Spc. John A. Pelham
Spc. Christopher A. Landis
Since 2001 we have lost 2312 American troops in Afghanistan and a total of 3423 American and coalition forces.
Performed by the U.S. Army Ceremonial Band
Day is done
Gone the sun
From the lakes
From the hills
From the sky
All is well
God is nigh
|In what was the first "insider" or "green on blue" attacks in Afghanistan this year, the DoD announced the following casualties:
The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
They died Feb. 12, in Kapisa Province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when they were struck by enemy small arms fire.
Spc. John A. Pelham, 22, of Portland, Ore., and Sgt. First Class Roberto C. Skelt, 41, of York, Fla.
Pelham and Skelt were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C. ~ DoD News Release
Sgt Roberto C. Skelt served two tours in Afghanistan and one tour in Yeman before being assigned to the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School and the 1st Special Warfare Training Group (A) at Fort Bragg, NC. He was just recently reassigned to 3rd SFG (A).
Sgt. First Class Skelt's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (3rd Oak Leaf Cluster), the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal (2nd Oak Leaf Cluster), the Army Commendation Medal (2nd Oak Leaf Cluster), the Army Achievement Medal (4th Oak Leaf Cluster), the Army Good Conduct Medal (4th Award), the National Defense Service Medal (2nd Award), the Kosovo Campaign Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three Campaign Stars, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korea Defense Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Army Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (3rd Award), the Overseas Service Ribbon (4th Award), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal (2nd Award), the Special Forces Tab, the Combat Infantryman Badge, and the Parachutist Badge.
Sgt. Skelt is survived by his wife and two sons, his parents, a brother and two sisters.
Pelham was named after his grandfather John, an Army colonel and an uncle from the family also served honorably in the armed service so it came as no surprise when in 2011 he enlisted in the Army. In fact, family members said, "The military was just in his blood".
Spc Pelham was recruited into the Special Forces right out of boot camp. He served one tour in Afghanistan for six months in 2012 and this was his second tour of duty in a war zone.
Wendall Pelham, John's father said his son always knew he was going to be in the military.
"I believe he had a phenomenal patriotic sense of being part of something bigger." I don't know if proud begins to articulate it. We have to have warriors out there every day. Because of what he chose to do, I have a son that's a hero."Brother-in-law, Corey Lederer described Alex as an all American and one of the most genuinely nice people one could meet.
"He's the type of person you'd love for your daughter to marry. He had a deep sense of family and was committed to doing what's right. If you needed anything, he was the first one to volunteer to help.
He truly loved serving in the military and his country, it was his element. He was an amazing guy. America lost a true hero this week."
Spc. John A. Pelham's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal, the Combat Action Badge, and the Parachutist Badge.
The family is planning a memorial service in Beaverton, followed by a graveside service at Willamette National Cemetery in Southeast Portland, where Pelham will be buried with full military honors.
|The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Spc. Christopher A. Landis, 27, of Independence, Ky., died Feb. 10, on Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, from wounds received when the enemy attacked his dismounted patrol with a rocket propelled grenade in Kapisa Province, Afghanistan.
He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C. ~ DoD News Release
This was Spc Landis' first deployment.
Local reporters state that neighbors had nothing but the highest praise for Christopher and the Landis family.
Independence Mayor, Donna Yeager:
"We are just very saddened to lose any soldier. My heart goes out to the family. We sympathize with them and we will try to get in touch with them to see if there's anything we can do."All Kenton County office buildings were directed to lower their flags to half staff through the weekend.
Spc. Cristopher A. Landis' awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal, the Combat Action Badge, and the Parachutist Badge.
Spc Landis is survived by his parents, two brothers and a sister.
Funeral services were still pending but the family said they would be held at Grace Fellowship Church, in Florence, Kentucky.
"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.
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