In my links of the day I try to find the links under the wire, articles all the top blogs miss. I'm not afraid to go to Al Jazeera, Kurd Media or to the Pakistan student movement page to bring the real daily news to you.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Links of the Day 4/1/2008 Honor Them By Remembering.....

I was going to break this post down into years, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 and post 1 year for the next 5 days.

I haven't looked into 2008, I'm not sure I even have the heart to do it.

This blog is 81 pages when when you do it in MS Works.

Please don't bother reading unless you can read every single page. Take your time read a little at a time but please read it all.


Honor Them By Remembering.....


Freedom - Is Their Gift To Us



2003


12 women were killed - 5 were non hostile.

07/09/03 Valles, Melissa Sergeant U.S. Army Non hostile weapon discharge.

Sgt. Melissa Valles, 26, Eagle Pass, Texas, died on July 9 in Balad, Iraq. Valles was assigned to B Company, 64th Forward Support Battalion, Fort Carson, Col.

She died as a result of non-combat injuries.

The incident is under investigation.

USA SGT Melissa Valles, 26, was from Eagle Pass, TX. She was a member of HQs Detachment, Company B, 64th Forward Support Bn, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, Fort Carson, CO. She died in Balad from a non-combat gunshot wound to her abdomen. Survived by her mother Marianita Valles, step-father Carlos Gomaz, sister Maribel and brother Jesus. Link

Sgt. Melissa Valles was a soldier through and through. When she reported to superiors at work, she always stood at parade rest shoulders back, hands clasped behind her back, feet spread slightly apart.

"When she came in, she was squared-away. Total soldier. She always showed proper respect and always was pushing the troops," said Sgt. 1st Class Cathy Mihm, who worked down the hall from Valles at Fort Carson. Valles, 26, of Eagle Pass, Texas, died July 9 of non-combat injuries in Iraq.

Growing up south of San Antonio on the Mexico border, younger sister Maribel Valles said, the 5-foot-3 Melissa Valles assumed the role of head of the household even though she had two older brothers. "She was petite, but she was a really tough lady," Maribel Valles said. "She really put people in their place. She did that since she was a girl. She would put little boys who were bullies in their place." Link

View guestbook at Legacy.Com

GI Jane deaths hit middle America

In-Depth Coverage

By Sarah Baxter

ON the streets of Baghdad, a girl has to keep up appearances. "Dear Mom, please send me lots of shampoo and conditioner. My hair is really brittle out here. It's like straw, " wrote Private Rachel Bosveld, 19. She wanted to look pretty as she patrolled the city's most dangerous police precinct. She joked that she was working on her tan.

That was not all. "Hey Mom, I've been dodging bullets etc," she said in her last letter home, "but I'm really doing great. I got to drive a tank. So cool!"

Some of Bosveld's best quips were posted on the wall of the church where her funeral was held last Friday in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

She was killed on October 26 during a mortar attack on the Abu Ghraib police station in Baghdad. Bosveld was already due to receive a Purple Heart for injuries sustained during an earlier rocket-propelled grenade attack on her Humvee.

She wrote to her brother Craig: "There was fire and smoke everywhere. It was loud, there was shouting. My team leader's seat was on fire. I found my seatbelt but it was stuck. Damn it, I knew I shouldn't have worn it."

She hurt her shoulder and lost her hearing in one ear for a week.

Mary Bosveld, her mother, did not want her to serve in Iraq. "I said, 'Oh honey, anywhere but Iraq', but she said, 'No Mum, I have to do it'."

Bosveld was proud to serve in such a demanding country, but after the first attack she began to count the days until she could leave Iraq. "More and more people want us to go home," she wrote. "Believe me, we want to go home."

Bosveld lived and died in the thick of a conflict that is gaining in intensity. In the past week, 32 American lives have been lost, prompting comparisons to Vietnam and questions about the point at which the American public may turn against President George W Bush and the war.

Shortly before a Black Hawk helicopter crashed near Tikrit on Friday, killing six people, a Gallup poll last week showed support for the Iraq occupation fading. In August, 57% of Americans approved of Bush's handling of Iraq; now only 45% are in favour.

"If casualties continue at this rate, Bush will lose the next election, I don't care how good the economy is," said Larry Sabato, a pollster at the University of Virginia. "Americans are clearly seeing Iraq as Vietnam without the jungle."

In one respect, American casualty rates may soon outstrip those of Vietnam. Only eight women died during the Vietnam war. With the downing of a Chinook helicopter near Fallujah last Sunday, the number of dead American servicewomen in Iraq has already risen to six.

Women make up 15% of the modern American army. Some of the dead fought alongside the men in Iraq; others were supposedly behind the lines in a war that no longer has a definable front. They included a single mother, a missionary and a teenager.

Concerns about how and why they lost their lives present stark political problems for Bush.

Private Lori Piestewa, 23, a mother of two children, was the first native American woman in the US army to die in combat. She was with Private Jessica Lynch on March 23 when their Humvee was ambushed and crashed in the desert. Lynch, who was rescued from an Iraqi hospital, is this week's cover girl. Her book, I Am a Soldier Too, goes on sale tomorrow.

Piestewa was Lynch's best friend. "Most of all I miss Lori," Lynch said when she returned from military hospital to her home town.

A single mother from an Arizona backwater, Piestewa had a daughter, Carla, 3, and a son, Brandon, 4. "I want my mommy, but she has to rest in peace," Brandon said solemnly at her funeral.

She had joined the army to give her children financial security. "It's very important, knowing my children are being taken care of," she said on leaving for Iraq. Squaw Peak in Arizona has been renamed Lori Piestewa Peak in her honour, but her toddlers no longer have a mother.

Though cruel, the death of Piestewa, the only woman to have been killed in the active combat phase of the war, seemed of little consequence to Bush's war aims.

With hindsight, however, there were already telltale signs of the trouble to come.

The worsening morale of soldiers who are putting their lives on the line is now a gnawing worry in the White House.

"We don't know yet whether the body count of the last two weeks will turn out to be normal, but these are real numbers," said John Pike of defence lobbyist GlobalSecurity.org. "If it stays in the double digits, it's going to grate."

Many members of the US army signed up not to fight, but "for college tuition or medical insurance or financial security for their kids", said Pike. "They told their parents or spouses they wouldn't get killed."

In the past, a supply soldier such as Piestewa would have been relatively safe.

But in Iraq the front line moved so fast that her rear unit was left behind, took a wrong turn and was attacked.

Women soldiers who thought they would be in non-combatant positions are now feeling exposed. There are diminishing havens for American troops in Iraq.

Private Karina Lau, 20, was reluctant to venture outside her army base, 30 miles from Baghdad. "I never leave the compound because it's safe here," she e mailed her sister Martha.

Her job in radio communications did not require her to go on patrol and the one time she went to Baghdad she felt vulnerable. "She was under Mom and Dad's wings all her life and then suddenly she's in Iraq," said Lau's brother-in-law, Noel Rivera, a veteran of the first Gulf war.

Lau, a talented clarinet and flute player, had hoped to surprise them with a visit home to California when she boarded the Chinook in which she and 15 other soldiers died after being shot down last Sunday.

In another sign of the deteriorating security, Analaura "Lissy" Esparza Gutierrez, 21, was killed on October 1 only 300 yards from the sanctuary of her heavily fortified army compound near Tikrit. Gutierrez's Humvee was blown up by a home-made bomb and fired on by a rocket-propelled grenade. Her father, Agustin Esparza, said Bush should bring the troops home. "She didn't deserve to die. There are a lot of young people over there and as long as they are there, they are going to die," he said.

Two families are still waiting for an explanation of their daughters' deaths. For Sergeant Melissa Valles, 26, and Specialist Alyssa Peterson, 27, the official cause of death is "non-combat weapons discharge".

The army says the incidents are under investigation. Valles was shot twice in the abdomen on July 9, when Iraq was relatively peaceful. "Since the war had ended, we weren't expecting this," said Maribel Valles, her sister.

Peterson was an army interrogator and gifted linguist from Arizona who had studied Arabic in the army. Her work was secret and her mother found out she was in Iraq only when an officer turned up at her workplace. "It was a shock," said Bobbie Peterson. "He said the words you hear in the movies, 'We regret to inform you...'"

Her daughter had died on September 18 of a bullet wound to the head.

Army relatives are often the last to complain about the cause for which their loved ones died. It can seem disrespectful to their memory. "We're conservative Republicans," said Peterson's mother. "We know there is evil in the world and we have to stand up for it and that's how Alyssa felt."

The American public was taken aback when Bush failed to mention the 16 dead in the Chinook last weekend, but many relatives of those on board did not flinch.

Lau's brother-in-law was adamant: "It would only be rhetoric. It wouldn't stop a single bullet from hurting more troops. If Bush opens his mouth, the public will start demanding an explanation for every casualty. I think people are going to stay behind the mission, but week by week, as casualties mount, they're going to get a lot more flustered."

Link


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THEY WILL NEVER MAKE ME BELIEVE SHE COMMITTEED SUICIDE EVER!

EVERY WOMAN AFTER ALYSSA EITHER SHOT HERSELF IN THE HEAD OR IN THE CHEST SO SAYS THE DOD.

THEY KILLED HER TO SHUT HER UP! BUT WE ALL KNOW NOW THEY HAVE BEEN TORTURING DETAINEES!

AND WE HAVE THE ABU GHRIAB PICTURES TO PROVE IT!


09/15/03 Peterson, Alyssa R. Specialist U.S. Army Non-hostile - suicide

Incident: Spc. Peterson killed by a non-combat weapons discharge in Tel Afar.

The Department of Defense announced today that Spc. Alyssa R. Peterson, 27, of Flagstaff, Ariz., died on Sept. 15 in Telafar, Iraq. Peterson died from a non-combat

weapons discharge.

Peterson was assigned to C Company, 311th Military Intelligence Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.

The incident is under investigation

Spc. Alyssa R. Peterson was a woman of faith who had a gift for learning foreign languages. "She was a quiet, very intelligent woman who asked a lot of good questions about life and religion," said Terry Leisek, who taught Peterson at a theological training center for members of the Mormon faith. Peterson, 27, of Flagstaff, Ariz., died Sept. 15 from a non-combat weapons discharge in Iraq.

She was stationed at Fort Campbell before being deployed to conduct interrogations and translate enemy documents. Peterson graduated from Northern Arizona University in May 2001 with a degree in psychology. She was fluent in Dutch and easily mastered Arabic at the military's Defense Language Institute after enlisting in July 2001. During her time at NAU, Peterson also attended the Flagstaff Institute of Religion, the theological training center. "She was a very, very good lady who will be missed by a large number of friends," Leisek said.

View guestbook at Legacy.com


Flagstaff GI loved people, languages

Soldier was killed Monday in Iraq

Mark Shaffer
Republic Flagstaff Bureau
Sept. 18, 2003 12:00 AM

FLAGSTAFF - Friends say Army Spc. Alyssa R. Peterson of Flagstaff always had an amazing ability to learn foreign languages.

Peterson became fluent in Dutch even before she went on an 18-month Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mission to the Netherlands in the late 1990s. Then, she cruised through her Arabic courses at the military's Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif., shortly after enlisting in July 2001.

With that under her belt, she was off to Iraq to conduct interrogations and translate enemy documents. Then, for reasons still being investigated, Peterson became the third American woman soldier killed since the war began on March 19. President Bush declared the end of major combat operations on May 1, but clashes have continued, and more than 150 U.S. soldiers have been killed since then. Since hostilities began, 297 U.S. soldiers have died.

Peterson, 27, died of a gunshot wound to the head Monday from what was described as a "non-combat weapons discharge," said Martha Rudd, an Army spokeswoman. The fatality occurred near the northwestern Iraqi town of Tel Afar, about 50 miles southwest of the Turkish border.

Rudd and other Army officials said that a number of possible scenarios are being considered, including Peterson's own weapon discharging, the weapon of another soldier discharging or the accidental shooting of Peterson by an Iraqi civilian.

Whatever the reason, Peterson's death sent shock waves through Flagstaff, a mountain city about 78 miles from Tuba City, the home of Army Pfc. Lori Piestewa, who died during the opening days of the conflict. The third woman soldier killed in Iraq was Army Sgt. Melissa Valles of Eagle Pass, Texas, in July.

Throughout the day Wednesday, a steady stream of visitors brought flowers and food to Peterson's parents' home, nestled in a pine grove and surrounded by a white picket fence, in southwest Flagstaff.

A large poster with the words "Support our troops" and a U.S. flag were on the indoor sill of a large picture window. The Peterson family refused to be interviewed by reporters.

In a statement read by LDS Bishop Kevin Stephens, the family said, "We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our daughter and sister while performing an important work for all Americans."

Peterson was transferred to Fort Campbell, Ky., in July before being sent to the Middle East shortly thereafter. She was assigned to C Company, 311th Military Intelligence Battalion of the 101st Airborne Division, Rudd said.

Peterson graduated from Northern Arizona University in May 2001 with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology, said Gary Fox, an NAU spokesman.

During her time at NAU, Peterson also attended the Flagstaff Institute of Religion, a theological training center for members of the LDS faith.

"She was a quiet, very intelligent woman who asked a lot of good questions about life and religion," said Terry Leisek, one of Peterson's instructors at the institute.

Leisek said Peterson insisted on going on an LDS mission at age 21 after she had completed three years of NAU undergraduate course work. She came back to Flagstaff in 2000 to complete her final year on the undergraduate level. Peterson also had taken graduate-level courses at NAU, Leisek said.

"She was a very very good lady who will be missed by a large number of friends," Leisek said. "She loved languages and she loved people."

LINK


Revealed: US Soldier Killed Herself After Objecting to Interrogation Techniques


By Greg Mitchell
Editor & Publisher

Wednesday 01 November 2006

One of the first women to die in Iraq shot and killed herself after objecting to harsh "interrogation techniques."

The true stories of how American troops, killed in Iraq, actually died keep spilling out this week. On Tuesday, we explored the case of Kenny Stanton, Jr., murdered last month by our allies, the Iraqi police, though the military didn’t make that known at the time. Now we learn that one of the first female soldiers killed in Iraq died by her own hand after objecting to interrogation techniques used on prisoners.

She was Army specialist Alyssa Peterson, 27, a Flagstaff, Az., native serving with C Company, 311th Military Intelligence BN, 101st Airborne. Peterson was an Arabic-speaking interrogator assigned to the prison at our air base in troubled Tal-Afar in northwestern Iraq. According to official records, she died on Sept. 15, 2003, from a "non-hostile weapons discharge."

She was only the third American woman killed in Iraq so her death drew wide press attention. A "non-hostile weapons discharge" leading to death is not unusual in Iraq, often quite accidental, so this one apparently raised few eyebrows. The Arizona Republic, three days after her death, reported that Army officials "said that a number of possible scenarios are being considered, including Peterson's own weapon discharging, the weapon of another soldier discharging or the accidental shooting of Peterson by an Iraqi civilian."

But in this case, a longtime radio and newspaper reporter named Kevin Elston, unsatisfied with the public story, decided to probe deeper in 2005, "just on a hunch," he told E&P today. He made "hundreds of phone calls" to the military and couldn't get anywhere, so he filed a Freedom of Information Act request. When the documents of the official investigation of her death arrived, they contained bombshell revelations. Here’s what the Flagstaff public radio station, KNAU, where Elston now works, reported yesterday:

"Peterson objected to the interrogation techniques used on prisoners. She refused to participate after only two nights working in the unit known as the cage. Army spokespersons for her unit have refused to describe the interrogation techniques Alyssa objected to. They say all records of those techniques have now been destroyed...."

She was then assigned to the base gate, where she monitored Iraqi guards, and sent to suicide prevention training. "But on the night of September 15th, 2003, Army investigators concluded she shot and killed herself with her service rifle," the documents disclose.

The Army talked to some of Peterson's colleagues. Asked to summarize their comments, Elston told E&P: "The reactions to the suicide were that she was having a difficult time separating her personal feelings from her professional duties. That was the consistent point in the testimonies, that she objected to the interrogation techniques, without describing what those techniques were."

Elston said that the documents also refer to a suicide note found on her body, revealing that she found it ironic that suicide prevention training had taught her how to commit suicide. He has now filed another FOIA request for a copy of the actual note.

