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Once again we welcome our dead back home. Tonight those we honor are:

* Private First Class William T. Dix - an engineer who will be honored at services in Virginia
* Private First Class Joseph K. Meyer, Jr. - the only son of a North Dakota family
* Corporal Robert L. Mason - a teenager from Parkersburg, West Virginia

The family and friends of William Dix are still recovering from the shock of his recent death. However, those still living, who knew Joseph Meyer and Robert Mason have waited 57 years to hold a funeral for them.


Due to the large number of casualties announced this week, there will be two IGTNT diaries published tonight. Be sure to visit Moneysmith's diary also.

Private First Class William T. Dix

A 32-year-old Fort Lewis soldier with a combat-engineer battalion was preparing to return to Iraq. His job was to find and disarm roadside bombs. Pfc. William T. Dix had been deployed to Kuwait in March with the 14th Engineer Battalion, 555th Engineer Brigade, I Corps, from Fort Lewis, Washington.  Units entering Iraq normally stage in Kuwait. The Private's unit is training in preparation for a move north into Iraq.

Dix was listed as being from Culver City, California. He died on April 27th at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. Officials declined to comment on the circumstances of his death, and said the incident was under investigation. The Seattle Pi carried a story about the two Fort Lewis soldiers killed overseas in April:

Dix...was one of 490 members of Fort Lewis' 14th Combat Engineer Battalion, 555th "Triple Nickle" Engineer Brigade, which deployed to Iraq in March. The unit's job is primarily to find and dispose of the roadside bomb responsible for so many military and civilian casualties.

The battalion is in Kuwait acclimating and preparing to head north into Iraq.

The Defense Department said Wednesday that Dix, a former Marine and Army Reservist who joined the active duty Army in 2004, died in a "nonhostile" incident that remained under investigation Thursday.

William Dix enlisted in the Marine Corps, then joined the Army Reserve in 2002. He started active duty with the Army in 2004. He had served a year in Korea before his year in Iraq with the Fort Lewis 14th Engineer Battalion from 2005 to 2006. Dix earned numerous commendations as a Marine and soldier, and is the fifth soldier from the battalion to be killed in the Iraq war.

Post officials did not release information about his survivors.

Private 1st Class William Dix will be honored in services in South Hill, Virginia. The ever-faithful Patriot Guard Riders will be presenting a flag line during his viewing and service. His interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery where the Patriot Guard will also be in attendence.

The "Frozen Chosin"

Several of our fallen who have been missing in action (MIA) since December of 1950 have been identified recently. Many were killed in an agonizing battle of the Korean War. Those who fought in that battle are often refered to as the "Frozen Chosin" because they were fighting near the Chosin Reservoir and the winter was bitterly cold. There is a diary by noweasels about another MIA from the Frozen Chosin that gives a good history of the battle. A great summary of the situation is also shown in this video:

Ironically, the Korean war was considered to be easy to win, as are all too many wars. The following is taken from the announcement by the DoD:

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

They are Cpl. Robert L. Mason of Parkersburg, W.Va.; and Pfc. Joseph K. Meyer Jr., of Wahpeton, N.D., both U.S. Army. Both men will be buried Saturday. Mason will be buried in Belpre, Ohio, and Meyer will be buried in Wahpeton...

Mason was assigned to B Company, 32nd Infantry Regiment, and Meyer was assigned to K Company, 31st Infantry Regiment. Both were attached to the 31st Regimental Combat Team (RCT), 7th Infantry Division. The team was engaged against the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea, from late November to early December, 1950. Both men died as result of intense enemy fire, and their bodies were not recovered at the time.

Between 2001 and 2005, joint U.S. and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), conducted excavations of several burial sites near the Chosin Reservoir. The sites correlate closely with defensive positions held by the 31st RCT at the time of the Chinese attacks. The teams recovered remains there believed to be those of U.S. servicemen. Analysis of the remains recovered from the sites led to the identification of several individuals, including Mason and Meyer.

Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory and JPAC also used mitochondrial DNA and dental comparisons in both Meyer’s and Mason’s identification.

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

According to a report in the WVVA TV site:

The Department of Defense announced Wednesday that it had identified the remains of U.S. Army Cpl. Robert L. Mason of Parkersburg and Pfc. Joseph K. Meyer Jr. of Wahpeton, N.D. The remains were discovered near the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea during excavations conducted between 2001 and 2005.

Both Mason and Meyer were killed by enemy fire in 1950 during fighting near the Chosin Reservoir.

