On August 16, 2012 a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter went down in Kandahar near Shah Wali Kot, killing all 11 on board. 7 were Americans including 2 Navy Seals, 4 Soldiers and One EOD Technician Sailor. The crash is under investigation by the Pentagon. This happened in a Taliban stronghold area and the Taliban have claimed responsibility; however, this has not been confirmed by the DoD.
Tonight's special tribute is an IGTNT collaborative diary, the writers who helped put this together are: JaxDem, The Fat Lady Sings, Ekaterin, Maggie Jean and me, Sandy on Signal.
DoD Announces Army and Navy Casualties
They died Aug. 16 in a helicopter crash northeast of Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Chief Warrant Officer Brian D. Hornsby, 37, of Melbourne, Fla., assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii;
Chief Warrant Officer Suresh N. A. Krause, 29, of Cathedral City, Calif., assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii;
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Petty Officer Technician 1st Class Sean P. Carson, 32, of Des Moines, Wash., assigned to an explosive ordnance disposal mobile unit in San Diego;
Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick D. Feeks, 28, of Edgewater, Md., assigned to a West Coast-based naval special warfare unit;
Sgt. Richard A. Essex, 23, of Kelseyville, Calif., assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii;
Sgt. Luis A. Oliver Galbreath, 41, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; and
Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 2nd Class David J. Warsen, 27, of Kentwood, Mich., assigned to a West Coast-based naval Special warfare unit.
CWO Hornsby joined the Army in 1998 and became a UH-50 Blackhawk helicopter pilot in 2003. He deployed on this tour to Afghanistan in January.
Major General Kurt Fuller, Commanding General, 25th Infantry Division released this statement:
Our heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of our fallen heroes. Although the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade family has suffered a huge loss, they still continue their mission with the utmost courage and resolve.Hornsby's father says he spoke to him on August 8, 2012 via Skype and sent the following to his local news station:
"CW3 Brian D. Hornsby was a loving and compassionate husband, father, son, brother and friend who never chose the easy path in life.Chief Warrant Officer Brian D. Hornsby's awards and decorations include the Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal and the Senior Army Aviator Badge.
He joined the Army in 1998 as a Military Policeman with the ultimate dream of becoming a pilot. That dream became a reality in 2001 when he was selected for the Army Warrant Officer and Aviation Programs.
Brian certified as a UH-60 Blackhawk pilot in 2003 and has flown VIP missions in Europe, MEDEVAC missions in Honduras, Air Assault missions in Iraq, and Special Operations Support missions in Afghanistan during his Army Aviation career.
It was during one of the Special Operations missions that his helicopter went down. He was highly respected as "one of the best of the best pilots" and often requested by name to fly the really tough and dangerous missions. He never turned down that special opportunity because he knew it would save the lives of fellow servicemen.
He leaves behind his lovely wife and two very special young children. We miss him dearly."
The family is making plans for a private memorial service.
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Sargeant Suresh Krause knew he wanted to fly since he was a young boy. He was killed in action on Aug. 16 while piloting a Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter in the Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province, Afghanistan.
"He gave us so much love,” said Suzette Krause-Schmidt, the victim’s mother. “It's going to be hard to go on. He was our only child." -NBC Los AngelesSuresh was born in Sri Lanka to Krause-Schmidt's sister, Yolette Abayasekara, and adopted by the Krause-Schmidt's. It took several years for his adoption papers to come through.
“Yolette wanted him to have a better life,” Brian Schmidt said. “In Sri Lanka, they don't have the things we have here. It's a Third World country.” -my desertKrause needed to become a citizen in order to attend college. He received assistance from US Representative Mary Mack Bono, who was present at his swearing in. He attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona, to fulfill his dream of becoming a pilot. He entered the service upon graduation.
“He said, ‘I've given it a lot of thought, and I've been given this opportunity to succeed and fulfill my dreams because of Mary Bono Mack. I have to repay what's been given to me,'” Schmidt said. -my desertHis father, Brian Schmidt, knew something was wrong when no email message arrived after the crash. Usually Suresh found a way to contact his parents after a crash to put his parents' minds at ease. Hours passed and no email came.
Schmidt sensed the worst when a neighbor called to tell him a military vehicle was sitting outside the house. He rushed home to hear the words no parent ever wants to hear.
Petty Officer First Class Sean P. Carson joined the Navy in 1999. In 2009, he joined the highly specialized and skilled team of Explosive Ordnance Disposal. This type of work requires clear thinking, skill and competence for it is one of the most dangerous fields in the military.
Carson did not share the details of his work with his mother, in order to keep her from worry. Fran Carson, his mother, told the KOMO news
"I've found out so many wonderful things about my son the last three days," she said. "It's incredible for a mother to hear all those wonderful things. How brave he was. They said he was a warrior."Warrior, indeed. Carson earned the following awards and decorations: the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon (2), Battle Efficiency Ribbon (2), Good Conduct Medal (2), National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
Petty Officer First Class Sean Carson has a wife and young daughter.
Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick D. Feeks, 28, of Edgewater, Maryland and Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 2nd Class David J. Warsen, 27, of Kentwood, Michigan were both Navy SEALs assigned to Coronado's Naval Special warfare unit. Capt. Collin P. Green, Naval Special Warfare Group One's commander, praised Feeks and Warsen in a statement as:
"great warriors, teammates and friends to many of us in the Naval Special Warfare community."Feeks graduated from South River High School in 2002. One of his favorite quotes, from the 2002 yearbook, was:
“When the impossible has been accomplished the only reward is another mission no one else will try.”Feeks enlisted in the Navy in 2006, and completed Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training and advanced training. He had served with a West Coast-based SEAL unit, SEAL Team Three, since May 2008.
He deployed to Iraq in 2008 and 2011, and to Afghanistan in December 2011.
Feeks and his wife Emily were married on March 12, 2011.
His awards and decorations include the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
His family said he loved being a SEAL and
“...was the type of man that would inspire everyone else around him. He was a true friend and warrior — no one could ever question his integrity and commitment to his family and country.”
Feeks is survived by his parents, Thomas and Virginia, and by his wife, Emily. Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time.
Sgt. Richard A. Essex, 23, of Kelseyville, Calif.
A young soldier from Kelseyville was among 11 people killed in southern Afghanistan on Thursday when the Black Hawk helicopter they were riding in crashed.
Richard Essex, 23, was among the casualties who died in the crash, according to his aunt, Mayme Dyslin of Kelseyville.
Dyslin said Thursday evening that her family was notified just a few hours earlier during a visit from two members of the military. She said her nephew was the helicopter’s gunner.
Essex was a 2008 graduate of Kelseyville High School who had always wanted to go into the U.S. Army, Dyslin said.
“It’s just what he always wanted to do,” Dyslin said. “He wanted to help people.”
“It's just hard to think he's gone,” said his sister, Jennifer Williamson. “He was such a big joker; when my mom called, I was almost waiting for him to pop around the corner and say ‘gotcha.'”
Essex will be cremated, as he wished, she said. The family plans initially to hold a private service. A public military service will be held at 11 a.m., Sept. 1 at Kelseyville High School, said Principal Matt Cockerton.
“He was a nice kid. A real positive kid,” said an emotional Cockerton. “He was back here last year doing a recruiting assignment. He was very proud of what he'd accomplished.”
Essex was born in Blythe but moved to Lake County when he was just 3 months old, Williamson said. He attended Kelseyville High School, where he played football but was as much or more interested in music and poetry.
He played guitar and loved all types of music, Williamson said. But he primarily was a poet, having published two books of autobiographical poetry.
“He just loved writing poems,” his sister said.
Among the belongings his parents will be retrieving from the military are notebooks filled with poems he wrote in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Essex is survived by his parents, Marion and Brett Hopkins of Kelseyville; sisters, Stacey Hopkins and Jennifer Williamson; and brother, Michael Essex.
Source Source - Maggie Jean
Sergeant Luis A. Oliver Galbreath, 41, of San Juan, Puerto Rico was assigned to A Company, 2nd Battalion, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
Galbreath was on his second deployment. He joined the Army in January 2003 and became a Helicopter Repairer in December 2003.
Galbreath is survived by his wife and three children.
Sergeant Oliver Galbreath's awards and decorations include the Air Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal and the Army Aviation Badge.
Great-uncle and Kent County Commissioner, Harold Voorhees described his nephew as an upbeat and wonderful guy. In speaking on David's sacrifice to serve as a Navy Seal, Voorhees said this:
What he went through to have that designation takes a lot of self-sacrifice.Grandfather, Duke Warsen said they communicated on Skype frequently:
He was very tight-lipped. He didn't want us to worry. But we could hear in his voice, things were pretty bad over there.PO2 Warsen met his fiancee Karlyn Deveau while he was stationed in San Diego and she was working as a nurse at a neonatal hospital. The two were to be married on December 8th in the Grand Rapids area.
Grandfather, Duke Warsen said:
They were happy as two kids in a candy store.Karlyn's brother, Kurt Deveau said the two were planning to eventually move back to the Midwest, where they both grew up.
He was one of the greatest guys I’ve ever met. He just was genuine and a real nice guy. He was a guy you could hang out with all the time.Family members report a large number of sailors have already arrived for his funeral service which will likely be later this week.
My mom loved him. He was good to Karlyn and was a good guy.
Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 2nd Class (SEAL) David J. Warsen is survived by his father and stepmother, David and Stephanie Warsen; his mother and stepfather, Patricia Vroon-Frank and Greg Frank; and brothers, Aaron, Kyle and Ryan.
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, SisTwo, Spam Nunn, True Blue Majority, CalNM, Wide Awake in Kentucky, Maggie Jean, Jax Dem, TheFatLadySings, Ekaterin, 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.