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A military funeral is awarded any member of the armed forces who dies in battle. One element of the military funeral is the folding of the flag which had been draped over the coffin and the presentation of that flag by a member of the military honor guard to the next of kin.  The presentation of the flag often provides an important sense of closure to the surviving family members.  The presentation procedure involves the honor guard member kneeling in front of the recipient, holding the folded flag waist high with the straight edge facing the recipient and while leaning toward the recipient the Honor Guard for the United States Army would say:

"On behalf of the President of the United States and the people of a grateful nation, may I present this flag as a token of appreciation for the honorable and faithful service your loved one rendered this nation."

I Got The News Today (IGTNT) is among 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.
Honoring and Remembering:
1st Lt. Todd W. Lambka
Pfc. Jesus J. Lopez
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Since 2001 we have suffered the loss of 2073 American lives and a total of 3119 Coalition Forces in Afghanistan.
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This video, demonstrating the proper protocol for folding a flag, was produced by the Arlington National Cemetery and is narrated by Tom Sherlock, Arlington Historian.

At the end of the day, those soldiers honored the flag and here at Arlington that flag honors them.

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

They died Aug. 1, in Paktika province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when they encountered an enemy improvised explosive device.  These soldiers were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.

             Killed were

                         1st Lt. Todd W. Lambka, 25, of Fraser, Michigan, and

                         Pfc. Jesus J. Lopez, 22, of San Bernardino, California

     ~ DoD Press Release

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1st Lt Todd W Lambka, 25, Fraser, MI (Robbinsville, NC)
1st Lt Todd W. Lambka, 25, Fraser, Michigan
Todd Lambka lived his early years in Michigan and moved to Robbinsville, North Carolina when he was in the eight grade.  He was a graduate of Robbinsville High School where he was a member of the wrestling team.

Wrestling Coach, Todd Odom who coached Lambka for two years said:

He was the epitome of a class guy. If you could imagine the best young man you could put together, if you could find all the attributes of what you would consider a great young man to be, Todd Lambka was 10 times more than that.

He was a kid who wasn’t the greatest athlete, but he made up for it by working harder than anybody else. When he was 15 years old he acted like he was 25. He was very mature, very well spoken, very intelligent.

I’ve got two boys of my own, and if you want your kids to grow up like somebody, then you would want them to be like Todd Lambka.

Robbinsville Principal and History Teacher, David Matheson said of Todd:
During his time here he was just an extraordinary young man. He exemplified all the characteristics you would want in a leader. Several of our faculty members wrote recommendations for him when he applied to West Point.

We’re very lucky to have young men like Todd who are willing to serve our country and protect our freedom.

1st Lt. Lambka was a 2010 graduate of West Point.  His mother passed away while he was attending West Point and he received the Robert Foley Scholarship of Honor which is awarded to a cadet that excells despite personal hardships.  In a letter he wrote after receiving the award, Lambka said in part:
"I will serve humbly and honorably to the best of my ability in peacetime and in combat... and continue the proud tradition in joining the long gray line and living duty, honor, country."
1st Lt. Todd W. Lambka's twin brother, Jordan is serving in a different part of Afghanistan. Jordan accompanied his brother's remains to Dover Air Force Base.

Anthony Ditmore, who was the mother’s first cousin, said Lambka recently was promoted to first lieutenant and planned to marry next June in the Detroit area.

He was one of the greatest guys I’ve ever known. I never heard anybody say any ill words of him at all. He was just a big kid at heart, but very mature.
1st Lt. Todd W. Lambka will be buried at West Point.  He is survived by his father, his twin brother and his fiancee.

 ~ Source   ~ Source   ~ Source

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Pfc. Jesus J. Lopez, 22, of San Bernardino, Calif.,
Pfc Jesus J Lopez, 22, San Bernarndio, California
I'm sorry to say that there was no personal information to be found on Pfc Jesus J. Lopez.  I'm certain he was an outstanding man with many fine qualities who will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

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Rest easy, sleep well my brothers.
Know the line has held, your job is done.
Rest easy, sleep well.
Others have taken up where you fell, the line has held.
Peace, peace, and farewell
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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, 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.

Helmets to Hardhats - Connects veterans into promising careers in construction.

Homes For Our Troops – Building specially adapted homes for our severely injured veterans at no cost to the veterans.

The Landstuhl Hospital Care Project (LHCP) - a non-profit organization that provides comfort and relief items for military members who become sick, injured, or wounded from service in Afghanistan.

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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