Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality. ~Emily Dickinson
I Got the News Today (IGTNT) is a diary series intended to honor service members who have died as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The title is a reminder that almost every day a military family gets the terrible news about a loved one.
The beautiful forget-me-nots were created by llbear.
Since 2003 there have been 4486 US casualties in Iraq and since 2001 there have been 2114 US casualties in Afghanistan. Source.
The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
They died Sept. 5, in Logar Province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when their aircraft crashed. They were assigned to the 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jose L. Montenegro Jr., 31, of Houston, Texas, and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Thalia S. Ramirez, 28, of San Antonio, Texas.
The two soldiers were assigned to the 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.
The cause of the crash is under investigation but there are reports the chopper was shot down.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jose L. Montenegro Jr., 31, of Houston, Texas joined the U.S. Army in 2001 as an enlisted infantryman, according to a Fort Bragg news release
"He loved his country and was proud to do what was asked of him, without question, without hesitation," said U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jason England, Troop F, 1-17 Air Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade.Montenegro, earned OH-58D Kiowa Warrior aviator qualification in 2008, and attended the Warrant Officer Basic Course in 2009. He was then assigned to Fort Bragg. This was Montenegro's third deployment. He previously was deployed to Iraq in 2004 and Afghanistan in 2010.
"He would not have us mourn for him," said England in a memorial ceremony on Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Sept. 7. "He died on the field of battle with his boots on and a rifle in his hand. He has gone to his rest, to the open arms of a loving Savior."Montenegro's awards include the Air Medal with Valor 4th device, Air Medal 2nd device, Purple Heart Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with "V" device, Army Achievement Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Valorous Unit Award, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three Campaign Stars, Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon 3rd device, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Combat Action Badge and the Army Aviator Badge.
He is survived by his mother, Reyna Torres, and sister, Liliana Montenegro.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Thalia S. Ramirez, 28, of San Antonio, Texas is originally from Nairobi, Kenya, and most recently of Raeford, North Carolina. She joined the U.S. Army in 2003 as an enlisted water purification specialist according to a Fort Bragg press release.
"She was a true quiet professional, and an incredible role model to so many," said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Landy Dunham, commander, Task Force Talon, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade. "Thalia never failed to set the perfect example of a confident and competent warrior. She was fearless, and loved her job. She selflessly risked everything, on a regular basis, in defense of her brothers and sisters in arms."Ramirez earned OH-58D Kiowa Warrior aviator qualification in 2008, and was assigned to the 82nd CAB in 2009. This was her second deployment.
Ramirez's awards include the Air Medal 3rd device, the Purple Heart Medal, Army Commendation Medal with Valor, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Valorous Unit Award, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three Campaign Stars, Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon 2nd device, NATO Medal, the Combat Action Badge and the Army Aviator Badge.
"As we finish up this deployment and return home, in some way remember my friend Thalia," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joseph Panza, Troop F, 1-17 Air Cavalry Regiment, at the Thursday ceremony on Bagram Airfield honoring both pilots. "Whether it's a moment of silence, a toast, or a prayer to whatever divine power you believe in. Just a small gesture for someone who made a huge sacrifice doing what she believed in."Ramirez is survived by her husband, Jesse Belbeck, in the U.S., and mother and father, Justin Ramirez and Alexandra Moll, in Kenya.
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To see what these tributes mean to those who have lost a loved one in Iraq or Afghanistan, please read Sandy on Signal’s story about meeting the father of a soldier at NN10.
The IGTNT logo was created by Timroff.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.