Peterson's father, Rich Peterson, has said: "Alyssa volunteered to change assignments with someone who did not want to go to Iraq."

Alyssa Peterson, a devout Mormon, had graduated from Flagstaff High School and earned a psychology degree from Northern Arizona University on a military scholarship. She was trained in interrogation techniques at Fort Huachuca in Arizona, and then sent to the Middle East in 2003.

The Arizona Republic article had opened: "Friends say Army Spc. Alyssa R. Peterson of Flagstaff always had an amazing ability to learn foreign languages.

"Peterson became fluent in Dutch even before she went on an 18-month Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mission to the Netherlands in the late 1990s. Then, she cruised through her Arabic courses at the military's Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif., shortly after enlisting in July 2001.

"With that under her belt, she was off to Iraq to conduct interrogations and translate enemy documents."

On a "fallen heroes" message board on the Web, Mary W. Black of Flagstaff wrote, "The very day Alyssa died, her Father was talking to me at the Post Office where we both work, in Flagstaff, Az., telling me he had a premonition and was very worried about his daughter who was in the military on the other side of the world. The next day he was notified while on the job by two army officers. Never has a daughter been so missed or so loved than she was and has been by her Father since that fateful September day in 2003. He has been the most broken man I have ever seen."

An A.W. from Los Angeles wrote: "I met Alyssa only once during a weekend surfing trip while she was at DLI. Although our encounter was brief, she made a lasting impression. We did not know each other well, but I was blown away by her genuine, sincere, sweet nature. I don’t know how else to put it - she was just nice.... I was devastated to here of her death. I couldn’t understand why it had to happen to such a wonderful person."

Finally, Daryl K. Tabor of Ashland City, Tenn., who had met her as a journalist in Iraq for the Kentucky New Era paper in Hopkinsville: "Since learning of her death, I cannot get the image of the last time I saw her out of my mind. We were walking out of the tent in Kuwait to be briefed on our flights into Iraq as I stepped aside to let her out first. Her smile was brighter than the hot desert sun. Peterson was the only soldier I interacted with that I know died in Iraq. I am truly sorry I had to know any."

http://www.truthout.org/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi/66/23558


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SHE WAS DIAGNOSED WITH AN UNKNOWN CANCER???

10/01/03 Ramos, Tamarra J. Specialist U.S. Army Non-hostile - unspecified injury.

Army Spc. Tamarra J. Ramos, 24, of Quakertown, Pa., died Oct. 1, 2003, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC), Washington D.C.

Ramos died of non-combat related injuries. She was assigned to the 3rd Armor Medical Company, Medical Troop Regimental Support Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colo.

The Department of Defense announced today that the following servicemembers died while in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).

During a recent examination of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps records, it was determined that these deaths had not been identified and announced as OEF/OIF casualties.

This updates the record and honors those who gave their lives in the Global War on Terrorism. Link

USA SPC Tamarra Joharidelonda Ramos, 24, from Quakertown, PA. She died at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC), Washington DC of non-combat related injuries received in Iraq. Tamarra was assigned to the 3rd Armor Medical Company, Medical Troop Regimental Support Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, CO. She enlisted in the winter of 2000, trained at Fort Jackson and then Fort Sam Houston as a Combat Medic. She had been inducted into the Honorary Order of the Spur. She had already been to Egypt during Operation Bright Star. In August 2003 she was diagnosed with an "unknown cancer" and evacuated to WRAMC. She underwent extensive evaluation and chemotherapy. Tamarra is survived by her husband, SPC Eric Ramos who is assigned to Medical Troop, Support Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Rgt. Link

Tamarra J. "TJ" Ramos, 24, of Haycock Township, Bucks County, died Oct. 1 in Walter Reed Medical Center, Washington, D.C. She was the wife of Eric Ramos.

A 1997 graduate of Quakertown High School, she was a combat medic with the Medical Troop Support Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, in Iraq.

Born in Doylestown, she was a daughter of David W. and Mary (Naydyhor) Johnson of Quakertown. She was a member of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Applebachsville.

Survivors: Husband; parents; brother, David W. II of Coopersburg; sisters, Melanie and Dia Smith, both of Allentown, Miramani of Quakertown, Kamaria of Coopersburg; maternal grandmother, Mildred Naydyhor of Quakertown; nieces, nephews.

Services: 11 a.m. Thursday in the church. Call 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, Jeffrey A. Naugle Funeral Home, 20 N. Ambler St., Quakertown, and 10-11 a.m. Thursday in the church. Link


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10/25/03 Cannon, Jakia Sheree Seaman U.S. Navy Non-hostile

HER DOD LINK IS THE ONLY ONE TO BE A DEAD LINK Mmmmm???? (click on her name see what you get)

OK AS YOU READ MORE ABOUT THE NON COMBAT DEATHS OF WOMEN - DYING OF NATURAL CAUSES IN BAHRAIN IN THE # 1 PLACE and CAUSE.

View guestbook at Legacy.com

USN SN3 Jakia Sheree Cannon, 20, from Baltimore, MD died in Bahrain due to natural causes. She was a Seaman (E-3) Fireman aboard the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) out of Norfolk, VA.

Jakia had only been aboard the Enterprise for a little more than a month but she was already singing in the choir.

It was an unexpected loss for the Enterprise and her shipmates. Following her death her friends raised money among themselves to send to Jakia’s 14-year-old brother Joshua, a freshman in high school, to help with his future education.

Prior to her death she had run track in Italy and sang in the Greater Mount Zion Baptist Church where she was also an usher. She is not the only member of her family to serve in the Navy.

Her uncle is an Information Systems Technician 1st Class, and had orders to report to the Enterprise in February of 2004.

I’m sorry to report that her death was overlooked when it first happened but it wasn’t until 24 March 2005 that it came to my attention. Since she was serving overseas in a combat area I decided to list her name here since others who died in Bahrain have been considered as supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom however DoD has not published her name.

This photo appeared with her obit in the Hampton Roads, VA paper--thanks to Pat Beamer for sending it to me. If anyone has any further information about her or her surviving family members--please contact me. Link


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11/08/03 Jimenez, Linda C. Sergeant U.S. Army Non-hostile - accidental fall.

The Department of Defense announced today that the following servicemembers died while in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).

During a recent examination of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps records, it was determined that these deaths had not been identified and announced as OEF/OIF casualties.

This updates the record and honors those who gave their lives in the Global War on Terrorism. Link

Army Sgt. Linda C. Jimenez, 39, of Brooklyn, N.Y., died Nov. 8, 2003, at WRAMC. On Oct. 31, 2003, Jimenez fell and was injured. She was taken to the 28th Combat Support Hospital and later evacuated to Landstuhl Army Regional Medical Center. Subsequently, she was moved to WRAMC where she later died.

Jimenez was assigned to the 2nd Squadron Combat Support Aviation (Maintenance), 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Polk, La.

USA SGT Linda C. Jimenez, 39, was from Brooklyn, N.Y. She fell while running to keep up with friends, fearing for her safety if she lost contact with them and was injured on 31 Oct 2003.

She was taken to the 28th Combat Support Hospital and was later evacuated to Landstuhl Army Regional Medical Center. Subsequently, she was moved to WRAMC where she later died.

This accident happened a few weeks after she was scheduled to have returned stateside according to her father, Angelo Cruz of Sun City West, AZ. Linda died of complications after a blood clot formed, went to her brain and caused a stroke. She was assigned to the 2nd Squadron Combat Support Aviation (Maintenance), 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Polk, LA. She is survived by her father. Link


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07/09/03 Valles, Melissa Sergeant U.S. Army Non hostile weapon discharge.

Sgt. Melissa Valles, 26, Eagle Pass, Texas, died on July 9 in Balad, Iraq. Valles was assigned to B Company, 64th Forward Support Battalion, Fort Carson, Col.

She died as a result of non-combat injuries.

The incident is under investigation.

USA SGT Melissa Valles, 26, was from Eagle Pass, TX. She was a member of HQs Detachment, Company B, 64th Forward Support Bn, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, Fort Carson, CO. She died in Balad from a non-combat gunshot wound to her abdomen. Survived by her mother Marianita Valles, step-father Carlos Gomaz, sister Maribel and brother Jesus. Link

Sgt. Melissa Valles was a soldier through and through. When she reported to superiors at work, she always stood at parade rest shoulders back, hands clasped behind her back, feet spread slightly apart. "When she came in, she was squared-away. Total soldier. She always showed proper respect and always was pushing the troops," said Sgt. 1st Class Cathy Mihm, who worked down the hall from Valles at Fort Carson. Valles, 26, of Eagle Pass, Texas, died July 9 of non-combat injuries in Iraq. Growing up south of San Antonio

on the Mexico border, younger sister Maribel Valles said, the 5-foot-3 Melissa Valles assumed the role of head of the household even though she had two older brothers.

"She was petite, but she was a really tough lady," Maribel Valles said. "She really put people in their place. She did that since she was a girl. She would put little boys who were bullies in their place." Link

View guestbook at Legacy.Com


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GI Jane deaths hit middle America

In-Depth Coverage

By Sarah Baxter

ON the streets of Baghdad, a girl has to keep up appearances. "Dear Mom, please send me lots of shampoo and conditioner. My hair is really brittle out here. It's like straw, " wrote Private Rachel Bosveld, 19. She wanted to look pretty as she patrolled the city's most dangerous police precinct. She joked that she was working on her tan.

That was not all. "Hey Mom, I've been dodging bullets etc," she said in her last letter home, "but I'm really doing great. I got to drive a tank. So cool!"

Some of Bosveld's best quips were posted on the wall of the church where her funeral was held last Friday in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

She was killed on October 26 during a mortar attack on the Abu Ghraib police station in Baghdad. Bosveld was already due to receive a Purple Heart for injuries sustained during an earlier rocket-propelled grenade attack on her Humvee.

She wrote to her brother Craig: "There was fire and smoke everywhere. It was loud, there was shouting. My team leader's seat was on fire. I found my seatbelt but it was stuck. Damn it, I knew I shouldn't have worn it."

She hurt her shoulder and lost her hearing in one ear for a week.

Mary Bosveld, her mother, did not want her to serve in Iraq. "I said, 'Oh honey, anywhere but Iraq', but she said, 'No Mum, I have to do it'."

Bosveld was proud to serve in such a demanding country, but after the first attack she began to count the days until she could leave Iraq. "More and more people want us to go home," she wrote. "Believe me, we want to go home."

Bosveld lived and died in the thick of a conflict that is gaining in intensity. In the past week, 32 American lives have been lost, prompting comparisons to Vietnam and questions about the point at which the American public may turn against President George W Bush and the war.

Shortly before a Black Hawk helicopter crashed near Tikrit on Friday, killing six people, a Gallup poll last week showed support for the Iraq occupation fading. In August, 57% of Americans approved of Bush's handling of Iraq; now only 45% are in favour.

"If casualties continue at this rate, Bush will lose the next election, I don't care how good the economy is," said Larry Sabato, a pollster at the University of Virginia. "Americans are clearly seeing Iraq as Vietnam without the jungle."

In one respect, American casualty rates may soon outstrip those of Vietnam. Only eight women died during the Vietnam war. With the downing of a Chinook helicopter near Fallujah last Sunday, the number of dead American servicewomen in Iraq has already risen to six.

Women make up 15% of the modern American army. Some of the dead fought alongside the men in Iraq; others were supposedly behind the lines in a war that no longer has a definable front. They included a single mother, a missionary and a teenager.

Concerns about how and why they lost their lives present stark political problems for Bush.

Private Lori Piestewa, 23, a mother of two children, was the first native American woman in the US army to die in combat. She was with Private Jessica Lynch on March 23 when their Humvee was ambushed and crashed in the desert. Lynch, who was rescued from an Iraqi hospital, is this week's cover girl. Her book, I Am a Soldier Too, goes on sale tomorrow.

Piestewa was Lynch's best friend. "Most of all I miss Lori," Lynch said when she returned from military hospital to her home town.

A single mother from an Arizona backwater, Piestewa had a daughter, Carla, 3, and a son, Brandon, 4. "I want my mommy, but she has to rest in peace," Brandon said solemnly at her funeral.

She had joined the army to give her children financial security. "It's very important, knowing my children are being taken care of," she said on leaving for Iraq. Squaw Peak in Arizona has been renamed Lori Piestewa Peak in her honour, but her toddlers no longer have a mother.

Though cruel, the death of Piestewa, the only woman to have been killed in the active combat phase of the war, seemed of little consequence to Bush's war aims.

With hindsight, however, there were already telltale signs of the trouble to come.

The worsening morale of soldiers who are putting their lives on the line is now a gnawing worry in the White House.

"We don't know yet whether the body count of the last two weeks will turn out to be normal, but these are real numbers," said John Pike of defence lobbyist GlobalSecurity.org. "If it stays in the double digits, it's going to grate."

Many members of the US army signed up not to fight, but "for college tuition or medical insurance or financial security for their kids", said Pike. "They told their parents or spouses they wouldn't get killed."

In the past, a supply soldier such as Piestewa would have been relatively safe.

But in Iraq the front line moved so fast that her rear unit was left behind, took a wrong turn and was attacked.

Women soldiers who thought they would be in non-combatant positions are now feeling exposed. There are diminishing havens for American troops in Iraq.

Private Karina Lau, 20, was reluctant to venture outside her army base, 30 miles from Baghdad. "I never leave the compound because it's safe here," she e mailed her sister Martha.

Her job in radio communications did not require her to go on patrol and the one time she went to Baghdad she felt vulnerable. "She was under Mom and Dad's wings all her life and then suddenly she's in Iraq," said Lau's brother-in-law, Noel Rivera, a veteran of the first Gulf war.

Lau, a talented clarinet and flute player, had hoped to surprise them with a visit home to California when she boarded the Chinook in which she and 15 other soldiers died after being shot down last Sunday.

In another sign of the deteriorating security, Analaura "Lissy" Esparza Gutierrez, 21, was killed on October 1 only 300 yards from the sanctuary of her heavily fortified army compound near Tikrit. Gutierrez's Humvee was blown up by a home-made bomb and fired on by a rocket-propelled grenade. Her father, Agustin Esparza, said Bush should bring the troops home. "She didn't deserve to die. There are a lot of young people over there and as long as they are there, they are going to die," he said.

Two families are still waiting for an explanation of their daughters' deaths. For Sergeant Melissa Valles, 26, and Specialist Alyssa Peterson, 27, the official cause of death is "non-combat weapons discharge".

The army says the incidents are under investigation. Valles was shot twice in the abdomen on July 9, when Iraq was relatively peaceful. "Since the war had ended, we weren't expecting this," said Maribel Valles, her sister.

Peterson was an army interrogator and gifted linguist from Arizona who had studied Arabic in the army. Her work was secret and her mother found out she was in Iraq only

when an officer turned up at her workplace. "It was a shock," said Bobbie Peterson. "He said the words you hear in the movies, 'We regret to inform you...'"

Her daughter had died on September 18 of a bullet wound to the head.

Army relatives are often the last to complain about the cause for which their loved ones died. It can seem disrespectful to their memory. "We're conservative Republicans," said Peterson's mother. "We know there is evil in the world and we have to stand up for it and that's how Alyssa felt."

The American public was taken aback when Bush failed to mention the 16 dead in the Chinook last weekend, but many relatives of those on board did not flinch.

Lau's brother-in-law was adamant: "It would only be rhetoric. It wouldn't stop a single bullet from hurting more troops. If Bush opens his mouth, the public will start demanding an explanation for every casualty. I think people are going to stay behind the mission, but week by week, as casualties mount, they're going to get a lot more flustered."

Link


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2004


20 women were killed - 6 were non hostile.

Incident: Killed when she was struck by a vehicle on an airfield in Mosul.

01/13/04 Hines, Keicia M. Sergeant U.S. Army Non-hostile - vehicle accident.

Sgt. Keicia M. Hines, 27, of Citrus Heights, Calif., died on Jan. 14 when she was struck by a vehicle on Mosul Airfield in Mosul, Iraq.

Hines was assigned to the 108th Military Police, Combat Support Co., Fort Bragg, N.C.

This incident is under investigation.

KEICIA HINES IS THE ONLY SOLDIER NOT TO HAVE A PHONE NUMBER TO CALL IN REGUARDS TO HER DEATH.

