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 4486 US casualties in Iraq and since 2001 there have been 2000 US casualties in Afghanistan. Source.
Tonight we honor a soldier and a Marine.
Spc. Gerardo Campos, 23, of Miami, Fla.
Lance Cpl. Joshua E. Witsman, 23, of Covington, Ind.
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Spc. Gerardo Campos, 23, of Miami, Fla., died June 2 in Maiwand, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire. He was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
Spc Campos was always considered a hero by his family. He grew up in Homestead, one of five “He was just a good man, honest man, good man brave man,” said sister, Erica Campos. “He was everything- everything you can think of – superhero, friend, father, best brother,” said Eduardo Campos, the youngest of the 5 siblings.Campos' awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the NATO Medal, and the Parachutist Badge.
Gerardo taught his younger brother to play football and wrestled with his sisters. Erica Campos said he taught her to be tough. And when he joined the Army, fellow soldiers looked up to him too.
“If anybody would get to know him, they’d be honored to know him,” said Eduardo. “I know he went down serving his country and I’m very proud of him and now it’s up to me and my older brother to take care of his little daughter.”
His family said his wife and daughter were the loves of Campos’ life. His wife was getting ready to send a present for his first Father’s day. Now, they will all teach Campos’ daughter to be proud of her dad.
He is survived by his wife and daughter.
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Lance Cpl. Joshua E. Witsman, 23, of Covington, Ind., died May 30 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.
In Covington, Indiana more than 1,000 people gathered for a candlelight vigil to honor 23-year-old Marine Lance Cpl. Joshua Witsman. The vigil that began with music followed by a Boy Scout troop presenting the U.S. flag and colors.
Witsman's body arrived Saturday at Dover Air Force Base. The military has yet to release information on the circumstances of Witsman's death, although family friends said he died Wednesday.Witsman's awards and decorations include the Combat Action Ribbon, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two Bronze Stars, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with one Bronze Star, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal ISAF and Rifle Expert Badge (Third Award).
Patty Gritten, who is the Fountain County clerk and a longtime friend of the Witsman family, said she hoped the closeness of the rural community of about 2,600 people will help his family.
"I didn't see him a lot, but every time he was in town, he would always come into the office and give me a hug," Gritten told WLFI-TV. "If he thought you were down, he would know how to make you smile. It is a very close-knit community and sometimes that works against us, but in a case like this, it's working for us."
Click here to read the series as begun by i dunno, and maintained by Sandy on Signal, noweasels, Blue Jersey Mom, Chacounne, Twilight Falling, Sis Two, Spam Nunn, CalNM, Wide Awake in KY, maggiejean, Jaxdem, Kestrel9000, TheFatLadySings, and Ekaterin
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.