Rest in Peace Heroes. We will NEVER forget your sacrifice nor will we EVER allow your lives to be forgotten.
His Commander, LTC Whit Wright said about SSG Sparks "Sparks was “a contagious optimist who was always in good spirits,” Wright wrote.
The non-commissioned officer “could relate to soldiers on a personal level and helped guide them through life,” Wright continued. “Orion was an outstanding trainer of soldiers and a leader who was not afraid to get his hands dirty and lead from the front – a true NCO to the end. He was a cornerstone in Anvil Troop."
SGT Jonathan A. Gollnitz, 28, of Lakehurst, New Jersey, died Sept. 26, in Pul-E Alam, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when an insurgent wearing a suicide vest detonated the device near his patrol. He was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Schweinfurt, Germany.
His Commander, LTC Whit Wright said of SGT Gollnitz, "Gollnitz, the commander noted, “quickly filled a gap in the platoon's junior leadership. Bringing a quiet professionalism to his work, he was able to build a strong team of soldiers that trusted and respected him.”
“Jonathan,” Wright added, “was also able to communicate with soldiers on a personal level and would often speak of his son and his plans for the future."
Kyle was promoted posthumously to SSG.
In this story jconline of Lafayette, IN documents the Heroe's welcome home given by his hometown.
SSG Osborn's obituary can be read here. Kyle is survived by his wife Maggie; his mother, Miriam, of Blackduck, Minn.; his father, Creigh, and his wife, Christa, of Stockwell, and their children, Katlyn and Kade; and his maternal grandmother, Esther Shively, of Lafayette. Kyle is also survived by many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Please go here, here, here and here to read more about and honor SSG Osborn.
From Military Times:
"The Corunna High School graduate died Tuesday after insurgents threw an explosive over a base wall, Cantu’s former football coach, Mark Sullivan, told Mlive.com. Cantu was a three-year starter at the mid-Michigan high school.
“He’s the hardest working kid I’ve ever coached,” Sullivan told The Argus-Press of Owosso. “He was a winner — in more ways than just winning or losing a game. ... He gave everything his all, and everybody wanted to follow him. That’s just who he was. He had a heart of gold, and his smile lit up the room.”
A family friend, Jake Lumsden said, “I was just shocked. I couldn’t believe it at first,” Lumsden said. “I just sat there a while and thought of all the good times we had together. I’m sorely going to miss him.”
Lumsden said Cantu told him he joined the military because “he loved being part of a team. He tried playing football in college but that didn’t work out so he joined the Army. That’s what he really wanted to do.”
PFC Cantu will be laid to rest today, Monday September 10, 2012. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has ordered flags to be flown at half staff in honor of PFC Cantu.
SPC Justice Justice, was taken off of life support at Landstuhl Hosptial the morning of 17 August, 2012 but not before one of his last wishes was granted. His organs were donated.
From Diane Turbyfill of the Shelby Star:
James Justice was 21 – married, father to three stepdaughters, his parents’ youngest son.
“My son was a brave soldier. He said, ‘Dad I want to help people. If it has to take my life, this is what I want to do. I want to defend my country,’” said Randall.
The young man enlisted three years ago.
He, his wife, Sissy Justice, and their three children deployed to Italy last month.
This editorial in the Shelby Star (SPC Justice's local newspaper) announces that the American Legion World Series will honor SPC Justice and his life.
"If baseball is America's pastime, then American Legion baseball is the most patriotic sporting event in this great nation.
Even with the shock and horror of his death so painfully fresh, we hope the Justice family somehow gets a small measure of grace out of this year's tournament. We think James would, based on his desire to let his countryman know what he was facing in Afghanistan. His wife's laudable decision to have James' organs donated to a comrade also shows this family is already thinking of others, even in their time of unimaginable grief.
This morning, when them anthem is sung and the code recited, our hope is that the young men will then play baseball -- America's great game -- to the honor of Justice and all the other men and women who have given their lives. We hope they also take a moment to look around at the men and women who survived their service, but surely paid an array of heavy prices in the process."
Yes, today is a day of grief, mourning and sadness. But is also a day of honor, pride and patriotism.
James Justice now joins the fraternity of those for whom this grand world series of baseball is held.
We honor him this week in a uniquely American way.
, of wounds caused by small-arms fire. PFC Keller was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Caserma Ederle, Vicenza, Italy.
John Canzano from Oregon Live writes this about PFC Keller:
Andrew was an MVP on his high school football team. He loved hunting and fishing. He was engaged to his former high school sweetheart, Marissa. During his second year of college PFC Keller decided to join the Army. He was fiercely loyal and kind. Andrew's friends talked about his athleticism and his giant hands and his passion for life. A classmate who was picked on in high school called Jeff (PFC Keller's father) after hearing the news and said, "Sir, I want you to know your son was nice ot me when nobody else was."
On the day of his death in Afghanistan, PFC Keller was on a mission to secure an Observation Post when he was hit by a bullet. After he was hit two of his fellow Soldiers ran to him to protect him from the enemy. As the helicopter came in to evacuate his body the Soldiers removed their shirts to place over him then shielded him with their bodies to keep the dirt and dust from him.
In this article from the Oregonian Dominique Fong writes, "Connie Jolley, a former Southridge High School health teacher, said she has taught thousands of students, but Keller was one of the few who affected her the most.
"His smile could make anyone's day brighter and he was liked by many," Jolley wrote in an email. "He was hilarious and the kind of kid that people just wanted to be around."
Jolley was impressed by Keller's diligence in his schoolwork, especially his research on dietary supplements, she wrote. She also lived down the street from him and often saw him when she went on a jog, she wrote. When she passed him, he would yell, "Go faster, Jolley." Those words always gave her a burst of energy, even if she was huffing to get up the hill."
PFC Theodore M. Glende, 23, of Rochester, N.Y., died July 27, in Kharwar, Logar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with small-arms fire.
Glende was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Vicenza, Italy.
From Batavia YNN:
Family says PFC Theodore Matthew Glende, often called "Matt", died trying to give medical aid to one of his fellow soldiers.
According to Glende's mother, Matt ended up saving the lives of five men including the fellow soldier he was working on when he was killed.
Army PFC Adam C. Ross, 19, of Lyman, S.C., died July 24, in Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds caused by small-arms fire.
He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Vicenza, Italy. PFC Ross was assigned to Chosen Company. He was one of the "Chosen Few".
Army SPC Justin L. Horsley, 21, of Palm Bay, Fla., died July 22 in Puli Alam, Afghanistan, of wounds caused by an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Caserma Ederle, Italy. SPC Horsley had been in country only a few weeks.
You can read more about SPC Horsley here (where his twin brother speaks about him),
Army PFC Brenden N. Salazar, 20, of Chuluota, Fla., died July 22 in Puli Alam, Afghanistan, of wounds caused by an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Caserma Ederle, Italy. PFC Salazar had only been in country a few weeks.
In this video the principal of Paul Hagerty High School, from which PFC Salazar graduated, talks about what a great man PFC Salazar was and how the school will honor and remember his for his ultimate sacrifice.
1LT Prasnicki was a graduate of West Point. Please click on this link to read more about 1LT Prasnicki and to see photos from his funeral. Several hundred people lined the streets of his home town to bid him a Hero's farwell.