I Got The News Today (IGTNT) , which began in April of 2004, is one of the oldest continuous series on Daily Kos and provides members of this community a venue to pay their respects to those who have died as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The IGTNT title is a reminder that nearly every day the family of an active duty service member receives the terrible news that their beloved has died.~ Image Credit to llbear with gratitude
Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of Heaven,
Blossom the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in Evangeline
Amazing Grace and Taps at Arlington National Cemetery
Day is done...Gone the sun
From the lake...
From the hills...
From the sky.
All is well...Safely rest
God is nigh.
Fading light....Dims the sight
And a star....Gems the sky....Gleaming bright
From afar....Drawing night
Falls the night.
Composed By Major General Daniel Butterfield
Sgt. 1st Class Billy A. Sutton, 42, of Tupelo, Miss., died Feb. 7 in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 223rd Engineer Battalion, 168th Engineer Brigade, Mississippi National Guard, West Point, Mississippi. ~ DoD News ReleaseSgt 1st Class Sutton died of a medical condition which is still under investigation and was unrelated to combat.
Billy Sutton enlisted in the Mississippi National Guard in September of 2011 and served two previous tours in Iraq.
A National Guard spokesman says Sgt. Sutton was a part of the 288th Engineer Sapper Company based in Houston which deals with explosives and was conducting route clearance. The company is part of the larger 223rd Engineer Battalion out of West Point.
The 223rd deployed for active duty in October and his unit was reportedly expected to return to the U.S. in the fall of 2012.
Commanding Officer, Captain Brenton Montgomer said:
SFC Sutton was a true patriot. He loved his country, the State of Mississippi and the 288th Sapper Company. We all learned a lot from him. He was an expert and a professional. He was a mentor and a leader.Johnny Kimbrough, who served in the 288th with SFC Sutton through two tours in Iraq said:
As far as I’m concerned – I served with Bill for several years – and he was an excellent soldier and an excellent leader. He was a (non-commissioned officer), and he was a really good one.Billy A. Sutton is survived by his wife, Traci Sutton and a stepson.
Funeral services for Sgt. 1st Class Billy A. Sutton have been set for Saturday, February 18th at 11:00 a.m. with the burial following in Lee Memorial Park.
"I Got the News Today" is a diary series intended to honor, respect, and remind us of the sacrifice of our US troops. Click here to see the series, which was begun by i dunno, and which is maintained by Sandy on Signal, noweasels, monkeybiz, blue jersey mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, joyful, SisTwo, SpamNunn, TrueBlueMajority, CalNM, Wide Awake in Kentucky, maggiejean, Kestrel9000, TheFatLadySings, Ekaterin and me, JaxDem. These diaries are heartbreaking to write, but are an important service to those who have died, and show our community’s respect for them..
Diaries about the fallen usually appear two days after their names are officially released, which allows time for the IGTNT team to find and tell their stories.
Any Soldier – (Marine, Sailor, Airman or CoastGuardsman) Provides detailed information on sending care packages or cards and letters to deployed service members.
Books For Soldiers - View requests for and send troops books, DVDs, games and relief supplies.
Fisher House – Provides a “home away from home” for military families to be close to a loved one during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury.
Homes For Our Troops – Building specially adapted homes for our severely injured veterans at no cost to the veterans.
National Coalition for Homeless Veterans – The VA estimates 107,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. There are ways to get involved or donate at the link.
Netroots for the Troops (NFTT) – This non-profit raises money for the assembly, mailing and delivery of care packages to American military in war zones.
Special Operations Warrior Foundation - Provides full scholarship grants and educational and family counseling to the surviving children of special operations personnel who die in operational or training missions and immediate financial assistance to severely wounded special operations personnel and their families.
USA Together - "It's like craigslist for Wounded Warriors". Brings together injured service members who need assistance as they recover, with the people who want to help them.
Veterans Green Jobs - Helps transition veterans into their communities and find career opportunities in environment sustainable sectors of our economy.
Welcome Back Veterans - Committed to providing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) treatment to our veterans and their families in a public/private partnership
Wounded Warrior Project - Their vision is to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded warriors in this nation's history.
Please bear in mind that these diaries are read by friends and family of the service members mentioned here. May all of our remembrances be full of compassion rather than politics.