus also died in the attack.

Bryan Burgess was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

U.S. Army- Afghanistan - combat related

Private first class Dustin J. Feldhaus, 20, of Glendale, Arizona died March 29 at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan from wounds suffered in an attack that took place in the Kunar Province. He died after enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire. The attack also claimed the life of Staff Sergeant Bryan A. Burgess.

Dustin Feldhaus was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

U.S. Army- Afghanistan - combat related

Corporal Justin D. Ross, 22, of Green Bay, Wisconsin, died 26 March in Helmand province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his unit was attacked by small arms fire. Justin Ross was assigned to the 863rd Engineer Battalion, Wausau, Wisconsin.

In an update issued 30 March 2011 -- Justin Ross was posthumously promoted from specialist to corporal.

U.S. Navy - Afghanistan - - not combat related

Petty Officer 1st Class Vincent A. Filpi III, 41, of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, died 24 March as a result of a non-combat related incident. Vincent Filpi was assigned to USS Enterprise as an aviation ordnanceman. The Enterprise is currently deployed to the Fifth Fleet area of responsibility conducting operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

U.S. Army- Iraq - combat related

Corporal Brandon S. Hocking, 24, of Seattle, Washington, died 21 March in As Samawah, Iraq, when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. Brandon Hocking was assigned to the 87th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia.

U.S. Army- Djibouti - not combat related

Master Sgt. Jamal H. Bowers, 41, of Raleigh, North Carolina, died 18 March at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti, as a result of a non-combat related incident. Jamal Bowers was assigned to the 6th Battalion, 4th Military Information Support Group, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

U.S. Marines- Afghanistan - combat related

Staff Sergeant James M. Malachowski, 25, of Westminster, Maryland, died 20 March while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. James Malachowski was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

U.S. Army- Afghanistan - combat related

Staff Sgt. Mecolus C. McDaniel, 33, of Fort Hood, Texas, died 19 March in Khowst province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device and small arms fire. Mecolus McDaniel was assigned to the 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Knox, Kentucky.

U.S. Army- Afghanistan - Possible friendly fire

Two soldiers died 19 March in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when they were allegedly shot with small arms fire by an individual from a military security group. The incident that led to the death of Corporal Donald R. Mickler Jr., 29, of Bucyrus, Ohio is under investigation according to the DoD. The attack also claimed the life of Private first class Rudy A. Acosta, 19, of Canyon Country, California.

Donald Mickler was assigned to the 4th Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, Vilseck, Germany.

U.S. Army- Afghanistan - Possible friendly fire

Private first class Rudy A. Acosta, 19, of Canyon Country, California, is one of two soldiers who died 19 March in Afghanistan's Kandahar province, from wounds sustained by small arms fire from a military security group or contractor. The incident that led to the death of Rudy Acosta is under investigation according to the DoD. Corporal Donald R. Mickler Jr., 29, of Bucyrus, Ohio also died in the attack.

Rudy Acosta was assigned to the 4th Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, Vilseck, Germany.

U.S. Marines- Afghanistan - combat related

Lance Corporal Christopher S. Meis, 20, of Bennett, Colorado, died 17 March while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Chris Meis was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

U.S. Air Force - SW Asia - - not combat related

Senior Airman Michael J. Hinkle II, 24, of Corona, California, died 16 March due to a non-combat related incident in "Southwest Asia". The DoD did not list what country the death took place in. Michael Hinkle was assigned to the 28th Communications Squadron, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota.

U.S. Army- Afghanistan - combat related

Staff Sergeant Travis M. Tompkins, 31, of Lawton, Oklahoma, died 16 March in Logar province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained on 15 March, when enemy forces attacked his unit with a rocket propelled grenade. Travis Tompkins was assigned to the Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Polk, Louisiana.

U.S. Army- Afghanistan - combat related

Private first class Arturo E. Rodriguez, 19, of Bellflower, California, died 12 March in Paktika province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using small arms fire. Arturo Rodriguez was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

U.S. Marines- Afghanistan - combat related

Corporal Ian M. Muller, 22, of Danville, Vermont, died 11 March while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Ian Muller was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

U.S. Army- Afghanistan - combat related

Sergeant 1st Class Dae Han Park, 36, of Watertown, Connecticut. died 12 March in Wardak province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. Dae Park was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

U.S. Army - Afghanistan - - not combat related

Private first class Andrew M. Harper, 19, of Maidsville, West Virginia, died 11 March, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained in a non-combat incident. Andrew Harper was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, Vilseck, Germany.

U.S. Army- Afghanistan - combat related

Staff Sergeant Eric S. Trueblood, 27, of Alameda, California, died 10 March in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. Eric Trueblood was assigned to the 391st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 16th Sustainment Brigade, Spinelli Barracks, Mannheim, Germany.