Sgt. Keicia M. Hines was working in the arms room handing out weapons when she met Sean Hines. They married on Christmas Eve in 2001. "We clowned a lot. We had fun, bottom line. I was in love with her," Sean Hines said.

The 27-year-old soldier from Citrus Heights, Calif., died after being struck by a vehicle in Mosul, Iraq, on Jan. 14. She was stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C. Sean Hines said his wife loved the movies and loved to shop. The day before she died, she sent him an e-mail asking him to order some clothes and shoes from a trendy store. In the e-mail she told her husband she was "exhausted and couldn't wait to get home and that she loved me," Sean Hines said.

"She was having a difficult time being in Iraq with all the devastation," said her mother, Beverly Coleman of Sacramento, Calif. "I would just tell her to take it one day at a time." On the same day that Coleman learned of her daughter's death, received a package from Hines containing a purse stuffed with beads, money and a note that said "I love you, Mommy." Link


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AS YOU READ MORE ABOUT THE NON COMBAT DEATHS OF WOMEN YOU WILL FIND THE HEART ATTACK IS A FAVORITE REASON OF DEATH FOR THE DOD EVEN FOR 22 YEAR OLDS.


03/07/04 Jones, Gussie M. Captain U.S. Army Non-hostile - illness - heart attack.

Incident: Suffered a heart attack and died in the Baghdad hospital where she worked as a surgical nurse.

Capt. Gussie M. Jones, 41, of Louisiana, died March 7 in Baghdad, Iraq, as a result of a non-combat cause. As medical surgical nurse in support of area operations, Jones was assigned to the 31st Combat Support Hospital, Fort Bliss, Texas.

The incident is under investigation.

For further information related to this release, contact Army Public Affairs at (703) 692-2000

Army Capt. Gussie M. Jones

Gussie M. Jones had a way of making those she loved feel special.

"My daughter says 'I'm Aunt Gussie's favorite niece.' But everybody thought they were Aunt Gussie's favorite niece because that's the way she made them feel," Wanda McDaniel said of her sister.

The 41-year-old surgical nurse from Shreveport, La., died March 7 of an apparent heart attack in Baghdad. She was assigned to Fort Bliss.

Jones was maternal and caring to the nurses she worked with at William Beaumont Army Medical Center's intensive care unit, said Col. Lenore Enzel, deputy commander of patient services and nursing at the El Paso hospital.

"She really was the glue that held our hospital together," Enzel said. "She always had this maturity and was taking care of other people."

Jones had served in the Army since 1988.

http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/noadsindex/iraqcasualties/vignettes42.html


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03/09/2004 Fern Holland Civilian

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two Department of the Army civilians who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. The civilians who were both assigned to the Coalition Provisional Authority, based in Arlington, Va., died March 9 in Al-Hillah, Iraq.

Killed were:

Fern L. Holland, 33, (home of record not available).

Robert J. Zangas, 44, of Prince William County, Va.

The incident is under investigation.

For further information related to this release, contact Army Public Affairs at (703) 692-2000. Link

Update when I first made my list there was nothing on the net about Fern and no there’s a lot of stuff on her.

Only 11 people have been to the next link so it is real new.

Funny what you find online when you use a browser other than micro soft.


The Fern L. Holland Charitable Trust

Stephen J. Rodolf and James E. Green, Jr. Co-Trustees
4000 One Williams Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74172-0148

Mission Statement

Fern Holland died on March 9 th, 2004 while working for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq. She was killed by forces violently opposed to the ideals of freedom and democracy for the Iraqi people. Fern, an Oklahoma native who grew up believing that one person could make a difference in the world, knew that her work placed her at extreme risk. It was a risk she was willing to assume in order to bring some measure of hope and equality to the people of Iraq.

Determined that her work on behalf of human rights in Iraq and elsewhere will continue, Fern’s family and friends have established the Fern L. Holland Charitable Foundation*. The purpose of the Foundation is to provide economic and other support to those causes for which Fern gave her life. This charter is broad by necessity because Fern believed that everyone, regardless of where they lived, should have equal opportunity. In her belief, she was uncompromising. She was convinced that through simple acts of human kindness and understanding, it is possible to make the world a better place in which to live.

Fern’s work and sacrifice on behalf of others did not begin in Iraq. It began long before in the children’s hospitals of Russia and South Africa where she worked as a volunteer following her graduation from the University of Oklahoma. Upon her return to the United States, she entered law school at the University of Tulsa, graduating with honors in 1996. In 1999, having demonstrated exceptional ability as a lawyer, she left a lucrative position with her law firm to enter the Peace Corps. She chose as her assignment the country of Namibia in her beloved Africa. Here she helped to build schools and bring AIDS education to the most isolated areas of this southwest African nation. In 2002, she traveled to the African nation of Guinea on behalf of the American Refugee Committee. There, she implemented solutions for dealing with widespread human rights abuses then occurring in Guinean refugee camps.

In July, 2003, Fern was hired by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to investigate human rights abuses under the Sadaam Hussein regime. She was part of that agency’s Abuse Prevention Unit whose purpose is to protect victims of abuse occurring during times of war or conflict. At the conclusion of her tour with USAID, she was retained by the Coalition Provisional Authority to help Iraqis establish a democratic form of government. In this capacity, her efforts began to center around the new role of Iraqi women in a culture in which they had historically been denied meaningful participation.

Working tirelessly on behalf of women’s rights, Fern established and implemented the concept of women’s centers to which Iraqi women could come to learn about democracy and the role envisioned for them in a representative form of government. She was instrumental in securing equality and participation for women in the Iraqi interim constitution. And always, she stood as a friend to anyone in need of help. It was because of her work on behalf of the Iraqi people that Fern was targeted for assassination. On March 9 th, 2004, on the road between Karbala and Al Hillah, Fern, her friend and Iraqi counterpart, Salwa Ali Oushami, and CPA press liaison Robert Zangas were murdered by elements of an extremist group whose members view the ideals of democracy and equal opportunity as a threat.

Fern is mourned by all those whose lives she touched. In towns and villages thousands of miles from her home, she will be remembered as one who brought light where there had been only darkness, and hope to people who had known only despair. The need and suffering which drew her to those far away places still exists. It is the purpose of the Fern L. Holland Charitable Foundation to continue to fund the work which she so selflessly undertook and for which she gave her life. Your help will insure that neither Fern, nor those she sought to help will ever be forgotten.

http://www.fernholland.com/


Also a new page on Fern.

http://www.iraqwarheroes.org/hollandf.htm

ARTICLES ABOUT FERN L. HOLLAND

Newest First | Oldest FirstPage: 1

Killings in Iraq Spawn Search for Missing Funds

By JAMES GLANZ

The investigation of a slain human rights worker has widened to include the whereabouts of hundreds of thousands of U.S. dollars.

May 9, 2006 MORE ON FERN L. HOLLAND AND: EMBEZZLEMENT, FINANCES, IRAQ, STEIN, ROBERT J JR, BLOOM, PHILIP H


Fern Holland's War

By ELIZABETH RUBIN

A young American lawyer ventured to Iraq to help empower women, but her human rights work soon turned into politics. And then the politics turned deadly.

September 19, 2004 MORE ON FERN L. HOLLAND AND: UNITED STATES INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, WOMEN, LAW AND LEGISLATION, ISLAM, FREEDOM AND HUMAN RIGHTS, TERRORISM, UNITED STATES ARMAMENT AND DEFENSE, IRAQ, OUMASHI, SALWA


Gunmen Kill 3 U.S. Civilians in Car in Mosul

By THOM SHANKER

The victims were affiliated with a private aid organization working in Iraq, and not the American-led reconstruction effort.

March 16, 2004 MORE ON FERN L. HOLLAND AND: UNITED STATES INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, VIOLENCE, FOREIGN AID, POLICE, UNITED STATES ARMAMENT AND DEFENSE, IRAQ, MOSUL (IRAQ), KARBALA (IRAQ), ZANGAS, ROBERT J

Iraqi Policemen Tied to Killing of 2 Americans

By JOHN F. BURNS

Officials said that four men arrested after gunmen killed two U.S. civilians in Iraq were members of the new Iraqi police force.

March 13, 2004 MORE ON FERN L. HOLLAND AND: UNITED STATES INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, VIOLENCE, SHIITE MUSLIMS, POLICE, TERRORISM, UNITED STATES ARMAMENT AND DEFENSE, IRAQ, KARBALA (IRAQ), HUSSEIN, SADDAM, ZANGIS, ROBERT J


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DOES SOMEONE WITH 1 1/2 YEARS OF NURSING SCHOOL and ASSIGNED AS A MEDIC PULL GUARD DUTY?????


06/06/04 Hobart, Melissa J. Private 1st Class U.S. Army Non-hostile - illness.

Pfc. Melissa J. Hobart, 22, of Ladson, S.C., died June 6 in Baghdad, Iraq, after collapsing while on guard duty. Hobart was assigned to Company E, 215th Forward Support Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

The incident is under investigation.

For further information related to this release, contact Army Public Affairs at (703) 692-2000.

Melissa J. Hobart

Tuesday, June 08 2004 @ 08:43 AM EDT
Contributed by: tomw
Views: 2,902

Charleston.net -- Army Pfc. Melissa J. Hobart, 22, a medical specialist from Ladson, died Sunday near Baghdad, Iraq, after collapsing while on guard duty, spokesmen for the U.S. Defense Department said late Monday.

The cause of death was unknown. However, her mother, Constance Hobart, also of Ladson, said Army representatives indicated that her daughter "might have died of a heart attack."

"They aren't sure," the mother said. She said her daughter had fainted about a week ago in Iraq and fell on her face, leaving her eye black and blue.


"I'm mad, I'm mad because that was already a warning," she said.

According to a statement from the U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla., Hobart collapsed and stopped breathing around 11 a.m. while performing guard duty. Medics attempted to resuscitate and stabilize her at the scene.

She later was transported to a nearby aid station, then to a military hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Constance Hobart, 44, said her daughter, who is the mother of a 3-year-old girl, had dedicated her life to helping people.

"She attended Stall High School and went to nursing school at Trident Tech for a year and a half before joining the Army," Hobart said. "She was trying to build a life for herself and her daughter," Alexis.

Melissa Hobart also leaves a brother, Gary Hobart, and her stepfather, Edmund Tziamalek, Constance Hobart said.

Her brother Gary, 26, who works for Dorchester County Emergency Medical Services, said his sister was "my hero, even before this."

"We came a long way from nothing, and we made it pretty far. It's just sad that she died at such a young age," he said. "I believed in what she was doing, and I still believe in it. I miss her, but that's one of the prices that unfortunately has to be paid."

Melissa Hobart's mother remembers a good-looking and spunky daughter. "She was always on the go, and you couldn't keep up with her," Constance Hobart said.

Hobart will be buried in Connecticut where most of her family resides, her mother said. But there will also be a service in South Carolina on Thursday at Summerville Presbyterian Church.

Master Sgt. Jon Connor, an Armyspokesman at the Pentagon in Washington, said Hobart joined the Army in May 2003.

She was assigned to Company E, 215th Forward Support Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, at Fort Hood, Texas.

Army Capt. Patrick Swan, a spokesman with the 1st Cavalry Division, said officers in Iraq will investigate Hobart's death. Swan said he had no information on the cause of death, but noted that temperatures in Baghdad daily reach about 110 degrees or more.

Hobart is the second female soldier from South Carolina to die during the war in Iraq.

Army Capt. Kimberly Hampton of Easley was killed Jan. 2 when her helicopter was shot down near Fallujah.

At least 15 people from South Carolina have died in the war in Iraq, according to the Associated Press.

http://iraq.pigstye.net/article.php/20040608084346122




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10/04/04 Sparks, Gina R. Staff Sergeant U.S. Army Non-hostile

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Staff Sgt. Gina R. Sparks, 35, of Drury, Mo., died Oct. 4, 2004, at Fort Polk, La., from a non-combat related incident. She was assigned to the 115th Field Hospital, Warrior Brigade, Fort Polk.

The incident was under investigation.

For further information on this soldier, contact the Fort Polk public affairs office at (337) 531-1344.

USA SSG Gina R Sparks, 35, from Drury, MO died at Fort Polk, LA from a non-combat related incident. She had been assigned to the 115th Field Hospital at Ft Polk. Her MOS was 91W which as far as I can tell is a Nuclear Medical Specialist. Gina was medevaced from Iraq and died at Fort Polk. DoD announced her death 21 Mar 07 as being in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. SO I have placed her onto this list! Link

Gina R. Sparks

Drury, Missouri

Details

age: 35

gender: F

service: Army Active duty 115th Field Hospital, Warrior

rank: Staff Sgt.

stationed in: La.

date of death: 2004-10-04

incident location: Fort Polk, La.

incident details: died Oct. 4, 2004, at Fort Polk, La., from a non-combat related incident.

incident cause: Non-combat

Link



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Mmmm A SPECIAL INVESTIGATOR KILLS HERSELF? WHO WAS SHE INVESTIGATING AT THE TIME OF HER DEATH? SHE WAS IN IRAQ 34 DAYS THEN KILLS HERSELF?

Wikipedia Link


10/31/04 Rose, Denise Michelle Staff Sergeant British Army Non-hostile - weapon discharge (suicide)

It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence has to confirm that Staff Sergeant Denise Michelle Rose of the Royal Military Police's Special Investigation Branch was found dead from a gunshot wound at the Army base in the Shatt-al-Arab Hotel, Basrah, on 31 October 2004. The incident is being investigated but is not thought to have been the result of hostile action. She was aged 34 and came from Liverpool.

Denise joined the Royal Military Police in 1989, and trained as an SIB investigator in 1995, conducting investigations into serious incidents within the military in the UK and Cyprus. She deployed as a volunteer to Iraq on 27 September 2004, operating as part of a small team of specialist investigators to provide security for the people of Iraq and assist in the rebuilding of the country through the provision of a well trained police force.

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Silk MBE, the Commanding Officer of her parent unit, the Special Investigation Branch (Germany) based at Rheindahlen, said:

"This is a terrible shock for all her many comrades in the unit. She was doing so well in the Army, and had a bright future in front of her. Even more importantly, Denise had a multitude of friends, being universally popular, intelligent and ever cheerful. Her death is a tragic loss."

Our thoughts and prayers are very much with her family at this difficult time. They issued the following statement:

"The family are struggling to come to terms with the tragic loss of Denise. We will always remember her as a fun loving girl who was the life and soul of the party. We are a very close family and Denise was adored by us all. We know that we speak not only on behalf of her family, but also of all her friends and colleagues, when we say that she will be missed terribly and will always remain in our hearts and thoughts.

"We now request that the media respect our privacy and allow us to grieve peacefully. Thank you"

Link


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12/13/04 Time, Tina Safaira Sergeant U.S. Army Reserve Non-hostile - vehicle accident.

Sgt. Tina S. Time, 22, from Tucson, Ariz., died Dec. 13 near Cedar, Iraq, when she was involved in a vehicle accident. Time was assigned to the Army Reserve's 208th Transportation Company, Tucson, Ariz.

The incident is under investigation.

For further information related to this release, contact Army Public Affairs at (703) 692-2000

USAR SGT Tina S. Time (pronounced Tee-may), 22, from Tucson, AZ, died near Cedar, which is near Nassiriya, when she was involved in a head-on crash during a blinding dust storm in southeast Iraq. Tina’s truck collided with another military vehicle, killing her and injuring her co-driver and both occupants of the other vehicle. The incident remains under investigation. She was assigned to the Army Reserve’s 208th Transportation Company, Tucson, AZ. The unit was deployed 7 Dec 2003 and has been in Iraq since February. They were expected to remain there for about 18 months. Tina's tour was set to end in two months. Tina was a 63G/63S Fuel System and Heavy Wheel Mechanic. She worked on medium and heavy trucks for the unit, which has more than 100 members. Tina also was a SAW/50 Cal gunner on the M984E1 recovery vehicle. She was promoted to sergeant in January. Prior to this the 208th had completed more than 60 convoy missions throughout Iraq and Kuwait. She is the first female soldier who also happens to be American Samoan to die from the Tucson area. Tina enlisted in the Army right after she graduated from Leone High School in American Samoa in 2000 and was attending Pima Community College as a computer science major. She is survived by four siblings—three of them are also serving in the military—two are in the Air Force while the other is in the Army and her parents Mary and Toilolo (Mele and Viliamu). Link

Fallen Heroes of OIA's Insular Areas Link



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2005

20 women were killed - 5 were non hostile.

