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Tonight we honor two soldiers who died as a result of combat operations in Afghanistan.

Since 2001, 2191 U.S. troops have lost their lives while serving in Afghanistan; since 2003, 4486 U.S. troops have lost their lives while serving in Iraq.

The IGTNT (I Got The News Today) series is a remembrance of U.S. servicemembers who will not be coming home from war.

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                                                                                       ~ Photo Credit Timroff

The Department of Defense has announced the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Sgt. 1st Class James F. Grissom, 31, of Hayward, CA, died March 21 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, of wounds suffered from small arms fire March 18 in Paktika Province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA.

Sgt. Tristan M. Wade, 23, of Indianapolis, IN, died March 22 in Qarah Bagh District, Ghazni Province, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 573rd Clearance Company, 2nd Engineer Battalion, White Sands Missile Range, NM.

Please join me for a remembrance of their lives.


Sgt. 1st Class James F. Grissom

Sgt. Grissom was serving his fifth overseas deployment at the time of his death.

Born in Hayward, CA, he graduated from Mt. Eden High School in 1999. He attended the Art Institute of Of San Francisco, where he earned an Associate's Degree in computer animation.

Sgt. Grissom enlisted in the Army in June 2003 and graduated from a Special Forces qualifications course in 2005. He received more than a dozen awards and decorations for his service, including a posthumous Bronze Star Medal.

Governor Jerry Brown ordered flags above the State Capitol lowered to half-staff to honor Sgt. Grissom. Brown said in a statement:

"On behalf of all Californians, Governor Brown and First Lady Anne Gust Brown honor Sgt. 1st Class James F. Grissom, who bravely gave his life in service to our state and nation. The Governor and First Lady extend their deepest condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time."
Sgt. Grissom is survived by his wife, parents and sister. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

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Rest in peace, Sgt. 1st Class James F. Grissom. You have served with honor.

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Sgt. Tristan M. Wade

Sgt. Wade died in Qarah Bagh District in the Ghazni Province when enemy forces attacked his unit with a homemade explosive device. Wade was assigned to the 573rd Clearance Company, 2nd Engineer Battalion, White Sands, NM. His Rock Hill unit was in Afghanistan since August, and expected to return home in May or early June.

Command Sgt. Major Joe Medlin of Rock Hill, the ranking enlisted man for the task force, said Sgt. Wade was....

“....an outstanding soldier and a true hero. He will certainly be missed by his unit and all of us in Task Force Prowler.”
Monte Marlin, chief of public affairs at White Sands, said:
"Our hearts are collectively broken because we lost one of our own. Our job right now is to support this soldier's family, other soldiers and families at White Sands."
A native of Indianapolis, Sgt. Wade graduated from Southport High School in 2009.

On his Facebook page, Sgt. Wade posted a photo of himself with his  daughter Skylynn and wrote:
 

"She is my world and I'll truly miss her while in Afghanistan."

Indiana Governor Mike Pence released this statement:

"I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Indiana soldier Sgt. Tristan M. Wade. Sgt. Wade, of Indianapolis, is a Hoosier hero who selflessly put on the uniform to defend freedom both here at home and abroad in Afghanistan. The First Lady and I send our sympathies to the family and friends of this fallen Hoosier, and we continue to pray for the safe return of the brave men and women in our armed forces."
Funeral arrangements are pending.

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Rest in peace, Sgt. Tristan M. Wade. You have served with honor.

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"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, blue jersey mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, SisTwo, SpamNunn, TrueBlueMajority, CalNM, Wide Awake in Kentucky, maggiejean, 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.

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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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