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I Got The News Today (IGTNT) , which is among the oldest continuous series on Daily Kos, provides members of this community a venue to pay their respects to those who have died as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.   The IGTNT  title is a reminder that nearly every day the family of an active duty service member receives the terrible news that their beloved has died.
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Captain Mark T. Voss
Captain Victoria A. Pinckney
Technical Sergeant Herman Mackey III

Since 2001 we have lost 2220 American troops in Afghanistan and a total of 3305 American and coalition forces.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of three airmen who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

They died May 3, near Chon-Aryk, Kyrgyzstan, in the crash of a KC-135 aircraft.  The airmen were assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash.  The cause of the crash is under investigation.

            Killed were:

            Capt. Mark T. Voss, 27, of Colorado Springs, Colo.,  

            Capt. Victoria A. Pinckney, 27, of Palmdale, Calif., and

            Tech Sgt. Herman Mackey III, 30, of Bakersfield, Calif.
   ~ DoD News Release

Amazing Grace performed by the U.S. Air Force Band
Taps sounded on an original Civil War era clarion
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Day is done...Gone the sun
From the lake...
From the hills...
From the sky.
All is well...Safely rest
God is nigh.

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Command Logo of Fairchild AFB, Washington
Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington
On Friday, May 3rd a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker, which is used to refule planes over Afghanistan, took off from Manas International Airport near Bishkek, the capital of the central Asian nation. The United States has a base at the airport in Manas, which it uses for transit operations to and from Afghanistan. Tankers like the KC-135 fly from the former Soviet republic to keep fighters and bombers fueled as they loiter over Afghanistan, ready to strike if needed.

A short time after takeoff the aircraft exploded and crashed in the rugged and remote mountains of Kyrgyzstan which is approximately 100 miles west of the base.  All three crewmembers who were home based at Fairchild Air Force Base, Spokane, Washington, perished in the crash.  They had been assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron.  This is the first fatality involving a tanker crew from Fairchild AFB since 1999.

Base officials announced that there will be a public memorial service held in Spokane at a time and date to be determined and most likely off base at a large venue.

'All three of these patriots were members of our proud 93d Air Refueling Squadron, ' the Air Force said on Facebook. 'These brave Airmen leave behind an incredible legacy and show what we all know, that freedom is never free. '
Col. Brian Newberry, commander of the 92nd Air Refueling Wing based at Fairchild:
Certainly we’ve been through it before, but it’s been a long time. We need to carry their torch, and we need to remember them.

Their mission is to deliver, and these brave airmen were headed south on a mission to fuel freedom for our great nation.They were answering the call so that others may prevail, and they gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Spokane Mayor David Condon issued the following statement:
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of the three members of Fairchild Air Force Base and Spokane community who died serving their country. We are reminded of the sacrifice members of the military make every day for all of us, and offer our heartfelt condolences to the entire military family who is grieving their loss. Spokane stands ready to support our Fairchild family.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers released the following statement:
Today, my thoughts and prayers go to the family, friends, and fellow Airmen of Captain Mark T. Voss, Captain Victoria A. Pinckney, and Technical Sergeant Herman Mackey III, who lost their lives last Friday when their KC-135 aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff near Chon-Aryk, Kyrgyzstan while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. All three of these patriots were members of our Eastern Washington community as proud members of the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron at Fairchild Air Force Base.

These brave Airmen leave behind an incredible legacy and remind all of us that freedom is never free. Eastern Washington will forever honor Captain Voss, Captain Pinckney, and Technical Sergeant Mackey for making the ultimate sacrifice for our great nation and their service will never be forgotten.

~Source  ~ Source  ~ Source ~ Source ~ Source  ~ Source

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Capt Mark T. Voss, 27 of Boerne, TX.  Died 3 May 2013 in Afghanistan in KC-135 crash.
Capt. Mark T. Voss, 27, of Colorado Springs, Colorado
Captain Mike "Tyler" Voss graduated from Boerne High School in 2004.  He was a 2008 graduate of the United State Air Force Academy with a major in Aeronautical Engineering.