Army sends woman to war just 2 months after giving birth!

02/16/05 Bell-Johnson, Katrina Lani Specialist U.S. Army Non-hostile - vehicle accident

Spc. Katrina L. Bell-Johnson, 32, of Orangeburg, S.C., died Feb. 16 in Ba'qubah, Iraq, when she was involved in a vehicle accident. Bell-Johnson was assigned to the Army's 418th Transportation Company, 180th Transportation Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas.

The incident is under investigation.

For further information related to this release, contact Army Public Affairs at (703) 692-2000.

USA SPC Katrina Lani (Johnson) Bell, 32, of Orangeburg, SC died in Baqubah when she was involved in a vehicle accident. Katrina was assigned to the Army’s H Platoon, 418th Transportation Company, 180th Transportation Battalion, Fort Hood, TX.

She was in a convoy delivering goods when the truck she was in overturned and landed on her. Gas was reported to have been leaking out of the vehicle upon the arrival of emergency crews. It is not known whether there were any others in the convoy who perished or whether Johnson was the driver or the passenger of the vehicle.

Katrina, originally from Columbia, SC, graduated in 1989 from Airport High School where she was on the track team, a member of the chorus and the band. She was affectionately called “Trina.” She studied at Midlands Technical College to become qualified as a surgical technician shortly after high school. She graduated from MTC around 1992.

She worked at several hospitals upon graduation, most recently at The Regional Medical Center of Orangeburg & Calhoun Counties for about a three-month period, from the end of 1995 until early 1996, as an operating room technician. Katrina enlisted in the Army on 3 February 1998.

After being assigned to Fort Hood she met Lawrence Bell. They fell in love and married. She gave birth to daughter Gabrielle Dana Bell about a year ago.

Two months after giving birth, Katrina was sent to Kuwait. She came home for a couple of months and then was deployed to Iraq before Christmas 2004. She had made it known that her intentions were to continue her career as a registered nurse and that the decision to join the service was partly due to the Army’s promise that they would help her with her education to fulfill her career goals.

She loved being in the military. She would say that “I am in the military, and I am here to serve my country.” Her sister Nichole described Katrina as “meek and humble” yet with an inner strength that joining the military helped reveal.

Trina called her mother on 11 February and told her that she loved her before they hung up. “I felt like she was saying good-bye.”

She is survived by her husband Lawrence Bell, daughter Gabriella Bell, younger sister Nichole Johnson and mother Vivian Johnson Huffman and stepfather Carl Huffman. Link


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03/01/05 Robles, Lizbeth Sergeant U.S.

Army Non-hostile - vehicle accident

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two Soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died from injuries sustained in a military vehicle accident that occurred Feb. 28 in Bayji, Iraq.

Both Soldiers were assigned to the Army's 360th Transportation Company, 68th Corps Support Battalion, 43rd Area Support Group, Fort Carson, Colo.

Sgt. Julio E. Negron, 28, of Pompano Beach, Fla., died in Bayji on Feb. 28.

Spc. Lizbeth Robles, 31, of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, died at the 228th Command Support Hospital in Tikirt, Iraq, on March 1.

The incident is under investigation.

For further information related to this release, contact Army Public Affairs at (703) 692-2000

SPC Lizbeth Robles (April 4, 1973-March 1, 2005), born in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, was the first female soldier born in Puerto Rico to die in Operation Iraqi Freedom Wiki Link

USA SPC Lizbeth Robles, 31, originally from Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, died at the 228th Command Support Hospital in Tikrit. She died from injuries sustained in a military vehicle accident that occurred 28 February in Bayji. Lizbeth was assigned to the Army’s 360th Transportation Company, 68th Corps Support Battalion, 43rd Area Support Group, Fort Carson, CO.

She was a fuel provider who deployed with her unit to Iraq in December for her second tour there. Lizbeth turned her love for the United States into a career in the Army. She had previously served in South Korea, Uzbekistan and at various U.S. posts before being assigned to Fort Carson. She loved the Army, as well as driving the tankers and trucks. She had gone home to Vega Baja during the week of Thanksgiving, just before her company deployed to Iraq. She is survived by her husband, who has lived in Colorado Springs for the past year; her father Santiago in Vega Baja; as well as her aunts, Delia Diaz and Judith Robles. Link




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03/04/05 Salem, Adriana N. Specialist U.S. Army Non-hostile - vehicle accident.

Incident: Killed when her vehicle rolled over in Remagen.

Spc. Adriana N. Salem, 21, of Elk Grove Village, Ill., died Mar. 4 in Remagen, Iraq when her military vehicle rolled over. Salem was assigned to the 3rd Forward Support Battalion, Division Support Command, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.

The incident is under investigation.

For further information related to this release, contact Army Public Affairs at (703) 692-2000.

At 6 a.m., when most of her classmates were still hitting the snooze button, Adriana Salem would be at school, hitting the gym to run and work out. "She was pretty driven, very committed and driven," said Bruce Bazsali, head of her high school's physical education division. Salem, 21, of Elk Grove Village, Ill., was killed March 4 when a vehicle she was riding in rolled over in Remagen, Iraq.

She was based at Fort Stewart. Salem played violin in the school orchestra and joined the school's Italian club on a trip to Italy the summer after she graduated. As president of her school's group against drunk driving, she taught grade-school pupils about the dangers of tobacco and asked classmates to pledge sobriety at big dances.

"She was one of those people that is just a kind soul," said teacher Jim Arey. Salem wanted to become a police officer and thought joining the military would help her achieve her career goals. After Sept. 11, she decided it was her time to enlist. "She was called to serve, and she served," said family spokesman Sgt. 1st Class Richard Myers. View guestbook at Legacy.com

USA SPC Adriana N. Salem, 21, of Elk Grove Village, IL, died in Remagen when her military vehicle rolled over. Salem was assigned to the 3rd Forward Support Battalion, Division Support Command, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, GA.

She was a 2001 graduate of Elk Grove Village High School who wanted to become a police officer. She was active in her high school, playing in the orchestra, participating in Students Against Destructive Decisions and enduring an arduous course that prepared students for becoming physical education aides.

Adriana enlisted in the Army following the 11 Sep 01 terrorist attacks. She had been in Iraq for about 20 days at the time of her death but she had already spent 2003 in Afghanistan. She is survived by her parents, Sandra and Shamshoum "Sam" Salem; sisters, Christina Salem-Hasselbrink, Sabrina Salem, Alexandria Salem and Larissa Salem; a grandmother; several aunts, uncles and nephews; and her dear friend, Linda Jensen. Link


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07/19/05 Johnson, Lavena L. Private U.S. Army Non-hostile - weapon discharge (suicide)

NEVER HEARD OF A SUICIDE VICTIM SETTING HERSELF ON FIRE - BEFORE OR AFTER DEATH!

Pfc. Lavena L. Johnson, 19, of Florissant, Mo., died July 19 in Balad, Iraq, of non-combat related injuries. Johnson was assigned to the Army's 129th Corps Support Battalion, Fort Campbell, Ky.

For further information related to this release, contact Army Public Affairs at (703) 692-2000.


The Pfc. LaVena Johnson Petition LINK


Help compel the Army to reopen the investigation of a young soldier's death in Iraq


Help find the truth about the death of Pfc. LaVena Johnson


(Scroll down to sign petition.)

Once upon a time lived a young woman from a St. Louis suburb. She was an honor roll student, she played the violin, she donated blood and volunteered for American Heart

Association walks. She elected to put off college for a while and joined the Army once out of school. At Fort Campbell, KY, she was assigned as a weapons supply manager to the 129th Corps Support Battalion.

She was LaVena Johnson, private first class, and she died near Balad, Iraq, on July 19, 2005, just eight days shy of her twentieth birthday. She was the first woman soldier from Missouri to die while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The tragedy of her story begins there.

After an investigation, the Army declared LaVena's death a suicide, a finding refuted by the soldier's family. In an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Lavena’s father pointed to indications that his daughter had endured a physical struggle before she died - two loose front teeth, a "busted lip" that had to be reconstructed by the funeral home - suggesting that "someone might have punched her in the mouth."

The military said that the matter was closed.

Little more on LaVena's death was said for many months until a recently televised report on KMOV in St. Louis disclosed troubling details not previously made public:

Indications of physical abuse that went unremarked by the autopsy

The absence of psychological indicators of suicidal thoughts; indeed, testimony that LaVena was happy and healthy prior to her death

Indications, via residue tests, that LaVena may not even have handled the weapon that killed her

A blood trail outside the tent where Lavena's body was found

Indications that someone attenpted to set LaVena's body on fire

And yet, the Army continues to resist calls by LaVena’s family and by local media to reopen its investigation.

We have seen with other military deaths that the Army has engaged in an insulting game of deny and delay when it comes to uncovering embarrassing facts. Only when public and official attention is brought to bear on the matter - as happened, eventually and with great effort, with the case of Army Ranger and former professional football player Cpl. Pat Tillman - do unpleasant truths come to light.

While it is possible to disagree generally over the war in Iraq, we are unified in our respect for the men and women who serve us in dangerous places, and in our concern for the families who give them up in our name. The very least we owe families of the fallen is an honest accounting of how their loved ones died.

The Armed Services Committees of the Senate and the House have funding authority and legislative oversight over the armed forces. The members of these committees can compel the Army to acknowledge the grief of the Johnson family and reopen its investigation of LaVena’s death. All that is needed is the political will. Help those legislators find that will by signing this petition.

The mother of Pat Tillman once put the matter in stark and honest terms:

"This is how they treat a family of a high-profile individual," she said. "How are they treating others?"

In the case of Private First Class Johnson, we know the answer – but together we can make a better answer for LaVena'’s family, and for all the families of those who serve.

Help compel the Army to reopen the investigation of Pfc. LaVena Johnson's death.


Parents question their daughter's mysterious death in Iraq

10:27 PM CST on Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Click here to watch News 4 coverage

(KMOV) -- A year and a half ago, a 19-year-old Florissant woman became the first female from Missouri to die during the Iraq war.

Private Lavena Johnson

The military was quick to point out that her death was not combat related.

Since then, her parents have struggled to find out what really happened to their daughter.

News 4’s Matt Sczesny took a close look at the evidence gathered by the military and asks the question, “was it murder or suicide?"

Among the thousands of graves at Jefferson Barracks cemetery there are stories of bravery, heroism, and proud service.

Among the thousands is the grave of Private Lavena Johnson, whose story is clouded in mystery and according to her parents, marred by murder and cover-up.

Lavena's father, Dr. John Johnson, has waged his own personal crusade to find out what really happened to his daughter in Iraq on July 19, 2005.

The army ruled her death a suicide, the victim of a gunshot wound to the head.

In documents and autopsy photos obtained by the Johnson family and shared with News 4, more questions are raised than answered.

One strange fact was that Lavena was apparently abused, physically, and the autopsy didn't address the physical trauma to her body.

Military documents also show no apparent indication of suicide, her company commander wrote that Johnson was clearly happy and healthy physically and emotionally, something her mother knew by a phone conversation the day before she died.

Johnson's parents also question how their daughter at 5’1”, could handle a 40 inch M-16 to kill herself while sitting.

In fact, a military laboratory even concluded that based on a gunshot residue test, Johnson may not have even handled the weapon.

Additionally, Johnson's military debit card was never found, even though she used it two hours before her death to buy candy.

No bullet was ever found where she died, and a trail of blood is seen in photos outside the tent. Even stranger, it appears as if someone tried to set her body on fire.

So if it wasn't a suicide as the Army maintains, then how did Lavena Johnson die?

Based on the autopsy photos, her father believes that she was raped.

The military is unconvinced and consider the case closed.

A Pentagon spokesman says that the case was investigated thoroughly and that there is no evidence to reopen.

News 4 tried for weeks to get the Army to say more about the death of Private Johnson, but they're only response is that the investigation is closed.

Certainly the documents military investigators have gathered seem to say a lot more.

Johnson's father is now trying to have her body exhumed at Jefferson Barracks to have an independent autopsy performed. LINK

USA PVT Lavena L. Johnson, 19, of Florissant, MO, died in Balad of non-combat related injuries. She was assigned as a weapons supply manager to the Army's 129th Corps Support Battalion, a logistics support unit at Fort Campbell, KY. She was a 2004

graduate of Hazelwood Central High School where she was an honor roll student with straight A’s her senior year.

Lavena played the violin and belonged to the school’s orchestra. She volunteered for American Heart Association walks and donated blood. When she was a senior, Lavena decided she wanted to join the Army.

She wanted to travel and wait a while before starting college. Her mother tried to talk her out of it but that didn’t work. Lavena enlisted in September and arrived at Fort Campbell in February and almost immediately deployed to Iraq.

Her death remains under investigation since her body shows signs of assault and there was a blood trail outside her tent where she was found.

Is this another Pat Tillman style cover-up? Was her death a murder or suicide? Doesn't she deserve a full investigation also? Please sign The Pfc. LaVena Johnson Petition! Her parents John and Linda Carter Johnson survive her along with four siblings. Link




********************


The Mother of this soldier doesn’t know how her daughter died!

The Army said it could take up to a year to investigate but to date I found no evidence that her death was solved by the military.


10/28/05 Banaszak, Debra A. 1st Lieutenant U.S. Army National Guard Non-hostile - suicide. I casualties has this soldier as committing suicide but I find no evidence that she did. And nothing from the DOD.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

1st Lt. Debra A. Banaszak, 35, of Bloomington, Ill., died at Camp Victory, Kuwait, on Oct. 28, from noncombat related injuries. Banaszak was assigned to the Army National Guard's 1035th Maintenance Company, Jefferson Barracks, Mo.

The incident is under investigation.

For further information related to this release, contact Army Public Affairs at (703) 692-2000

USARMONG 1LT Debra A. (Butler) Banaszak, 35, of Bloomington, IL, died at Camp Victory, Kuwait from non-combat related injuries.

DoD listed her as being in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Debra was assigned to the Army National Guard’s 1035th Maintenance Company, Jefferson Barracks, St Louis, MO.

The company’s job is to repair diesel engines, transmissions, track vehicles and maintenance on other tactical vehicles.

She had originally enlisted in the Army Reserve in January 1989 after high school and stayed with the USAR for a year and a half. Debra then joined the IL National Guard for 5 years.

She switched to the MO Air National Guard for more than 3 years and had been with the MO Army National Guard for almost 7 years. While with the MONG and after attaining the rank of E-6 SSG, Debra attended the Officer's Candidate School and graduated in September 2000 as a 2LT. Her military position was handling administrative duties for the unit.

The 1035th had been in Iraq since April and redeployed to Kuwait where they are expected to remain until returning home in April 2006.

Debra had been a career police officer who most recently had worked as a sheriff’s deputy in St Charles, MO. She had received her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice in 2000. She was hoping to get a full time job in the MONG when she completed her tour of duty. Debra is survived by her son Mark, father John Butler Jr, mother Barbara Butler, brother Brian Butler, several other relatives and many friends in the military and police agencies. Link

The death of a local soldier in Kuwait is a mystery to fellow members of the Missouri Army National Guard.

Members of the 1035th Maintenance Battalion got the news this weekend that a popular First Lieutenant was dead. A pall hung over the drilling fields of Jefferson Barracks. The legendary base had lost one of its own.

First Lt. Debra Banaszak of Bloomington, Ilinois, was a member of the 1035th Mainentance Company. Her unit was deployed last January and sent to Iraq, then redeployed to Camp Victory, Kuwait.

Friday, the Department of Defense confirmed she had died of "a non-combat related injury," but would say little more.

A military investigation has been launched.

"There is one underway, and we're trying not to speculate while it's underway," says Lt. Col. James Tate of the Missouri National Guard. Lt. Col. Tate remembers training Banaszak in officers candidate school. "Very upbeat, always had the right attitude," he said of her.

But the challenge of command handed Tate a difficult task: breaking the painful news to Banaszak's 15 year old son.

"I've often had to tell soldiers about family members who have passed away, but this time I actually had to inform her son that his mother had passed away. So that's extremely difficult for me, but, although difficult for me, it's nowhere close to the kind of pain her family is going through," he said.

