Ranger News

The Ranger News Blog presents current news within the Ranger community; members and the public viewing our website can add comments.

  • 08/27/2010 3:31 AM | Anonymous

    Funeral services for Army Sgt. Martin A. Lugo Jr. have been rescheduled as follow:

    Visitation:

    Friday August 27, 2010 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (rosary at 7:00 p.m)

    Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church

    1946 E. Lee St., at North Campbell Avenue

    Tucson, AZ 85719

    Funeral Services:

    Saturday August 28, 2010 at 11:30 a.m.

    Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church

    1946 E. Lee St., at North Campbell Avenue

    Tucson, AZ 85719

    Burial:

    Immediately following funeral services

    Holy Hope Cemetery

    3555 N. Oracle Road

    Tucson, AZ 85705

    (520) 888-0860

     

    Orininal story: U.S. Army Ranger Sgt. Martin A. Lugo killed in combat (08/18/2010 02:26)

    A U.S. Army Ranger was killed on Aug. 19 during combat operations while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The Ranger was assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.

    Sgt. Martin Anthony Lugo, 24, a native of Tucson, Ariz., was seriously wounded during a fire fight with the enemy in Logar Province. He was treated immediately by unit medical personnel and was quickly evacuated to the nearest treatment facility where he later died of his wounds.

    Lugo enlisted in the U.S. Army in September 2004. He served as an ammunition handler, automatic rifleman, team leader and most recently as a squad leader in Company C, 1st Battalion.

    “Sgt. Lugo was a true warrior who died leading his Rangers in a fierce fire fight that killed a Taliban commander and 13 other Taliban fighters in Logar Province," said Col. Michael E. Kurilla, commander of the 75th Rgr. Regt. "He is a hero to our Nation, the Army and his family."

    Lugo was on his sixth combat deployment. He previously deployed three times to Afghanistan and twice to Iraq.

    “Sgt. Lugo was a phenomenal warrior who was universally respected by every member of this command,” said Lt. Col. Mike Foster, the 1st Ranger Battalion commander. “He died while protecting our nation from her enemies and we will not forget his sacrifice.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Lugo family.”

    He is survived by his father, Martin Lugo; his mother Maria Marin; and, his sister Leslie Lugo, all of Tucson, Ariz.

    Sgt. Lugo’s Biography

    Sgt. Martin Anthony Lugo, 24, was a squad leader assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga. He was born on April 22, 1986, and was a native of Tucson, Ariz.

    Sgt. Lugo was seriously wounded in a fire fight with the enemy during a combat operation in Logar Province, Afghanistan. He was treated immediately by unit medical personnel and quickly evacuated to the nearest treatment facility where he died of his wounds.

    He was on his sixth deployment in support of the War on Terror. He had previously deployed three times to Afghanistan and twice to Iraq.

    After graduating from high school in Tucson, Lugo enlisted in the U.S. Army in September 2004. He completed One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, Ga., as an infantryman. Then after graduating from the Basic Airborne Course, he was assigned to the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program at Fort Benning, Ga. Following graduation from the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program, Lugo was assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment in April 2005, where he served as an ammunition handler, automatic rifleman, team leader and squad leader.

    His military education includes the Basic Airborne Course, the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program, the U.S. Army Ranger Course, the Warrior Leader Course, and the Reconnaissance and Surveillance Leader Course.

    Lugo's awards and decorations include the Ranger Tab, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge and the Parachutist Badge. He was also awarded the Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two combat stars, Iraq Campaign Medal with combat star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon and Overseas Service Ribbon.

    He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Purple Heart.

    He is survived by his father, Martin Lugo; his mother Maria Marin and step-father Esteban Oropeza; and, his sister Leslie Bencic and his brother-in-law Christopher Bencic, all of Tucson, Ariz.

    As a Ranger, Lugo selflessly lived his life for others and distinguished himself as a member of the Army’s premier light-infantry unit, continuously deployed in support of the War on Terror, and fought valiantly as he served his fellow Rangers and the Nation.

