As an IGTNT diarist, it is impossible not to notice the increased frequency of troop losses being suffered in Afghanistan. I have always signed up for one diary a week. In the past, I was rarely required to write one of these sad diares more than once per month. Now, regularly, two or more casualties are listed on each of my selected dates.
Today, for the first time, I am diarying the deaths of two men killed by individuals wearing US uniforms. So much has been made of this ominous change, that it is difficult to find information about the brave men who passed on. I rarely make personal statements in IGTNT diaries, but I find it impossible to not note the impact of these tactical changes on our men and women in uniform. God bless our troops and their families, and keep them from harm!
I Got The News Today (IGTNT) , which is among the oldest continuous series on Daily Kos, 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.
Lt. Col. Christopher "Otis" K. Raible, Commander of a VMA-211 attack squadron based in Yuma, AZ, was killed on September 15 when 15 well-armed insurgents attacked Camp Bastion in Helmand Province. Six of the Harrier jets Raible were trained to fly were also destroyed in the attack along with three refueling stations. Another Marine, Sgt. Bradley W. Atwell was also killed in the attack.
Raible had served in the Marine Corps for 17 years, completing tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq. He logged over 2,000 hours in the Harrier AV-8B. His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Air Medal-Strike/Flight (numeral 10), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (second award), Air Medal-Individual Action, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal (second award), and NATO Service Medal-International Security Assistance Force.
Raible was a graduate of Norwin High School in Huntingdon, playing football as a defensive back. He was a member of the Math Club, and graduated near the top of his class. He graduated from from Carnegie Mellon University in 1995 with a degree in civil engineering. His former teachers and classmates remember him as an exceptional student and a leader.
He leaves behind a wife and two children.
Please view the WTAE News Video commemorating Lt. Col. Raible's life.
"It is like on the movies. It's your worst fear," Victor Atwell, Brad's father said. "It's your worst nightmare. Everything about you just sinks to the pavement, really not a worse feeling in the world." -WBIW.com
Jimmy Coates, fiancée to Cheryl Atwell, Bradley’s mother, said the family received the news of his death late Friday.Victor Atwell communicated with his son shortly before the attack began. Fifteen insurgents wearing US uniforms breached the base in what appears to be a well-coordinated and well-rehearsed assault.
“It was just grief and shock,” he said. “We are devastated. There’s 20,000 troops over there, and it happens to our boy. He’s a hero. He protected and defended our way of life.” Kokomo Tribune