Tonight, we light a candle of memory against the darkness of grief and loss. We remember.
This retrospective is a compilation of 2012's "I Got the News Today" (IGTNT) diaries from January through June. They are tributes to the American service members who died as a result of the war in 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 Facebook 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 is our tradition, 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.
At the rising of the sun and at its going down
We remember them.
2 Sgt. Noah M. Korte, 29, of Lake Elsinore, Calif.; Spc. Kurt W. Kern, 24, of McAllen, Texas; Pfc. Justin M. Whitmire, 20, of Easley, S.C.; Petty Officer Stacy O. Johnson, 35, of Rolling Fork, Miss.
6 Spc. Pernell J. Herrera, 33, of Espanola, N.M.; Petty Officer 1st Class Chad R. Regelin, 24, of Cottonwood, Calif.
9 Senior Airman Bryan R. Bell, 23, of Erie, Pa.; Tech. Sgt. Matthew S. Schwartz, 34, of Traverse City, Mich.; Airman 1st Class Matthew R. Seidler, 24, of Westminster, Md.
11 Staff Sgt. Jonathan M. Metzger, 32, of Indianapolis, Ind.; Spc. Robert J. Tauteris Jr., 44, of Hamlet, Ind.; Spc. Christopher A. Patterson, 20, of Aurora, Ill.; Spc. Brian J. Leonhardt, 21, of Merrillville, Ind.
13 Pfc. Dustin P. Napier, 20, of London, Ky.
15 Pfc. Neil I. Turner, 21, of Tacoma, Wash.
18 Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin B. Wise, 34, of Little Rock, Ark.
20 Cpl. Jon-Luke Bateman, 22, of Tulsa, Okla.; Lance Cpl. Kenneth E. Cochran, 20, of Wilder, Idaho.
21 Spc. Keith D. Benson, 27, of Brockton, Mass.; Cpl. Phillip D. McGeath, 25, Glendale, Ariz.
23 Capt. Daniel B. Bartle, 27, of Ferndale, Wash.; Capt. Nathan R. McHone, 29, of Crystal Lake, Ill.; MSgt. Travis W. Riddick, 40, of Centerville, Iowa.; Cpl. Jesse W. Stites, 23, of North Beach, Md.; Cpl. Kevin J. Reinhard, 25, of Colonia, N.J.; Cpl. Joseph D. Logan, 22, of Willis, Texas
27 Cpl. Christopher G. Singer, 23, of Temecula, Calif.; Capt. Joshua C. Pairsh, 29, of Equality, Ill.
30 1st Lt. David A. Johnson, 24, of Horicon, Wis.; Pfc. Michael W. Pyron, 30, of Hopewell, Va.
When the Navy named Petty Officer 1st Class Chad Regelin the "2011 Sailor of the Year" for his actions during combat in Afghanistan, the highly-decorated bomb disposal specialist could not attend the awards gala in Washington, DC, because he had volunteered to stand in for a wounded comrade in the field.
3 Sgt. William C. Stacey, 23, of Redding, Calif.
4 Lance Cpl. Edward J. Dycus, 22, of Greenville, Miss.
6 Brig. Gen. Terence J. Hildner, 49, of Fairfax, Va.
13 Sgt. 1st Class Billy A. Sutton, 42, of Tupelo, Miss.
15 Pfc. Cesar Cortez, 24, of Oceanside, Calif.; Lance Cpl. Osbrany Montes De Oca, 20, of North Arlington, N.J.
20 Petty Officer 3rd Class Kyler L. Estrada, 21, of Queen Creek, Ariz.; Sgt. Jerry D. Reed II, 30, of Russellville, Ark.
22 Capt. Ryan P. Hall, 30, of Colorado Springs, Colo., Capt. Nicholas S. Whitlock, 29, of Newnan, Ga., 1st Lt. Justin J. Wilkens, 26, of Bend, Ore.; Senior Airman Julian S. Scholten, 26, of Upper Marlboro, Md.
26 Sgt. Allen R. McKenna Jr., 28, of Noble, Okla.; Sgt. Joshua A. Born, 25, of Niceville, Fla.; Cpl. Timothy J. Conrad Jr., 22, of Roanoke, Va.
28 Lt. Col. John D. Loftis, 44, of Paducah, Ky.
29 Maj. Robert J. Marchanti II, 48, of Baltimore, Md.; Staff Sgt. Ahmed K. Altaie, 47, of Ann Arbor, Mich.
Staff Sgt. Ahmed K. Altaie was born in Iraq and at the age of 12 came with his family to live in the United States. In 2004 Ahmed joined an Army reserve program for native speakers of Arabic, Dari and other strategic languages and was deployed to Iraq as a translator.