  • 08/26/2010 10:17 AM | Anonymous

    Funeral services for Spc. Christopher Shane Wright, of Maysville, Ky., formerly of Jeffersonville, In. are scheduled as follow:

    Visitation:

    Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

    Scott Funeral Home’s North Chapel

    2515 Veterans Parkway

    Jeffersonville, In 47130

    (812) 283-8161

    Toll Free: (888) 283-8161

    Funeral Services:

    Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.

    Scott Funeral Home’s North Chapel

    2515 Veterans Parkway

    Jeffersonville, In 47130

    (812) 283-8161

    Toll Free: (888) 283-8161

    The family has requested that Shelley’s Florist, Jeffersonville, 1031 Youngstown Shopping Ctr, Jeffersonville, IN 47130 (812) 280-0808, be contacted for ordering floral arrangements.

    Burial Services:

    Additional services and burial will take place at a later date.

     

    Original story: U.S. Army Ranger Spc. Christopher S. Wright killed in combat (August 23, 2010 11:20)

    A U.S. Army Ranger was killed on Aug. 19 during combat operations while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The Ranger was assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.

    Spc. Christopher Shane Wright, 23, a native of Tollesboro, Ky., was seriously wounded during a fire fight with the enemy in Konar Province. He was treated immediately by unit medical personnel and was quickly evacuated to the nearest treatment facility where he later died of his wounds.

    Wright enlisted in the U.S. Army in September 2004. He served as a rifleman in Co. A, 1st Bn., 5th Infantry Regiment, Fort Lewis, Wash.; and, later with Co. A, 1st Bn., 2nd Armor Calvary Regiment, Vilseck, Germany. Wright most recently served as a squad automatic weapons gunner in Co. C, 1st Battalion, 75th Rgr. Regt. 

    "Spc. Wright was the epitome of a Ranger - fierce warrior, incredibly competent, and dedicated to mission accomplishment. Spc. Wright died in a fire fight that ultimately killed three Taliban who were reportedly responsible for the death of two other U.S. servicemen," said Col. Michael E. Kurilla, commander of the 75th Rgr. Regt. "He is a hero to our Nation, the Army, and his family."  

    Wright was on his third combat deployment. He previously deployed once to Afghanistan and once to Iraq.

    “Spc. Wright was the epitome of a Ranger.  He was an incredibly talented young man, who volunteered to serve his Nation in a time of war and ultimately gave his life in her defense," said Lt. Col. Mike Foster, 1st Ranger Battalion commander.  “His loss is felt across the entire battalion and our thoughts and prayers are with his entire family."

    He is survived by his father, James Cochran and stepmother, Michele Cochran of Tollesboro, Ky.; and his mother, Linda Dennis of Jeffersonville, Ind.

    Spc. Christopher S. Wright Biography

    Spc. Christopher Shane Wright, 23, was a squad automatic weapon gunner assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga. He was born on Jan. 31, 1987, and was a native of Tollesboro, Ky.

    He was seriously wounded in a fire fight with the enemy during a combat operation in Konar Province, Afghanistan. Wright was treated immediately by unit medical personnel and quickly evacuated to the nearest treatment facility where he died of his wounds.

    He was on his third deployment in support of the War on Terror. He had previously deployed once to Afghanistan and once to Iraq.

    After graduating from high school in Tollesboro, Ky, Wright enlisted in the U.S. Army in June 2005. He completed One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, Ga., as an infantryman. Then after graduating from the Basic Airborne Course, he served as a rifleman assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, Fort Lewis, Wash., and later was assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 2nd Armor Calvary Regiment, Vilseck, Germany.

    In 2009, Wright was assigned to the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program at Fort Benning, Ga. Following graduation from the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program, he was assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment in June 2009 where he served as a rifleman and a squad automatic weapons gunner.

    Wright's military education included the Basic Airborne Course, the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program, and the Sniper Course.

    His awards and decorations include the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge and the Parachutist Badge. He was also awarded the Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with combat star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Army Service Ribbon.

    He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal and Purple Heart.

    Wright is survived by his father, James Cochran and stepmother, Michele Cochran of Tollesboro, Ky., and his mother, Linda Dennis of Jeffersonville, Ind.

    As a Ranger, Wright selflessly lived his life for others and distinguished himself as a member of the Army’s premier light-infantry unit, continuously deployed in support of the War on Terror, and fought valiantly as he served his fellow Rangers and the Nation.

