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I Got The News Today (IGTNT) , which began in April of 2004, is one of the oldest continuous series on Daily Kos and provides members of this community a venue to pay their respects to those who have died as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.   The IGTNT title is a reminder that nearly every day the family of an active duty service member receives the terrible news that their beloved has died.
~ Image Credit to llbear with gratitude
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Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of Heaven,
Blossom the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.

  ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow  in Evangeline
Honoring and Remembering:
Sgt. 1st Class Barett W. McNabb
Pfc. Jarrod A. Lallier
Welcoming Home:

Air Force Lt. Col. Charles M. Walling
Air Force Maj. Aado Kommendant
Army Cpl. Robert I. Wax

Since 2001 we have lost 2016 American troops in Afghanistan and a total of 3055 American and coalition forces.

Amazing Grace and Taps

Performed at Arlington National Cemetery
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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Sgt. 1st Class Barett W. McNabb, 33, of Chino Valley, Arizona

Sgt 1st Class McNabb died June 12, in Khakrez, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when he was attacked by an enemy improvised explosive device.

Barett McNabb was born in Boulder, Colorado and attended high school at Chino Valley High School in Chino, Arizona where he played varsity football.  He earned his GED in Denham Springs, LA and an AA degree in Great Bend, Kansas.

A former classmate, Kris Mazy recalled meeting Barett McNabb years ago and attending a school dance together.

I remember him as a super nice guy. When I saw his picture in the paper this week, it was just horrible. He hasn't changed much, except for the mustache.  He was always smiling, always very cheerful. It's just a horrible loss. It's just such a heartbreak to see some of our alumni lose their lives in this way.
Mazy spent a morning driving around Chino Valley making sure businesses were flying flags at half staff in accordance with Gov. Brewer's order.

Family friend and spokesperson Dr. Arlene Shovald said:

Out of love for his country and a desire to better support his family, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in November 1999. He planned to make the army his career and had been in 13 years. Plans were to retire to Salida after his 20 years were up and work with his father in construction.
Barett McNabb enlisted in the Army in November of 1999 and following basic training he served at Fort Riley, Kansas.  While there he was deployed three times; once to Kuwait (Aug. through Dec. 2001), and twice to Iraq (Sept. 2003-04 and Sept. 2006 to Dec. 2007).

McNabb reported to Lewis-McChord in July of 2008 and deployed with his current unit in April.

1st Lt. Robert Gold, executive officer of the 562nd Engineer Company said this:

Sgt. 1st Class McNabb was an inspirational and highly motivated leader who always put the needs of his Sappers (engineer soldiers) before his own.

Always quick with a joke and a smile, McNabb's personality could light up the darkest place. McNabb was the true embodiment of what it means to be a Sapper and will be missed by all of his fellow Sappers in the 562nd Engineer Company.

Sgt 1st Class Barett W. McNabb's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart and the Army Commendation with Valor.

Sgt. 1st Class Barett W. McNabb is survived by his wife, Georgette; step-daughter, Jessi; son, Jacob and parents Steve and Georgia McNabb.

McNabb's funeral will be held in Fort Lewis, Washington, his home base followed by a memorial service in Salida, Colorado.

~ Source   ~ Source   ~ Source

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Pfc. Jarrod A. Lallier, 20, of Spokane, Washington

Pfc Jarrod A. Lallier died June 18 in Zharay, Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when individuals in Afghan Police uniforms turned their weapons against his unit.  He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

Jarrod Lallier was a 2010 graduate of Mead High School.  

Lallier's former principal, Ken Russell called Lallier's death "a huge loss".

He was a fantastic kid. He had one of those personalities that was endearing to everyone, both students and staff. He was very friendly and outgoing and positive.
Lallier joined the Army in July 2010 and trained at Fort Benning, Ga., before joining the 4th Brigade Combat Team in November 2010.

This was his first deployment.

Mother, Kim Lallier said that her son came from a family with strong military ties.  She said Jarrod loved soccer, friends, fishing, camping and animals.

Most of all, he was just a people person. He’d make a ton of friends no matter where he went. He was just a very likable person, easygoing. He made friends really easy.
She and Lallier's father, Gary were puzzled when there was no call from their son on Fathers Day. Their puzzlement turned to horror and grief when a soldier knocked on their door in Spokane in the early hours of Monday to deliver the news that their son had been killed.  Hours later they were boarding a plane to Dover to await the return of his remains.
It’s just still very surreal. He’s a hero to us, but we’ll miss him forever.

I’m going to miss him until the day I die. I know he’s in heaven, and that’s a really reassuring thing for our family. We’re going to miss him until we go there.

Lallier was described by his fellow paratroopers as a shy and reserved man who would befriend everyone, according to a news release. They said he was a competent, trustworthy soldier whom colleagues were glad to have by their side.

Capt. Michael Kelvington, Bravo Company commander released this statement:

Spc. Lallier was a quiet professional. He impressed people with his deeds, not words. He was proud to be a part of the rare 0.45 percent that served his nation in a noble cause.

Never shying away from a challenge, his performance during operations over the past few months in combat has been everything that I could ask from a daring paratrooper. His example and love for his brothers will be deeply missed. We honor his memory by finishing the job that he and his brothers, gave their lives for. It was a privilege to serve alongside of him.

Pfc Jarrod A. Lallier's awards include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Combat Infantryman's Badge and the Parachutist Badge.

Pfc Jarrod A. Lallier is survived by his mother, Kim; father, Gary; brother, Jordan; and sister, Jessica.