4 Cpl. Conner T. Lowry, 24, of Chicago, Illinois
10 Spc. Edward J. Acosta, 21, of Hesperia, California
16 Staff Sgt Jesse J. Grindey, 30, or Hazel Green, Wisconsin
19 2nd Lt. Clovis T. Ray, 34, of San Antonio, Texas; Spc. Daquane Demetrius Rivers, 21, of Marianna, Florida
26 Spc. Dennis P. Weichel Jr., 29, of Providence, Rhode Island; Sgt. Jamie D. Jarboe, 27, of Frankfort, Indiana
29 Sgt. Daniel J. Brown, 27, of Jerome, Idaho; Capt. Aaron D. Istre, 37, of Vinton, Louisiana
31 Staff Sgt. Joseph D’Augustine, 29, of Waldwick, New Jersey; Capt. Francis D. Imlay, 31, of Vacaville, California
31 Staff Sgt. William R. Wilson III, of Getzville, New York
Staff Sgt. Joseph D’Augustine, 29, of Waldwick, New Jersey
Friends say Joe "grew up wanting to be a US Marine, and in the end, it was a dream that he died for." The 29-year-old was a specialist trained to dismantle bombs and land mines as part of a ordnance disposal unit.
1 Pfc. Johnathon F. Davis, 20, of Griffin, Ga.
2.Cpl. Roberto Cazarez, 24, of Harbor City, California Spc. David W. Taylor, 20, of Dixon, Kentucky
5. Cpl. Michael J. Palacio, 23, of Lake Elsinore, California, Spc. James E. Dutton, 25 of Checotah, OK
7 Staff Sgt. Christopher L. Brown, 26, of Columbus, Ohio, Cpl. Christopher D. Bordoni, 21, of Ithaca, N.Y.
8 Capt. Nicholas J. Rozanski, 36, of Dublin, Ohio, Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey J. Rieck, 45, of Columbus, Ohio, Sgt. 1st Class Shawn T. Hannon, 44, of Grove City, Ohio.
10 Spc. Antonio C. Burnside, 31, of Great Falls, Mont.
14 Staff Sgt. Tyler J. Smith, 24, of Licking, Mo., Constructionman Trevor J. Stanley, 22, of Virginia Beach, Va., Cpl. Alex Martinez, 21, of Elgin, Ill., Spc. Jeffrey L. White, Jr., 21, of Catawissa, Mo.
14 Lance Corporal Ramon T. Kaipat, 22, of Tacoma, WA
17 Sgt. Tanner S. Higgins, 23, of Yantis, Texas
18 Staff Sgt. David P. Nowaczyk, 32, of Dyer, Ind.
19 Cpl. Aaron M. Faust, 22, Louisville, Ky.
23 Capt. Michael C. Braden, 31, of Lock Haven, Pa.
27 Staff Sgt. Joseph H. Fankhauser, 30, of Mason, Texas, 1st Lt. Jonathan P. Walsh, 28, Cobb, Ga., Pfc. Michael J. Metcalf, 22, Boynton Beach, Fla., Chief Warrant Officer Nicholas S. Johnson, 27, of San Diego, Calif., Chief Warrant Officer Don C. Viray, 25, of Waipahu, Hawaii., Sgt. Chris J. Workman, 33, of Boise, Idaho., Sgt. Dean R. Shaffer, 23, of Pekin, Ill.
28 Spc. Manuel J. Vasquez, 22, of West Sacramento, California, Spc. Benjamin H. Neal, 21, of Orfordville, Wisconsin
29 Spc. Jason K. Edens, 22, of Franklin, Tenn., Spc. Moises J. Gonzalez, 29, Huntington, Calif., Lt. Christopher E. Mosko, 28, of Pittsford, N.Y., Staff Sgt. Brandon F. Eggleston, 29, of Candler, N.C., Sgt. Dick A. Lee Jr., 31, of Orange Park, Fla.
MayCpl. Alex Martinez, 21, of Elgin, Ill. was one of four service members remembered on April 14.