  • 08/25/2010 10:41 AM | Anonymous

    Interment

    Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 1:00p.m.

    Arlington National Cemetery

    Arlington, Virginia 22211

    703) 607-8000

    http://www.arlingtoncemetery.org/

    Those attending must report to the Admin Building 1/2 hour prior to start time.

    Buried at: SECTION 60 SITE 9259

     

    Viewing

    Friday August 20, 2010 - 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

    Striffler-Hamby

    4071 Macon Road

    Columbus, GA 31907

    (706) 563-2372

    Memorial Service

    Saturday August 21, 2010 - 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

    Edgewood Baptist Church

    3564 Forest Rd.

    Columbus, GA 31907

    706)561-7954

    Internment
    Arlington National Cemetery

    Arlington, Virginia 22211

    703) 607-8000

    http://www.arlingtoncemetery.org/

     

    Original news story: Master Sgt. Jared N. Van Aalst, 34, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, KIA August 4 during a combat operation in Konduz Province, Afghanistan

    Master Sgt. Jared N. Van Aalst, 34, assigned to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command was killed Aug. 4, during a combat operation in Konduz Province, Afghanistan..

     Master Sgt. Jared Van Aalst was born in Laconia, N.H., on Sept. 1, 1975. He enlisted in the U.S. Army as a signal support systems specialist on Aug. 17, 1995.  He graduated in 1993 from Plymouth Regional High School in Plymouth, N.H.

    After completing Basic Training, the Signal Support Systems Specialist Course, and Basic Airborne School, Van Aalst was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga., for the Ranger Indoctrination Program.

    After completion, he was assigned to HHC, 3rd Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment, also at Fort Benning, where he served as a signal systems specialist.

    In the summer of 1997, Van Aalst graduated from Ranger School and returned to 3rd Bn., where he continued his duties for another year before reclassifying into the infantryman military occupational specialty.

    In August 1998, Van Aalst attended Sniper School then returned to HHC, 3rd Bn., as a sniper team leader later transitioning to squad leader in August 1999. After serving for two years as a squad leader, he was selected as an instructor and a shooter in the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning. He served in that position for two years before returning in September 2003 to HHC, 3rd Bn., as a sniper platoon sergeant.

    Shortly thereafter, he deployed on his first combat rotation to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, then to Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq before moving in 2005 to Co. A, 3rd Bn., to serve as a platoon sergeant. As a platoon sergeant, he deployed twice to Iraq in 2005 and again to Afghanistan in 2006.

    Van Aalst returned to HHC, 3rd Bn., as the noncommissioned officer in-charge of the Reconnaissance, Sniper and Technical Surveillance Detachment. He deployed to Afghanistan again in 2006, for his fifth combat deployment.

    In July 2007, Van Aalst was assigned as the chief instructor and writer to 'C' Co, 2nd Bn., 29th Infantry, at Fort Benning, where he served for one year before being selected in 2008 as a special operations team member, U. S. Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N. C.

    His military education includes the Basic Airborne Course, Ranger School, Sniper School, Warrior Leader Course, Static Line Jumpmaster, the Combat Lifesaver Course, Special Operations Target Interdiction Course, Infantry Advanced Leader’s Course, Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Course, Infantry Senior Leader’s Course, Pathfinder Course, the Advanced Land Navigation Course, and the Military Free-Fall Course.

    He was posthumously recognized with a second Bronze Star Medal, a third Purple Heart Medal, and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.

    His other awards include two Meritorious Service Medals, two Joint Service Commendation Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, seven Army Achievement Medals, five Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two Bronze Service Stars, the Iraq Campaign Medal with two Bronze Service Stars, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with Numeral 3, Army Service Ribbon, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Distinguished Pistol Shooting Badge, Distinguished Rifleman Badge, Excellence in Competition (Pistol) Badge, and the Ranger Tab. He also earned five Overseas Service Bars.

    Van Aalst is survived by his wife, Katie Van Aalst, daughters Kaylie and Ava all of Pinehurst, N.C.; and his parents, Neville and Nancy Van Aalst of Hawthorne, Fla.

