Since 2001, 1852 U.S. troops have lost their lives while serving in Afghanistan, and since 2003, 4483 U.S. troops have lost their lives while serving in Iraq.
The IGTNT (I Got The News Today) series is a reminder that nearly every day, somebody gets the heartbreaking news that a beloved family member, friend, or former classmate will not be coming home from war.
~ Photo Credit Timroff
The Department of Defense has announced the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom:
Lance Cpl. Christopher P. J. Levy, 21, of Ramseur, N.C., died Dec. 10 of wounds sustained Dec. 7 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.Please join me below for a remembrance of his life.
Lance Cpl. Christopher Jacob Levy, 21, was shot in the head by a sniper last Wednesday while conducting an unpartnered patrol in the Kajaji district in Afghanistan. After being stabilized by emergency neurosurgery in Kandahar, he was transported to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.
Levy, known as Jacob to his family and friends, was born in Greensboro, NC. He was a 2009 graduate of Eastern Randolph High School, where he participated on both the wrestling and cross country teams.
Jacob joined the Marine Corps shortly after graduation in 2009. He was an infantry riflemen and machine gunner in the 1/6th Battalion Regimental Combat Team 8 of the 2nd Marine division. He volunteered for this deployment, which was his second.
The family's pastor spoke about the attack on Jacob:
Rev. Michael Barret said the attack happened in a region that has not been known for heavy combat. He said Levy was wearing a new protective helmet and goggles when he was shot.
According to Jacob's former princial, Stephanie Bridges:
....the marine was a popular student and well-liked. He gained rank through the school's JROTC program in his four years at the school before enlisting in the Marine Corps.
One of his former classmates described him as "everything you think of when you think of a marine."
Levy is a member of the Lumbee tribe of American Indians and was active in the Guilford Native American Association. He also participated in the Guilford One Spirit Native American dance group.
Levy's cousin, Tabitha Polanco, said Levy was proud of his Lumbee Indian heritage and had a fighter's spirit from birth.
"He was born a warrior," Polanco said. "He fought with his mom for about 36 hours while she was in labor. And he came out fighting and continued to do so. He was always a protector."
Characteristic of his spirit and reputation, Polanco says Levy earned the highest possible honor for a Native American: the Eagle Feather.
Jacob's parents traveled to Germany to be with their son, who was on life support. Hey died at 8:50PM on Saturday. He was an organ donor. His stepfather said, "He was selfless to the end."
"He was a marine on Earth protecting our borders, and now he's a marine at the gates of Heaven," said Chris Levy, Jacob's father. "He knew the first time he went he could lose his life. He knew when he signed up that he could lose his life. And that didn't stop him."......
"I got to lay my hand on his chest, and I got to feel his heart beat," Chris said.
But even though Jacob physically didn't pull through, Chris said Jacob's spirit will go on not only in his own heart but also, quite literally, in someone else's.
According to Facebook page, Jacob was in a relationship. He is survived by his mother, Amanda Sheek, stepfather Kevin Sheek, father Chris Levy and three brothers, Payne Sheek, 14, Elijah Sheek, 9, and Thunder Levy, 11.
Rest in peace, Lance Cpl. Christopher Jacob Levy. You have served with honor.
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, monkeybiz, blue jersey mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, joyful, SisTwo, SpamNunn, TrueBlueMajority, CalNM, Wide Awake in Kentucky, maggiejean, Kestrel9000, TheFatLadySings, JaxDem, and me, Ekaterin. 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. The US Department of Defense news releases are found at defense gov/releases. Icasualties lists the names of those killed, and shows the number of wounded. Published AP photos of the returning war fatalities are found on the Dover AFB site. Click the IGTNT tags below for previous diaries in the series which was begun by i dunno, and which is maintained by monkeybiz, noweasels, blue jersey mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, joyful, roses, SisTwo, a girl in MI, Spam Nunn, JeNoCo, Janos Nation, True Blue Majority, Proud Mom and Grandma, Sandy on Signal, Wide Awake in Kentucky, Ms Wings, maggiejean, racheltracks, ccasas, JaxDem, CalNM, TheFatLadySings, and me, Ekaterin. These diaries are heartbreaking to write, but are an important service to those who have died, and show our community’s respect for our fallen brothers and sisters.
If you would like to contribute to the series, even once a month, please contact Sandy on Signal.
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.