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May-02-2009 00:34printcomments

Deaths in Iraq Jump: 6 Americans Killed in Recent Days

As of the first of May, 4,281 American military deaths have been reported in the Iraq war.

Clockwise from top left: James R. McIlvaine, Mark A. Wojciechowski, Tyler Trahan, Brad A. Davis, Benjamin Moore, Jr. and Leroy O. Webster.
Clockwise from top left: James R. McIlvaine, Mark A. Wojciechowski, Tyler Trahan, Brad A. Davis, Benjamin Moore, Jr. and Leroy O. Webster. Photos: MySpace, Facebook and the tribute page for CSM Moore.

(SALEM, Ore.) - Americans have adjusted to an escalating casualty rate in Afghanistan and a declining death rate in Iraq.

But this report clearly shows that the level of safety in Iraq is not getting better, at least not any longer.

When I was in Iraq in September I was told that the rolling back of money for the Sons of Iraq program that kept Iraq much safer, was going to cost the United States lives.

It is not clear if any of these tragic losses are a direct result of those programs being closed, but we do know safety checkpoints that existed all over the country, operated by Sunni tribal Iraqi's as the Sons of Iraq, were an effective part of the surge, which in retrospect was very temporary and created with no plans to continue that safety.

Among the last six American servicemen killed in recent days are two Marines, who were killed in the Anbar Province.

Another reported casualty is a Navy SEAL team member was killed in action in Fallujah.

Three soldiers have been lost in Iraq. A staff sergeant was shot and killed outside of his vehicle near Kirkuk. An Army Command Sergeant Major, essentially the service's highest enlisted rank, died in a non-combat related situation at Camp Speicher, and another soldier was killed when an IED exploded near his vehicle in Baghdad.

Marines Killed

The two Marines were killed April 30th in Al Anbar province, Iraq, while supporting combat operations.

The Marine Corps did not list how either died or what type of combat situation they were involved in.

The Marines are Sergeant James R. McIlvaine, 26, of Olney, Maryland, and Staff Sergeant Mark A. Wojciechowski, 25, of Cincinnati, Ohio.

James McIlvaine was assigned to 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, California.

Mark Wojciechowski was assigned to 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California.

Navy SEAL

The Department of Defense announced the death of a member of the U.S. Navy today.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Tyler J. Trahan, 22, of East Freetown, Massachusetts, died on April 30th while conducting combat operations in Fallujah, Iraq.

Tyler Trahan was assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit Twelve in Norfolk, Virginia, and was deployed with an East Coast based Navy SEAL team.

We covered the loss of the first U.S. Navy SEAL in Iraq, that article can be found here: Oregon Community Says Goodbye to a Hero (VIDEO) - Tim King Salem-News.com Video Report

Army Casualties

The Army has had its share of casualties in recent days.

Staff Sergeant Leroy O. Webster, 28, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, died April 25th near Kirkuk, Iraq.

The Department of Defense stated that Leroy Webster was shot while he was on a dismounted patrol.

He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

Command Sergeant Major Benjamin Moore, Jr., 43, of Waycross, Georgia, died Apr 24th at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq.

The Army isn't releasing details at this point, but they did state that Benjamin Moore died of injuries sustained in a non-combat related incident.

He was assigned to the 2d Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 3d Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

The circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation.

Corporal Brad A. Davis, 21, of Garfield Heights, Ohio, was killed April 22nd near Baghdad, Iraq.

Brad Davis died of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.

He was assigned to the 82nd Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

The Division's Headquarters are in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

The Associated Press reports that as of Friday, May 1st 2009, no less than 4,281 U.S. service members have been killed or died in the Iraq war. That figure accounts for the beginning of the conflict in March 2003.

Among those losses are 8 military civilians killed in action. The AP also cites that a minimum of 3,435 of those who died lost their lives as a result of hostile action. That figure comes from the Department of Defense.

The AP also updated the list of those killed from other nations fighting in Iraq. The UK has 179 reported deaths; Italy has had 33; Ukraine has lost 18; Poland's casualty count is 21; Bulgaria has lost 13 military members; Spain has seen 11 killed; Denmark's loss to date is 7; El Salvador has lost 5; Slovakia's losses total at 4; Latvia and Georgia have each lost 3 and Estonia, Netherlands, Thailand and Romania, two each; and Australia, Hungary, Kazakhstan and South Korea, have each lost one of their own.

There is a tribute page for Command Sergeant Major Benjamin Moore: Guestbook for CSM Moore

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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 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, Salem-News.com 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: newsroom@salem-news.com




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Michele May 6, 2009 7:06 pm (Pacific time)

Thank you to Tim King for reporting what is REALLY going on in Iraq. I don't know how many people tell me I should be thankful my son is deployed in Iraq and not Afghanistan. My son is a Marine with 1/7 in Iraq and EOD. I am worried sick for him each and every minute of each and every day. It's nice to see someone has the guts to say what is really going on. I've felt like the Marines and soldiers remaining in Iraq are sitting targets and left there to die.

Tim King: Michele: Thank you for that.  I can't imagine how difficult it would be to be in your shoes, but in terms of safety your son is among the best in the world and he will come home to you and have another holiday.  No service watches out for one another like Marines.  It is a dire situation, I in no way mean to minimize it, but I want you to know that things will turn out just fine and Marines are too fierce and dialed in to let themselves get into too bad of a situation.  If you ever need to email or have any questions of any kind, you can reach me at tim@salem-news.com, any time.  


Michele May 6, 2009 7:03 pm (Pacific time)

My son is currently deployed with the two young Marines who lost their lives. He had lunch with them only hours before they left their FOP. My heart aches for these families. It is the worst nightmare come true for Marine families. God bless you. We are so sorry.


Gregory Family May 3,2009 May 3, 2009 4:17 pm (Pacific time)

The Gregory Family send their deepest condolences to the Wojciechowski Family on the loss of Staff Sgt. Mark A Wojciechowski. You are all in our thought and prayers.


Angel May 3, 2009 8:31 am (Pacific time)

The Wojciechowski family of Staff Sgt. Mark A. Wojciechowski, send their deepest condolences to the other families of the service men that died in the line of duty on April 30, 2009, along with my nephew, Staff Sgt. Mark A. Wojciechowski. Aunt Angel You will all be missed and honored forever!!


Julie May 2, 2009 1:31 am (Pacific time)

My deepest condolences for the family and friends of these men. I am SO sorry.

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