Tyler received his wings in March of 2010 after graduating from pilot training at Laughlin Air Force Base, Del Rio, Texas.  He received a training award for the highest score in his class on flight check rides.

Voss was stationed at Fairchild where he flew KC-135 Stratotankers, was promoted to Captain in May 2012 and became Aircraft Commander in March 2013.

Col. Brian Newberry called Captain Voss a “great aircraft commander” and said that every time he saw him he would have a smile on his face.

Captain Mark Tyler Voss is survived by his father, Wayne Voss; mother, Marcy Voss; brother, Forrest - a student at Texas A&M University; and his sister, Morgan - a student of Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Photo of Capt Victoria A Pinckney with her 7 month old son, Gabriel.  
Capt. Victoria A. Pinckney, 27, of Palmdale, California
Victoria "Tori" Ann Pinckney graduated from Palmdale High School.  She was a 2008 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy where she a member of the women's rugby team.  Her major was Systems & Space Engineering and she earned a Master's Degree in Psychology.

"Tori" enjoyed scrapbooking, snow boarding, crochet and held a black belt and red stripe in karate.

Col. Brian Newberry, who called Pinckney a "great aircraft commander" remembered "Tori" sharing baby pictures soon after her son, Gabriel was born.  “Not only was she a fine airman, but she was a mom. She was one of the first members of Team Fairchild that I learned was pregnant. I remember all the happiness that she had."

Captain Victoria Ann Pinckney leaves behind her husband, Richard; 7 month old son, Gabriel; mother Michelle Castro; father, Larry Castro; sister, Nichol; sister, Samantha, Grandparents Terry and Don Castro; Grandparents Josephine and Emil Grulkowski and a host of aunts, uncles and cousins.

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Tech Sgt Herman Mackey III, 30 of Bakersfield, CA.  Died in KC-135 Tanker Crash in Afghanistan on 3 May 2013.
 Tech Sgt. Herman Mackey III, 30, of Bakersfield, California
Herman "Tre" Mackey III was born in Anaheim, California and graduated in 2001 from Bakersfield High School.  Almost immediately after graduation "Tre" enlisted in the Air Force.

He was an enthusiastic University of Southern California football fan as well as a Los Angeles Lakers fan.  He loved to barbecue and host parties.

His wife, Megan Mackey said, "He would light up the room with his humor and smile.  He had no enemies, was a stranger to no one and always there to lend a hand to anyone who needed it."

Tech Sgt Herman Mackey III leaves behind his wife, Megan; daughter, Payton; mother, Debbie; sister, Becka; sister, Donna; sister, Phyllicia; brother, Triston and brother, Yusef.

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About the IGTNT series:

"I Got the News Today" is a diary series intended to honor, respect, and remind us of the sacrifice of our US troops. Click here to see the series, which was begun by i dunno, and which is maintained by Sandy on Signal, noweasels, blue jersey mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, SisTwo, SpamNunn, TrueBlueMajority, CalNM, Wide Awake in Kentucky, maggiejean, Ekaterin and me, JaxDem.

These diaries are heartbreaking to write, but are an important service to those who have died, and show our community’s respect for them. Diaries about the fallen usually appear two days after their names are officially released, which allows time for the IGTNT team to find and tell their stories.

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POW Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl
Sgt Bowe R. Bergdahl
The only known current Prisoner of War is Sgt. Bowe R. Bergdahl, 26 who was captured by the Taliban in June of 2009.  Five propaganda videos featuring Bergdahl have been released by the Taliban. A website has been established with the most up-to-date information on Sgt. Bergdahl.
 
Please keep good thoughts and prayers for Sgt. Bowe R. Bergdahl.

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Please bear in mind that these diaries are read by friends and family of the service members mentioned here. May all of our remembrances be full of compassion rather than politics.
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