Tonight, we light a candle of memory against the darkness of grief and loss. We remember.
This retrospective, the first of two, is a compilation of 2010's "I Got the News Today" diaries, tributes to American service members who died as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When you click on the links, you'll find their stories--the details that their teachers and friends remember, the last phone calls home to parents, their MySpace messages to loved ones. These are not numbers or abstractions. They were husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, parents, children, friends, colleagues, brothers and sisters in arms. Their lives mattered.
If you are new to the series, please click on a date and read about a few of these lives. If you have been with us this year, please know how much your presence, witnessing and condolences mean. To the team--a special THANK YOU for your constant and compassionate efforts. To the families and friends who may read this--we have not forgotten your loved one.
As in other years, we have chosen "We Remember Them," by Rabbis Sylvan Kamens and Jack Riemer, to help us reflect on these losses. Thank you for being here tonight to remember.
This is part 1 of this diary. Please also visit Part 2.
|At the rising of the sun and at its going down|
We remember them.
2 Staff Sgt. Ronald J. Spino, 45, of Waterbury, Conn.
7 Sergeant Joshua A. Lengstorf, 24 of Yoncalla, Ore.; Spc. Brian R. Bowman, 24 of Crawfordsville Ind.; Pvt. John P. Dion, 19 of Shattuck Okla.; Senior Airman Bradley R. Smith, 24 of Troy, Ill.
9 Spc. Brushaun X. Anderson, 20, of Columbus, Ga.; Spc. David A. Croft Jr., 22, of Plant City, Fla.
13 Sgt. 1st Class Jason O. B. Hickman, 35, of Kingsport, Tenn.; Lance Cpl. Mark D. Juarez, 23, of San Antonio, Texas; Lance Cpl. Jacob A. Meinert, 20, of Fort Atkinson, Wisc.
14 Pfc. Michael R. Jarrett, 20, of North Platte, Nebraska
15 Staff Sgt. Matthew N. Ingham, 25, of Altoona, Pa.; Cpl. Jamie R. Lowe, 21 of Johnsonville, Ill.; Cpl. Nicholas K. Uzenski, 21, of Tomball, Texas
23 Spc. Robert Donevski, 19, of Sun City, Ariz.; Tech. Sgt. Adam K. Ginett, 29, of Knightdale, N.C.; Sgt. 1st Class Michael P. Shannon, 52, of Canadensis, Pa.
25 Staff Sgt. Daniel D. Merriweather, 25, of Collierville Tenn.; Pfc. Geoffrey A. Whitsitt, 21, of Taylors, S.C.
26 Petty Officer 2nd Class Xin Qi, 25, of Cordova, Tenn.; Staff Sgt. Anton R. Phillips, 31, of Inglewood, Calif.
27 Capt. Paul W. Peña, 27, of San Marcos, Texas; Lance Cpl. Jeremy M. Kane, 22, of Towson, Md.; Staff Sgt. Thaddeus S. Montgomery II, 29, of West Yellowstone, Montana; Pfc. Gifford E. Hurt, 19, of Yonkers, N.Y.
Spc. Robert Donevski was just 19, but he was courageous far beyond his years. His brother said, "During a battle, he was always the guy up front. He got shot saving his buddies."
|At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter|
We remember them.
2 Pfc. Scott G. Barnett, 24, of Concord, Calif.; Sgt. Carlos E. Gill, 25, of Fayetteville, N.C.
4 Capt. David J. Thompson, 39, of Hooker, Okla.; Spc. Marc P. Decoteau, 19, of Waterville Valley, N.H.; Lance Cpl. Michael L. Freeman Jr., 21, of Fayetteville, Penn.
5 Staff Sgt. Rusty H. Christian, 24, of Greenville, Tenn.
6 Sgt. David J. Smith, 25, of Frederick, Md.; Capt. Daniel Whitten, 28, of Grimes, Iowa; Pfc. Zachary G. Lovejoy, 20, of Albuquerque, N.M.
9 Sgt. Dillon B. Foxx, 22, of Traverse City, Mich.
10 Sgt. 1st Class David J. Hartman, 27, of Okinawa, Japan; Sgt. 1st Class Matthew S. Sluss-Tiller, 35, of Callettsburg, Ky.; Staff Sgt. Mark A. Stets, 39, of El Cajon, Calif.