 ~ Source   ~ Source

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Air Force Lt. Col. Charles M. Walling of Phoenix, Arizona

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of two servicemen, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and are being returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

Air Force Lt. Col. Charles M. Walling of Phoenix will be buried June 15 at Arlington National Cemetery. There will be a group burial honoring Walling and fellow crew member, Maj. Aado Kommendant of Lakewood, N.J., at Arlington National Cemetery, on Aug. 8 -- the 46th anniversary of the crash that took their lives.

On Aug. 8, 1966, Walling and Kommendant were flying an F-4C aircraft that crashed while on a close air support mission over Song Be Province, Vietnam. Other Americans in the area reported seeing the aircraft crash and no parachutes were deployed. Search and rescue efforts were not successful in the days following the crash.   ~ DoD News Release

Lt. Col. Walling volunteered as a replacement pilot and had hopes of returning home to his 2 year old son and his pregnant wife.  Instead, his family spent years not knowing what really happened to him and without proper closure.

Twenty-two years ago, Air Force cadet, Amy Santmyer, who is now Lt. Col. Amy Young, decided to wear a MIA bracelet engraved with the name Lt. Col. Charles M. Walling who was a F-4C Phantom pilot shot down in Vietnam.

MIA bracelets were developed in the 60s to ensure fallen service members would not be forgotten.  

Amy said:

I thought it was a very fitting tribute for any particular individual that no matter what else goes on, by wearing an MIA bracelet you ensure that at least one person will remember that individual who's missing, and keep the faith and not give up hope that they're going to come home.
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Lt. Col. Amy Young is now stationed with the 80th Operations Group at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas where she serves as a T-6 instructor pilot and chief of group scheduling.  

Recently Amy opened a request from the Pentagon for volunteers to support an upcoming funeral, this day the request was for Lt Col. Charles Walling.

I was absolutely shocked to see his name. As soon as I processed that he had been recovered, I immediately started making phone calls to confirm that they had actually found him and brought him home.
Lt. Col Young immediately obtained approval for a four-ship missing man flyover of T-6 Texans at Walling's funeral.  A flyover that she would lead.
Never would I have imagined to have been fortunate enough to be in a position to be able to do something like this for the family, to help lay him to rest the right way and in an honorable way and to show some tangible thanks from a grateful nation.
Amy sums it up perfectly:
One of the greatest commitments our country has made that people may not be aware of is that we will not leave a fallen Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine behind, and this story is a testament to that fact. That after 46 years we finally brought this particular Airman home, to his family. And the entire time that the family was waiting, they were not waiting alone.
 ~Source   ~ Source

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Maj. Aado Kommendant of Lakewood, New Jersey

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of two servicemen, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and are being returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

Air Force Lt. Col. Charles M. Walling of Phoenix will be buried June 15 at Arlington National Cemetery. There will be a group burial honoring Walling and fellow crew member, Maj. Aado Kommendant of Lakewood, N.J., at Arlington National Cemetery, on Aug. 8 -- the 46th anniversary of the crash that took their lives.

On Aug. 8, 1966, Walling and Kommendant were flying an F-4C aircraft that crashed while on a close air support mission over Song Be Province, Vietnam. Other Americans in the area reported seeing the aircraft crash and no parachutes were deployed. Search and rescue efforts were not successful in the days following the crash.   ~ DoD News Release

Aado was born in Paide, Estonia in 1941 and his family moved to Lakewood, New Jersey in 1950. He was voted "best looking" by his Lakewood High School class of 1960 and the school yearbook said he was an authority on cars and owned a "cool Ford convertible".

Kommendant attended the University of Miami in Florida and was a member of the ROTC program.  He was designated a "Distinguished Military Student" upon receiving his degree in Business Administration in 1964.  He accepted an Air Force commission immediately upon graduation.

He arrived in Vietnam in July of 1966 and was flying his 17th mission when his plane was shot down.

His nephew, a well-known softball coach at Raritan High School in Hazlet, was named after him.

Major Kommendant had been remembered in many ways since his death. His name is inscribed on the National Vietnam Memorial wall in Washington, D.C., and on the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial in Holmdel.

 ~ Source   ~ Source

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Army Cpl. Robert I. Wax of Detroit, Michigan

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, were identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Cpl. Robert I. Wax of Detroit will be buried June 20 at Arlington National Cemetery.  In August 1950, Wax and Battery A, 555th Field Artillery Battalion, were fighting against North Korean forces in a battle known as the “Bloody Gulch,” near Pongam-ni, South Korea.  After the battle, on Aug. 11, 1950, Wax was listed as missing in action.    ~ DoD News Release

Robert was raised in Detroit's west side where he was the youngest of four children.  His father, John (Jack) Wax was a Jewish doctor who ran a medical practice out of the family home.  When the reports of the Holocaust emerged from Europe, Jack Wax joined the Medical Corps.  He was killed in a 1944 military plane crash along China's border with Burma and is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

Robert's mother, Marcie Lindsay Wax was a Catholic nurse and died in 1970 long before her son's remains could be located.  His three siblings are also deceased.

Wax's cousin, Harvey Wax who is now 75, remembers how Robert would amuse his younger cousins for hours with magic tricks.

The big thing I remember was he was into magic.  He kind of turned me onto it when I was a kid. He would have the tricks that he'd get from the magic store. He'd show me how to do it.
Yesterday, June 20th, about a dozen relatives traveled to Arlington National Cemetery to attend his funeral.

His funeral, the first of the day at Arlington cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, began with a Catholic Mass in a chapel in Fort Myer next to the cemetery.

Wax's niece, Penelope Clute, a retired judge who lives in Plattsburgh, NY was four when her uncle died.  She has a photo of her uncle holding her and her brother in his lap.  It was taken shortly before he died.

There was a caisson and a marching band. It was very special.

Throughout the funeral, I kept thinking of my mother (one of Robert Wax's two sisters).

 ~ Source   ~ 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 CoastGuardsman) 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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