Mason's funeral will be held Saturday in Belpre, Ohio. Meyer's funeral will be held in Saturday in Wahpeton.



Corporal Robert L. Mason

Photobucket
According to a report about the 18-year-old corporal in the Parkersburg News and Sentinel:

Mason was assigned to B Company, 32nd Infantry Regiment, attached to the 31st Regimental Combat Team (RCT) 7th Infantry Division. Mason, 18, died as a result of intense enemy fire, according to a press release from the Department of Defense...

Mason’s name is on the Korean War Memorial at Parkersburg City Park.

Mason was born Jan. 12, 1932, the son of the late John William and Lucy Carolyn Boyce Mason, according to information provided by Leavitt Funeral Home, Belpre.

Corporal Robert L. Mason is survived by his nephews, Ronald E. Mason Sr. and his wife Marilyn, James L. Mason and his wife Beverly, and Robert D. Mason; and by two cousins, Kay F. Clay and Mary J. Ratliff.

Corporal Mason was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers and sisters, Dolly Mason, Nille Mason, William Earl Mason, Albert Louin Mason, James Howard Mason, Lloyd Dale Mason, and Otis Leroy Mason.

Services will be held Saturday in Belpre, North Dakota. Burial will follow at Rockland Cemetery. Full military rites will be conducted.


Private First Class Joseph Meyers, Jr.

There are many towns across the USA that fly the POW-MIA flag for their missing sons and daughters who never came back from war. At the Richland County Courthouse, the POW-MIA flag flies over a memorial for our veterans. The name Private First Class Joseph Meyers, Jr. is at that memorial. Joseph Meyers was 18 years old when he died in Korea.

The following quotes are taken from the transcript of a video on the KX News site. Two of Joseph Meyer's sisters discussed the disappearance of their brother who had decided at age 17 to enlist in the Army:

HIS FAMILY NEVER DREAMED THE FLAG DRAPED CASKET WOULD EVER MAKE IT HOME TO Wahpeton, North Dakota...

IN THAT LAST LETTER HOME JOSEPH WROTE HE HOPED TO SEE BABY NEPHEWS AND NIECES WHEN HE CAME HOME AFTER THE WAR.

THEY NEVER MET HIM. BUT THEY WILL BE THE ONES HONORING HIM THE DAY HE RETURNS

A comment on the site contains a poem. Part of it is seen below:

The POW-MIA Flag snaps in the breeze.
The Veteran’s memorial casts a cold shadow.
Joseph Meyer is coming home today.
Welcome him.
May he rest in peace.

In December of 1950
he picked up his M-1,
once again to join the battle
That raged on
in North Korea
far across the seas...

For fifty-seven years,
his family waited
for Joe Meyer to come home,
clutching old letters
and warm memories
of the boy they lost.
Fifty-seven years is a long time
to be sleeping unnamed
in the ground
so far across the seas.

-Lou Marin

There is a note that leads to Writing.com where the entire poem has been posted with permission.

Meyer's funeral will be held Saturday in Wahpeton, North Dakota. His nephews and nieces are planning to attend.


******************************************************************


Helping our troops:

If you wish to assist our military and their families, consider Operation Helmet, or Fisher House. If you have frequent flyer miles, they can be donated to hospitalized veterans or their families. See Fisher House’s Hero Miles program for details. Consider sponsoring a deployed service member at TroopCarePackage.com. Letters or care packages can make a real difference in a military person's life. To assist the animal companions of our deployed military, information is available here. Also, you could visit:

Go to AnySoldier.com

When our veterans come back home, they need jobs. Look at the programs of Hire Heroes USA and Welcome Back Veterans to  see if you can help out.

There are two recent diaries that have some great suggestions too. Ninepatch’s diary about care packages, and Greenies’ diary, about supporting our troops



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 troops. Click here to see the series, which was begun by i dunno, and which is maintained by Sandy on Signal, monkeybiz, noweasels, MsWings, greenies, blue jersey mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, moneysmith, labwitchy, joyful, roses, SisTwo, SpamNunn, and a girl in MI.  These diaries are heartbreaking to write, but an important service to those Americans who have died and to our community’s respect for and remembrance of them. If you would like to volunteer, even once a month, please contact me, Sis.

Fallen service members whose names have been released by the Department of Defense will usually be diaried two days after the official announcement on the DoD website. This allows the IGTNT team to cover each person more fully, but still in a timely manner


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.

Originally posted to SisTwo on Fri May 02, 2008 at 04:21 PM PDT.

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