Tonight, we remember four soldiers killed in an attack when an Afghan policeman shot them in the Mizan area. The soldiers were on their way to help Afghan police, who were under attack. It isn't clear if the shooting occurred during the fight or if it was a "green on blue" attack. Three of the four soldiers were of the 3rd Stryker Brigade based out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and they are kept together in this tribute. The fourth one killed was a Specialist in Military Intelligence out of Fort Gordon.
Since 2001, there have been 2121 American troops killed in Afghanistan. Since January 1, 2012 there have been 257 U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan. So far in 2012, there have been 51 killed in "green on blue" incidents. Please take a moment to honor their sacrifice.
DoD Announces Army Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of four soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
They died Sept. 16 in Zabul province, Afghanistan of injuries suffered when their position was attacked with small arms fire.
Sgt. Sapuro B. Nena, 25, of Honolulu, assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.,
Spc. Joshua N. Nelson, 22, Greenville, N.C., assigned to 202nd Military Intelligence Battalion, 513th Military Intelligence Brigade, Fort Gordon, Ga.,
Pfc. Genaro Bedoy, 20, of Amarillo, Texas, assigned to 52nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., and
Pfc. Jon R. Townsend, 19, Claremore, Okla., assigned to 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
Sgt. Sapuro B. Nena was a resident of the Federated States of Micronesia in the state of Kosrae. The DoD lists Honolulu but this is incorrect. His wife is staying in Guam with family during his deployment. She flew to Dover to greet his body.
Governor Eddie Calvo issued the following statement in honor of Sgt. Sapuro Nena:
“Christine and I, Ray and Notch, offer our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the family of Army Specialist Sapuro B. Nena. Our prayers are with them during this difficult time.”Nena was a 2006 high school graduate. He entered the Army in 2008 and he served one tour in Iraq; this was his first tour in Afghanistan.
According to unit records, Sgt. Nena entered the Army in May 2008 and upon completing Army Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training, in MOS 19K (Armor Crewman) he was assigned to Fort Bliss, Texas. While at Fort Bliss he deployed to Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from May 2009- 2010. He arrived at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in August 2010 and was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.
His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal (two awards), Army Achievement Medal (two awards), Meritorious Unit Citation (two awards), Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star, Iraq Campaign Medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon (two awards), NATO Medal, Driver and Mechanic Badge with Driver – Wheeled Vehicles.
Rest in Peace, Sgt. Sapuro Nena.
All across America, Friday nights are high school football nights, in Amarillo at River Road High School, it was also a time for the community to honor and remember one of their own: Pfc. Genaro Bedoy. Bedoy was a 2010 graduate and played wide receiver and defensive back for the team. Balloons were released and the band played "Taps" amidst tears and sobs from the community.
From the Amarillo.com:
Yaddi Torres, the sister of Bedoy’s wife, said she thinks the community support has brought a small amount of healing to her sister.Pfc. Genaro Bedoy was on his first deployment. He leaves behind his mother, wife and an infant daughter.
“I think it’s overwhelming at times because it’s so recent, but I think it’s helping to remember how good a person he was, and how good a person he was towards my sister and his daughter.
“We’re just very grateful, very thankful for the whole community showing their support for his family,” Torres said. “We just thank everyone for coming out.”
Pfc. Jon Townsend, 19, was a graduate of Sequoyah High School. This was his first deployment to Afghanistan.
His mother told the local television station kmrg- news:
"I knew that if I hadn't signed the papers for him to join the military there probably would have been a rift between me and him and I did not want that because we have had a very special relationship."His mother, Katy Nelson, told that all his life he wanted to be in the military. Ever since he was a little boy, he would play soldier.
"When he was tiny, he was 'Walker, Texas Ranger," she said. "And he was that up until he was like 12 years old. He shot bad guys and took care of the good girls and he has always been law enforcement, geared that way, or military that way.Brittany, Townsend's bride, and Katy just returned from Dover, after greeting his body on his final return to the United States. Katy is trying to raise money to buy her son a tombstone. Donations should go to the Jon Townsend Memorial Fund in care of RCB 918-341-6150.
Spc. Joshua Nelson was just one month away from coming home. His father told wnct.comthe local television station how he saw two men in uniform walk out of the car and towards his home. He knew what it meant.
"I felt the heaviness in my heart just as soon I saw them, you know? I already knew what they were there for and it hurt really bad," his father said.
"He gave his life for his county and not for the streets,” his father said proudly.He graduated in 2008, from North Pitt High School, where he played drums in the band. Nelson was active in the Church, where he sang in the choir. He was married to the love of his life, Quamisha Nelson. After high school, Nelson joined the Army and became a signals intelligence analyst. He served one tour of duty in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.
His father added:
"Everybody loved Josh you couldn't meet Josh and not love Josh because Josh was just himself he was not the type of person who tried please you or anything like that he was just himself he was what you see is what you and people just loved him man, they just loved him.Congressman Butterfield of North Carolina's 1st District honored Spc. Joshua Nelson and the three soldiers from JBLM on the House floor last week.
Mr. BUTTERFIELD. Mr. Speaker, it is with mixed emotions that I rise today to honor the life of Specialist Joshua N. Nelson of the United States Army. Specialist Nelson was a native of Greenville, North Carolina, which is in my Congressional District. Specialist Nelson was one of four soldiers that tragically lost their lives in Zabul Province, Afghanistan on September 16, 2012.
Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in offering heartfelt condolences to Specialist Joshua Nelson's family. I pray that his life serves as a guiding force for the Greenville community and others around the country. We are forever indebted to his family for the ultimate sacrifice he paid on our behalf.
In Flanders Fields
by Lt. Col. John McRae, MD, (1872-1918)
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row
That mark our place, and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved,
and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
I Got the News Today is a diary series intended to honor, respect and remind. 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.
All of the U.S. fatalities can be seen here and here. They all had loved ones, families and friends. The DoD news releases are here. I Got the News Today is intended to honor, respect and remind. Click the IGTNT tags below for previous diaries.
Click the IGTNT tags to see the series, which was begun by i dunno, and which is maintained by Monkeybiz, Noweasels, Blue Jersey Mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, joyful, SisTwo, Spam Nunn, True Blue Majority, CalNM, Wide Awake in Kentucky, Maggie Jean, Jax Dem, Kestrel 9000, TheFatLadySings, Ekaterina, and me, Sandy on Signal.
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.