Thursday, July 12, 2012

Four Years Ago Today 9 Brave Men Gave Their Lives For Our Nation at Wanat, Afghanistan. Many other lives were changed forever.

In the early morning hours of 13 July 2007 all hell broke loose on a group of American Soldiers at Wanat, Afghanistan.  Nine American Heroes died that day.  Nine men who had given so much for this nation and had so much more to give and so much more life to live.  Please take time to honor and remember these men.



My heart still aches for these American Heroes, their families, friends and their comrades in arms.

They haven't been honored enough.  May they be allowed Rest In Peace for eternity and may their families always know that their sacrifice is not and will never be unnoticed or forgotten nor will these men ever be forgotten.

One thing I can tell you - any news report you may have read about this battle doesn't even begin to depict the intensity. To the men who survived and allow me to be a part of your lives - I've never known love the way I do when I am around you. To the medevac teams - God Bless you for the bravery you showed that day. I'm told it's almost impossible for you to fly and land the birds the way you did.

Today the 2-503d is back in Afghanistan.  I'm told some of the Chosen Few are firing illumination rounds into the night sky to honor their fallen brothers.  Intensely fitting and moving.

1LT Jonathan Brostrom
22 AUGUST 1983 – 13 JULY 2008
Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment

1LT Jonathan P. Brostrom was born on 22 August 1983 in Stuttgart, Germany. He was commissioned in the U.S. Army on 15 May 2006.

1LT Brostrom participated in the ROTC program at the University of Hawaii and while a cadet, he attended Airborne School, Air Assault School, and the U.S. Navy Scuba Divers Course. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Resources in 2006, he received his commission as a U.S. Army Infantry Second Lieutenant.

1LT Brostrom graduated from the Infantry Officer Basic Course and Ranger School prior to reporting to Vicenza, Italy on 26 June 2007. Shortly afterward, 1LT Brostrom deployed in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM VIII and was assigned to Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment as a Rifle Platoon Leader.

1LT Brostrom served for eight months in Afghanistan as Platoon Leader for 2nd Platoon. During his deployment, 1LT Brostrom led countless combat patrols and was responsible for the defense of Combat Outpost Bella – a remote, platoon-size, coalition outpost in northeastern Afghanistan.

1LT Brostrom’s awards include: Bronze Star Medal (Posthumous), Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart (Posthumous), National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Air Assault Badge, Basic Parachutist Badge, Scuba Diver Badge, and Ranger Tab.

SGT Israel Garcia
19 JANUARY 1984 – 13 JULY 2008
Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment

SGT Israel Garcia was born on 19 January 1984 in Nayarit, Mexico. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on 23 October 2002.

After completing One Station Unit Training and Airborne School, SGT Garcia was assigned to B Company, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 504th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division as a Rifleman and later as a Rifle Team Leader. SGT Garcia deployed in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM twice before PCSing to Vicenza, Italy.

In July 2006, SGT Garcia was assigned to Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment as a Rifle Team Leader. He deployed in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM VIII in May 2007. During his deployment to Afghanistan, SGT Garcia participated in numerous combat patrols and helped defend Combat Outpost Bella – a remote, platoon-size, coalition outpost in northeastern Afghanistan.

SGT Garcia’s awards include: Bronze Star Medal (Posthumous), Purple Heart (Posthumous), Army Commendation Medal (3), Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon (2), NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, and Basic Parachutist Badge.

CPL Jonathan Ayers
4 MAY 1984 – 13 JULY 2008
Chosen Company , 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment

CPL Jonathan R. Ayers was born on 4 May 1984 in Atlanta, Georgia. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on 26 April 2006.

After completing One Station Unit Training and graduating from Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia, CPL Ayers reported to Vicenza, Italy and was assigned to Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment where he most recently served as an M249 Machine Gunner.

CPL Ayers deployed in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM VIII in May 2007. While serving in Afghanistan, CPL Ayers participated in numerous combat patrols and air assault operations. He also helped defend Combat Outpost Bella – a remote, platoon-size, coalition outpost in northeastern Afghanistan.

CPL Ayers’ awards include: Bronze Star Medal (Posthumous), Purple Heart (Posthumous), Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal (Posthumous), National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, and Basic Parachutist Badge.
CPL Jason Bogar
19 FEBRUARY 1983 – 13 JULY 2008
Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment

CPL Jason M.C. Bogar was born on 19 February 1983 in Washington State. He enlisted in the U.S. Army National Guard on 12 September 2001.

After completing One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, Georgia, CPL Bogar was assigned to A Company, 1st Battalion, 161 Infantry Regiment (National Guard) as a Rifleman. CPL Bogar deployed in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM twice before transferring to Active Duty and PCSing to Vicenza, Italy.

CPL Bogar was assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team in November 2007 and joined Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment in Afghanistan. During OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM VIII, CPL Bogar participated in numerous combat operations to include combat patrolling from Combat Outpost Bella – a remote, platoon-size, coalition outpost in northeastern Afghanistan.

CPL Bogar’s awards include: Bronze Star Medal (Posthumous), Purple Heart (Posthumous), Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal (Posthumous), National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge.

CPL Jason Hovater
10 AUGUST 1983 – 13 JULY 2008
Chosen Company , 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment

CPL Jason D. Hovater was born on 10 August 1983 in Tennessee. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on 9 February 2006.

