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Since 2001, 2134 U.S. troops have lost their lives while serving in Afghanistan, and since 2003, 4486 U.S. troops have lost their lives while serving in Iraq.

The IGTNT (I Got The News Today) series is a reminder that nearly every day, somebody gets the heartbreaking news that a friend, former classmate, or beloved family member will not be coming home from war.

Tonight we remember two Soldiers and a Marine,
each married with young children, who died far from home:

Sgt. 1st Class Riley Stephens, 39, of Tolar, Texas
Sgt. 1st Class Daniel T. Metcalfe, 29, of Liverpool, New York
Sgt. Camella M. Steedley, 31, of San Diego, California

Please take a moment below to remember them,
and all who have died in these wars.

The Department of Defense confirmed the death of a decorated Green Beret veteran who was killed in an insider attack.

Sgt. 1st Class Riley G. Stephens, 39, of Tolar, Texas

Sgt. 1st Class Stephens died September 28, in Wardak, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained from enemy small arms fire. Stephens was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Riley Stephens grew up in the small town of Tolar, Texas, west of Fort Worth. The town came out to honor their hero with a candlelight vigil. They held his memorial ceremony at the Old Tolar Rattler Football Field at Tolar High School where he wore #66 before graduating in 1991.

Please see the touching memorial and photos for Sgt. First Class Stephens by left over flower child, who attended the ceremony.

Riley Stephens enlisted in the Army in 1993. He was Ranger qualified and volunteered for the Special Forces. He graduated from the elite unit's qualification course in 2005, and specialized as a medical sergeant.

Sgt. First Class Stephens was on his fifth deployment to Afghanistan. World News NBC reports that Sgt. First Class Stephens and an American military contractor died in an insider attack by Afghan Army solider at a check point.

Riley Stephens was married and the father of three children.

Hood County News, photo by Mary Vinson

Sources: Star-Telegram and NBC NEWS and NBC DFW

Sgt. First Class Stephens was awarded many medals and decorations over his career, including the the Purple Heart Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, the Bronze Star with valor device, two other Bronze Star Medals, and the Army Achievement Medal with valor device.

Among those Sgt. 1st Class Riley Stephens leaves behind are his wife and three chidlren, his father and stepmother, and his soldiers.

Sgt. 1st Class Riley Stephens is missed. May he rest in peace.

The Department of Defense confirmed the death of an Army paratrooper in an insider attack.

Sgt. 1st Class Daniel T. Metcalfe, 29, of Liverpool, New York

Sgt. 1st Class Daniel T. Metcalfe died September 29, in Sayyid Abad, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when his unit was attacked with small arms fire.  The incident is under investigation. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Caserma Ederle in Vicenza, Italy.

Daniel Metcalfe grew up between Liverpool and Penfield, New York, outside of Rochester. According to his father quoted in the Democrat and Chronicle, Daniel was a free spirit as a young man.

Daniel lived with his mother for the first 12 years of his life, then with his father.  He moved to Penfield where he attended Penfield High School from 1997 to 2000, leaving as a junior.

Daniel earned his general equivalency degree and joined the Army in 2000.

“He joined so he could go jump out airplanes,” his father said. “Course, I’d always give him a hard time; I spent time in the service.”

He met his wife Vesna when he was stationed in Italy, and they married in 2005.

The couple have three children, Alexis, 6, Edward, 3 and Nathaniel, 11 months.

Sgt. Metcalfe was deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan. He completed three tours in the military before returning to Fort Benning to become a drill instructor.

Sgt. Metcalfe moved back to Italy in 2011 and was redeployed in July for his fourth combat tour.

photo by Democrat and Chronicle

More than 100 people attended a memorial service for Sgt. Metcalfe in Penfield.

His family says he will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Among those Sgt. 1st Class Metcalfe leaves behind are his wife and three children, his mother, his father, and his brother and sister, and friends in the 173rd Airborne.

Sgt. 1st Class Daniel T. Metcalfe is missed. May he rest in peace.

Sources: MyFoxNY and CNYCentral

The Department of Defense confirmed the death of a Marine from Camp Pendleton.

Sgt. Camella M. Steedley, 31, of San Diego, California

Sgt. Steedley died October 3, while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. The circumstances of her death are under investigation. Steedly was assigned to Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Camp Pendleton, California.  

Camella Marchett Alsbrooks Steedley comes from San Diego, California, where her father and mother still live. She enlisted in the Marine Corps in December of 2001.

Camella had lived in San Clemente with her husband of eight years, fellow Marine James Steedley, and their four children. The couple and children had also been previously stationed at Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay.

Sgt. Steedley was an air operations clerk in a logistics unit and serving her first Afghanistan combat deployment.

Her friends and fellow Marines describe Camella Marchett as a great friend and loving soul with a beautiful smile and good conversation whenever needed.

photo by IVpressonline

Among those Sgt. Steedley leaves behind are her husband and four young children, and her mother and father, and her fellow Marines.

Sgt. Camella M. Steedley is missed. May she rest in peace.

Sources: UTSanDiego and Camp Pendleton Patch and Fox5 San Diego

* * *

Thanks to Timroff for our faithfully lighted candle IGTNT logo;
Other Photos by CalNM and linked Sources

Helping our troops: If you wish to assist our military and their families, consider Operation Helmet, or sponsoring a deployed service member at Fisher House provides housing for families of injured troops and veterans who are recovering in hospitals, and Guardian angels for soldierspet assists the animal companions of our deployed military.

When our veterans come back home, they can find support at Welcome Back Veterans. Our recently returned veterans need jobs, and Veterans Green Jobs is now hiring for positions and filling training sessions. VGJ corps retrains veterans as leaders in forest and resource conservation, green construction, and energy efficient upgrades of homes in rural areas. Encourage a Veteran, and see if you can help out.

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About the IGTNT series: I Got the News Today is intended to honor, respect, and remember the fallen, and to remind us that each casualty has family and friends who received the terrible news that their loved one has died at war.

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. The US Department of Defense news releases are found at defense gov/releases. Icasualties lists the names of those killed, and shows the number of wounded. Published AP photos of the returning war fatalities are found on the Dover AFB page. Click the IGTNT tags below for previous diaries in the series which was begun by i dunno, and which is maintained by monkeybiz, noweasels, blue jersey mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, joyful, roses, SisTwo, a girl in MI, Spam Nunn, JeNoCo, Janos Nation, True Blue Majority, Proud Mom and Grandma, Sandy on Signal, Wide Awake in Kentucky, Ms Wings, maggiejean, JaxDem, and me, CalNM. These diaries are heartbreaking to write, but are an important service to those who have died, and show our community’s respect for our fallen brothers and sisters.

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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