U.S. Army- Afghanistan - combat related

Corporal Loren M. Buffalo, 20, of Mountain Pine, Arkansas, died 9 March in Kandahar province of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. Loren Buffalo was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

U.S. Army - Afghanistan - - not combat related

Specialist Andrew P. Wade, 22, of Antioch, Illinois, died 9 March in Kunduz province, Afghanistan, as a result of a non-combat related incident. Andrew Wade was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York.

U.S. Army - Afghanistan - - not combat related

Private first class Kalin C. Johnson, 19, of Lexington, South Carolina, died 8 March in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained in a non-combat incident. Kalin Johnson was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, Vilseck, Germany.

U.S. Army- Afghanistan - combat related

Staff Sergeant Mark C. Wells, 31, of San Jose, California, died 5 March in Helmand province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. Mark Wells was assigned to the 45th Sustainment Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

U.S. Marines- Afghanistan - combat related

Corporal Jordan R. Stanton, 20, of Rancho Santa Margarita, California, died 4 March while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Jordan Stanton was assigned to the 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

U.S. Army- Afghanistan - combat related

Specialist Jason M. Weaver, 22, of Anaheim, California, died 3 March in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device. Jason Weaver was assigned to the 504th Military Police Battalion, 42nd Military Police Brigade, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

U.S. Air Force- Germany - died in the line of duty

Senior Airman Nicholas J. Alden, 25, of Williamston, South Carolina, died as a result of the 2 March shooting at Frankfurt Airport, Germany. Nicholas Alden was assigned to the 48th Security Forces Squadron, RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom.


This strikes me as an alarming number of people to have been killed in a month's time, there is no other way to look at it. I have a unique perspective also, I spent two months in Afghanistan from late 2006 through early 2007. In this time, when soldiers in this country considered their effort a 'forgotten war', I only covered the death of one U.S. soldier. Afghan soldiers were killed, but an American death meant a complete 'blackout' for the base and it was unique at that point, fortunately.

There may have been a second American or more killed during the time I was there, but only one particular death comes to mind.

Either way, the rate reported in this story is very close to one per day for each day of the calendar month. Also, it is very likely (sadly) that the entire death toll is not included here. It is sad that two of 25 deaths may have been caused directly by military contractors.

These teams roamed Iraq when I was covering that war in 2008, but they were few and far between in Afghanistan when I was there. However I know what they are often like and also that many times they escape prosecution for deaths they cause as they are not directly under the auspices of the U.S. military. We will try to bring you more on that particular aspect of this report.

Anyone who wants to know about fallen members of the military should visit IraqWarHeroes.org to pay homage and learn about those members of the military who died in service.

_________________________________________________________

Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer

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. 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 awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the 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, Salem-News.com 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 82 Salem-News.com 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 send Tim an email at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com




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Bring'm home April 4, 2011 6:25 pm (Pacific time)

At least 858 U.S. soldiers have died in the Afghanistan war since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009. That equals 60.13 percent of the 1,427 American soldier fatalities so far in the ongoing 10-year war in that country. http://cnsnews.com/news/article/60-us-military-deaths-afghanistan-have-o# //A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman Statesman, philosopher and orator (42 B.C)


Cav Scout April 2, 2011 7:42 am (Pacific time)

The reason the number of KIA/WIA has increased this month in Afghanistan is because we are initiating more contact with the enemy. What this means is that our Soldiers and Marines are aggresive in efforts to find find and eliminate enemy units and postions. This up tick is a good indicator that a major offensive might be about to unfold in eastern Afghanistan. When you have a "bunker" mentality and dont initiate contact with enemy forces you dont have a great deal of casulities but you dont win to many conflicts that way either.

Editor: Thanks for dropping by and for your overview.


ajwaldron1 March 31, 2011 3:59 pm (Pacific time)

Thanks so much for covering this forgotten war.My son arrived in Afghanistan in January, very little is covered by the media in the 2 months he has been there, yes, Japan and Libya is important but how about some balance. You piece is very moving and a tribute to these 25 sacrifices. We are from CA and all the more need for coverage to put a face on this forgotten war.Freedom isn't free!


Colli March 31, 2011 10:42 am (Pacific time)

Tim: Do you have any idea why the number killed per month is rising? Is it lack of or poor equipment, conflicting orders, poorer quailty training . . . there must be a reason for this climb in the death rate.


Anonymous March 31, 2011 10:11 am (Pacific time)

Thank you for reporting this information. There is not enough coverage of our military.


Anonymous March 31, 2011 9:19 am (Pacific time)

Kinda sad that these fine (but brainwashed) brave kids die for the globalists to expand their empire, make billions in the heroin trade, and are helping the globalists to build their oil pipeline. Afghanistan was NO threat to the U.S., and now its proven that alciada, is total pentagon, with the number 1 guy, anwar aliki (sp), visiting the whitehouse. Now alciada is good, and those in the U.S. who disagree with the white house are terrorists. I told you this many years ago. The patriot act/police state was not for al ciada. It was for patriots of the U.S, those who believe in the bill of rights, and the declaration of independence.

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©2019 Salem-News.com. All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Salem-News.com.


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