Blossom the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Staff Sgt. Joshua J. Bowden
1st Lt. Jason Togi
Since 2001 we have lost 2270 American troops in Afghanistan and a total of 3371 American and coalition forces.
US Army Ceremonial Band performing
Day is done
Gone the sun
From the lakes
From the hills
From the sky
All is well
God is nigh
Staff Sgt. Joshua J. Bowden, 28, of Villa Rica, Ga., died Aug. 31, in Ghazni, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire while on dismounted patrol..
He was assigned to the 242nd Ordnance Battalion (EOD), 71st Ordnance Group (EOD), Fort Carson, Colo. ~ DoD News Release
Principle, Nathan Hand sent this message to the staff at Alexander High School:
It is with a heavy heart I wanted to make you aware that AHS has lost an alumni in the war with Afghanistan. Josh was a 2003 graduate and captain of the soccer team. I know this past spring Josh came by the school to visit with many of his former teachers.Douglas County Board of Commissioners Chairman Tom Worthan released this statement to the family of SSGT Bowden:
We grieve with Josh’s family and friends over the loss of this brave soldier who died defending freedom. We know that God has a special place in Heaven for these souls who willingly stand between us and evil. We will be praying for Josh and his family during these difficult days.SSGT Bowden enlisted in the Army in late 2005 and he had previously deployed to Afghanistan from 2008-2009.
Friend and karate instructor, Samantha Hostettler said Josh was a smart student of the art who earned a black belt at a young age. She commented on how protective he was of his sister:
You know boys - sometimes they're not openly loving with their family. But he just loved his sister. He took care of her.A few months ago while on leave, Bowden stopped by her studio:
We couldn't believe how much he'd grown up. It was a nice time. He reminisced with my other students and people he grew up with. We laughed about the old times. It was a good, good visit.Josh's friend, Brandon Savage said Joshua was a dependable friend and was sorry to have missed getting together with him during his last visit. The two chatted by phone shortly before Bowden deployed.
Now, looking back, I'm really glad I had it.
He said, 'When I get back, for sure we'll do something'. I guess plans have changed. He's going to be missed.Staff Sgt Joshua J. Bowden's awards include the Purple Heart, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal with Valor device, NATO Medal, Combat Action Badge, Parachute Badge, Air Assault Badge and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Badge.
Staff Sgt Joshua J. Bowden is survived by his parents and a sister. No funeral arrangements have been announced.
The Department of Defense confirmed the death of a soldier supporting US operations in Afghanistan.Jason Togi was the fourth of six children, and grew up on the island of American Samoa. His father, Alepapa Togi, said that Jason acted like the oldest child, that he was very smart and never answered back to his parents. He was always happy and smiling, and he loved his church and singing in the church choir.
1st Lt. Jason Togi, 24, of Pago Pago, American Samoa
1st Lt. Jason Togi died August 26, in Hasan Karez, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. 1st Lt. Togi was assigned to the 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, stationed at Fort Hood, Texas.
"He speaks his mind, he offers advice, and wants to bring peace to everyone," the grieving father said. "I miss my son." Alepapa and his wife traveled to Dover AFB to receive Jason's remains.Jason Togi went on to graduate from Samoana High School in 2006. Jason was already a member of the Army Reserve when he attended American Samoa Community College. He received his AA degree from a community college in Missouri, followed by a Bachelor's degree from Wentworth Military Academy College.
As a 12 year-old at Leatele Elementary School, Jason won the 2002 Geography Bee in the territory and traveled to Washington, DC to represent the Pacific Territories at nationals. He was also involved in the school's native garden project.
His former principal remembered Jason as a "great, wonderful, dedicated individual. He wanted to succeed..... He showed tremendous leadership quality even at that young age."
1st Lt. Togi was serving on his first tour of duty. His older brother Faigalotu also serves in the military, and the two recently met up in Afghanistan.
1st Lt. Togi had been married for less than a year before his July deployment. His wife, Ana had spoken to her husband by telephone just before he went on his final mission. She was shocked to get a 1am knock on the door, with military officials relaying the heartbreaking news that Jason would not be coming home from war.
1st Lt. Jason Togi is the third soldier from American Samoa to die in the Afghanistan war. Nine from American Samoa gave their lives in Iraq.
Among those 1st Lt. Togi leaves behind are his wife, parents, and siblings, and people of American Samoa.
1st Lt. Jason Togi is missed. May he Rest in Peace.
About the IGTNT series:
"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 in 2004 and now is maintained by Sandy on Signal, i dunno, noweasels, blue jersey mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, SisTwo, SpamNunn, TrueBlueMajority, CalNM, Wide Awake in Kentucky, maggiejean, Ekaterin, TheFatLadySings, Joy of Fishes, 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.
The only known current Prisoner of War is Sgt. Bowe R. Bergdahl, 26 who was captured by the Taliban in June of 2009. Five propaganda videos featuring Bergdahl have been released by the Taliban. A website has been established with the most up-to-date information on Sgt. Bergdahl.Please keep good thoughts and prayers for Sgt. Bowe R. Bergdahl.
Latest news report from June 20, 2013 Afghan Taliban offers to swap captive U.S. solider Bowe Bergdahl for 5 Guantanamo detainees.
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.