     

  • 08/24/2010 5:40 PM | Anonymous

    The 75th Ranger Regiment has scheduled the 2011 Ranger Rendezvous for July 25 to 28, 2011 at Fort Benning.

    Ranger Rendezvous is a unit tradition to bring the entire Regiment together for the 75th Ranger Regimental change of command. The days leading up to the ceremony are filled with Ranger demonstrations and events.

    Col. Michael E. Kurilla will relinquish command to Col. Mark Odom on the National Infantry Museum Soldier’s Field. Col. Odom was previously the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment Battalion Commander.

    Traditional events include the mass tactical airborne operation where 2,000 Rangers conduct an airborne assault onto Fryar Drop Zone. Other traditional events include Regimental physical training, sporting competitions, boxing and combatives, a no-host barbecue with entertainment, as well as two ceremonies honoring our Ranger veterans.

    A more detailed schedule of events will be provided in early 2011. For more information, contact the Regimental Public Affairs Office at 706-545-4260 or email at 75rgrpao@SOC.MIL.

  • 08/17/2010 6:23 PM | Anonymous

    Face of Defense: Command Sergeant Major Wraps Up Tour

    By Army Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Chlosta
    International Security Assistance Force

    KANADAHAR, Afghanistan, Aug. 17, 2010 – The International Security Assistance Force's senior enlisted leader completed his 100th and final battlefield circulation Aug. 13.

    Since Aug. 4, 2009, Army Command Sgt. Maj. Michael T. Hall has traveled more than 265 days to various combat outposts, forward operating bases, camps and bases scattered throughout Afghanistan. He's also made 12 overseas trips to NATO units in Europe and the United States to brief them on counterinsurgency strategy before they deploy to Afghanistan.

    Most importantly, Hall goes to the front lines to listen to troops, see what they see and do what they do for few days and nights. Then he takes back their comments and suggestions, along with his observations, to the ISAF commander.

    Last year, Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, then the ISAF commander, asked Hall to come out of retirement to serve as the ISAF and U.S. Forces Afghanistan command sergeant major. He has continued in that role during the transition period since Army Gen. David H. Petraeus took the ISAF reins July 4.

    "I was tasked by the commander of ISAF to help change the mindset of ISAF forces," Hall said. "You can write things, and the chain of command can pass [the intent down]. But the commander wanted to ensure the troops at the lowest leader level, that first-line supervisor, understood his intent. What was being asked of troops was hard, and they had to believe in it.

    "By being out there with them,” he continued, “I could explain the intent and also get feedback so we could modify our strategy based on what was working and what wasn't. This is a battle of perception of the Afghan people, and the forces at the lowest level will be the ones to win this, not the people in [the Afghan capital of] Kabul."

    In addition to traveling three to five days a week for his own battlefield circulations, Hall also would accompany the ISAF commander twice a week on trips around the country to gather troop feedback.

    "I tried to spend time with every brigade and separate battalion-sized element, covering all the services' combat, combat support and combat service support units, all the contributing nations, all the separate entities like special operations forces, provincial reconstruction teams, agricultural development teams, route-clearing units, engineers building things, training organizations, etc., trying to show that everybody was important to the fight," Hall said. "[The] goal was to spend time with them during predeployment, within a few months of them arriving, and near the end of their deployment.”

    Hall spent most of his 32 years in uniform serving in special operations. This included a two-year stint in the 1990s in which he served under McChrystal at the 75th Ranger Regiment. He also served as the command sergeant major for Joint Special Operations Command, where he helped to lead the initial U.S. invasion into Afghanistan after Sept. 11, 2001.

    Hall has observed significant changes and implemented some as well during his year as the senior enlisted leader for ISAF.

    "I have been able to establish a wide-ranging Internet network that regularly passed best practices," Hall said. "[I] was also able to use this 'flat' network to quickly get feedback on hot issues that needed opinions from the field in a timely manner. I think the most significant contribution has been that units coming over have been hitting the ground running as a result of providing timely information to prepare them for deployment. I have been able to explain why we do things and make folks understand the urgency and importance of what we are trying to do, to ensure we don't repeat mistakes of the past.