Officers here at Jefferson Barracks say that 1st Lt. Debra Banaszak liked the military life, and she had recently applied for full time positions at the Barracks as recently as three weeks ago.

Her body will be flown back to the States, perhaps to join other service men and women who have gone before her.

And fellow officers vow not to leave her memory behind.

"We know she died in service to her country, and we're very proud of her for that, and we'll make sure that we remember that," says Lt. Col. Tate. Link

Before Debra A. Banaszak's funeral, her mother asked her grandson if he wanted to put flowers into her mother's casket. He told her he wanted to give her sunflowers because that was what she liked the best.

"Her whole kitchen was done in sunflowers," said Barbara Butler, Banaszak's mother. "Everything imaginable." Banaszak, 35, of Bloomington, Ill., died Oct. 28 in Kuwait from noncombat related injuries.

She was assigned to Jefferson Barracks. Banaszak, who served in the military continuously for almost 17 years, first joined the Army Reserve just after completing high school in 1989.

"She truly was a friend to so many, and a devoted soldier who was proud to serve her country," said J. Kent Hickerson, at her funeral. Butler said her daughter had to overcome many family and health problems, including back problems, to reach her goal of becoming an officer. But she was always most concerned about being a good mother to her son, Mark. "We see sports stars and rock stars, but they aren't the role models we should fashion our lives after. It's the Debra Banaszaks we should want to be like," said Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn.


View guestbook at Legacy.Com


'Dedicated' soldier Debra Banaszak dies in Kuwait


CLINTON - First Lt. Debra Banaszak, a former Sullivan police officer, was dedicated to her Army National Guard unit and the task of maintaining vehicles used by fellow soldiers in Iraq.

"She was full of life," said her aunt, Carol Palermo. "She was passionate about everything, especially her son.

"She served passionately and very proudly in Iraq and Kuwait. If she had to die, she did it doing something she really loved to do."

Banaszak, 35, a member of the 1035th Maintenance Company, based at Jefferson Barracks, Mo., died Friday in Kuwait from injuries not related to combat, according to the Department of Defense.

Capt. Tamara Spicer, public affairs officer for the Missouri National Guard, said no information is being released about the cause of Banaszak's death. She said a thorough investigation is being conducted and could take up to a year.

At a news conference by family members Tuesday at a Clinton motel, Banaszak's mother, Barbara Butler of Clinton, said she doesn't know anything more about the cause of her daughter's death.

She said she has asked military authorities how her daughter died.

"They were very kind but had few answers," Butler said.

She emphasized that family members are more concerned about comforting those who are grieving than finding out what went wrong at Camp Victory in Kuwait.

"However this happened, to focus on it will not bring Debra back," Butler said. "Right now, our focus is on Debra and providing her a dignified burial and showing love to her son, Mark."

Butler said her daughter, who served in the military continuously for almost 17 years, first joined the Army Reserve just after completing high school in January 1989.

She said Debra, who attended junior high school in Clinton and high school in Michigan, was resolute in her decision to join the military at a young age.

"Debra was a strong-willed woman, very goal-oriented, not to be deterred," Butler said.

Amanda Titus, 30, a close friend of Banaszak, agreed that Banaszak was single-minded in accomplishing her goals.

"She was very dedicated to her job in the military," Titus said. "It was what she enjoyed doing the most."

However, Titus, who became friends with her when she was a dispatcher for Moultrie County and Banaszak was a Sullivan police officer, said her friend could not overcome one shortcoming.

"She called herself the glowing gourmet because she was the most horrible cook," Titus said. "If she couldn't nuke it, she wouldn't cook it. I tried to teach her to cook, and it was usually a disaster."

But she made up for it by being the kind of friend who is deeply cherished.

"She was always there to listen and there when you needed her," Titus said. "I miss her. She will be missed by a lot of people."

During Banaszak's military career, she served 1½ years in the Army Reserve, more than five years in the Illinois National Guard, more than three years in the Missouri Air National Guard and almost seven years in the Missouri Army National Guard. She graduated from Officer Candidate School in September 2000, receiving her commission as a second lieutenant. She was promoted to first lieutenant two years later.

She told friends and relatives that she planned to make the military her career after she returned from the Middle East. Banaszak, who served stints in recent years as a deputy sheriff in Troy, Mo., and a correctional officer at the Moultrie County jail, hoped to land a full-time job with the National Guard.

Cindy Braden, who met Banaszak when they worked for the Moultrie County Sheriff's Office about four years ago, said she was a caring person.

"When I got my job as circuit clerk, she sent me a card," Braden said. "She's a good friend."

Braden, who enjoyed going for walks and to movies with Banaszak, said she was fun to be around, very friendly and outgoing.

"She liked to camp," she said. "She would camp with her son or a friend. She liked outdoor things."

Banaszak gave up her home in Sullivan when she was deployed by the National Guard in January. Her unit began serving in Iraq in April, recently moving to Kuwait.

Maj. Curtis Christian, casualty assistance officer of the Missouri National Guard, said Banaszak is the only fatality the 1035th has suffered during this deployment.

Butler said her daughter had to overcome many family and health problems, including back problems, to reach her goal of becoming an officer.

But she was always most concerned about being a good mother to her son, Mark, who has been living with friends in Missouri during her deployment.

Butler said she asked Mark if he wanted to put flowers into her mother's casket. He told her he had been thinking about it. He told her he wanted to give her sunflowers because that was what she liked the best.

"Her whole kitchen was done in sunflowers," Butler said. "Everything imaginable."

Huey Freeman can be reached at hfreeman@herald-review.com or 421-6985. Link


********************


2006


17 women were killed - 7 were non hostile. One is not counted due to it being a helicopter crash and it's listed as not being shot down.

This (short) soldier shot herself in the chest with a freaking M-16. Two weeks later the man who she accused of rape had all charges dropped against him and the Army calls it a FREAKING SUICIDE!

03/01/06 Priest, Tina M. Private 1st ClassU.S. Army Non-hostile - weapon discharge (suicide)

WITH ALL I KNOW ABOUT THIS SOLDIER NO WAY SHE COMMITTED SUICIDE.

MOST LIKELY KILLED BY HER RAPIST OR HIS FRIENDS!

WITH HER DEAD HE PLEAD GUILTY TO BEING IN THE ROOM OF SOMEONE FROM THE OPPOSITE SEX!

GIVE ME A FREAKING BREAK!

WHO WAS HER ACCUSED RAPIST?

IT'S A MILITARY SECRET!

Pfc. Tina M. Priest, 20, of Austin, Texas, died in Taji, Iraq on March 1, from non-combat related injury. Priest was assigned to the 4th Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Divison, Fort Hood, Texas.

The incident is under investigation.

For further information related to this release, contact Army Public Affairs at (703) 692-2000.

View guestbook at Legacy.Com


Army Pfc. Tina M. Priest

Born prematurely, Tina M. Priest was given a 1-in-10 chance of living.

"She was so small, you could hold her in your hand," said her father, Tim. "But she lived through that, and she really lived. Tina always lived life, to its fullest."

Priest, 20, of Austin, Texas, died March 1 of a gunshot wound to the chest in a non-combat situation in Taji. She was assigned to Fort Hood.

Priest joined the Army after earning certification as a medical assistant and facing a tight local job market, her father said. In the Army, she dealt with logistics and handled a machine gun mounted on a Humvee while deployed.

Her recruiter, Sgt. Corey Corwin, recalled receiving e-mails from her, some showing off her sharp sense of humor. "What are they going to do -- send me back to Texas?" Corwin remembers her responding. "I'm already in Iraq."

A week after she arrived in Iraq, she was injured by shrapnel but returned to duty quickly. "It's hard to think of being in Iraq and not being in a combat situation," said Beverly Priest, Tina's grandmother.

She also is survived by her mother, Joy Priest. Link


Nearly a year later, Tina Priest's family thinks Army didn't do enough to prevent her apparent suicide.

Joy Priest's daughter, Pfc. Tina Priest, was found dead in her room in Taji, Iraq, in March, two weeks after reporting that another soldier had raped her. 'I gave my daughter to the Army for this country, and they let us down,' Joy Priest says.

Pfc. Tina Priest: Smithville woman's family unable to get final report on death.

Tina Priest should have been moved from the post in Taji, where she was stationed, and given more care after reporting a rape, her mother says.

Pfc. Tina Priest of Smithville died in Iraq on March 1, and her family is worried that the Army botched its care for her after a rape claim that was followed by her apparent suicide.

Investigations did not find sufficient evidence to continue the rape inquiry, but the family, skeptical of what it sees as holes in the Army's information, is waiting for a final review by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command.

Family members also say Army officials told them that the investigation was concluded in September, but their requests for the final report are being denied. A recent article in the Hartford Courant newspaper citing that final report has heightened the Priests' anger.

"I need some closure," said Joy Priest, Tina Priest's mother. "I want to know. Why can a newspaper get a copy of that report and we can't?"

An investigation conducted in Iraq by Fort Hood's 4th Infantry Division, in which Priest served, was conducted after her death, and its findings — which the family was given — are an accurate portrayal of events, said Lt. Col. Steve Stover, a spokesman for the division. He said the Criminal Investigation Command report will be the last one issued, "and we do still owe that to the family."

The Fort Hood investigation found that Priest accused a fellow soldier of raping her Feb. 15. Army documents state that she may have been romantically involved with him.

She was discovered dead in her room March 1, and investigators concluded that she shot herself in the upper chest with an M-16 rifle. Rape charges against the soldier she accused were dropped a few weeks after her death.

"There exists only PFC Priest's uncorroborated statement" as evidence of the rape charge, according to one document, "Presentation of Collateral Investigation Results to the Family of PFC Tina M. Priest." "Unfortunately, due to the death of PFC Priest on 1 March 2006, many questions are left unanswered."

But the reports and sworn statements in the family's possession have them questioning the Army's ability to investigate the case. Freedom of information requests for Priest's records filed by the American-Statesman with Army Public Affairshave been rejected; concern for the family's privacy was cited.

According to the reports given to the family, a chaplain counseling Priest warned his superiors that she was exhibiting suicidal tendencies.

At the very least, Joy Priest said, the Army does not appear to have adequately cared for her daughter.

"My first question is, 'Why was she not moved from the base?' " Joy Priest said. " 'What are you doing to protect her?' "

According to the Army reports, Tina Priest brought rape allegations Feb. 16. She underwent two physical examinations, which were inconclusive on the rape charges. According to the documents, on Feb. 27, an Army clinical psychologist found that Priest "is stable with no risk management issues" and prescribed 48 hours of quarters "due to exhaustion."

But the 4th Infantry Division report states that a chaplain observed Priest exhibiting potentially suicidal behavior after Feb. 16. A toxicology report accompanying an autopsy report also found traces of antidepressants.

"It is believed that PFC Priest killed herself due to an inability to cope with the emotional, physical, and mental stress of the alleged sexual assault and ensuing investigation," a summary of the investigation states.

Joy Priest, who said she talked and e-mailed with her daughter several times after the rape allegation, said Tina did not seem suicidal and "was more mad than anything."

"She was raped," Joy Priest said. "I gave my daughter to the Army for this country, and they let us down."

Stover said that he could not speak specifically to Priest's case but that the decision of whether to move a soldier who alleges sexual assault is left up to the commanding officer.

The soldier she accused of rape pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of being in the quarters of a soldier of the opposite sex, according to the documents.

The Priests' documents show that an initial investigation concluded:

•Tina Priest's roommate moved out after the rape allegations, and she was alone in her room for two days before she died.

•Fellow soldiers failed to inform their superiors quickly enough of Priest's suicidal thoughts.

•The chaplain counseling Priest did not warn Priests' immediate superiors strongly enough of her state of mind, but the superiors should have acted anyway.

•A superior ordered Priest's ammunition taken from her but not her weapon.

The reports obtained by the Priests state that steps to prevent more suicides have been implemented by the Army.

mtoohey@statesman.com; 445-3673

CBS 42's Gregg Watson reports on the death of Private First Class Tina M. Prie...st. Watson spoke to Priest's family and discussed the conflicting reports about her non-combat death in Iraq.

VIDEO LINK

Link

Link

Remembering PFC Tina M. Priest


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JUST SHOT and NO ONE ELSE WAS JUST SHOT!

03/11/06 Duerksen, Amy A. Private 1st Class U.S. Army Non-hostile - weapon discharge.

Pfc. Amy A. Duerksen, 19, of Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., died in Baghdad, Iraq, on March 11, from a non-combat related injury. Duerksen was assigned to the 4th Combat Support Battalion, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

For further information related to this release, contact Army Public Affairs at (703) 692-2000.

Aberdeen chaplain's faith helps him cope with daughter's death in Iraq

Doug Duerksen is familiar with the grim task of consoling the families of soldiers killed in war.

As an Army chaplain, Duerksen has delivered tragic news to many families - sometimes even about his friends.

Now the chaplain and his family are the ones grieving, after the death of their 19-year-old daughter from a noncombat gunshot wound in Baghdad, Iraq, last month.

"I'd much rather be the caregiver than the receiver," said the father, who is based at Aberdeen Proving Ground. "It's an unusual role to be in."

Amy Duerksen, a private first class in the 4th Infantry Division from Fort Hood, Texas, was shot March 8 and died three days later.

Grieving the loss of their daughter, the Duerksens have found comfort in their ardent faith, and in the fact that they, like many military families, possessed a full grasp of the risks of war going in.

"All of us have the potential of experiencing exactly what we're going through," said Duerksen, a Protestant clergyman.

Even those trained to help others can struggle with a personal loss, said Bonnie Carroll, chairwoman of Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. The Washington-based organization supports families of fallen soldiers.

Carroll is a major in the Air Force Reserve who was trained as part of a critical-incident team. Her husband was killed in a military aircraft crash in 1992, and she remembers how strange it felt to be on the receiving end of support.

"The people coming to comfort you, you feel like you should be comforting them," she said. "I would say to myself, 'I know I've had this training. I know I should be able to figure this out and cope,' but grief and traumatic loss are just debilitating personally."

Duerksen, 48, came to APG from Fort Hood about a year ago with his wife, Michelle, and Amy, the younger of their two adopted daughters.

Amy had just graduated from high school and was intrigued by the chance to explore the Northeast, her father said. She had been researching college scholarships but enlisted in the Army soon after arriving in Maryland.


Doug Duerksen, who had been a chaplain for 14 years, talked to his daughter about the commitment required.

"I just wanted her to be aware that that's the kind of sacrifice she had to be prepared to make when she enlisted," the chaplain said.

They went to the recruiting center the next day.

Before Amy left for boot camp last year, the family toured a Norman Rockwell museum in Vermont. She saw Rockwell's Four Freedoms illustrations, based on a Franklin D. Roosevelt speech about freedom of speech and religion and freedom from want and fear. Amy purchased postcards of the images and had them framed, Duerksen said.

"She knew that's what she was going to Iraq to do," he said. "For being young, she definitely knew what she wanted to be about."

Amy was assigned to the 4th Combat Support Battalion at Fort Hood. Her experiences inspired her sister, April, now 20, to enter the military last September. April is training at Fort Sam Houston to be an Army mental health specialist, her father said.

The sisters visited Maryland in early November, able to speak more knowledgeably with their father about military life. He counseled them the way he would any soldier going into battle.

He told them to "consider yourself already dead," not to harbor thoughts of coming back or of personal goals that might interfere with giving their lives for the mission. And he told them to make peace with God. Link

Protester from Kansas showed up at a Ft. Hood soldiers funeral

Watch Video and Link


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This soldier died after falling (thrown) from a moving vehicle! A tank driver found her an hour later.

How do they know it was an hour later?

09/04/06 Gunterman, Hannah L. Private 1st Class U.S. Army Non-hostile

Pfc. Hannah L. Gunterman, 20, of Redlands, Calif., died on Sept. 4 in Taji, Iraq, from injuries suffered when she was struck by a vehicle. Gunterman was assigned to the 542nd Maintenance Company, 44th Corps Support Battalion, Fort Lewis, Wash.

This incident is under investigation.

Media with questions about this soldier can contact the Fort Lewis public affairs office at (253) 967-0155.

USA PFC Hannah L. (Heavrin) Gunterman McKinney, 20, of Redlands, CA died in Taji from injuries she received when she was struck by a vehicle.