After completing One Station Unit Training, CPL Hovater attended Airborne School and was subsequently assigned to Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment as an Automatic Rifleman. While serving with Chosen Company, CPL Hovater deployed to Afghanistan in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM VIII.

In Afghanistan, CPL Hovater participated in numerous combat patrols as an M203 Grenadier. On one such patrol on 8 March 2008, CPL Hovater’s element came under heavy enemy fire from multiple locations. For his bravery that day CPL Hovater was awarded the Army Commendation Medal w/ Valor.

CPL Hovater’s awards include: Bronze Star Medal (Posthumous), Purple Heart (Posthumous), Army Commendation Medal w/combat distinguishing device “V”, Army Good Conduct Medal (Posthumous), National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, and Basic Parachutist Badge.

CPL Matthew Phillips
13 APRIL 1981 – 13 JULY 2008
Chosen Company , 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment

CPL Matthew B. Phillips was born in 13 April 1981 in Florence, Alabama. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on 22 November 2005.

After enlisting, CPL Phillips completed One Station Unit Training and Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia. Upon completion of Airborne School he was assigned to Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment where he most recently served as an M240B Machine Gunner.

CPL Phillips deployed in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM VIII in May 2007. During his time in Afghanistan, CPL Phillips participated in numerous combat patrols and helped defend Combat Outpost Bella – a remote, platoon-size, coalition outpost in northeastern Afghanistan. For his outstanding service throughout the deployment he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.

CPL Phillips’ awards include: Bronze Star Medal (Posthumous), Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart (Posthumous), Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal (Posthumous), National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, and Basic Parachutist Badge.

CPL Pruitt Rainey
21 FEBRUARY 1986 – 13 JULY 2008
Chosen Company , 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment

CPL Pruitt A. Rainey was born on 21 February 1986 in Rockingham, North Carolina. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on 10 August 2005.

CPL Rainey graduated from One Station Unit Training and Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia. He also attended the Ranger Indoctrination Program before being assigned to Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment on 28 February 2006. CPL Rainey most recently served as an M240B Machine Gunner in 2nd Platoon.

CPL Rainey deployed in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM VIII in May 2007. During his deployment, CPL Rainey participated in countless combat patrols and air assault operations. He also defended and conducted patrols from Combat Outpost Bella – a remote, platoon-size, coalition outpost in northeastern Afghanistan.

CPL Rainey’s awards include: Bronze Star Medal (Posthumous), Purple Heart (Posthumous), Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal (Posthumous), National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (2), NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, and Basic Parachutist Badge.

CPL Gunnar Zwilling
29 APRIL 1988 – 13 JULY 2008
Chosen Company , 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment

CPL Gunnar W. Zwilling was born on 29 April 1988 in Fountain Valley, California. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on 15 February 2006.

CPL Zwilling attended One Station Unit Training and Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia. After earning his Airborne Wings, he was assigned to Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment as a Grenadier and later as an Assistant Machine Gunner.

While serving with Chosen Company, CPL Zwilling deployed to Afghanistan in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM VIII. Throughout his deployment, CPL Zwilling participated in numerous combat patrols and air assaults that disrupted enemy operations. His actions brought security to the Afghan population in Kunar Province.

CPL Zwilling’s awards include: Bronze Star Medal (Posthumous), Purple Heart (Posthumous), Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal (Posthumous), National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, and Basic Parachutist Badge.

SPC Sergio Abad
15 MARCH 1987 – 13 JULY 2008
Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment

SPC Sergio S. Abad was born on 15 March 1987 in Miami, Florida. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on 17 January 2006.

SPC Abad completed training as an 11C Mortarman from One Station Unit Training and Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia. He also attended the Ranger Indoctrination Program, 75th Ranger Regiment before being assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC), 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment in August 2006.

SPC Abad deployed in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM VIII in May 2007. He served with HHC for 10 months before being assigned to Chosen Company as a 120mm Mortar Gunner. During his time with Chosen, SPC Abad participated in countless fire missions in support of friendly troops on the ground.

SPC Abad’s awards include: Bronze Star Medal (Posthumous), Purple Heart (Posthumous), Army Commendation Medal w/ combat distinguishing device “V”, Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal (Posthumous), National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, and Basic Parachutist Badge.

For their acts of Heroism and Bravery on 13 July 2008 the Fallen Soldiers from the Battle of Wanat were awarded the following posthumously:

LT Brostrom - Silver Star
SGT Garcia - Silver Star
CPL Ayers - Silver Star
CPL Bogar - Bronze Star w/V
CPL Hovater - Bronze Star w/V
CPL Phillips - Bronze Star w/V
CPL Rainey - Bronze Star w/V
CPL Zwilling - Army Commendation Medal w/V
CPL Abad -Army Commendation Medal w/V

REMEMBER AND HONOR THEM ALWAYS

7 comments:

AFSister said...

They will always be remembered. Always.

JihadGene said...

Remembered!

Faye said...

We will always remember these heroes.

Maggie Goff said...

Forever.

Stephen said...

You will never be forgotten, brothers. Thank You. SGT Stephen Aites, HHC 2-503 Mortars. Thunder 4, Out.

Larry Arnone said...

Warriors to the core. Rest in Peace Sky Soldiers! You will always be remembered.

Theresav60 said...

My Son was there that day.
He had the Honor of serving
with these Brave Men, they were
His Brothers.

We Will Never Forget Them.

The Family of
SPC. D. Steven Villarreal
173rd ABCT 2-503 Battle Co.
Modesto, CA 7/9/2013