    "The benefit, I hope, was to be able to show [the ISAF coalition forces] the progress they have made," Hall continued. "Soldiers are at it day after tough day; they lost friends and family. They often question, are we really making progress? Is this worth it? I can never answer that hard question on whether it is worth it. Each individual must answer that, but I am able to point out the changes I observed since the last time I was there and let them know that every decision we make, we make with the soldier in mind."

    Hall said he has many memories of his deployment to Afghanistan and was proud to contribute to the counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan, a place he's been involved with since initial U.S. forces, including Rangers he led, entered the country in late 2001.

    On his final battlefield circulation, Hall visited four units in Regional Command South, including Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232, a unit that flies F-18 jets out of Kandahar Airfield.

    "I think it was great to see the high command come in the area," said Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. George Foster, the squadron’s maintenance administration chief. "It gets eyes on what the men are going through."

    Marine Corps Cpl. Juan Alas, powerline mechanic with the squadron, said he and Hall had a good discussion about his duties. "We talked about engines and ordnance,” he said. “His visit was pretty motivating."

    Hall also visited Task Force Destiny here, led by the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade from Fort Campbell, Ky.

    "It's a tremendous morale boost for the soldiers,” said Army Command Sgt. Maj. Trevor Beharie, the unit’s senior enlisted soldier. “He's definitely a soldier's leader.

    "We're lucky to have someone of his caliber at the ISAF headquarters," Beharie continued. "He cares about the soldiers. He cares about the mission. It's evident from the moment you meet him. He understands the commander's guidance and he takes that to the field.”

    Army Spc. Ryan Egnor noted Hall’s genuine concern. "He's not sugarcoating it,” he said. “He's trying to find out if there are reasonable things he can fix."

    Prior to the Kandahar trip, Hall also made it up to Regional Command North to visit 10th Mountain Division soldiers and to accompany a foot patrol to the village of Aliabad with one of his former soldiers.

    "He's had a huge impact," Army Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis Defreese of the division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team. Defreese served as a platoon sergeant under Hall in the 101st Airborne Division.

    "I don't have enough adjectives to describe what he's done," Defreese said. "He's a national asset."

    Hall said spending time with troops has made it all worthwhile.

    "What I'll miss the most is the honesty and candor that you get from troops - the sense from these folks that they really understand what things in life are really important," Hall said.

    "Physically it beats you up," Hall said of his travels. "My schedule is so erratic that my body never gets to recover or get into a routine. At my age that can be a problem, but the strength and motivation I get from being around people keeps me going. Mentally, it's tough also. You spend time with people that just lost someone, or you get back and read the reports of folks you were just with. It makes you stop."

    Army Command Sgt. Maj. Marvin Hill, who most recently served as U.S. Army Central Command’s command sergeant major, will assume the ISAF senior enlisted leader position Sept. 1. Hall will retire again and will return to his wife and son in Tennessee. Then he'll go back to work for the defense contractor Lockheed Martin.

    As he headed into the final weeks of his tour, Hall reflected on the many positive changes he's seen over the past 13 months in Afghanistan.

    "Every organization, no matter what type or country, that has come over since about last November truly understands and believes in the counterinsurgency strategy and what we are trying to accomplish," he said.

  • 08/17/2010 9:08 AM | Anonymous

    Visitation

    Wednesday August 18, 2010 2:00 P.m. - 8:00 p.m.

    Grand Ledge High School

    820 Spring St

    Grand Ledge, MI 48837

    The family will be available from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.

    Funeral Services

    Thursday, August 19, 2010 - 11:00 a.m.

    Grand Ledge High School

    820 Spring St

    Grand Ledge, MI 48837

    Military Graveside Services

    Thursday, August 19, 2010 – after services

    Fort Custer National Cemetery

    15501 Dickman Road
    Augusta, MI 49012
    Phone: (269) 731-4164

     

    In lieu of flowers, contributions made to the Capital Area Humane Society, 7095 W. Grand River Ave., Lansing, MI 48906 or Lead The Way Fund, Inc., P.O. Box 281, Manhasset, New York 11030 (which directly supports injured or fallen U.S. Army Rangers & families) will be greatly appreciated. The family has entrusted arrangements to the Peters & Murray Funeral Home, Grand Ledge. Online condolences may be made at www.petersandmurrayfuneralhome.com

    Spc. Bradley David Rappuhn

    Spc. Bradley David Rappuhn was an anti-armor specialist assigned to Company B, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga. He was born on April 24, 1986, in Lansing, Mich.