13 Sgt. Adam J. Ray, 23, of Louisville, Ky.; Pfc. Adriana Alvarez, 20, of San Benito, Texas
18 Cpl. Jacob H. Turbett, 21, of Canton Township, Mich.; Pfc. Jason H. Estopinal of Dallas, Ga.
20 Staff Sgt. John A. Reiners, 24 of Lakeland, Fla.; Sgt. Jeremiah T. Wittman, 26, of Darby, Montana; Spc. Bobby J. Pagan, 23, Austin, Texas; Petty Officer Sean L. Caughman, 43, of Fort Worth, Texas; Lance Cpl. Alejandro J. Yazzie, 23, of Rock Point, Ariz.
21 Pfc. Charles A. Williams, 29, of Fair Oaks, Calif.; Pfc. Kyle J. Coutu, 20, of Providence, R.I.; Lance Cpl. Larry M. Johnson, 19, of Scranton, Penn.; Lance Cpl. Kielin T. Dunn, 19, of Chesapeake, Va.; Pfc. Eric D. Currier, 21, of Londonderry, N.H.
22 Sgt. Jeremy R. McQueary, 27, of Columbus, Ind.
24 Lance Cpl. Noah M. Pier, 25, of Charlotte, N.C.; Lance Cpl. Joshua H. Birchfield, 24, of Westville, Ind.; Cpl. Gregory S. Stultz, 22, of Brazil, Ind.; Capt. Marcus R. Alford, 28, of Knoxville, Tenn.; Chief Warrant Officer Billie J. Grinder, 25, of Gallatin, Tenn.
Chief Warrant Officer Billie J. Grinder was the first woman in the Tennessee National Guard to be killed in Iraq. Her friend, Brandi, said of her, "She had a truly genuine heart and her smile could instantly make you smile with her."
26 Pfc. JR Salvacion, 27, of Ewa Beach, Hawaii; Lance Cpl. Adam D. Peak, 25, of Florence, Ky.; Staff Sgt. Christopher W. Eckard, 30, of Hickory, N.C.; Staff Sgt. Michael David P. Cardenaz, 29, of Corona, Calif.; Lance Cpl. Matthias N. Hanson, 20, of Buffalo, Ky.; Lance Cpl. Eric L. Ward, 19, of Redmond, Wash.
27 Sgt. Marcos A. Gorra, 22, of North Bergen, N.J.
|At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring|
We remember them.
3 Lance Cpl. Kielin Terrell Dunn, 19, Chesapeake, Va.
4 Lance Cpl. Carlos A. Aragon, 19, of Orem, Utah; Spc. Ian T.D. Gelig, 25, of Stevenson Ranch, Calif.; Spc. Josiah D. Crumpler, 27, of Hillsborough, N.C.; and Spc. Matthew D. Huston, 24, of Athens, Ga.
6 Staff Sgt. William S. Ricketts, 27, of Corinth, Miss.; Sgt. William C. Spencer, 40, of Tacoma, Wash.; Cpl. Daniel T. O’Leary, 23, of Youngsville, N.C. Sergeant Vincent L.C. Owens, 21, LeFlore County, Okla.
7 Lance Cpl. Nigel K. Olsen, 21, of Orem, Utah
10 Spc. Anthony A. Paci, 30, of Rockville, Md.; Spc. Alan N. Dikcis, 21, of Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Spc. Anthony Paci left a wife and three young children whom he adored. His wife, Erica, said, "Tony died protecting the innocent and that was not only his job, it was the type of man he was. There was no hate or malice in Tony's heart. Let him give that gift to you as he's given it to me and our children."
12 Sgt. Aaron M. Arthur, 25, of Lake City, S.C.; Spc. Lakeshia M. Bailey, 23, of Columbus, Ga.
13 Pvt. Nicholas S. Cook, 19, of Hungry Horse, Montana; Sgt. Jonathan J. Richardson, 24, of Bald Knob, Arkansas; Pfc. Jason M. Kropat, 25, of White Lake, N.Y.
18 Cpl. Jonathan D. Porto, 26, of Largo, Fla.; Sgt. 1st Class Glen J. Whetten, 31, of Mesa, Ariz.; and Pfc. Erin L. McLyman, 26, of Federal Way, Wash.