1 Staff Sergeant Andrew T. Brittonmihalo, 25, Simi Valley, CA
3 Master Sgt. Scott E. Pruitt, 38, Gautier, MS, Pfc. Christian R. Sannicolas, 20, Anaheim, CA
6 Capt. Bruce K. Clark, 43, Spencerport, NY, Staff Sgt. Zachary H. Hargrove, 32, Wichita, KS, Sgt. Nicholas M. Dickhut, 23, Rochester, MN
11 Sgt. Jacob M. Schwallie, 22, Clarksville, TN, Spc. Chase S. Marta, 24, Yuba City, CA, Pfc. Dustin D. Gross, 19, Jeffersonville, KY
13 2nd Lt. David E. Rylander, 23, Stow, OH, Spc. Junot M. L. Cochilus, 34, Charlotte, NC, Sgt. John P. Huling, 25, West Chester, OH, Master Sgt. Gregory L. Childs, 38, Warren, AR, Staff Sgt. Thomas K. Fogarty, 30, Alameda, CA
15 Petty Officer Second Class Jorge Luis Velasquez, 35, Houston, TX
16 Sgt. Wade D. Wilson, 22, Normangee, TX, 1st Lt. Alejo R. Thompson, 30, Yuma, AZ, Spc. Alex Hernandez III, 21, Round Rock, TX
21 Pfc. Richard Lewis McNulty III, 22, Rolla, MO, Sgt. Brian L. Walker, 25, Lucerne Valley, CA
24 Sgt. Michael J. Knapp, 28, Overland Park, KS, Sgt. Jabraun S. Knox, 23, Fort Wayne, IN, Capt. Jesse A. Ozbat, 28, Prince George, VA, 2nd Lt. Tobias C. Alexander, 30, Lawton, OK, Spc. Samuel T. Watts, 20, Wheaton, IL
25 Specialist Arronn D. Fields, 27, Brazil, IN
27 2nd Lt. Travis A. Morgado, 25, San Jose, CA, Petty Officer 1st Class Ryan J. Wilson, 26, Shasta, CA
28 Cpl. Keaton G. Coffey, 22, Boring, OR, Pfc. Cale C. Miller, 23, Olathe, KS
29 Hospitalman Eric D. Warren, Shawnee, OK
30 Spc. Vilmar Galarza Hernandez, 21, Salinas, CA
Spc. Chase S. Marta, 24, of Yuba City, California
Spc. Chase Marta was assigned as a scout with the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne. He was recently promoted from the rank of private first-class to specialist, but hadn't yet told his family.
1 Sgt. Julian C. Chase, 22, Edgewater, MD, Lance Cpl. Steven G. Sutton, 24, Leesburg, GA
2 Cpl. Nicholas H. Olivas, 20, Fairfield, OH
3 Staff Sgt. Roberto Loeza, 28, El Paso, TX
4 Staff Sgt. Alexander G. Povilaitis, 47, Dawsonville, GA, Spc. Kedith L. Jacobs, 21, Denver, CO, Pfc. Leroy Deronde III, 22, Jersey City, NJ
6 Spc. Gerardo Campos, 23, Miami, FL, Lance Cpl. Joshua E. Witsman, 23, Covington, IN
8 Staff Sgt. Israel P. Nuanes, 38, Las Cruces, NM
11 Pfc. Vincent J. Ellis, 22, Tokyo, Japan, Cpl. Anthony R. Servin, 22, Moreno Valley, CA, Pfc. Brandon D. Goodine, 20, Luthersville, GA, Master Chief Petty Officer Richard J. Kessler Jr., 47, Gulfport, FL.
14 Private First Class Nathan T. Davis, 20, Yucaipa, CA, Corporal Bryant J. Luxmore, 25, New Windsor, IL
19 Sgt. Joseph M. Lilly, 25, Flint, MI, Spc. Trevor A. Pinnick, 20, Lawrenceville, IL, 1st Lt. Mathew G. Fazzari, 25, Walla Walla, WA, Sgt. Nicholas C. Fredsti, 30, San Diego, CA
20 Capt. John R. Brainard III, 26, Dover-Foxcroft, ME, Chief Warrant Officer Five John C. Pratt, 51, Springfield, VA, Spc. Tofiga J. Tautolo, 23, Wilmington, CA, Capt. Scott P. Pace, 33, Brawley, CA, 1st Lt. Mathew G. Fazzari, 25, Walla Walla, WA
21 Sgt. 1st Class Barett W. McNabb, 33, Chino Valley, AZ, Pfc. Jarrod A. Lallier, 20, Spokane, WA
23 1st Lt. Ryan D. Rawl, 30, Lexington, SC, Sgt. 1st Class Matthew B. Thomas, 30, Travelers Rest, SC, Spc. John D. Meador II, 36, Columbia, SC
25 Lance Cpl. Eugene C. Mills III, 21, Laurel, MD
26 Sgt Jose Rodriguez, 22, Gustine, CA
Thank you all for your selfless service to our nation. Rest in peace.
Master Chief Petty Officer Richard J. Kessler, Jr., enlisted in the Navy in 1984. He could already have retired, but chose to continue serving. He led more than five hundred sailors in the supply mission, and was the top enlisted sailor in that section. Every sailor on the ship relied on him daily.
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.
Click the IGTNT tags below 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, Spam Nunn, True Blue Majority, CalNM, Wide Awake in Kentucky, Maggie Jean, Jax Dem, Kestrel 9000, TheFatLadySings, and Ekaterin.
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.