Good evening, dear ones. Will you please join me and the IGTNT team as we honor three soldiers who died on foreign soil:
Pfc. Benjamen G. Chisholm, 24, of Fort Worth, Texas, and Pvt. Charles M. High IV, 21, of Albuquerque, New Mexico. They died August 17 in Kunar province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device caused a military vehicle roll-over.
Also killed on August 17: Staff Sgt. Derek J. Farley, 24, of Nassau, New York, who died in Bala Boluk, Farah, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated as he attempted to disarm it.
Will you dear Kossacks kindly take a moment to send a warm thought or prayer to the hundreds of thousands of forgotten or unnoticed souls who have suffered, and continue to suffer, from the insanity of war? This is not their diary but still, we all feel and grieve the pain of a broken human spirit.
Blessings and Light to all who share our world.
As you read this diary, please remember that friends and loved ones of the soldiers honored here may read your comments. Please, whatever our personal feelings about the war may be, may our comments only reflect compassion for their grief and loss. Thank you.
Benjamen Chisholm was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, and he spent much of his childhood in Colorado and Utah. The family moved to Flower Mound, Texas in 1998. Young Benjamen went to school in Flower Mound, but when the family moved to Haslet (outside of Fort Worth) a few years later, he then went to and graduated from Northwest High School.
Benjamen Chisholm entered the Army in August 2008 and he arrived in Fort Campbell, Kentucky in January 2009. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
PFC Chisholm deployed for Afghanistan in late May 2010. This was his first tour of duty. Just two weeks earlier, he had married a fellow soldier, SPC Amber Ferguson, who also deployed to Afghanistan shortly after their wedding. The two were assigned to different outposts, about 80 miles apart.
PFC Chisholm's mother, Linda Reynolds, told reporters that her son was manning a 50-caliber machine gun from the turret when the IED explosion flipped the vehicle.
The magnificent Patriot Guard Riders have confirmed PFC Chisholm as a Mission, with details of the honor ride to follow. Messages of love and support for the Chisholm family are being posted at the PGR forum.
Benjamen Chisholm is survived by his wife, Amber Ferguson of Oak Grove, KY; his mother, Linda Reynolds of Fredericksburg, Texas; his father and stepmother, Glenn and Karma Chisholm of Woodburn, Oregon; sisters Alyssa Breuel of Lewisville and Tammy Breuel of Fredericksburg; brother Jay Breuel of Fredericksburg; and his Screaming Eagles brethren.
Because Benjamen Chisholm loved to volunteer at the Rocky Top Therapy Center in Keller, which provides equine therapy for disabled people, his mother asked that donations be made there in his name.
Our hearts are with all who knew and loved Benjamen Chisholm. Please know that we stand beside you at this terrible time of loss.
Charles High IV entered the Army in June 2007 and he arrived at Fort Campbell, Kentucky in October 2007. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
The magnificent Patriot Guard Riders have confirmed Pvt. High as a Mission, with details of the honor ride to follow. Messages of love and support for the High family are being posted at the PGR forum.
An Army carry team gently loads a transfer case containing the remains of Pvt. Charles High IV into a transfer vehicle on Thursday, August 19, 2010 at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. AP Photo/credit Steve Ruark
Pvt. High is survived by his mother, Kimberlea Johnston of New Mindon, Illinois; his father, Charles High of Albuquerque, New Mexico; and his Screaming Eagles brethren.
Our hearts are with all who knew and loved Charles High IV. Please know that we stand beside you at this terrible time of loss.
Kenneth Farley said of his son, "He was someone who could see a situation and know he could handle it. He could see his way through it. He loved to make things go bang."
17-year old Derek Farley was a young man who knew what he wanted, and what he wanted was a military career and camaraderie with like-minded people.
"We saw that's what he wanted to do; we knew that," Kenneth Farley said, himself a Vietnam War veteran. "He always made that clear, so we weren't really surprised. We respected his wishes. We wanted him to be what he wanted to be."
