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Since 2001, there have been 1267 American troops killed in Afghanistan, and since 2003, 4416 American troops killed in Iraq. As President Obama discusses the decrease in US troop levels in Iraq, there has been a marked increase in US combat casualties in Afghanistan. The IGTNT (I Got The News Today) title is a reminder that nearly everyday, somebody gets the heartbreaking news that a friend, former classmate, or beloved family member will not be coming home from war.

Tonight we remember a Navy combat medic and two Marine bomb disposal specialists killed in Afghanistan, lost to all who love them:

Petty Officer 3rd Class James M. Swink, 20, of Yucca Valley, California
Master Sgt. Daniel L. Fedder, 34, of Pine City, Minnesota
Gunnery Sgt. Floyd E. C. Holley, 36, of Casselberry, Florida

Please take a moment below to remember them.

Hospital Corpsmen serve as enlisted medical specialists for the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps. They serve in hospitals, ships, bases, and submarines, and on the battlefield, they render emergency medical treatment to Marines in combat environments.

The Department of Defense confirmed the death of a Navy combat medic who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Petty Officer 3rd Class James M. Swink, 20

died August 26 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. PO3 Swink was a hospital corpsman assigned to 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Forces, based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

James Michael Swink, II, grew up in Yucca Valley, California. The Swink family later moved to San Angelo, Texas, where his parents still live. Many close family members live throughout Texas, including Abilene and the Concho Valley.

Petty Officer 3rd Class James Michael Swink, II was better known as "Doc" Swink, combat medic.
Doc Swink will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

James Michael Swink enlisted in the Navy in July 2007. He spent two years assigned to Naval Hospital Okinawa in Japan, after completing two years of Naval Hospital Corpsman School. In March 2010, Swink reported to Field Medical Service School at Camp Lejeune and joined 2nd Marine Division for assignment overseas.

Doc Swink’s family asked for privacy during this sad time, but also asked that donations be made to Project RIDE, where James had worked as a volunteer with children and horses. The organization in Elk Grove, California, offers "Recreational Therapeutic Horseback Riding Instruction to People with Special Needs."

Among those that Petty Officer 3rd Class Swink leaves behind are his parents and family in Texas, and his friends at Project RIDE.
Petty Officer 3rd Class James Michael Swink is missed. REST IN PEACE

(sources used: L.A. Times, San Angelo Standard-Times, and Navy Times, wikipedia, NavyForMoms

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Roadside bombs are the leading cause of combat fatalities among U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Explosive disposal technicians are trained to deal with  high explosive munitions and ordnance. They are assigned the dangerous duty of disarming all types of explosive materials, and for keeping routes used by military and Afghan civilian vehicles clear of roadside bombs.

This past week, the Marines lost two of their expert bomb disposal specialists from the 7th Engineer Support Battalion in separate explosions.

The Department of Defense confirmed the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Master Sgt. Daniel L. Fedder, 34

of Pine City, Minnesota, was killed by the blast of an improvised explosive device while supporting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on August 27.  Master Sgt. Fedder was an explosives ordinance disposal technician assigned to the 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California.

Daniel Fedder graduated from Pine City High School in Minnesota where he was remembered as a hard-working kid who enjoyed the camaraderie of the wrestling team.

Daniel Fedder enlisted in the Marine Corps December 27, 1994. This was his third combat deployment, and his first tour of Afghanistan. He previously deployed to Iraq in 2004 and 2006. Master Sgt. Fedder also deployed overseas with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit in 2007.

Everyone in Pine City who spoke to WCCO-TV had a good story to tell about Master Sgt. Fedder.

All said he was a great example to the young men in the community.

His family said his legacy will be one of honor and integrity,
and that he was proud to be a Marine and to serve his country.

During his previous combat tours, Master Sgt.Fedder was awarded the Purple Heart medal, and other honors.

Daniel Fedder was the father of two young daughters, who live with their mother in California. He was divorced, and had recently remarried.

His Aunt said that the hardest part of her nephew's job was being away from his two children, 6-year-old Storm and 10-year-old Danielle, who live with their mother in California.

"He was so proud of his kids. ... And he was such a great dad. Danny was just a wonderful, wonderful kid. ... He was a wonderful man."

Among those that Master Sgt. Fedder leaves behind are his two daughters, his wife, his parents, aunt, grandmother, and other family.
Master Sgt. Daniel Fedder is missed. REST IN PEACE

(Sources used: Minnesota Public Radio, Star Tribune, WCCO TV, Pine City Pioneer,  myfox

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The Department of Defense confirmed the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Gunnery Sgt. Floyd E. C. Holley, 36

of Casselberry, Florida, died August 29 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Holley was an explosives ordinance disposal technician assigned to the 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, based in Camp Pendleton, California.

Floyd Holley grew up in southern Florida. He graduated from Lyman High School where he was a linebacker on the football team in the early 1990s. Holley attended Central Methodist College in Missouri before joining the Marines.

Gunnery Sgt. Floyd Holley was on his third combat tour with the Marines.
He was awarded the Purple Heart medal, amongst other decorations.

Perhaps because he was raised mostly by a single mother, Holley longed for family connections. He was the man of the house, looking out for his older sister and younger brother, his friend said. His mother died a few years ago.

Floyd fell in love with Chrissy in Hawaii, and the couple married last year. His wife already had a son and a daughter, who already looked up to Floyd. Chrissy is now expecting Holley's first child, a daughter.

Holley was planning to return to the U.S. in November to be present at the birth.

"He was beyond being excited about being a father," his friend said. "He was all about family and love."

Among those that Gunnery Sgt. Holley leaves behind are his wife and unborn child, his stepdaughter and stepson, and his sister and brother.
Gunnery Sgt. Floyd Holley is missed. REST IN PEACE

(sources used: Sun Sentinel, LA Times blog, wikipedia

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(Other Photos by CalNM; Thanks to Timroff for our faithful lighted candle IGTNT logo; and Thanks to llbear for our beautiful forget-me-nots IGTNT logo.)

Helping our troops:  If you wish to assist our military and their families, consider Operation Helmet, or Fisher House. Sponsoring a deployed service member at can provide letters or care packages that make a real difference in a military person's life. To assist the animal companions of our deployed military, information is available at guardian angels for soldierspet.

When our veterans come back home, they need jobs. Look at the programs of Veterans Green Jobs and Welcome Back Veterans. Encourage a Vet, and see if you can help out.

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About the IGTNT series: I Got the News Today is intended to honor, respect, and remember the fallen, and to remind us that each casualty has family and friends who received the terrible news that their loved one has died at war.

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 US Department of Defense news releases are found at defense gov/releases.  Icasualties lists the names of those killed, and shows the number of wounded. Published AP photos of the returning war fatalities are found on the Dover AFB page.

Click the IGTNT tags below for previous diaries in the series which was begun by i dunno, and which is maintained by monkeybiz, noweasels, blue jersey mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, joyful, roses, SisTwo, a girl in MI, Spam Nunn, JeNoCo, Janos Nation, True Blue Majority, Proud Mom and Grandma, Sandy on Signal, Wide Awake in Kentucky, Ms Wings, maggiejean, racheltracks, and me, CalNM. These diaries are heartbreaking to write, but are an important service to those who have died, and show our community’s respect for our fallen brothers and sisters.

Please bear in mind that these diaries are read by friends and
family of the service members chronicled here. May all of our remembrances be full of compassion rather than politics.

Originally posted to CalNM on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 04:40 PM PDT.

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