19 Lance Cpl. Garrett W. Gamble, 20, of Sugarland, Texas; Spc. Steven J. Bishop, 29, of Christiansburg, Va.
20 Staff Sgt. Richard J. Jordan, 29, of Tyler, Texas; Gunnery Sgt. Robert L. Gilbert II, 28, of Richfield, Ohio
24 Sgt. Joel D. Clarkson, 23, of Fairbanks, Alaska; Chief Petty Officer Adam Brown, 36, of Hot Springs, Arkansas; Spc. Robert M. Rieckhoff, 26, of Kenosha, Wisc.
25 Lance Cpl. Justin J. Wilson, 24, of Commack, N.Y.
26 Sgt. 1st Class Carlos M. Santos-Silva, 32, of Clarksville, Tenn.
29 Sgt. Maj. Robert J. Cottle, 45, of Yorba Linda, Calif.; Lance Cpl. Rick J. Centanni, 19, of Yorba Linda, Calif.
|At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer|
We remember them.
1 Lance Cpl. Randy M. Heck, 20, of Steubenville, Ohio; Lance Cpl. Jacob A. Ross, 19, of Gillette, Wy.
2 Spc. James L. Miller, 21, of Yakima, Wash.
4 Pfc. Raymond Pacleb, 31, of Honolulu, Hawaii
5 Lt. Steven Miroslav Zilberman, 31, of Columbus, Ohio
8 Staff Sgt. Scott W. Brunkhorst, 25, Fayetteville, N.C.; Lance Cpl. Tyler O. Griffin, 19, of Voluntown, Conn.; Sgt. Frank J. World, 25, of Buffalo, N.Y.; Lance Cpl. Curtis M. Swenson, 20, of Rochester, Minn.
10 Sgt. Kurt E. Kruize, 35, of Hancock, Minn.
13 Maj. Randell "Randy" Voas, 43, of Lakeville, Minn.; Senior Master Sgt. James B. "J.B." Lackey, 45, of Green Cove Springs, Fla.; 1st Lt. Robert W. Collins, 24, of Tyrone, Ga.; Pfc. William "Anthony" Blount, 21, of Petal, Miss.; Sgt. Roberto E. Diaz Boria, 47 of San Juan, Puerto Rico
15 Spc. Joseph T. Caron, 21, of Tacoma, Wash.; and Cpl. Michael D. Jankiewicz, 23, of Ramsey, N.J.
17 Sgt. Sean Michael Durkin, 24, of Aurora, Colo.
18 Pfc. Jonathan David Hall, 23, of Anchorage, Alaska and Chattanooga, Tenn.
Pfc. Jonathan Hall was a combat medic. He was so dedicated to the welfare of others that he volunteered to go on the mission on which he was killed because he wanted to be with his men. He went on helping people after his death as well, as his parents donated his organs, saving the lives of six men in Germany.
22 Sgt. Randolph A. Sigley, 28, of Richmond, Ky.
23 Staff Sgt. James R. Patton, 23, of Fort Benning, Georgia; Pfc. Charlie C. Antonio, 28, of Kahului, Hawaii
25 Sgt. Robert J. Barrett, 20, of Fall River, Mass.; Sgt. Michael K. Ingram Jr., 23, of Monroe, Mich.
26 Sgt. Maj. John "Keith" Laborde, 53, of Waterloo, Iowa
27 Staff Sgt. Christopher D. Worrell, 35, of Virginia Beach, Va.; and Sgt. Jason A. Santora, 25, of Farmingville, N.Y.; Sgt. Ronald A. Kubik, 21, of Brielle, N.J.
|At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn|
We remember them.
1 Lance Cpl. Thomas E. Rivers Jr., 22, of Birmingham, Ala.; Sgt. Grant A. Wichmann, 27, of Golden, Colo.; Sgt. Keith A. Coe, 30, of Auburndale, Fla.
3 1st Lt. Salvatore S. Corma, 24, of Wenonah, N.J.
4 Sgt. Nathan P. Kennedy, 24, of Claysville, Penn.
7 Sgt. Anthony O. Magee, 29, of Hattiesburg, Miss.; and Airman First Class Austin H. Gates-Benson, 19, of Hellertown, Penn.
8 1st Lt. Brandon A. Barrett, 27, of Marion, Ind.; and Master Sgt. Mark W. Coleman, 40, of Centerville, Wash.
