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Tonight, we remember two soldiers from Joint Base Lewis- McChord and a paratrooper from Fort Bragg.  All died in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.

 Since 2001, there have been 2038 American troops killed in Afghanistan. Since January 1, 2012 there have been 176 U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan.  Please take a moment to honor their sacrifice.

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.



DoD Announces Army Casualty

Staff Sgt. Raul M. Guerra, 37, of Union City, N.J., died July 4, in Spin Boldak, Afghanistan.
Guerra was assigned to the 502nd Military Intelligence Battalion, 201st Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

Staff Sgt. Raul Guerra was on his 5th deployment.  He served four tours of duty in Iraq before going to Afghanistan.  Guerra joined the Army in 1999.  

The Mayor of Union City, Brian Stack, ordered flags to be at half staff in honor of Staff Sgt. Guerra.  He issued the following statement:

"My heart goes out to the family," Stack said. "We're very proud he was from Union City, and we thank him for giving his life for freedom."
Guerra's awards and decorations include the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star, Iraq Campaign Medal with campaign star and Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.

Source: Seattle Times,

DoD Announces Army Casualty
Spc. Jonathan Batista, 22, of Kinnelon, N.J., died July 8, in Zharay, Kandahar province, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire.  He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 321st Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.
Spc. Jonathan Batista grew up in Rutherford, New Jersey.  He graduated from Rutherford High School in 2007 and enlisted in the Army with the 82nd Airborne in 2010.  He was on his first deployment to Afghanistan, when he was killed during combat.  

His Little League coach, Tom Bloomer, told the news, he wasn't surprised Batista became a paratrooper.  
"When I read what he was doing in Afghanistan, it sounded like him," said Tom Bloomer, who coached Batista in 2002 when he was on the Flash Cleaners Little League team. "He always protected other people."
Spc. Batitsta's awards and decorations include:  including the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Army Achievement Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

Source: North

DoD Announces Army Casualty
Cpl. Juan P. Navarro, 23, of Austin, Texas, died July 7, in Kandahar, Afghanistan, when he was attacked with an enemy improvised explosive device. Navarro was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

Cpl. Juan Navarro graduated from Lanier High School in 2007.  He enlisted in the Army in June, 2008 and was with the 3rd Stryker Brigade. Navarro served in Iraq in 2009.
Cpl. Navarro planned to finish his tour of duty next year, then enroll in college.  On his facebook, July 5, he wrote:
“God loves me enough to let me go through all the lessons I came here to learn, even the ones that hurt the most,” Navarro wrote July 5.

“His presence doesn’t deny me. It’s always there to help me see and understand what I came to this place to learn.”

Source: News Tribune, Austin Statesman
I Got the News Today is a diary series intended to honor, respect and remind.  Its title is a reminder that almost every day a military family gets the terrible news about a loved one. 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.

All of the U.S. fatalities can be seen here and here.  They all had loved ones, families and friends.  The DoD news releases are here.  I Got the News Today is intended to honor, respect and remind.  Click the IGTNT tags below for previous diaries.

Click the IGTNT tags  to see the series, which was begun by i dunno, and which is maintained by  Monkeybiz, Noweasels, Blue Jersey Mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, joyful, SisTwo, Spam Nunn,  True Blue Majority, CalNM, Wide Awake in Kentucky, Maggie Jean, Jax Dem, Kestrel 9000, TheFatLadySings, Ekaterina, and me, Sandy on Signal.

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.

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