    He was seriously wounded by an enemy improvised explosive device during a combat operation in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. Rappuhn was treated immediately by unit medical personnel and quickly evacuated to the nearest treatment facility where he died of his wounds.

    Rappuhn was on his first deployment in support of the Global War on Terror.

    After graduating from Grand Ledge High School in Grand Ledge, Mich., Rappuhn enlisted in the U.S. Army in January 2009. He completed One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning as an infantryman. After graduating from the Basic Airborne Course, he was assigned to the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program also at Fort Benning.

    Following graduation from the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program in August 2009, Rappuhn was assigned to Company B, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, where he served as an anti-armor specialist.

    His military education includes the Basic Airborne Course and the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program.

    Rappuhn's awards and decorations include the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Parachutist Badge. He was also awarded the Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Combat Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and Army Service Ribbon.

    He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Purple Heart.

    Rapphun is survived by his father, Cary Rappuhn, of Potterville, Mich., and his mother, Roxanne Rappuhn and his brother, Brent Rappuhn, both of Grand Ledge.

    Click here to read the original news story.

  • 08/16/2010 8:56 AM | Anonymous

    Public Wake

    Tuesday August 17 from 4-8 p.m.

    Holy Family Parish,

    2 School St

    Amesbury, Mass.

    Public Funeral Mass

    Wednesday August 18 from 10 a.m. to noon

    Holy Family Parish,

    2 School St

    Amesbury, Mass.

    Burial

    Wednesday August 18 at about 3:30 p.m.

    New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery

    110 Daniel Webster Highway, Rt 3

    Boscawen, New Hampshire 03303

    In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made and payable to: Wounded Warriors Project and sent to WWP National Processing Center, P.O. Box 758516 Topeka, KN 66675. Arrangements are by, and correspondence can be sent to E.V. Jutras & Sons, 118 Friend St., Amesbury, MA 01913.

    In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made and payable to: Wounded Warriors Project and sent to WWP National Processing Center, P.O. Box 758516 Topeka, KN 66675. Arrangements are by, and correspondence can be sent to E.V. Jutras & Sons, 118 Friend St., Amesbury, MA 01913.

    Sgt. Andrew Cote Nicol

    Sgt. Andrew Cote Nicol, 23, was a team leader assigned to Company B, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga. He was born on Feb. 7, 1987 and was a native of Kensington, N.H.

    Nicol was seriously wounded by an enemy improvised explosive device during a combat operation in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. He was treated immediately by unit medical personnel and quickly evacuated to the nearest treatment facility where he died of his wounds.

    He was on his fifth combat deployment. Nicol had previously deployed twice to Afghanistan and twice to Iraq.

    After graduating from Exeter High School, Nicol enlisted in the U.S. Army in July 2006. He completed One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning as an infantryman. After graduating from the Basic Airborne Course, he was assigned to the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program also at Fort Benning.

    Following graduation from the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program in March 2007, Nicol was assigned to Company B, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, where he served as a rifleman and a team leader.

    His military education includes the Basic Airborne Course, the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program, the U.S. Army Ranger Course and the Warrior Leader Course.

    His awards and decorations include the Ranger Tab, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, and the Parachutist Badge. Nicol was also awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Valor, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Combat Star, Iraq Campaign Medal with Combat Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon and Overseas Service Ribbon.

    He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Purple Heart.

    Nicol is survived by his parents Roland and Patricia Nicol of Kensington, N. H.

    Click here to read the original news story. 

  • 08/11/2010 4:59 PM | Anonymous

    The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of two U.S. servicemen, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

    They are 1st Lt. Paul G. Magers of Sidney, Neb., and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Donald L. Wann of Shawnee, Okla., both U.S. Army. Magers is to be buried Aug. 27 in Laurel, Mont., and

    Wann’s funeral is on Aug. 21st in Fort Gibson, Okla. Representatives from the Army’s mortuary office met with the next-of-kin of these men to explain the recovery and identification process and to coordinate interment with military honors on behalf of the Secretary of the Army.

