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Since 2001, 2316 U.S. troops have lost their lives while serving in Afghanistan, and from 2003 to 2012, 4486 U.S. troops died while serving in Iraq.

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

Tonight we remember an Army officer who died while serving in Afghanistan:

Captain James Edward Chaffin III, 27, of West Columbia, South Carolina

Please take a moment below to remember him,
and all those who have lost their lives in these wars.

The Department of Defense confirmed the death of an Army paratrooper in Afghanistan:

Captain James Edward Chaffin III, 27, of West Columbia, South Carolina

Captain Chaffin died April 1, in Kandahar, Afghanistan, of a non-combat related injury that is under investigation. Chaffin was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

James Edward Chaffin grew up in West Columbia, South Carolina, and went by his middle name of "Ed." He graduated from Brookland-Cayce High School in 2005. His friends recall Ed as the proud son of a Vietnam Army Veteran who wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and serve his country.
In a report by WFLA, Capt. Chaffin's friends and former teachers remembered Ed as "going on to bigger and better things, with an Army career on a fast track."

Now his friends say they feel the void he left behind.

"We were going around the classroom, talking about things they were worried about. When we got to Ed, and he said the thing he worried about was his sister, who I taught, who was about to graduate Brookland-Cayce High School," said one of Chaffin's teachers Lynn Summer. "That just melted my heart."

- - - - -

"I cannot think of a single person in the world who would have anything bad to say about Ed," said childhood friend John Warren. "He was alternatively one of the funniest people I knew, but I've been thinking about it a lot in the last couple of days, he's the most brilliant person I ever met in my life."

Ed Chaffin entered the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in May 2009. A year later, Captain Chaffin was assigned as a fire support officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. He deployed with his unit for a tour in Iraq in May 2011.

Captain Chaffin transferred to 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT) in August 2013, and deployed to Afghanistan with 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st BCT, as a brigade liaison officer, according to a story at WISTV.

Two of Captain Chaffin's commanding officers expressed their condolences, The State reported:

“We have suffered a great loss in the 3-319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment and express our deepest condolences,” Lt. Col. Phillip G. Jenison, Chaffin’s battalion commander, said in a press release from Fort Bragg. “Capt. Edward Chaffin was an exceptional officer and absolutely value added to our team. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. We will never forget him.”

- - - - -

“Capt. Chaffin was a great officer with an outstanding work ethic,” said Lt. Col. Paul L. Larson, commander of 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team. “Our deepest condolences and prayers are with the Chaffin family during this time.”

The Army awarded Captain Chaffin the Bronze Star Medal, the Basic Parachutist Badge, the Air Assault Badge, and other decorations.

Among those Captain Chaffin leaves behind are his family, friends and fellow soldiers.
Captain James Edward Chaffin III is missed. May he rest in peace.

We've also learned more about the Three Army Veterans killed in a shooting attack at home on Fort Hood, in Killeen, Texas:

Sergeant First Class Daniel Ferguson, 39
Sergeant Timothy Owens, 37
Staff Sergeant Lazaney-Rodriguez, 38

Each of them had long careers with deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. The three experienced soldiers died in the tragic April 2nd encounter that wounded sixteen others.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the injured and their families, and all those left behind.

May they rest in peace. May their loved ones find peace.

Thank you, 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 Troop Care Package. com. 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, theFatLadySings, Ekaterin, Joy of Fishes, 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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