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Since 2001, 1930 U.S. troops have lost their lives while serving in Afghanistan, and since 2003, 4486 U.S. troops have lost their lives 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 beloved family member, friend, or former classmate will not be coming home from war.


                                                                                       ~ Photo Credit Timroff

The Department of Defense has announced the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Spc. Antonio C. Burnside, 31, of Great Falls, Mont., died Apr. 6 at Ghanzi province, Afghanistan of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire.  He was assigned to the 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.
Please join me below for a remembrance of his life.

Spc. Antonio C. Burnside

Spc. Burnside had deployed to Afghanistan in late March with his Montana National Guard unit. His unit was on one of its first route clearance missions, checking roads for improvised explosive devises and other dangers. When his unit was attacked by insurgents, Burnside was killed.

His death occurred one day before the official ceremony in which the 82nd Airborne Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team took control of the southern part of Ghazni from Polish troops, who had previously patrolled the area.

In a statement released by the Montana National Guard, public relations officer Major Tim Crowe said:

"The Burnside family is extremely grateful and honored by the outpouring of support and condolences from across the state and nation in response to their loss. Antonio was proud and honored to serve his country and chose to do so as a member of the airborne community within the U.S. Army. He served with great pride, dignity and honor. We welcome Antonio home."
A native of Great Falls, Montana, Burnside joined the National Guard to "better his life" for his family. According to a news source:
A woman who identified herself as Burnside's supervisor when he worked at Albertson's grocery store on 10th Avenue South, said he was a good guy and a good worker, working two jobs to support his family.

Kristi Hennen, his high school girlfriend and mother of two of his children, was concerned about how she would tell the children that their father had died. She said,

"They loved their dad. It's hard to see them hurt. He was a great man."
Burnside's remains arrived at Dover Air Force Base, DE, on Monday. His parents were there to receive his body.

An Army carry team carries the transfer case containing the remains of Army Spc. Antonio C. Burnside, of Great Falls, MT.

Burnside was promoted to corporal posthumously. He is survived by his parents, Annie Burnside and Bob Burnside of Great Falls, his wife Christine, daughters Ariana, Hartlynn and Angel and son Tony Jr. He is also survived by a sister Ramona and brother Milo.

The Blackfeet Nation is also mourning the loss of one of its warriors in the wake of Spc. Burnside's death. Burnside's Blackfeet name was Many Hides. His memorial service and burial with full military honors will be held at the Blackfeet Reservation.

Tribe officials report that from an early age Burnside was active in Blackfeet tribal life, was a traditional dancer and grass dancer, and participated in Blackfeet traditional ceremonies. He sang with the Gray Horse Singers and studied Cree in school.

Blackfeet Chairman T. J. Show said of Spc. Burnside:
“All Blackfeet hearts are broken today as we learn we must bury one of our warriors whose life was tragically cut short on the far side of the world. We are reminded how inadequate our words are when a warrior has made the ultimate sacrifice. Tony represents the best among us and our thoughts and prayers are with the family as they struggle to deal with the shock of this terrible loss.”
~source~ ~source~ ~source~  ~source~ ~source~

Rest in peace, Spc. Antonio C. Burnside. You have served with honor.


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, JaxDem, and me, Ekaterin. 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. 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 site. 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, CalNM, TheFatLadySings, and me, Ekaterin. 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.

If you would like to contribute to the series, even once a month, please contact Sandy on Signal.

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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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