Hannah was assigned to the 542nd Maintenance Company, 44th Corps Support Battalion, Fort Lewis, WA. When this story was first reported the military claimed that early in the morning darkness Hannah climbed down from a guard tower at Fort Taji and headed across a dusty road to a latrine but she didn’t make it.

She was struck by a Humvee, which then sped away. A tank driver found her at least an hour later and rushed her to the base medical center, where she died of internal injuries.

HOWEVER--in December it was reported that Hannah had been out with some other soldiers and somehow fell out of the vehicle they were riding in and got run over.

The NCO driving the vehicle was later found and has been charged with hit and run along with several other pertinent charges! Hannah was due to return stateside in two months.

She had deployed to Iraq in November 2005 and served as a quartermaster at Fort Taji. Her duties included order processing and manning a machine gun on a guard tower at the base, the job she was doing when she was killed.

She is survived by her husband, Christopher McKinney, her 22-month-old son Todd Avery Gunterman, her parents Matt and Barbie Heavrin, as well as three siblings. The article War families grieve deaths appeared just before Christmas '06 and it contradicts the info DoD released about her death. Link

My name is Peter Christian. I am a US Army veteran. My wife was in Hannah's company and shared a friendship with her while stationed on Taji. My wife, Angelina was quite upset about the loss of Hannah and as a veteran I felt her pain. I am a film producer and am currently working on a film called Star Trek: Of Gods and Men. As a tribute to Hannah Gunterman, I commissioned the very first spaceship seen in the film to be named for Hannah, the USS Gunterman, it's registry NCC-8506, to commemorate her time with us.

I am not one for words, nor do I have much to give in the way of comfort because of that, but I hope this is a fitting tribute to Hannah and her family. I have included a still frame from the film (yet to be released) of the space vessel named for PFC Hannah Gunterman.

Peter Christian
Associate Producer
Star Trek: Of Gods and Men
Us Army Veteran FROM the guestbook at Legacy.Com


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SHE JUST DIED OF NATURAL CAUSES! What natural causes!? No investigation

09/19/06 Lanham, Jane Elizabeth Lieutenant Commander U.S. Navy Non-hostile.

Lt. Cmdr. Jane E. Lanham, 43, of Owensboro, Ky., died from natural causes Sep. 19, 2006, in Bahrain.

Lanham was assigned to Naval Branch Health Clinic, Bahrain.

For further information related to this release the media can contact Navy public affairs at (703) 697-5342.

View guestbook at Legacy.Com

USN LtCDR Jane E (Lanham) Tafoya, 43, of Owensboro, KY died from natural causes in Bahrain. DoD listed her as supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. She was an Industrial Hygienist who had served for 18 years in the Navy with the classification of Lieutenant Commander (O-4) and was assigned to the Naval Branch Health Clinic in Bahrain. Link


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JUST FOUND SHOT DEAD SITTING IN HER JEEP IN KUWAIT. THIS ONE IS REAL GOOD!

Our MSM never said a word! Only the death of Pat Tillman deserves congressional hearings cuz he was a big football star.

10/01/06 Lannaman, Denise A. Sergeant U.S. Army National Guard Non-hostile.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Sgt. Denise A. Lannaman, 46, of Bayside, N.Y., died at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, on Oct. 1 from a non-combat related incident. Lannaman was assigned to the Army National Guard’s 1569th Transportation Company, Newburgh, N.Y.

The incident is under investigation.

For further information related to this release the media can contact the New York Army National Guard public affairs office at (518) 786-4518.


Denise Lannaman Link

USARNYNG SGT Denise A Lannaman, 46, of Bayside (Queens), NY died at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait while serving with the Army's 63rd Engineering Company from a non-combat related gunshot wound.

Originally from Kingston, Jamaica, Denise came to the US, became a naturalized citizen and served in the US Navy and Navy Reserve for nine years. She held various jobs such as lifeguard, swimming instructor, electrician, mechanic, etc.

Denise had also been a firefighter, scuba diver, paramedic and filmmaker. She had lived in France and England. She decided to join the NY Army National Guard in May 2003. Trained as a truck driver in the Army National Guard, Denise originally was deployed to Iraq with the 1569th Transportation Company, based out of Newburgh, NY in January 2005.

When her unit returned to the US, Denise asked to stay so she was then assigned to the 63rd. Following the death of an officer at Camp Arifjan who was accused of shaking down a laundry contractor, Denise also had been questioned. She was told she would be sent home in disgrace but it is unknown if she was accused of being somehow involved with the officer's bribery charge, if it had something to do with her being a lesbian, or if it was something else.

But that same day Denise was found dead in a jeep. Was her death a murder or suicide?

In September 2007 her mother received a letter from the Army along with Denise's Honorable Discharge certificate! Her survivors include her mother Barbara Lannaman and sister Michelle Forgennie. Link

Woman sergeant from Bayside dies in Kuwait

Bayside resident, Sergeant Denise Lannaman died in what the military is calling a non-combat related incident in Kuwait on Sunday, October 1, just three days after her 46th birthday.

Lannaman, who was working as a mechanic as well as doing construction and office work for the Army National Guard's 1569th Transportation Company, spent the last few years serving in Iraq before her orders relocated her to Kuwait.

“I was much more nervous when she was in Iraq,” said her sister Michelle Forgennie. “I thought she was safe in Kuwait. Everyone in the family felt that way.”

Lannaman came from a military family with her father serving in the Air Force in World War II and grandfather serving in the Army in World War I.

“She was a military person,” said her mother Barbara Lannaman, 82, who last spoke to her daughter on September 28, one day before her birthday.

“She wanted to grow up to be a sailor,” her sister recalled while Denise attended Immaculate Conception High School.

Denise served several years in the Navy as well as the naval reserves before she returned to her Caribbean homeland to spend a number of years working as lifeguard.

“The time she spent out of the military, she spent trying to save the environment, to clean up the waterways,” Forgennie said.

However, after the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, Denise decided to reenlist in the military in order to serve her country, and she decided to join the Army National Guard.

Her mother Barbara said she expected Denise to come back to Queens for a two-week vacation sometime this week in order to finalize paperwork that would fulfill one of her daughter's biggest dreams - buy her own home.

“She wanted a home. She just got a home that belonged to her,” said Barbara. “I know that meant so much to her.”

Forgennie said that the military came to the house where she and her mother live on Sunday to alert her about Denise's death. However, she was traveling back from the New England area at the time when her mother called her in a panic.

The family said that the military told them they are currently conducting an investigation surrounding Denise's death, which could take up to six months before they release their findings.

“She was just such a great person,” said her mother as she fought back tears. Link

View guestbook at Legacy.Com




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SHE JUST DIED - And the army doesn't know WHY???

11/26/06 Dunn, Jeannette T. Sergeant U.S. Army Non-hostile Sgt. Jeannette T. Dunn, 44, of Bronx, N.Y., died Nov. 26 in Taji, Iraq, of injuries suffered from a non-combat related injury. She was assigned to the 15th Sustainment Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

The incident is under investigation.

For further information related to this release the media can contact the Fort Hood public affairs office at (254) 287-9993.

NO PICTURE (anywhere) and only a 1 page guestbook at Legacy.Com

An Army sergeant from the Bronx died in Iraq last weekend of non-combat related injuries, the Department of Defense said yesterday.

Sgt. Jeannette T. Dunn, 44, died Sunday while serving in Taji, Iraq.

The circumstances of Dunn's death were not immediately clear. Calls placed to the Army were not returned last night.

Dunn, who was assigned to the 15th Sustainment Brigade, First Calvary Division from Fort Hood, Texas, is the 2,881st soldier to die in Operation Iraqi Freedom, according to Department of Defense statistics. Link

USA SGT Jeannette T. Dunn, 44, of Bronx, NY died in Taji from a non-combat related injury. She was assigned to the 15th Sustainment Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, TX as a wheeled vehicle mechanic. Services were held at St Augustine Presbyterian Church in Bronx and burial followed at the Calverton Cemetery. Her survivors live nearby. No photo has been located to date. Link


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Now this one you know is a lie!

12/12/06 Davis, Gloria D. Major U.S. Army Non-hostile - suicide.

Maj. Gloria D. Davis, 47, of St. Louis, Mo., died Dec. 12 in Baghdad, Iraq, from a non-combat related incident. She was assigned to the Defense Security Assistance Agency, Washington, D.C.

The incident is under investigation.

For further information related to this release, contact the Defense Security Assistance Agency at (703) 601-3670.

Gloria D. Davis knew her granddaughter missed her and was unnerved by her deployment to Iraq. So about two weeks ago she mailed a DVD of herself reading Sesame Street and Scooby-Doo stories to the 6-year-old. "She tried to save everybody, help everybody," said Annie Washington, her mother.

"She didn't want anybody lacking for anything." Davis, 47, of St. Louis, died Dec. 12 from a gunshot wound in Baghdad. She was a 1977 high school graduate and was assigned to Washington, D.C. Davis went on to receive a master's degree from the University of Oklahoma and worked as a police officer in the Columbia, Mo., area, family members said.

In Washington, Davis helped out at women's shelters, her daughter said. She also worked to get disadvantaged African-American children into ROTC programs, to encourage them to pursue educational opportunities. That push for education was especially evident in her own family.

Her daughter, Candace Thomas, now in her third year of dental school at Howard University, said her mother paid her rent and bills and helped take care of her daughter, Kennedy, anything she could do to make school easier for her.

View guestbook at Legacy.Com

Fraud seen in Iraq war contracts

Military, civilian officials allegedly accepted $15 million in bribes

By By Robert H. Reid
Associated Press

Saturday, November 24, 2007

KUWAIT CITY -- The flashy Laila Tower office building in this wealthy oil capital is a world away from the mean streets of Baghdad. But the U.S. government says they are linked by a web of fraud and bribery that stole millions of dollars provided by American taxpayers to support U.S. combat troops in Iraq.

The U.S. military and prosecutors have launched 83 criminal investigations into alleged contract fraud, including a total of $15 million in bribes.

It was the apparent suicide of an Army major in Baghdad a year ago that brought them to the 15th floor of the Laila Tower. There, overlooking the Persian Gulf, is the firm run by American George Lee and his family, a small part of that huge web.

None of the Lees has been charged with any crime. But the Army suspended them from doing business with the U.S. government, and a federal judge in Huntsville, Ala., upheld the order in August, as a military investigation of the case continues.

The case of Lee, a 64-year-old former Army supply clerk from Pennsylvania, provides rare insight into how fraud was able to occur, in part by exploiting the chaos in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It also shows the flaws in the U.S. system of bids between private contractors and the U.S. military officers who doled out billions of dollars in contracts since 2003, often with little oversight.

Kuwait's close-knit expatriate community also played a role, in a place where business is traditionally done away from the glare of public scrutiny.

"Bribery and kickbacks are common with big projects," said Ali al-Nemash of the Kuwait Transparency Society, a private organization that seeks to combat graft and corruption. "They call it 'gifts,' but it is bribery."

Teams of U.S. investigators are reviewing a sample of about 6,000 U.S. military contracts worth $2.8 billion that were awarded by a single Army office at Camp Arifjan, a huge logistics and supply base about 40 miles south of the Laila Tower.

The U.S. has publicly identified only some of the companies and individuals linked to the alleged bribery and fraud. The Army cited the need to protect "the integrity of the ongoing investigation" in refusing a request by The Associated Press for an interview at Camp Arifjan.

The biggest bribery case brought so far involves Maj. John Cockerham, a former Army contracting officer, his wife and sister. They have been charged in U.S. federal court with receiving $9.6 million in bribes from companies seeking contracts to provide bottled water and other supplies.

The apparent suicide last year in Baghdad of Army Maj. Gloria Davis set in motion a chain of events that has shed light on the Lee case and others in the web.

Before her death on Dec. 12, Davis told Army investigators she had received $225,000 in bribes from Lee in return for granting his company $14 million in contracts to provide warehouses and management services in Iraq.

She took the bribes while a contracting officer at Camp Arifjan in 2003 and 2004, according to a July memorandum by the Army's Legal Services Agency.

Davis also told investigators that Lee and his son, Justin Lee, paid other American officers in return for U.S. contracts, according to the memo. A copy of the memo was obtained by AP.

The memo included allegations that another, unidentified former Army contracting official said he received $50,000 for helping Lee win contracts worth $11 million. The officer was identified in the memo as a "cooperating witness in the investigation."

The government disclosed its findings against the Lees in court papers seeking to uphold the banning order, including a statement by the Army investigator who interviewed Davis.

Lee, who served as an Army supply clerk from Jan. 20, 1965, until Dec. 23, 1966, did not respond to telephone calls and an e-mail from AP seeking comment. An AP reporter who visited his offices on the 15th floor of the Laila Tower in Kuwait City was told by an executive that Lee was unavailable. The reporter left a business card with a local telephone number but no one from the company responded.

AP uncovered no previous history of wrongdoing by the Lee family.

According to the court papers, Davis said she received the $225,000 through bank accounts established in Thailand by Lee's Thai wife, Oai, and then deposited the money in American and Swiss banks.

At the time, Lee was president of American Logistics Services, another Kuwait-based company. In 2005, he set up his current company, Lee Dynamics, and won a $12 million warehousing contract.

Davis, then working at the Pentagon, told him he would receive a "glowing report" during the bidding process, court documents allege.

"Maj. Davis also alleged that payments were provided to other contracting officers by both George H. Lee and Justin W. Lee in an effort to have contracts awarded" to their companies, the Army said in the July memorandum.

In a seven-page declaration, Army investigator Larry Moreland said a former officer identified only as "Person B" visited Lee's office in Kuwait in March 2004 and provided him with inside information on an upcoming warehouse contract.

Lee's company was awarded the contract in May 2004, Moreland said.

Fraud cases

Major cases involving alleged contractor fraud in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan:

Lee-Davis: Maj. Gloria Davis allegedly told Army investigators before her suicide in December 2006 that she received $225,000 in bribes from Kuwait-based businessman George Lee and his son. Army investigators also said she knew of other payments by the Lees to U.S. contracting officers.

No charges filed, but the military seized Davis' bank accounts and suspended Lee and his company from doing business with government.

Maj. John Cockerham: A federal grand jury in Texas has indicted Cockerham, his wife Melissa and sister Carolyn Blake on bribery, conspiracy and money-laundering charges, accusing them of taking at least $9.6 million in bribes in 2004-05 while Cockerham was a contract officer in Kuwait. It's the largest bribery case to emerge so far in investigations of contractor fraud.

Lt. Col. Bruce Hopfengardner: Hopfengardner pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy to commit money laundering and wire fraud. Sentenced to 21 months in prison and fined $144,500 for accepting cash and gifts while serving in Iraq.

Mohammad Shabbir Khan: Khan, U.S. citizen and former director of Kuwait and Iraq operations for Saudi Arabian subcontractor Tamimi Global Co., was sentenced last December to 51 months in prison and fined $10,000 after admitting paying kickbacks to a former employee of Kellogg, Brown & Root Services Inc. to win $14.4 million food services contract at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, and a $7.4 million subcontract at a palace in Baghdad. Stephen Lowell Seamans, former KBR manager in Kuwait, was sentenced to a year and a day after admitting taking kickbacks from Khan.

Philip Bloom: Bloom, an American living in Romania, was sentenced last February to 46 months in prison after pleading guilty to bribery, conspiracy and money laundering. He admitted bribing military personnel with jewelry, computers, cigars and sexual favors to win contracts. Three Army officers are awaiting trial for allegedly steering contracts to Bloom. Link

U.S. says company bribed officers for work in Iraq

By Eric Schmitt and James Glanz

Thursday, August 30, 2007

WASHINGTON: An American-owned company operating from Kuwait paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to American contracting officers in efforts to win more than $11 million in contracts, the government says in court documents.

The army last month suspended the company, Lee Dynamics International, from doing business with the government, and the case now appears to be at the center of a contracting fraud scandal that prompted Defense Secretary Robert Gates to dispatch the Pentagon inspector general to Iraq to investigate.

Court documents filed in the case say the army took action because the company was suspected of paying hundreds of thousands in bribes to army officers to secure contracts to build, operate and maintain warehouses in Iraq that stored weapons, uniforms, vehicles and other matériel for Iraqi forces in 2004 and 2005.