    On June 1, 1971, both men were flying aboard an AH-1 Cobra gunship in support of an emergency extraction of an Army Ranger team in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. After the Rangers were extracted, helicopters were ordered to destroy claymore mines which had been left behind in the landing zone. During this mission their helicopter was hit by ground fire, crashed and exploded. The ordnance aboard the aircraft began to detonate, tearing the aircraft apart. Pilots who witnessed the explosions concluded that no one could have survived the crash and explosions. Enemy activity in the area precluded a ground search.

    In 1990, analysts from DPMO, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and their predecessor organizations interviewed both American and Vietnamese witnesses and produced leads for field investigations. In 1993 and 1998, two U.S.-Socialist Republic of Vietnam teams, led by JPAC, surveyed the suspected crash site and found artifacts and debris consistent with a Cobra gunship. In mid-1999, another joint team excavated the site, but it stopped for safety reasons when the weather deteriorated. No remains were recovered, but the team did find wreckage associated with the specific crash they were investigating.

    The Vietnamese government subsequently declared the region within Quang Tri Province where the aircraft crashed as off-limits to U.S. personnel, citing national security concerns. As part of an agreement with JPAC, a Vietnamese team unilaterally excavated the site and recovered human remains and other artifacts in 2008. The Vietnamese returned to the site in 2009, expanded the excavation area and discovered more remains and additional evidence.

    Forensic analysis, circumstantial evidence and the mitochondrial DNA match to the Magers and Wann families by the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory confirmed the identification of the remains.

    For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo

  • 08/11/2010 10:15 AM | Anonymous

    Visitation:

    Tuesday August 10

    10:00 AM to 12:00 PM

    Vance Memorial Chapel

    3738 Hwy 431 N

    Phenix City, AL 36867

     

    Funeral Service:

    Thursday August 12

    12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

    Chattanooga National Cemetery

    1200 Bailey Ave. Chattanooga, TN

     

    Staff Sergeant Sean Steven Cook, 22 of Ft. Mitchell, AL passed away Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at Columbus Regional Medical Center.

    Graveside services will be held 12:00 noon Thursday, August 12, 2010 at Chattanooga National Cemetery with Rev. David Graves and Chaplain Major Derek Murray officiating. The family will receive friends Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon EST at Vance Memorial Chapel, 3738 Hwy 431N Phenix City, AL.

    Mr. Cook was born September 5, 1987 in Lexington, KY the son of Stephen Cook and Tammy Jo Welch. He served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom and was currently stationed at Ft. Benning, GA.

    He is preceded in death by his grandmothers, Gwendolyn Guilfoil and Martha Cook; and a brother Thomas Lee Guilfoil.

    He is survived by his wife Ashley Cook of Ft. Mitchell, AL; his mother Tammy Sharp Welch and husband Lloyd of Cleveland, TN; father Stephen Cook of Chattanooga, TN; and one sister Courtney Sharp of Cleveland, TN.

    In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to, Lead the Way Fund, P.O. Box 281, Manhasset, New York 11030 or www.leadthewayfund.org.

    Original Post: Sgt. Sean Steven Cook, 22, an Army Ranger stationed at Fort Benning dies week after boat accident

    A 22-year-old Fort Benning Ranger has died about a week after a boating accident on Lake Harding.

    Sgt. Sean Steven Cook, 22, an Army Ranger stationed at Fort Benning, was pronounced dead at 5:50 p.m. Wednesday August 4, 2010..

    Cook had been in the Intensive Care Unit of The Medical Center. The cause of his death was multiple injuries including a serious blow to the head suffered on July 29 when the boat he was operating struck the Long Bridge on Lake Harding.

    Cook’s wife, Ashley, who was in the boat with him, was critically injured and remains at The Medical Center.

    The couple’s home is in Fort Mitchell, Ala.

    The accident remains under investigation by the Alabama Marine Police and the Lee County Coroner.

  • 08/09/2010 5:06 PM | Anonymous

    Two U.S. Army Rangers were killed  Aug. 8 during combat operations while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The Rangers were assigned to Company B, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga.

    Sgt. Andrew Cote Nicol, 23, a native of Kensington, N. H., and Spc. Bradley David Rappuhn, 24, a native of Grand Ledge, Mich., were seriously wounded in Kandahar Province, by an enemy improvised explosive device.

