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A military funeral is awarded any member of the armed forces who dies in battle. One component of a funeral with full military honors is the three volley salute. During or immediately following the folding of the funeral flag which has been draped over the coffin and prior to the sounding of Taps, a three volley rifle salute is executed.

The three volley salute is a ceremonial act performed at military and police funerals.  It consists of a rifle party firing blank cartridges into the air three times.  The firing of three volleys over the grave of a fallen warrior has its origin in the old custom of halting the fighting to remove the dead from the battlefield. The rifle party usually has an odd number of members from 3 to 7.  

It is said that a casing from each of the three volleys represent Duty, Honor, Country. All the shell casings are retrieved, after having cooled and are presented to the primary next of kin who generally shares them with family and friends.  Keeping at least one to display with the funeral flag.

Honoring and Remembering:
Cpl Roberto Cazarez
Spc David W. Taylor

Since 2001 we have lost 1923 American troops in Afghanistan and a total of 2943 American and coalition forces.

Echo Taps

TAPS

Day is done...Gone the sun
From the lake...
From the hills...
From the sky.
All is well...Safely rest
God is nigh.

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Cpl. Roberto Cazarez, 24, of Harbor City, California
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Cpl. Roberto Cazarez, 24, of Harbor City, Calif., died Mar. 30, while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to the 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.    ~ DoD News Release

Cpl.Cazarez enlisted in the Marine Corps on July 10, 2006 and was on his first deployment.

Cpl. Roberto Cazarez's decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation.

Cararez is the sixth Camp Pendleton Marine to die this year. Six other Pendleton-base Marines died in late February after two helicopters crashed during a training exercise over the California and Arizona desert.

A statement issued by the Marine Corps stated:

The Marines and sailors of 1st Marine Division mourn the loss of Cpl. Cazarez. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family.
Cpl. Roberto Cararez leaves behind a wife.

 ~ Source    ~ Source

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Spc. David W. Taylor, 20, of Dixon, Kentucky

Spc Taylor died in an accidental explosion at an ammunition supply point in Kandahar.  He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

David Taylor was a graduate of Webster County High School where former classmates say he was an athlete and a popular student with a great sense of humor.

Best friend, Selena Scheer said the news of his death "just doesn't seem real" and added:

Some people are just made for it [the military], and he was just one of those people that was made for it.
Taylor family friend, Michelle Cote said:
He always wanted to be a soldier. That had been his chosen career for life. His view on that was that every young man should serve one term in the military.
Spc David W.Taylor joined the Army in March 2010 and trained at Fort Benning, Ga., before joining his unit in October of that year. This was his first deployment.

Lt. Eric Fitzgerald, Taylor's platoon leader at Fort Bragg, said Taylor used to do the Crossfit physical fitness program five or six days a week in order to excel at the Army's physical fitness tests.  

He was probably one of the most outstanding paratroopers in the whole platoon, just striving to be the best. When you wanted something done, when you wanted it done right, you went to Taylor for it.
Company Commander, Capt. Brian W. Bifulco said:
It was evident since the day I met him that David had all the qualities desirable in a paratrooper: smart, aggressive, committed and reliable. He displayed them readily in everything he did.
An Army release says friends described Taylor as a good man who always took the time and effort to help others.

Spc David Taylor's mother, Sarah Whitledge-Taylor, pictured with her son above, is no stranger to tragedy friends say. In 2008 David's father, Kevin was gunned down in a shooting at the plant where he worked.  

A memorial and funeral service is expected in Dixon, but no plans have been announced yet.

~ DoD News Release   ~ Source   ~ Source

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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 US troops. Click here to see the series, which was begun by i dunno, and which is maintained by Sandy on Signal, noweasels,  monkeybiz, blue jersey mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, joyful, SisTwo, SpamNunn, TrueBlueMajority, CalNM, Wide Awake in Kentucky, maggiejean,  Kestrel9000, TheFatLadySings, Ekaterin and me, JaxDem. These diaries are heartbreaking to write, but are an important service to those who have died, and show our community’s respect for them.

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.

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Any Soldier  – (Marine, Sailor, Airman or Coast Guardsman) Provides detailed information on sending care packages or cards and letters to deployed service members.

Books For Soldiers - View requests for and send troops books, DVDs, games and relief supplies.

Fisher House – Provides a “home away from home” for military families to be close to a loved one during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury.

Homes For Our Troops – Building specially adapted homes for our severely injured veterans at no cost to the veterans.

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans – The VA estimates 107,000 veterans are homeless on any given night.  There are ways to get involved or donate at the link.

Netroots for the Troops (NFTT) – This non-profit raises money for the assembly, mailing and delivery of care packages to American military in war zones.

Special Operations Warrior Foundation - Provides full scholarship grants and educational and family counseling to the surviving children of special operations personnel who die in operational or training missions and immediate financial assistance to severely wounded special operations personnel and their families.

USA Together - "It's like craigslist for Wounded Warriors". Brings together injured service members who need assistance as they recover, with the people who want to help them.  

Veterans Green Jobs - Helps transition veterans into their communities and find career opportunities in environment sustainable sectors of our economy.

Welcome Back Veterans - Committed to providing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) treatment to our veterans and their families in a public/private partnership

Wounded Warrior Project - Their vision is to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded warriors in this nation's history.

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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.
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