A lawyer for the company denied the accusations.

One of the officers, Major Gloria Davis, a contracting official in Kuwait, shot and killed herself in Baghdad in December 2006. Government officials say the suicide occurred a day after she admitted to an army investigator that she had accepted at least $225,000 in bribes from the company. The United States has begun proceedings to seize Davis's assets, a move her heirs are contesting.

The company has been known as American Logistics Services.

Details of the case have come to light because the company contested the army's decision, on July 9, to suspend it from obtaining contracts. That forced the government to disclose details in court papers, including a seven-page statement by an army investigator.

Howell Roger Riggs, a lawyer for the company, denied the accusations and said the company was appealing to have the suspension lifted. Riggs acknowledged that the company was under a Justice Department investigation but said that no charges had been filed against the company or its officials.

"This is based solely on a declaration that is unsubstantiated and uncorroborated," Riggs said in a telephone interview. "If they want to come forward with hard evidence and accusations, we'll deal with it at that time."

The case is now part of a broader investigation in which the army has a high-level team reviewing 18,000 contracts valued at more than $3 billion that the Kuwait office has awarded over four years.

The army has suspended 22 companies and individuals, at least temporarily, from pursuing government work because of contract fraud investigations in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan, an army spokesman said Thursday.

A total of 18 companies and individuals are barred for a definite period from government work. Seven more face debarment.

The court papers make clear that investigators have concluded that Lee Dynamics paid large bribes to numerous United States officials in Iraq and Kuwait.

Gloria Davis is one official cited. Another is an army officer, identified in the investigator's report as "Person B," because he is now cooperating with the investigation. He acknowledged receiving $50,000 in cash bribes from the company, the court papers said. Two people with direct knowledge of the investigation or the contracting office in Iraq at the time said "Person B" was Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Davis, who worked with an officer who has emerged as a focus of the investigation in the weapons case in Iraq.

That officer, Lieutenant Colonel Levonda Joey Selph, was at the heart of the effort to strengthen the fledgling Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005. She worked closely with General David Petraeus, who commanded the effort at the time. The general is now the top commander in Iraq. There is no indication that investigators have uncovered any wrongdoing by Petraeus.

In a brief phone conversation Thursday, Selph confirmed the connection between her and Kevin Davis in Iraq. "I worked for Kevin Davis," Selph said. She said she wanted to consult her lawyer before speaking further and did not respond to subsequent messages.

A woman identifying herself as Kevin Davis's wife said on the phone that he was out of town and not available for comment. She said that he had gone to work for Lee Dynamics after retiringfrom the army. It is not believed he is related to Gloria Davis.

As the case expands, investigators are looking at the possibility that it has connections to what had appeared to be a separate major corruption scandal. Last week, Major John Cockerham, a former army contracting officer in Kuwait, and his wife and his sister were indicted on charges that they accepted up to $9.6 million in bribes for defense contracts in Iraq and Kuwait.

Court documents, say Gloria Davis also served as a contracting officer at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, from in 2003 and 2004 and awarded millions of dollars in contracts to American Logistics and its affiliate companies, raising the question of whether the cases are related.

Lee Dynamics appears to be emblematic of scores of companies formed since the Iraqi government fell to take advantage of billions of dollars in contracts to clothe, feed and arm American troops in Kuwait and to sustain Iraq security forces in Iraq.

According to a July 9 statement by Larry S. Moreland, an agent with the army's Criminal Investigation Command, the company's founder, George Lee, and an unidentified person formed American Logistics Services, a Kuwait-based company, to provide logistical support to the military.

In 2004, the company was awarded $11.7 million in contracts to build, operate and maintain several warehouses in Iraq. The court papers contend that as a result of bribes, the company illegally received advance information about the contracts.

In May 2005, the document said, Lee and his son, Justin Lee, shifted assets and contracts to Lee Dynamics, and its contract to maintain the warehouses was renewed in July 2005 even though its performance had been abysmal, said two American officials who were in the country at the time.

That month, after Gloria Davis moved to the Pentagon, Lee Dynamics was awarded a $12 million warehousing contract. Before the award, Gloria Davis told George Lee that his company would receive a "glowing report" during the bidding, court documents in the government's case to seize Gloria Davis's assets say.

Between August 2005 and April 2006, the company transferred more than $220,900 in three separate deposits to bank accounts controlled by Gloria Davis, according to the court filings.

According to its Web site, Lee Dynamics' warehouses in Taji, Umm Qasr, Ramadi, Mosul and Tikrit, all in Iraq, "have received, stored and issued a large part of the more than a billion dollars worth of materials and equipment that has been ordered for the reconstruction of Iraq." Link

An American-owned company operating from Kuwait paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to American contracting officers in efforts to win more than $11 million in contracts, the government says in court documents.--Eric Schmitt and James Glanz

Link


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Not on the list but dead at 23 from a HEART ATTACK on New Years Eve! And just had a baby. Why other seawomen are on the list and not Sandra Fry is anyone's guess. Sorry but no woman with heart trouble has a baby without a doctor finding it during the pregnancy and labor.

USN SN2 Sandra S (Grant) Fry, 23, of Linwood, NC died in her sleep on New Year’s Eve after apparently going into cardiac arrest while in the Arabian Sea assigned to the USS Eisenhower as a Seaman (E-2) Fireman.

Though she was born in Subic Bay when her father was stationed there Sandra graduated from West Davidson High School in NC. Sandra joined the US Navy so she could serve her country also and became a damage control firefighter.

She married John Wolfgang Fry of Virginia Beach, VA and eight months ago gave birth to their son, Alexander Wolfgang Fry. In October 2006 she flew to Iraq where she met up with the aircraft carrier. Sandra is survived by her husband, son and other family members. A trust fund has been set up for her son. Link


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2007


30 women were killed - 12 were non hostile.

This soldier death drew the attention of TrueMajority

JUST FOUND DEAD IN HER ROOM IN BAHRAIN.


01/17/07 Valdivia, Jennifer A. Petty Officer 1st Class U.S. Navy Non-hostile.

Petty Officer 1st Class Jennifer A. Valdivia, 27, of Cambridge, Ill., was discovered deceased on Jan. 16, 2007, in Bahrain. Valdivia was assigned to the naval security force for Naval Support Activity, Bahrain.

Valdivia’s death was a non-combat related incident in Bahrain, which is located within the designated hostile fire zone. Valdivia’s death is under investigation.

For further information related to this release the media can contact commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs Office at 011-973-1785-4027 or pao@me.navy.mil .

Honoring Illinois' Fallen


United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Department of Central Management Services has received notice from Governor Blagojevich’s Office to fly the United States and Illinois flags at State occupied buildings at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Thursday, January 25, 2007 for:

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class

Jennifer A. Valdivia

United States Navy

If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact Michael Dobson at 312/814-4798.
Link

TrueMajority.org

191 Bank St., Third Floor, Burlington, VT 05401 info@truemajority.org

Petty Officer 1st Class Jennifer

A. Valdivia

27 years old

Cambridge, Illinois

Naval Support Activity, Bahrain

Valdivia was found dead on

January 16, 2007. Valdivia’s death

was a non-combat related incident

in Bahrain, which is located within

the designated hostile fire zone.

Valdivia’s death is under

investigation.

While the Senate refuses to even debate the Iraq war, more

Americans will continue to die. I’m sending you this so you’ll

remember the costs of that refusal.

Link


USN PO1 Jennifer A (Young) Valdivia, 27, of Cambridge, IL was found dead in Bahrain. She was assigned to the naval security force for Naval Support Activity, Bahrain, an island country in the Persian Gulf off the coast of Saudi Arabia.

DoD lists her as supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Her death is considered a non-combat related incident even though Bahrain is considered a hostile fire zone.

Investigation is pending. She was born in Iowa City on 25 May 1979 and graduated from Orion High School in 1997 before entering the Navy. Jennifer advanced to Petty Officer First Class (E-6) in nine years and was the Kennelmaster in charge of the largest kennel in the Navy. In 2005 she earned the title of Sailor of the Year while at the Bahrain Naval Base.

Her family requested that contributions be made to the City Animal Welfare - No Kill Shelter, Milan. Jennifer is survived by her mother Debra Hawk, father Chris Young, brother Jeremy Young, grandparents, other relatives and friends. Link



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01/28/07 Stewart, Carla Jane Specialist U.S. Army Reserve Non-hostile - vehicle rollover (M-1114 HMMWV)

Spc. Carla J. Stewart, 37, of Sun Valley, Calif., died Jan. 28 in Tallil, Iraq, of injuries suffered when her convoy vehicle rolled over. Stewart was assigned to the 250th Transportation Company, El Monte, Calif.

The incident is under investigation.

For further information on this soldier the media can contact the Army Reserve 63rd Regional Readiness Command public affairs office at (562) 795-2356; after hours call (562) 343-3354.

USAR SPC Carla J Stewart, 37, of Sun Valley, CA, died in Tallil from injuries suffered when her convoy vehicle rolled over. Carla was assigned to the 250th Transportation Company, El Monte, CA. She had wanted to enlist when she was 17 but didn’t until she reached 35. Originally from La Canada Flintridge she was raised there and in Glendale.

Carla attended La Canada Flintridge High School and Hoover High School in Glendale before attending Glendale Community College pursuing a career in mechanical drafting. She began working with her father until she finally had the opportunity to enlist. She went to basic training at Fort Jackson, SC and shortly afterwards was deployed to Iraq with her unit and was suppose to return home in March.

Carla loved the ballet, mountain hiking, nature, children and animals. She had five cats and one dog. Carla is survived by her mother, Emmy Aprahamian; her father, Edmund Babayan; her brother, Richard Babayan; her estranged husband, Brandon Stewart; and other members of the Aprahamian and Babayan families. She was buried at famous Forest Lawn—Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles. Special thanks to her brother Richard for the photo he sent me! Link


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DIES CHANGING A TIRE??? Sure everyone climbs under a vehicle to change a tire!

No woman in the Army 12 years dies changing a tire!


08/08/07 Birchett, Alicia A. Staff Sergeant U.S. Army Non-hostile - accident -

Staff Sgt. Alicia A. Birchett, 29, of Mashpee, Mass., died Aug. 9 in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries suffered from a non-combat related accident Aug. 8 in Baghdad. She was assigned to the 887th Engineer Company, 326th Engineer Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.

The incident is under investigation.

For more information related to this release, the media may contact the Fort Campbell public affairs office at (270) 793-9966.

USA SSG Alicia A (Finklea) Birchett, 29, of Mashpee, MA died in Baghdad from injuries suffered from a non-combat related accident. She was assigned as an engineer mechanic to the 887th Engineer Company, 326th Engineer Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, KY. An investigation is under way. Alicia (known as Little Brown Bee) was a member of the Wampanoag tribe from the Cape Cod area. She grew up in Mashpee and was described as an adventurous woman who was dedicated to her country and family, and proud of her heritage. Her family has been told that she was changing a flat tire when the brakes of the truck failed resulting in her death. Alicia’s tribal custom of keeping a fire lit from time of death until burial is being done at her aunt’s home in Mashpee along with American Indian music playing in the background. Alicia graduated in 1995 from Falmouth High School and went into the Army at 17.

She had served in Germany and Iraq as well Fort Campbell and had been living in Waynesboro, TN. She will be buried in a traditional Wampanoag ceremony with drums, prayers and tobacco—all part of the Wampanoag cleansing ritual—instead of a military funeral at the Old Indian Cemetery.

Alicia is survived by her husband Joe Louis Birchett; three sons Joe Louis Birchett III, Julian X. Birchett and Silas V. Birchett, all of Waynesboro, TN; mother, Dorothea (Jackson) Finklea of Wareham; stepfather, Elie Pilet of Mashpee; and father Alvin Finklea of New York; sister of Teresa Jackson and Elie Pilet Jr. both of Tennessee, Moise Finklea of Mashpee and Eli Finklea of Wareham; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. Link


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DIES BY FRIENDLY FIRE SHOT IN THE CHEST.

08/16/07 Block, Kamisha J. Specialist U.S. Army Non-hostile.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died Aug. 16 of injuries suffered from a non-combat related incident.

They were assigned to the 401st Military Police Company, 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas.

Killed were:

Staff Sgt. Paul B. Norris, 30, of Cullman, Ala., who died in Balad, Iraq.

Spc. Kamisha J. Block, 20, of Vidor, Texas, who died in Baghdad, Iraq.

The circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation.

For more information related to this release, the media may contact the Fort Hood public affairs office at (254) 287-0104 or (254) 287-7823; after hours (254) 291-2591.

View guestbook at Legacy.Com

The body of U.S. Army Spc. Kamisha Block, 20, is expected to arrive in Southeast Texas on Tuesday.

Block, a Vidor native, was killed in Iraq Thursday.

"She was shot in the chest by friendly fire," Block's aunt Kathy Byerley said. "They haven't told us anything else - the rest is under investigation. We just want to know the truth about it."

The U.S. Defense Department has confirmed two fatalities on Aug. 12 by friendly fire, but has not officially released names or the cause of death.

Her body is expected to arrive at Southeast Regional Airport on Tuesday at about 11 a.m., said Byerley, who was known as "Aunt Kassy" to the 2005 Vidor High School graduate.

The family is finalizing funeral plans today, Block's uncle John Stuckey said.

Arrangements are being made through Memorial Funeral Home at 1750 Texas 12, and Block's viewing will be held at Eastgate United Pentecostal church, Stuckey said.

Block, the first Southeast Texas woman killed in Iraq, was described an outgoing person who always wanted to help.

In 2001, Block, 13 at the time, was featured in an Enterprise article about teenagers who volunteered to play trauma victims in a mass-casualty preparedness drill in Orange County.

"She loved people," Stuckey said. "She was out to help people with whatever she could."

Block, who served as a military police officer, had plans to pursue a career in law enforcement, her aunt and uncle said.

Link


USA SPC Kamisha J Block, 20, of Vidor, TX died in Baghdad from injuries suffered from a non-combat related incident. She was assigned to the 401st Military Police Company, 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, Fort Hood, TX as an MP.

Kamisha is the first woman from Southeast Texas to be killed in Iraq. She graduated from AIM Center High School in Vidor in 2005 and joined the Army. Kamisha turned 20 on 4 August and was due to return home next month.

She worked at the local Waffle House during high school where she also hung out with her friends. She’ll be buried in Mansfield Cemetery. She is survived by her parents Jerry and Jane Block of Vidor, sister Shonta Godeaux, grandmother Gertrude Stuckey, several aunts and uncles, one nephew Hyden Godeaux, and close friends Amanda Buck, her mother Arnette Buck, Debbie Strother and many more. Link


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09/07/07 Heredia, Marisol Specialist U.S. Army Non-hostile - injury.

Spc. Marisol Heredia, 19, of El Monte, Calif., died Sept. 7 at Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, of injuries suffered from a non-combat related injury July 18 in Baghdad, Iraq. She was assigned to the 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

The circumstances surrounding the death are under investigation.

For more information related to this release, the media may contact the Fort Hood public affairs office at (254) 287-9993; after hours (254) 291-2591.

USA SPC Marisol Heredia, 19, of El Monte, CA died at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, TX of injuries suffered from a non-combat related injury 18 July in Baghdad.

Marisol was assigned as a petroleum supply specialist to the 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, TX. The circumstances surrounding her injuries and subsequent death are under investigation.

However it is reported that she was refueling a generator at the time, then there was a spark and the gasoline spilled on her, burning 80 percent of her body—all but her feet.

Her family has said that her wounds had become infected and she took the turn for the worse. She had been in the 15th Brigade since May 2006 and deployed to Iraq in October 2006. Marisol had graduated a half year early from El Monte’s Mountain View High School where she studied French and followed her older sister Claudia into the Army. She became the first female soldier from the San Gabriel Valley to die in the 4 1/2-year-old Iraq War.

She was returned to Baton Rouge, LA for her wake and funeral. Burial will be on Sunday, which would have been her 20th birthday, in the Port Hudson National Cemetery in Zachary, LA. She is survived by her mother Rosa; sisters Claudia Billiot, Carolina and Azusena Heredia; stepfather Jose Luis Dominguez and her fiancé USA SGT Travis Beaumont as well as many other family members and friends. Link


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09/20/07 Hoffmaster, Roselle M. Captain (Doctor) U.S. Army Non-hostile - accident

Capt. (Dr.) Roselle M. Hoffmaster, 32, of Cleveland, Ohio, died Sept. 20 in Kirkuk, Iraq, of injuries sustained from a non-combat related incident.