9 Spc. Eric M. Finniginam, 26, of Colonia, Federated States of Micronesia; Spc. Wade A. Slack, 21, of Waterville, Maine; and Sgt. Ralph Mena, 27, of Hutchinson, Kan.
10 Staff Sgt. Esau S.A. Gonzales, 30, of White Deer, Texas
12 Capt. Kyle A. Comfort, 27, of Jacksonville, Ala.; Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Davis, 19, of Perry, Iowa; Lance Cpl. Richard R. Penny, 21, of Fayetteville, Ark.
13 Spc. Jeremy L. Brown, 20, of McMinnville, Tenn.; Cpl. Kurt S. Shea, 21, of Frederick, Md.; Lance Cpl. Christopher Rangell, 22, of San Antonio, Texas
14 Cpl. Jeffery W. Johnson, 21, of Tomball, Texas; Sgt. Kenneth B. May, Jr., 26, of Kilgore, Texas
15 Sgt. Donald J. Lamar II, 23, of Fredericksburg, Va.; and Sgt. Joshua D. Desforges, 23, of Ludlow, Mass.
18 Sgt. Denis D. Kisseloff, 45, of Saint Charles, Mo.
19 Petty Officer Zarian Wood, 29, of Houston, Texas
20 Cpl. Nicolas D. Parada-Rodriguez, 29, of Stratford, Va.
Cpl. Nicolas Parada-Rodriguez immigrated to the United States with his family from El Salvador in 1991. He served his adopted country in both the Navy and the Marines.
21 Staff Sgt. Adam L. Perkins, 27, of Antelope, Calif.; Col. John M. McHugh, 46, of N.J.; Lt. Col. Paul R. Bartz, 43, of Waterloo, Wisc.; Lt. Col. Thomas P. Belkofer, 44, of Perrysburg, Ohio; Staff Sgt. Richard J. Tieman, 28, of Waynesboro, Penn.; and Spc. Joshua A. Tomlinson, 24, of Dubberly, La.
24 Lance Cpl. Patrick Xavier Jr., 24, of Pembroke Pines, Fla.; Staff Sgt. Shane S. Barnard, 38, of Desmet, S.D.; Pfc. Billy G. Anderson, 20, of Alexandria, Tenn.
29 Spc. Stanley John Sokolowski, III, 26, of Ocean, N.J.; Pfc. Jason David Fingar, 24, of Columbia, Mo.; Lance Cpl. Philip Paul Clark, 19, of Gainesville, Fla.
30 Pfc. Christopher R. Barton, 22, of Concord, N.C.; Maj. Ronald W. Culver Jr., 44, of Shreveport, La.; Sgt. Edwin Rivera, 28, of Waterford, Conn.
31 Staff Sgt. Amilcar H. Gonzalez, 26, of Miami, Fla.; and Cpl. Jacob C. Leicht, 24, of College Station, Texas
|At the beginning of the year and when it ends|
We remember them.
5 Lance Cpl. Anthony A. Dilisio 20 Macomb, Mich.; Pfc. Jake W. Suter, 18, of Los Angeles, Calif.; Pfc. Alvaro R. Regalado Sessarego, 37, of Virginia Beach, Va.; Spc. Jonathan K. Peney, 22, of Marietta, Ga.
7 Pvt. Francisco J. Guardado-Ramirez, 21, of Sunland Park, N.M.
8 Sgt. Patrick J. Gibbs, Jr., 22, of Davenport, Iowa
9 1st Lt. Joseph J. Theinert, 24, of Sag Harbor, N.Y.; Sgt. Brandon C. Bury, 26, of Harris County, Texas; Lance Cpl. Derek Hernandez, 20, Edinburg, Texas; Cpl. Donald M. Marler, 22, of St. Louis, Mo.
11 Sgt. Steve M. Theobald, 53, of Goose Creek, S.C.; Sgt. Derek L. Shanfield, 22, of Hastings, Penn.; Sgt. Zachary J. Walters, 24, of Palm Coast, Fla.
12 Sgt. Erick J. Klusacek, 22, of Calcium, N.Y.; Lance Cpl. Gavin R. Brummund, 22, of Arnold, Calif.; Tech Sgt. Michael P. Flores, 31, of San Antonio, Texas; 1st Lt. Joel C. Gentz, 25, of Grass Lake, Mich.; Staff Sgt. David C. Smith, 26, of Eight Mile, Ala.; Senior Airman Benjamin D. White, 24, of Erwin, Tenn.
