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Since 2001, 2061 U.S. troops have died while serving in Afghanistan, and since 2003, 4486 U.S. troops have died 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 friend, former classmate, or beloved family member will not be coming home from war.

Tonight we remember four more servicemen
lost to the war in Afghanistan:

Sgt. Justin M. Hansen, 26, of Traverse City, Michigan
Pfc. Adam C. Ross, 19, of Lyman, South Carolina
Spc. Justin L. Horsley, 21, of Palm Bay, Florida
Pfc. Brenden N. Salazar, 20, of Chuluota, Florida

Please take a moment below to remember them
and all those who have lost their lives in these wars.


The Department of Defense confirmed the death of a Marine serving in Special Operations.

 
Sgt. Justin M. Hansen, 26, of Traverse City, Michigan

Sgt. Hansen died July 24 during combat operations in Badghis province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, based in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Justin Hansen grew up in the small town of Kingsley, Michigan located about 12 miles south-southeast of Traverse City. He graduated from Kingsley High School in 2003, where he was a leader as a student athlete, playing on the football, wrestling, and track teams.

www9and10news

Justin's family and friends recall that he always wanted to be a Marine and serve his country. He enlisted soon out of high school. In his training he finished first out of 60 others for the RECON Unit. Hansen was selected to be in Special Operations for the U.S. Marine Corps.

Sgt. Hansen was on his second combat tour to Afghanistan.
Before that, Sgt Hansen served two combat tours in Iraq.

His high school friend Amanda said his loss was being strongly felt.

“We are still a small community. Everybody knows everybody."

AP story at CBS Local

Sgt. Hansen had served with the U.S. Marine Corps for 7 years.
On July 24 he was sweeping a house in Afghanistan when he was shot and killed by enemy fire.

WWW9and10news

www9and10news

His family is working through the grief, knowing that he gave his life fighting for our country, and if nothing else does, that is what's giving them peace.

His friend Jon Walton said in the Traverse City Record-Eagle,
that Hansen became interested in military service in high school.

"He knew he wanted to do something important with his life," he said.

Hansen regularly visited friends in Kingsley while on leave. Local residents always seemed appreciative, Jon Walton said.

"There wasn't a single time when we were out that someone didn't stop him and say 'Thank you for what you're doing," he said.

Hansen eventually became disillusioned with the Afghanistan war, Jon Walton said, and struggled with America's continued presence there. He thought it was more about politics and power than doing good, and didn't plan to go back once he returned home. But those concerns didn't undermine his dedication.

"He loved serving his country," he said.

Among those Sgt. Justin M. Hansen leaves behind are his father and mother
Sgt. Justin M. Hansen is missed. May he rest in peace.



Three young Italy-based soldiers with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team lost their lives in Afghanistan last week, reported The Army Times. One was killed by small arms fire, and two died when their unit was hit by a roadside bomb.

The 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team previously lost 52 soldiers during two deployments to Afghanistan, starting in 2007, when 43 died. Members of the unit earned one Medal of Honor, a Distinguished Service Cross, and 32 Silver Stars.

In 2009, the brigade returned to Afghanistan for a third time, according to a story in FloridaToday

The Department of Defense confirmed the death of a 173rd Airborne soldier:

 
Pfc. Adam C. Ross, 19, of Lyman, South Carolina

Pfc. Ross died July 24, in Wardak province, Afghanistan, after being wounded by small arms fire. Ross was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, stationed in Vicenza, Italy.

Adam Ross had wanted to be a soldier since he was a small child, according to his family. His scores on the military entrance exam were high and he could have served in any position, but he opted for the infantry, according to his uncle Kevin Nix in the The State.

“He had always desired to go into the military,” Nix said. “He had always had a passion to wear the uniform and fight on the front lines.”

Adam Ross graduated a semester early from James F. Byrnes High School at the end of 2010. He enlisted on April 4, 2011, following two role models, his father, Staff Sgt. Dudley Ross, who served 10 years in the U.S. Navy before transferring to the Army National Guard, and his brother, U.S. Army Pfc. Jonathan Ross, 24, who is stationed in South Korea.

The State  and WYFF4

His family described Adam Ross as "very family-oriented, well-liked and laid back." He and his family belonged to the Airport Baptist Church in Greer. His family said he was aware of the dangers of war and had a strong faith that his soul was saved.

Pfc. Ross was on a foot patrol when he was shot and killed in an ambush.

His parents and his girlfriend traveled to Delaware to meet the plane carrying Adam Ross’ body.

Adam's father, Staff Sgt. Dudley Ross said he is proud of his son.

"I know he was doing what he wanted to do. He was happy. I know he had some other dreams that he wanted to fill, but he didn't -- his time ran out," said George Ross. "God's in control. He knows what's best, and I made it home three times, and I feel like he needed Adam in heaven with him."

The State

Among those Pfc. Ross leaves behind are his mother, father, brother, and girlfriend, and his other family and friends.

Pfc. Adam C. Ross is missed. May he rest in peace.

 

The Department of Defense confirmed the death of a 173rd Airborne soldier:
 
Spc. Justin L. Horsley, 21, of Palm Bay, Florida
Spc. Horsley died July 22 in Pul-E Alam, Afghanistan of wounds received from an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, based in Caserma Ederle, Italy.
Justin Horsley graduated from Bayside High School, in Palm Bay, Florida, where he grew up. At Bayside High Justin wrestled, ran track and played football.

He joined the Army almost two years ago.

His family is devastated and in shock by the sudden loss, his brother said in a story at FloridaToday.

clickorlando.

Among those Spc. Horsley leaves behind are his family and friends in Palm Bay.
Spc. Justin L. Horsley is missed. May he rest in peace.



The Department of Defense confirmed the death of a 173rd Airborne soldier:
 
Pfc. Brenden N. Salazar, 20, of Chuluota, Florida
Pfc. Brenden N. Salazar died July 22 in Pul-E Alam, Afghanistan of wounds received from an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, based in Caserma Ederle, Italy.
Brendan Salazar graduated from Hagerty High School in Oveido, Florida, reported clickorlando.

I could find no additional information on this young solder who gave everything.
I will update when more information is found on Pfc. Salazar.

Among those Pfc. Salazar leaves behind are his family and friends in Florida.
Pfc. Brenden N. Salazar is missed. May he rest in peace.

* * *
Thanks to Timroff for our faithfully lighted candle IGTNT logo;
Other Photos by CalNM and linked Sources

Helping our troops: If you wish to assist our military and their families, consider Operation Helmet, or sponsoring a deployed service member at TroopCarePackage.com. Fisher House provides housing for families of injured troops and veterans who are recovering in hospitals, and Guardian angels for soldierspet assists the animal companions of our deployed military.

When our veterans come back home, they can find support at Welcome Back Veterans. Our recently returned veterans need jobs, and Veterans Green Jobs is now hiring for positions and filling training sessions. VGJ corps retrains veterans as leaders in forest and resource conservation, green construction, and energy efficient upgrades of homes in rural areas. Encourage a Veteran, and see if you can help out.

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About the IGTNT series: I Got the News Today is intended to honor, respect, and remember the fallen, and to remind us that each casualty has family and friends who received the terrible news that their loved one has died at war. 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 page. 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, JaxDem, theFatLadySings, Ekaterin, and me, CalNM. 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.
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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