Tonight we honor an Army Captain who died on Friday while conducting training exercises at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. His death was not combat-related; the Army is conducting an investigation into the circumstances.
Since 2001, 2030 U.S. troops have lost their lives while serving in Afghanistan; since 2003, 4486 U.S. troops have lost their lives while serving in Iraq.
The IGTNT (I Got The News Today) series is a remembrance of U.S. servicemembers who 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.
Capt. Bruce A. MacFarlane, 46, of Oviedo, Florida, died July 6, in Kandahar, Afghanistan. MacFarlane was assigned to the 1186th Transportation Company, 831st Transportation Battalion, Jacksonville, FL.Please join me below for a remembrance of his life.
Capt. Bruce A. MacFarlane
Born in Memphis, TN, Capt. MacFarlane graduated from West Orange High School in 1984. He enlisted in the Army in 1988 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1991 after completing the ROTC program. That same year, MacFarlane earned a business degree from the University of Central Florida.
He was promoted to captain in 1996 and served previously in Kuwait and Afghanistan. Capt. MacFarlane was released from active duty in 2000 but was mobilized for deployment to Afghanistan with his Army Reserve unit in April, as part of a logistics team. He was an Army aviator attack pilot and flew Apache and Cobra planes.
Until his recent deployment, MacFarlane ran a pool business. An Eagle Scout himself, he was also a Boy Scout leader. According to a neighbor, Keith Marang, Capt. MacFarlane "was a great guy, good family guy:"
"He always had a smile on his face. He spent last summer building a pool in his back yard.... He sat out there day after day piecing together the stone, one by one by one for his kids, we used to joke, the kids are going to love this next summer, now he's not going to be here to enjoy it, he never got to enjoy it."
Capt. MacFarlane's sister, Angela Beth MacFarlane, said of her brother:
"He had the heart of a soldier. He said it was hard to leave his family. But he was very passionate about serving his country...He was a really good, good guy who loved his country."Capt. MacFarlane, whose son was a Boy Scout and his daughter a Girl Scout, had recently gotten involved in orphanage work in Afghanistan. The military support group at his Oviedo church sent him care packages and began collecting items to send to the orphanage. On Thursday, the day before Capt. MacFarlane died, the church received a letter and picture of his unit from him.
While overseas, Capt. MacFarlane emailed his wife Kristina every day. When she had not heard from him on Friday, she sent an email about 3 p.m. to check on him. Two hours later, soldiers came to her home to inform her about his death.
The family was at Dover Air Force Base on Sunday to receive MacFarlane’s body.
Lt. Col. Marc Spencer of MacFarlane's battalion wrote that he last saw Macfarlane on July 1. He said:
"We will carry his memory with us always, with the respect and honor due our fallen comrade.”Capt. MacFarlane is survived by his wife Kristina and two children, 15-year-old Conner and 12-year-old Chloe.
Rest in peace, Capt. Bruce A. MacFarlane. 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.
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.