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Unable are the loved to die.  For love is immortality.  ~Emily Dickinson
I Got the News Today (IGTNT) is a diary series intended to honor service members who have died as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The title is a reminder that almost every day a military family gets the terrible news about a loved one.

The beautiful forget-me-nots were created by llbear.

Since 2003 there have been 4471 US casualties in Iraq and since 2001 there have been 1657 US casualties in Afghanistan. Source.

Nicanor Amper IV

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
            Sgt. Nicanor Amper IV, 36, of San Jose, Calif., died July 5 in Khowst, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with a rocket propelled grenade.  He was assigned to the 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Knox, Ky.

According to The San Jose Mercury News his friends called him Nic -- which means victorious.

"He was a man of good character and who finished what he started. That was my son. He stayed to protect his men," said Amper's father, Nicanor Amper III of Burlingame.  He was also a praying man. According to his father, the troop cavalry scout prayed in his truck before each mission -- and he's sure his son did just that before his death.  "We haven't gotten the full report yet," said the elder Amper, a hairstylist at Lucy's Hair Salon in Saratoga, who also served in the Air Force.

Amper IV was set to finish his tour of duty in a few months, according to friends. He had been in the military for 16 years. After graduating from Campbell's Westmont High School in 1994 where he played football, Amper IV went straight to the Marines, said his father, though he ended up leaving after four years. After some time, Amper IV enlisted in the army where he has been ever since.

In addition to accolades and service medals Amper previously received, officials said in a news release that he will receive the Bronze Star and Purple Heart posthumously.
"He's wanted to be in the military ever since I took him to Fleet Week when he was 7 years old," his father said.

Amper leaves behind a wife and two sons ages 9 and 7. He is also survived by his parents and younger brother.



The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
            Staff Sgt. Thomas J. Dodds Dudley, 29, of Tega Cay, S.C., died July 7 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to Marine Air Group 26, 2nd Marine Air Wing, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Air Station New River, Jacksonville, N.C.

According to Herald Online

From the Helmand province in Afghanistan, Marine Staff Sgt. Thomas Joseph Dudley's email to his wife, Mary, on Wednesday night was simple: "I love you."
"I had told him he didn't have to email much, just say, 'I love you,' and let me know he was OK or just an exclamation mark," Mary Dudley, 29, said Friday.  She couldn't sleep that night, so at about 1 a.m. Thursday, she began to email her husband, a 2000 Fort Mill High School graduate, pictures of their three children - Taylor, 13, Thomas Carter, 5, and Jenna Robyn, almost 2.

Dudley was scheduled to return home in two weeks, with plans for a family vacation in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., a birthday celebration for Jenna at a water park - maybe even a trip to Las Vegas with Mary.

Jameson Dudley, who also has enlisted in the Marines, said Friday he remembers the time his older brother pulled his tooth out.  Leaning against a kitchen counter, Jameson shook his head with a slight smile on his face as he talked about T.J.  "I made the mistake of saying my tooth was loose," he said Friday. "Then he said, 'Come here,' and pulled it right out."  Then his face became solemn.  "He was the finest Marine," he said. "He was not only a brother-in-arms, but a brother. And I miss him very much."

Dudley received several awards and distinctions while serving, including an Air medal, a Korean Defense Service medal, an Outstanding Service medal, campaign medals for Iraq and Afghanistan and a Humanitarian Service medal.



Click here to read the series as begun by i dunno, and is currently maintained by Sandy on Signal, noweasels, monkeybiz, 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, CalNM, Wide Awake in KY, maggiejean, racheltracks, kestrel 9000, JaxDem, and Cathy.
If you would like to contribute to the series, even once a month, please contact Sandy on Signal or noweasels.

To see what these tributes mean to those who have lost a loved one in Iraq or Afghanistan, please read Sandy on Signal’s story about meeting  the father of a soldier at NN10.

The IGTNT logo was created by Timroff.

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.
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