Tech Sgt. Michael Flores was a para rescue jumper with the Air Force who earned the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was also married and the father of two young children. His wife is also serving in the US Air Force. Tech Sgt. Flores died the same day he and his wife marked their fifth wedding anniversary.
13 Spc. Brendan P. Neenan, 21, of Enterprise, Ala.; 2nd Lt. Michael E. McGahan, 23, of Orlando, Fla.; Sgt. John K. Rankel, 23, of Speedway, Ind.
14 Lance Cpl. Michael G. Plank, 25, of Cameron Mills, N.Y.
17 Sgt. Mario Rodriguez, 24, of Smithville, Texas; Spc. Brian Anderson, 24, of Harrisonburg, Va. 18 Spc. Christopher W. Opat, 29, of Spencer, Iowa; Sgt. Joshua A. Lukeala, 23, of Yigo, Guam; Spc. Matthew R. Catlett, 23, of Houston, Texas; Spc. Charles S. Jirtle, 29, of Lawton, Oklahoma; Spc. Blaine E. Redding, 22, of Plattsmouth, Neb.
19 Cpl. Jeffrey R. Standfest, 23, of St. Clair, Mich.; Lance Cpl. Michael C. Bailey, 29, of Park Hills, Mo.
20 Spc. Benjamin D. Osborn, 27, of Queensbury, N.Y.
21 Sgt. 1st Class Robert J. Fike, 38, of Conneautville, Penn.; Staff Sgt. Bryan A. Hoover, 29, of West Elizabeth, Penn.
24 Seaman William Ortega, 23, of Miami, Fla.; Capt. Michael P. Cassidy, 41, of Simpsonville, S.C.; Spc. Scott A. Andrews, 21, of Fall River, Mass.; Spc. Jacob P. Dohrenwend, 20, of Milford, Ohio; and Lance Cpl. Timothy G. Serwinowski, 21, of North Tonawanda, N.Y.
25 Spc. Joseph D. Johnson, 24, of Flint, Mich.; Pfc. Gunnar R. Hotchkin, 31, of Naperville, Ill.; Spc. Nathan W. Cox, 27, of Fremont, Calif.; Pfc. Benjamin J. Park, 25, of Fairfax Station, Va.; Staff Sgt. James P. Hunter, 25, of South Amherst, Ohio; 1st Sgt. Eddie Turner, 41, of Fort Belvoir, Va.
26 Cpl. Kevin A. Cueto, 23, of San Jose, Calif.; and Cpl. Joshua R. Dumaw, 23, of Spokane Valley, Wash.
27 Pfc. Russell E. Madden, 29, of Bellevue, Ky.; Pfc. Anthony T. Justesen, 22, of Wilsonville, Ore.; Spc. Andrew R. Looney, 22, of Owasso, Okla.; Pfc. David T. Miller, 19, of Wilton, N.Y.; Cpl. Claudio Patino IV, 22, of Yorba Linda, Calif.; 1st Sgt. Robert N. Barton, 35, of Roxie, Miss.
30 Pfc. Robert K. L. Repkie, 20, of Knoxville, Tenn.; Lance Cpl. William T. Richards, 20, of Trenton, Ga.; Cpl. Daane A. Deboer, 24, of Ludington, Mich.; Sgt. Joseph D. Caskey, 24, of Pittsburgh, Penn.; and Staff Sgt. Edwardo Loredo, 34, of Houston, Texas
About "I Got the News Today" (IGTNT)
I Got the News Today is a diary series intended to honor service members who have died as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; its title is a reminder that almost every day a military family gets the terrible news about a loved one. 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.
Click here to see the series, which was begun by i dunno, and which is maintained by Sandy on Signal, monkeybiz, noweasels, blue jersey mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, joyful, SisTwo, SpamNunn, a girl in MI, JeNoCo, true blue majority, CalNM, JaxDem, Wide Awake in Kentucky, Ms Wings, maggiejean, racheltracks, and ccasas. Timroff created the IGTNT logo.
Please bear in mind that these diaries are read by friends and family of the service members chronicled here. May all of our remembrances be full of compassion rather than politics.