Derek's mother, Carrie Farley, said, "Derek traveled all over the country. He saw a lot, he experienced a lot. Derek called me one time [and] he was on the tarmac as Air Force One was flying in. He was amazed at what was going on."
Derek Farley was promoted to staff sargeant last year while preparing to deploy to Afghanistan as an explosives ordnance disposal technician with the 702nd Ordnance Co. out of Grafenwoehr, Germany. SSgt. Farley received a Purple Heart after losing the hearing in one ear from a bomb explosion while in Iraq. SSgt. Farley was assigned to the 18th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 16th Sustainment Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment Command Grafenwoehr, Germany. SSgt. Farley was nearing the end of his second tour of duty in Afghanistan, and in two weeks he had planned to meet his girlfriend Maria in Germany before flying home from this deployment.
Mrs. Farley remembers her son, "...said, 'Mom, I'm going over there, I'm doing a job, I'm saving soldiers' lives so these boys can come home to their moms just like I'm going to come home to you. He was very proud of that. He saved many [lives]."
Rensselaer County Executive Kathleen Jimino said, "My thoughts and prayers are with the Farley family as they mourn his loss. His death will be a consistent reminder of the sacrifices that our men and women of our military are prepared to make as they fight to preserve freedom for ourselves and people around the globe. Rensselaer County and the town of Nassau have lost a true hero."
Governor David Paterson said, "On behalf of all citizens of the Empire State, I wish to extend our condolences to the family, friends and fellow soldiers of Staff Sergeant Derek Farley. This brave New York native died trying to save others. We will honor his sacrifice and we will not forget his service to our nation."
The flags on New York government buildings were ordered to half-staff in honor of Staff Sgt. Farley.
An Army carry team gently carries a transfer case containing the remains of Staff Sgt. Derek Farley on Thursday, August 19, 2010 at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. AP photo credit Steve Ruark
The magnificent Patriot Guard Riders have SSgt. Farley on their Watch List, where messages of love and support are being posted for the Farley family.
The Farleys will honor their son's wishes and spread his ashes on a demolition field. "My son was brave enough to give his life to his country," Mrs. Farley said. "I need to be brave enough and strong enough for him to honor him and his life."
"I think he would want people to remember him as a soldier who did his job and he did it the best he could right to the end," Kenneth Farley said. "His belief was that he was there to save other people's lives and even when he lost his own, I'm sure he probably thought, 'Well, I may be going, but I'm keeping somebody else here.' I don't doubt for a minute he didn't have a problem doing it."
Our hearts are with all who knew and loved Derek Farley. Please know that we stand beside you at this terrible time of loss.
Our lovely forget-me-nots were a gift to the IGTNT team from dear llbear.
I can't think of a better way to honor the fallen than to contribute to the well-being of their fellow soldiers still on active duty.
The following fine organizations could sure use your support and your donations:
AnySoldier.com, Books for Soldiers, Fisher House, the Military Pets Foster Project, Guardian Angels for Soldier's Pets, Operation Baghdad Pups, Operation Enduring Christmas, an organization that sends holiday presents to the children of our fallen troops, and Helping Udders, an organization that sends cooling vests to the Military Working Dogs stationed with their handlers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I Got the News Today is a diary series intended to honor, respect and remind. Click here to see other IGTNT diaries, a series which was begun by i dunno and which is currently maintained by Sandy on Signal, blue jersey mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, joyful, noweasels, roses, SisTwo, SpamNunn, a girl in MI, TrueBlueMajority, CalNM, Wide Awake in Kentucky, and maggiejean.
These diaries are heartbreaking to write, but, we believe, an important service to those Americans who have died, and to our community's respect for and remembrance of them. Fallen soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen and National Guard 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 fallen service member more fully, but still in a timely manner.
PEACE AND BLESSINGS