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Tonight, we remember three more soldiers.  One was a female soldier, who served 23 years with the military.  Two were Fort Carson soldiers, who  were killed in Afghanistan by an Afghan trainee.  There have been 48 "green on blue" NATO troops killed in 2012.  In August over a dozen have been killed so far.  This represents 14 % of the total casualties in 2012. This  number is sure to rise by the end of the year.  Last August at this time, there were 31 such casualties.

Since 2001, there have been 2107 American troops killed in Afghanistan. Since January 1, 2012 there have been 243 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.

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DoD Announces Army Casualties

They died Aug. 27, in Kalagush, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered from enemy, small arms fire.  They were assigned to the 4th Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.

Killed were:

Sgt. Christopher J. Birdwell, 25, of Windsor, Colo., and

Spc. Mabry J. Anders, 21, of Baker City, Ore.

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Sgt. Christopher Birdwell joined the Army right after graduation from Windsor High School in 2005.   He completed Army Airborne school and graduated top of the class at sniper school. In February 2011, he was promoted to Sergeant and served as a squad leader to 8.  He served three tours of duty in Afghanistan.

Sgt. Christopher Birdwell, IGTNT
Sgt. Christopher Birdwell
His father told the Times- Call:
"He fit really well into the service," his father, Jim Birdwell, said Tuesday. "He was going to make it a career."
From the Denver Post:
Chris' mother, Pam, said her son had a gift for brightening a person's day. "He could make anyone smile," she said. "There was just something about him that made him able to bring a smile to anyone's face."
Sgt. Christopher Birdwell, Maley Birdwell, IGTNT,
Sgt. Christopher Birdwell with sister Maley Birdwell
Sgt. Birdwell is survived by his parents, younger brother and two younger sisters.  
video
Birdwell was a highly decorated soldier and received over 20 commendations, including a posthumously awarded Purple Heart and Bronze Star with V for valor.  Funeral arrangements are pending.

Rest in Peace, Sgt. Christopher Birdwell.
Sources: Denver Post, Times-Call, Gazette.com
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Spc.Mabry Anders
Spc. Mabry Anders was born on July 22, 1991 in Yuma, Arizona.  His family moved to Oregon and he attended school at Baker High School.  In his senior year, he moved to San Bernardino County, California, where he attended Baker High School (another one)  in Baker, California.  

He is remembered for being an outgoing, fun guy. The Baker High School Asst. Principal, Gundula Oneal recalled:

"He was a very likeable, social kid. He had an upbeat personality,"
Anders's joined the Army in January, 2010. In July 2011, he transferred to Fort Carson, and was deployed to Afghanistan in March 2012.   Although, this was his first tour of duty, Anders was highly decorated and earned the following awards:
Combat Action Badge and NATO Medal, in addition to the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and other awards, the army reported. Anders was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star with Valor.  

Ander's parents issued the following statement:

"Mabry always gave his all, and in the end he gave all he had," they said in a prepared statement. "We will miss his fearless spirit and love of life."
Rest in Peace, Spc. Mabry Anders.
Sources: The Oregonian,

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DoD Announces Army Casualty
Staff Sgt. Jessica M. Wing, 42, of Alexandria, Va., died Aug. 27, in Kuwait City, Kuwait in a non-combat related incident.  She was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 126th Aviation Regiment, Bangor, Maine.
Staff Sgt. Jessica Wing died unexpectedly in Kuwait. Wing served 23 years in our Armed Forces with the Army and Maine National Guard.  She was a technician on the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and served many tours of duty from Haiti, Bosnia to three tours in the Middle East.
From the Sun Journal, a friend describes Wing:
"I am heartbroken by her passing, especially as she was doing what she loved, protecting all of us," said Renee St. Jean, who grew up with Wing in Bowdoinham. "She joined the military after high school but would always stop over when she was on leave. The military was her life and ultimately her death. I am honored to have called her my friend of many, many years and believe there is no other way she would want to go than by defending her country."
Staff Sgt. Jessica Wing
Staff Sgt. Jessica Wing (left)
From the Portland Press Herald:
"The untimely and tragic loss of SSG Jessica Wing has deeply saddened and shocked all of us in the Maine National Guard and across the state of Maine," Col. James Campbell, the acting adjutant general of the Maine National Guard, said in a statement.
This 2005 photo provided by the U.S. Army shows Staff Sgt. Jessica M. Wing, 42, who died Monday, Aug. 27, 2012 (AP Photo/U.S. Army)
Staff Sgt. Jessica Wing
Rest in Peace, Staff Sgt. Jessica Wing.
Sources: Sun Journal, Portland Press Herald

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In Flanders Fields
by Lt. Col. John McRae, MD,  (1872-1918)

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row
That mark our place, and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead.  Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved,
and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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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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Originally posted to IGTNT Advisory Group on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 05:06 PM PDT.

Also republished by IGTNT.

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