    Both Rangers were treated immediately by unit medical personnel and were quickly evacuated to the nearest treatment facility where they later died of their wounds.

    Nicol enlisted in the U.S. Army in July 2006.  For more than three years, he served as a rifleman and most recently as a team leader in 3rd Bn., 75th Ranger Regt. Nicol is survived by his parents Roland and atricia Nicol also of Kensington.

    Rappuhn enlisted in the U.S. Army in January 2009. For almost a year, he served as an anti-armor specialist in 3rd Bn., 75th Rgr. Regt. Rappuhn is survived by father Cary Rappuhn of Potterville, Mich., and his mother Roxanne Rappuhn and his brother Brent Rappuhn, both of Grand Ledge.

    “Sgt. Nicol and Pfc. Rappuhn were involved in fighting one of the most heavily defended areas in Afghanistan.  Their actions resulted in the destruction of a complex bunker system that included heavy machine guns, mortar systems and the death of seven Taliban,” said Col. Michael E. Kurilla, commander of the 75th Ranger Regt. “They are heroes to the Nation, the Army and their families.”

    Nicol was on his fifth combat deployment. He previously deployed twice to Afghanistan and twice to Iraq. This was Rappuhn’s first deployment.

    “Sgt. Nicol and Pfc. Rappuhn embodied what it meant to be Rangers,” said Lt. Col. Mark O’Donnell, 3rd Bn. commander. “Selfless, dedicated, and professional, their impact across the battalion was profound.  Their service and friendship will be sorely missed.”

    Biographies for each Ranger follow:

    Sgt. Andrew Cote Nicol

    Sgt. Andrew Cote Nicol, 23, was a team leader assigned to Company B, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga. He was born on Feb. 7, 1987 and was a native of Kensington, N.H.

    Nicol was seriously wounded by an enemy improvised explosive device during a combat operation in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. He was treated immediately by unit medical personnel and quickly evacuated to the nearest treatment facility where he died of his wounds.

    He was on his fifth combat deployment. Nicol had previously deployed twice to Afghanistan and twice to Iraq.

    After graduating from Exeter High School, Nicol enlisted in the U.S. Army in July 2006. He completed One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning as an infantryman. After graduating from the Basic Airborne Course, he was assigned to the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program also at Fort Benning.

    Following graduation from the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program in March 2007, Nicol was assigned to Company B, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, where he served as a rifleman and a team leader.

    His military education includes the Basic Airborne Course, the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program, the U.S. Army Ranger Course and the Warrior Leader Course.

    His awards and decorations include the Ranger Tab, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, and the Parachutist Badge. Nicol was also awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Valor, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Combat Star, Iraq Campaign Medal with Combat Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon and Overseas Service Ribbon.

    He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Purple Heart.

    Nicol is survived by his parents Roland and Patricia Nicol of Kensington, N. H.

    Spc. Bradley David Rappuhn

    Spc. Bradley David Rappuhn was an anti-armor specialist assigned to Company B, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga. He was born on April 24, 1986, in Lansing, Mich.

    He was seriously wounded by an enemy improvised explosive device during a combat operation in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. Rappuhn was treated immediately by unit medical personnel and quickly evacuated to the nearest treatment facility where he died of his wounds.

    Rappuhn was on his first deployment in support of the Global War on Terror.

    After graduating from Grand Ledge High School in Grand Ledge, Mich., Rappuhn enlisted in the U.S. Army in January 2009. He completed One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning as an infantryman. After graduating from the Basic Airborne Course, he was assigned to the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program also at Fort Benning.

    Following graduation from the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program in August 2009, Rappuhn was assigned to Company B, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, where he served as an anti-armor specialist.

    His military education includes the Basic Airborne Course and the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program.

    Rappuhn's awards and decorations include the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Parachutist Badge. He was also awarded the Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Combat Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and Army Service Ribbon.

    He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Purple Heart.

    Rapphun is survived by his father, Cary Rappuhn, of Potterville, Mich., and his mother, Roxanne Rappuhn and his brother, Brent Rappuhn, both of Grand Ledge.

 

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