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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.
Honoring and Remembering:

Sgt Enrique Mondragon

Since 2001 we have lost 2173 American troops in Afghanistan and a total of 3245 American and coalition forces.

Sgt. Enrique Mondragon, 23, of The Colony, Texas, died Dec. 24, in Baraki Barak, Afghanistan, from injuries sustained when his unit was attacked by small arms fire while on dismounted patrol.  He was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 173rd Special Troops Battalion, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Bamberg, Germany.   ~ DoD Press Release

Amazing Grace and Taps

Performed at Arlington National Cemetery
Day is done...Gone the sun
From the lake...
From the hills...
From the sky.
All is well...Safely rest
God is nigh.
Sgt Enrique Mondragon, 23 of The Colony, TX
Sgt  Enrique Mondragon, 23 of The Colony, Texas
Sgt Enrique Mondragon was assigned to an airborne military police platoon which was split with half deployed to Cop Chark and the other half, Mondragon's half, was deployed to Baraki Barak.  After their current mission was complete, some troops were ordered back to the state, but Sgt Mondragon extended his stay for a second deployment.

Spc Ashley McCormick who was stationed with Mondragon's platoon for three years, describes the circumstances surrounding his death:

"In the area of operation in Baraki Barak, sometimes we have to convoy out to a certain area and conduct a mission. Their mission was to set up a traffic control point and talk to locals in the area using a HIDE Machine - you can get their fingerprints and you can take a picture of their eye. If anything did happen - enemy fire or casualties - then we would have that on record. That's what he was doing that day."
As part of the convoy, the trucks' gunners and drivers stayed behind while other personnel dismounted the vehicles. Mondragon was one of the dismounts on the mission, McCormick said.
"He was actually in the middle of getting information from a local and a three-round burst went off and one round of the three hit him. That was it. We are like a family out there. We have gone through deployments before but we have never lost anyone in our company."
Spc McCormick spoke to the closeness of the platoon:
"I can't begin to explain how close our platoon is.  Not only are you in a foreign country, but all you have is each other and when you are training with everyday, you see the people you work with more than you see your actual family. We love each other. We are with each other every day and as soon as we got off work we'd be hanging out. We couldn't get enough of each other. We are a huge family."
McCormick expressed the heavy sorrow felt by the platoon and said their thoughts and prayers go out to Sgt. Mondragon's wife, Katie and daughter, Bevery.
"The whole platoon is heartbroken. He was a small guy but made a huge impact in the platoon. I think what hurts us the most is [concern for] his wife and daughter. Katie is such an amazing person, an amazing mom, the perfect wife, and their daughter is just such a beautiful girl. He was with them as often as he could be. It's heartbreaking to imagine what she is going through right now. For us in the military, we go through this every day and we know what to expect, but for her ... I wish there was more we could do for her."
Joe McCourry, Mayor of The Colony, Texas who has two children serving in the military and is a veteran himself, said Enrique's death is a tragedy.
"I've been talking with the American Legion, and they are trying to get together with his family and help in any way possible.  I understand he's been flown back to the states and will be properly taken care of. We want to be there both as a city and as a veteran in support of this family during these hard times."
An online tribute at Legacy contains the following two posts among others:
The city of The Colony mourns the loss of this brave soldier. The American Legion, Post 21, The Colony, wishes to convey their condolences as well. The Legion is formed to serve veterans and families, especially in times of need. God Bless.

Michelle Chapman, president, The American Legion Auxiliary, The Colony, TX

I'm Ab Rivera Enrique Mondragon cousin. My cousin was a very strong soldier best I have ever heard of no matter how tall or young he was he tried his best to be the best an he did it . He made us proud I made a promise to him an I won't disappoint him I miss him so much like a part of my heart has been taken from me . I will see you in heaven ......... R.I.P Sgt. Enrique Mondragon .. love you always your cousin Ab Rivera
           ~ Ab Rivera, Garland, Texas
Sgt. Enrique Mondragon is survived by his wife, Katie and daughter, Beverly, aged two.

The Patriot Guard Riders have Sgt Mondragon on their pending mission list.

Funeral services are pending.

Transfer of remains of Sgt Enrique Mondragon
Dignified Transfer for Sgt Enrique Mondragon at Dover AFB
 ~ Source   ~ Source


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, 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.

POW/MIA Banner
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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