She was assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.

The circumstances surrounding the death are under investigation.

For more information related to this release, the media may contact the Fort Drum public affairs office at (315) 772-8286.

View guestbook at Legacy.Com

A soldier and a doctor assigned to Fort Drum have died of non-combat injuries in Iraq, the Department of Defense announced Saturday.


Spc. John J. Young, 24, of Savannah, Ga., died Friday at Camp Stryker, outside Baghdad, of injuries suffered from a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division, which is based at Fort Drum.
Also killed was Dr. Roselle M. Hoffmaster, 32, of Cleveland, Ohio, who held the rank of Captain.

She died Thursday in Kirkuk, of injuries sustained from a non-combat related incident. She was assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company of Drums 1st Brigade Combat Team.


The circumstances surrounding both deaths are under investigation, the Defense Department said. Link

Roselle Hoffmaster, a graduate of Smith College who died while serving in the Army in Iraq, is being remembered fondly today at the Northampton institution.

"You couldn't find a more caring or compassionate person. She's a giver. She's the ultimate team person who gave her all," said Carla Coffey, who coached Hoffmaster in cross country and track and field.

Hoffmaster, 32, an Army captain, died last Friday in Kirkuk of non-combat-related causes. She was the First Brigade Combat Team surgeon, the military said this weekend in a release from Fort Drum, N.Y.

Hoffmaster, a native of Cleveland, graduated from Smith with a biochemistry degree in 1998.

She was commissioned into the Army Medical Corps in 2004. She was assigned to the Tenth Mountain Division in July and deployed to Iraq this month.

She is survived by her husband and parents, the Army said in a statement.

The Army has released no further details on the circumstances of her death. The investigation is still ongoing, said Fort Drum spokesman Benjamin Abel.

Professor Christine White-Ziegler said Hoffmaster was "a real star, just off the charts in terms of her academics."

"She was just a very easygoing and approachable person. ... You could see her concern for others," she said.

"It's very sad for the whole Smith community. We're very saddened by her death," said Coffey, the coach. Link


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10/01/07 Schnell, Shayna Ann Seaman Apprentice U.S. Navy Non-hostile - vehicle accident -

NO INVESTIGATION.

Seaman Apprentice Shayna Ann Schnell, 19, of Tell City, Ind., died as a result of injuries suffered from a vehicle accident.

Schnell was serving as a master-at-arms assigned to Naval Security Force Bahrain, Jebel Ali Detachment, United Arab Emirates.

For further information related to this release, contact Navy Public Affairs at (703) 697-5342.

Sailor From Southern Indiana Dies In Middle East

Updated: Oct 6, 2007 09:24 PM CDT

TELL CITY, Ind. - A southern Indiana woman serving in the Middle East with the U.S. Navy has died from car accident injuries.

Navy Lieutenant Ligia Cohen said 19-year-old Seaman Apprentice Shayna Ann Schnell of Tell City suffered a massive brain injury in a September 25th accident and died October 1st.

Cohen said Schnell was a passenger in a rental car when the accident happened. She did not know whether the teen was on duty at the time and had no further details on the accident.

Schnell joined the Navy in July 2006. She worked base security and stood watches while serving as a master-at-arms assigned to Naval Security Force Bahrain in the United Arab Emirates. Link

USN SN2 Shayna Ann Schnell, 19, of Tell City, IN died from injuries she received in a vehicle accident in Dubai.

DoD has listed her as being in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. She was serving as a Seaman Apprentice (E-2) master-at-arms assigned to Naval Security Force Bahrain, Jebel Ali Detachment, United Arab Emirates working base security.

Shayna was a passenger in a taxi enroute to a doctor’s appointment when the accident occurred following a tire failure sending the vehicle into a brick wall which collapsed onto the vehicle.

She suffered a massive brain injury in the accident that occurred on 25 September.

Shayna graduated from Perry Central High School in 2006 and enlisted in the Navy that July. She went to Great Lakes’ IL for her boot camp followed by Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX where she trained to become a master-at-arms before she was deployed to Bahrain.

Shayna is survived by her father and stepmother Doug and Peggy Schnell; sister Nichole; two brothers Trent and Tyler (who is also in the Navy); and her grandmother Linda Terry. Link

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UK soldier dies alone in a car while delivering mail. Since when do soldiers travel alone?

10/14/07 Holmes, Sarah Lance Corporal British Army Non-hostile - vehicle accident

Lance Corporal Sarah Holmes dies from injuries sustained in a road traffic accident in Qatar Link


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Room mates murdered by crazy man. And accuse the women of being lesbians that drove a man to killing them all.

Two women serving as Master-at-Arms with the Navy at the US Naval Support Activity Bahrain were murdered by a male sailor who then attempted suicide.

This incident happened within their barracks and is thought to be a jilted boyfriend’s shooting spree. DoD listed both women as being there in support of OIF.

10/22/07 Gresham, Genesia Mattril Seaman U.S. Navy Non-hostile

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10/22/07 Camacho, Anamarie Sannicolas Seaman U.S. Navy Non-hostile

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two sailors who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died Oct. 22 in Bahrain during a non-combat related incident. Both sailors held the Master-at-Arms rating and were assigned to U.S. Naval Support Activity Bahrain.

Killed were:

Seaman Anamarie Sannicolas Camacho, 20 Panama City, Fla. Seaman Genesia Mattril Gresham, 19, of Lithonia, Ga.

The circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation.

For further information related to this release, the media may contact the Commander U.S. Fifth Fleet public affairs office at 011-973-1785-4510.

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Female Navy sailor from Tinian killed in Bahrain

By Marconi Calindas
Correspondent

Two female U.S. Navy sailors, including one from Tinian, were shot dead by a male colleague in Bahrain early Monday morning.

The Navy declined to release the names of those involved, saying their families had not been notified. However, Jovy San Nicolas Paulino of Tinian confirmed that one of the victims was her daughter, Anamarie San Nicolas Camacho, 20.

Paulino said her other daughter, Joana Lynn San Nicolas-Killoren, called her early yesterday morning to tell her that Camacho was killed by a fellow Navy inside the barracks of an American military base in Bahrain.

Paulino said she is expecting a call today to find out more about the incident. She said Killoren is trying to ferret out more information about the incident.

The alleged shooter, a man, was critically wounded in the shooting at the U.S. Naval Support Activity Bahrain base, said a Navy official who was not authorized to release the information to the media and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Navy said the shootings, which took place around 5am and forced the base to close for about an hour, were not terror related and only involved U.S. military personnel.

A State Department official in Washington said that while initial reports suggested the incident may have been the result of a "love triangle," it now appeared to be a case of a jilted boyfriend shooting and killing his ex-girlfriend and then shooting himself.

It was not clear if the second female victim was romantically involved, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still under way.

The wounded sailor apparently shot himself, the Navy said.

"The incident is under investigation, and it would not be prudent to discuss details at this time," said Navy spokesman Lt. John Gay.

Camacho's remains are expected to arrive on Monday. Paulino said her daughter's memorial service is set the following day, “hopefully with full military honors.”

Paulino has already informed the CNMI Military Veterans Affairs Office to relay the news to executive director Ruth Coleman.

Coleman said her office would arrange necessary services for the fallen female soldier.

Paulino said she could still remember her daughter's face, especially the big smile she had. “She always had big smiles. She was an individual who was filled with so much energy,” she said, her voice trembling during a phone interview with Saipan Tribune yesterday.

She described Camacho as a joyful child. Paulino recalled that it was her daughter's decision to join the Navy two years ago. She said her daughter knew that getting into college was expensive, so she chose to join the Navy right after graduating from the Tinian Jr. and Sr. High School to get a degree. “She always tried to do things on her own. She was an independent child,” Paulino said.

Camacho is the sixth CNMI native to die in active duty in the Middle East.

Bahrain, a tiny island nation on the Persian Gulf, is a U.S. ally and home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, which is responsible for an area of about 2.5 million square miles of water including the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean.

About 3,600 personnel work on the U.S. Naval Support Activity Bahrain base, located just outside Bahrain’s capital, Manama. The base supports U.S. naval ships in the region. Link


Alleged Murderer airlifted to Germany from Bahrain

By Geoffrey Bew


Published: 26th October 2007

AN American serviceman who allegedly shot dead two female colleagues in Bahrain has been moved to a specialist army hospital in southern Germany, navy officials confirmed yesterday. Clarence Jackson has been unconscious and in critical condition since apparently shooting himself in the head, immediately after the killings.

Genesia Mattril Gresham, 19, and Anamarie Sannicolas Camacho, 20, were shot dead in their barracks at the Naval Support Activity base, Juffair on Monday.

The navy has not identified Jackson, 20, but a spokesman said he was transferred from the BDF Hospital to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Centre at around 1am yesterday.

The facility, in the Kaiserslautern district, provides world-class facilities for serving US servicemen, retirees and their families.

Jackson was found unconscious with a head wound and doctors earlier said he was not expected to survive or regain consciousness, since the bullet passed through his brain.

A navy spokesman said he was flown in a military plane equipped with an onboard Intensive Care Unit.

It is understood the aircraft left from Bahrain International Airport.

The spokesman revealed there had been no change in Jackson's condition and he remained unconscious

That is where all the really serious patients go, it is probably one of the best medical facilities in the world for this kind of injury," said the spokesman.

"There is no plan to move him from there."

Meanwhile, Ms Gresham's mother Anita paid a poignant tribute to her 19-year-old daughter yesterday.

She confirmed that Ms Gresham had a casual relationship with Jackson and that he turned nasty after she tried to cool it.

The mother dismissed as untrue reports that the victims were lesbian lovers.

"The family and friends of my daughter are devastated to hear of her death as a result of violence at the US naval base in Bahrain," said the mother.

"My daughter, who was affectionately known to her friends and family as Snowflake, was a wonderful person.

"We are grieving and awaiting more details from the US Navy to try and make sense of this tragedy.

"We ask that our privacy be respected during this time."

Ms Gresham, from Lithonia, Georgia, had been in the military for 11 months and shared a room with Ms Camacho, 20, in the barracks.

The women, who each held the rank of master-at-arms, were reportedly shot almost immediately after one of them answered a knock at the door, at around 5am.

http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/story.asp?Article=197883&Sn=BNEW&IssueID=30220


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11/06/07 Ndururi, Christine M. Specialist U.S. Army Non-hostile - illness

Spc. Christine M. Ndururi, 21, of Dracut, Mass., died Nov. 6 in Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, from a non-combat related illness.

Her death is under investigation.

She was assigned to the 4th Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas. For more information related to this release the media can contact the Fort Hood public affairs office at (254) 287-9993; after hours (254) 291-2591.

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She calls home on Monday and is dead on Tuesday???

Eagle Tribune -- DRACUT - Army Spc. Christine M. Ndururi of Dracut called her family Monday morning to give them the news that her first overseas deployment would be to Kuwait and then Iraq.

The next day the military announced that the 21-year-old soldier died of a "non-combat related illness" at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.

The family was still waiting last night for an explanation about how she died.

The public affairs office at Fort Hood, Texas - where Ndururi was assigned to the 4th Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment - released no further details about the death. Spokeswoman Nancy Bourget said it remains "under investigation."

"She has not been sick," Ndururi's father, Wilson Wachira, 45, said yesterday at the family's home at 46 Woodbine Path. "I'm waiting for them to tell me what happened. She was not ill, unless she was ill after 9 o'clock when she talked to her mother. Before she was deployed there, she had to have a medical checkup."

Ndururi, an automated logistical specialist, called her mother at 9 a.m. Monday from a pay phone in Rhode Island to tell her about her assignment.

Then the parents heard from the military at 9 a.m. on Tuesday that their daughter was dead.

"To me, she was OK," said her mother, Mary Mwaniki, 45, recalling the last time she spoke to her daughter. The conversation didn't last long. Mwaniki, a nursing aide, was at work. She told her daughter to call back, but she never did.

Ndururi enlisted in the Army reserves while a senior at Dracut High School, her father said. The family moved to Lowell from Kenya when she was 16, then moved to Dracut six months after that.

Ndururi is the first female soldier from the Merrimack Valley to die in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. She is the second soldier from Dracut to die. Army Spc. Mathew Boule died on April 2, 2003, in a Blackhawk helicopter crash in Iraq.

Ndururi's family is active with the Kenyan Community Presbyterian Church Ushindi in Lowell.

About 10 church members and relatives gathered at the home yesterday afternoon to pray. Some people brought food. The phone rang every few minutes. Some calls were from politicians' offices offering condolences and assistance, including Sen. Edward Kennedy's.

Ndururi graduated from Dracut High School in 2005.

"The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams," she wrote in her yearbook message.

"She was a bright light, and she had a smile that could light up the room," said Kristine Morrison, Ndururi's high school guidance counselor. "It certainly hit the faculty hard today."

Family and friends remembered her as a devout Christian with a beautiful singing voice. She was the choir leader for her church's youth group.

"She was a good girl," Ndururi's mother said. "She was special."
Ndururi came from a family with a military tradition. Her father was a police officer in Kenya before moving to the United States. He is now a truck driver. Her two older brothers are veterans - her brother George, 26, served in the Army and Simon, 24, in the Air Force.

Simon has only served stateside, while George just returned home on Friday after completing a mission in Kosovo, her father said.

Wachira said his daughter was hoping to get a scholarship to study nursing after her military service. "She was caring," he said.

Wachira said he last saw his daughter two weeks ago when he visited her at Fort Hood.

Ndururi thought she was going to be deployed to South Korea. She was told she would be allowed to use a personal vehicle there, so she planned to ship her car over.

"She looked happy," her father recalled. "She enjoyed being in the military."

Then, last Monday she found out was destined for Iraq. She cried when she broke the news, her father said.

"I don't know why they didn't prepare her earlier, that she last Monday found out she was going to Iraq," he said.

In addition to her two brothers in the military and her parents, Ndururi is survived by another brother, Ambrose, 20, and a sister, Faith, 17.

The family had not completed the arrangements for the funeral yesterday.

The Rev. Samuel Kimohu from St. Stephen's Church in Lowell stood in the living room and blessed the family.

"We want to thank you for her services to this country," he said to her parents.

The reverend said Ndururi is a role model for young people because of her service to her church and country.

Family friend Octavian Irura knew Ndururi since she moved to the United States and sang in the church choir with her. She said Ndururi never changed, like many people do when they move here from another country. She said that's a good thing. Ndururi always helped out, taking care of Irura's grandchildren.

"She likes everybody," Irura said. "She was so good to us. She was there for everybody. She always wore a smile on her face."

"She was a strong Christian, and her faith was unbelievable," said Peter Mutura, the church secretary.

William Zounes, Dracut's director of Veterans Services, said he planned to reach out to the family first, and then the town will likely do something to honor Ndururi at a later date.

"I'm sure the community as well will be very saddened by the loss of this young lady," he said.

According to a military press release Ndururi earned the National Defense Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Iraq Campaign Medal.

Link


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11/12/07 Sietsema, Ashley Specialist U.S. Army Non-hostile - vehicle accident.

Spc. Ashley Sietsema, 20, of Melrose Park, Ill., died Nov. 12 in Kuwait City, Kuwait, of injuries suffered in a vehicle accident. She was assigned to the 708th Medical Company, 108th Medical Battalion, 108th Sustainment Brigade, Illinois National Guard, North Riverside, Ill.

She was assigned to the 708th Medical Company, 108th Medical Battalion, 108th Sustainment Brigade, Illinois National Guard, North Riverside, Ill.

The incident is under investigation.

For more information media may contact the Illinois National Guard public affairs office at (217) 761-3569.

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The Chicago Tribune reports that Spc. Sietsema was killed on Monday in Kuwait while driving an ambulance for the Illinois National Guard. Her mother-in-law, Maureen Deahl, noted that her death resulted from a traffic accident. She died at the scene after rolling her car and hitting a light pole. The other soldiers in the car received only minor injuries.

http://www.zeitlangers.com/

http://www.nooniefortin.com/iraq.htm

http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance93.html




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