Since 2001 we have lost 2270 American troops in Afghanistan and a total of 3372 American and coalition forces.
Amazing Grace - Performed by the US Air Force Band
Taps - Sounded on an original Civil War era clairon
Day is done
Gone the sun
From the lakes
From the hills
From the sky
All is well
God is nigh
DoD Identifies Air Force Casualty: The Department of Defense announced today the death of an airman who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Staff Sgt. Todd J. Lobraico Jr., 22, of New Fairfield, Conn., died Sept. 5, 2013, from wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire near Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 105th Security Forces Squadron at Stewart Air National Guard Base, N.Y. ~ DoD News Release
Future Business Leaders advisor, Joe Gargano said T.J. was involved in many charitable causes including Thanksgiving food baskets for residents, an annual dodgeball game and food cards for families in town.
Chris Welter, T.J.'s social studies teacher said Todd was one of the kindest and most compassionate men to ever attend New Fairfield High School.
It was this compassion and sense of honor and duty that led him to proudly serve his country. Our community and our country have lost an amazing young man.New Fairfield Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Alicia Roy said:
It is a sad day for the staff and community. We are proud of students who choose to join the military to defend the United States. We are deeply saddened when that commitment costs the ultimate sacrifice. We will always remember and be thankful for TJ's dedication to our country.T.J. enlisted in the New York National Guard's 105th Airlift Wing in June of 2008. That Todd would join the National Guard came as no surprise as his father, a police officer at the Stamford Police Department, is a Master Sgt in the 105th Security Forces Squadron and a veteran of the first Persian Gulf War and his mother, Major Linda Rohatsch, commands the 105th Medical Group.
SSGT Lobraico was on his second deployment having served at Balad Air Base, Iraq from December 2010 to June 2011.
Major General Patrick Murphy, the Adjutant General of New York National Guard issued this statement:
The New York National Guard family extends our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Staff Sgt. Todd Lobraico Jr. This fine, young airman had already served in a combat zone once before and knew the risks he was facing. Despite that, he did his job professionally and with courage. He will be missed by all who served with him and knew him.Col. Timothy LaBarge, the commander of the 105th Airlift Wing said in a statement:
One of the things that Staff Sgt Todd Lobraico most certainly knew when he volunteered to deploy is that our business is a dangerous business. Todd Jr. faced that fact and still did his job every day with unblinking determination and professionalism. He is rock solid model of the American Combat Airman and we are extraordinarily proud of him. The pride that we feel about Staff Sgt. Lobraico and his squadron mates amplifies that sorrow that we individually and collectively feel upon his passing. Todd Jr. has, and will continue to be, a shining example of heroism for all of us to look up to.
We pretty much just grew up together. We'd have family parties every year, and he's who I would remember the most. He always liked to have fun. He was pretty much always in a good mood. His English mastiff, Gus, and his tricked-out car, Subaru STI, were his pride and joy.Fellow Airman, Matthew Travis Zuniga who served with Lobraico said he couldn't have known a better individual of his own age.
(Pictured left is T.J.; his father, Todd Lobracio, Sr. and Gus, T.J.'s mastiff)
T.J. was a determined and awesome kid, everyone loved him and will miss him. I'd trade in all my medals to go back and trade places with him, that's how much I respected and loved him.In a prepared statement ordering Connecticut and U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of SSGT Lobraico, Governor Dannel P. Malloy said:
We are deeply saddened by the loss of Staff Sgt. Lobraico. His family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. This loss reminds us of the dangers faced by our men and women stationed overseas. We should all be grateful for their service and sacrifices to our country.Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman added:
The loss of this brave young man is a sad reminder that hundreds of Connecticut military men and women are still in danger overseas even as our involvement in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan approach a conclusion. I hope that all Connecticut residents take a moment to recognize the sacrifice in defense of our freedom made by Airman Lobraico and the other 64 heroes from our state lost in battle since Sept. 11, 2001.Staff Sgt Todd J. Lobraico, Jr.'s awards include the Meritorious Unit Award, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Air Force Overseas Short Tour Ribbon, Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Air Force Training Ribbon, and the New York State Humane Service Medal.
A joint candlelight vigil in honor of SSGT Lobraico by both towns, Sherman and New Fairfiled, will precede the town's 9/11 memorial on Sunday at 6:30 pm.
Staff Sgt Todd Lobraico, Jr. leaves behind his mother, Linda Rohatsch and father, Todd Lobraico, Sr. No funeral arrangements have been announced.
About the IGTNT series:
"I Got the News Today" is a diary series intended to honor, respect, and remind us of the sacrifice of our US troops. Click here to see the series, which was begun by i dunno in 2004 and now is maintained by Sandy on Signal, i dunno, noweasels, blue jersey mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, SisTwo, SpamNunn, TrueBlueMajority, CalNM, Wide Awake in Kentucky, maggiejean, Ekaterin, TheFatLadySings, Joy of Fishes, and me, JaxDem.
These diaries are heartbreaking to write, but are an important service to those who have died, and show our community’s respect for them. 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 only known current Prisoner of War is Sgt. Bowe R. Bergdahl, 26 who was captured by the Taliban in June of 2009. Five propaganda videos featuring Bergdahl have been released by the Taliban. A website has been established with the most up-to-date information on Sgt. Bergdahl.Please keep good thoughts and prayers for Sgt. Bowe R. Bergdahl.
Latest news report from September 6, 2013: Terrorist involved in Bowe Berghdahl capture killed by drone
Please bear in mind that these diaries are read by friends and family of the service members mentioned here. May all of our remembrances be full of compassion rather than politics.