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Since 2001, there have been 1386 U.S. troops killed while serving in Afghanistan, and since 2003, 4436 U.S. troops killed while serving in Iraq. The IGTNT (I Got The News Today) series is a reminder that nearly every day, somebody gets the heartbreaking news that a friend, former classmate, or beloved family member will not be coming home from war.

Tonight we remember two more lost to all who love them:

Cpl. Joseph C. Whitehead, 22, of Axis, Alabama
Maj. Michael S. Evarts, 41, of Concord, Ohio

Please take a moment below to remember them, and all those
who have lost their lives in these wars.

Cpl. Joseph C. Whitehead, 22, of Axis, Alabama

Corporal Whitehead died January 17 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, based in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

"I just want everybody to know he was my hero."

Joseph Whitehead was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama. His former high school football coach said he will always remember the jovial and tough defensive lineman who never complained.

Joseph graduated from Satsuma High School in 2007 and enlisted in the Marines, something wanted to do since the 9/11 attacks, according to his family. He was about to finish up his first 4-year commitment in the Marines, and planned to re-enlist in August.

Cpl. Whitehead had been in Afghanistan for five weeks, when he was killed after stepping on a land mine. He had just celebrated his 22nd birthday days earlier.

His younger brother, Destin, called him his idol and hero.

"He was the kind of person you would like to know, the best person you could ever
possibly imagine to meet," his brother said.

"Anytime I needed him, he would be there. He never denied me anything
in my life.

It’s a sad loss."

Among those Cpl. Whitehead leaves behind, are his family including his younger brother. Cpl. Joseph Whitehead is missed. May He Rest in Peace.

Source  Source  Source

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written by Horace Lorenzo Trim

Fading light, dims the sight;
And a star gems the sky,
gleaming bright.
From afar, drawing nigh;
Falls the night.

Day is done, gone the sun;
From the lakes, from the hills,
from the run
All is well, safely rest;
God is nigh.

Then goodnight, peaceful night;
Till the light of the dawn shineth bright.
God is near, do not fear;
Friend, goodnight.

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Maj. Michael S. Evarts, 41, of Concord, Ohio

Major Evarts died January 17, in Tikrit, Iraq, in a non-combat related incident. He was a signal officer assigned to the 256th Combat Support Hospital, in Twinsburg, Ohio.

Maj. Michael Evarts was a member of a U.S. Army Reserve Unit and served with the Army the past 17 years. Evarts and his wife, Monique, and their two children lived near Cleveland.

Maj. Evarts deployed to Tikrit, Iraq in November with the 256th CSH, on his second tour. The 256th CHS is comprised of mostly medical personnel, and provides medical services in Iraq for Soldiers of U.S. Division-North.

In 2006, Maj. Evarts served as a logistics officer near Baquba, during his first deployment to Iraq. He also helped train Iraqi infantry in combat operations.

In his important duties as a signal officer during his current deployment, Maj. Evarts was responsible for communications, computer networking, and maintaining technology.

I'm sorry, but I could find no photo or further information on this soldier who gave everything.

Among those Maj. Evarts leaves behind are his wife and two children, and those he served with at the 256th CSH. Maj. Michael Evarts is missed. May He Rest in Peace.

Source Source Source  Source

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Photos Uploaded with
Thanks to Timroff for our faithfully lighted candle IGTNT logo.
(Other Photos by CalNM)

Helping our troops:  
If you wish to assist our military and their families, consider Operation Helmet, or sponsoring a deployed service member at
Fisher House provides housing for families of injured troops and veterans who are recovering in hospitals, and Guardian angels for soldierspet assists the animal companions of our deployed military.

When our veterans come back home, they can find support at Welcome Back Veterans.  
Our recently returned veterans need jobs, and Veterans Green Jobs is now hiring for positions and filling training sessions. VGJ corps retrains veterans as leaders in forest and resource conservation, green construction, and energy efficient upgrades of homes in rural areas. Encourage a Veteran, 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, ccasas, JaxDem, 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 memorial 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 Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 05:42 PM PST.

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