Podcast: Israel – The Miracle at 70
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LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – A Task Force Patriot Soldier from 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division based at Fort Polk, La., died as the result of an enemy attack in Logar Province Feb. 28.Read more about Army Specialist Rudolph R. Hizon's life and family in the LA Times and visit Specialist Rudolph Hizon's Guest Book.
U.S. Army Spc. Rudolph R. Hizon was a 22-year-old Los Angeles native assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment’s Task Force Storm when he died during a complex improvised explosive device, small-arms and rocket-propelled grenade attack in the Charkh area of the province.
U.S. Army Spc. Kevin Jones of Aurora, Ill., assigned to Co. B’s TF Storm, said he will always remember Hizon’s smile.
“I will always have you in my thoughts for the rest of my days,” said Jones of Hizon. “I love you man!”
Hizon was a good friend to everyone he knew, said U.S. Army Spc. Joshua Gonzales of Olath, Kan.
“I will always think of him as the happy and cheerful person he was… and I’m going to miss him dearly,” said Gonzales.
[Mark T. Carter] knew exactly what he wanted to do when he joined the Navy after graduating from Fallbrook High School in 1998. He wanted to be a Navy SEAL.
The son of a doctor, Carter graduated from boot camp at Great Lakes, Ill., and then Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in Coronado, Calif. More than half of SEAL students drop out, but not Carter, a stocky 5-foot-5 and outdoor athlete who loved physical challenges.
Once he was in the SEALs, his rise through the ranks was swift. He deployed during the U.S. campaign to topple the Taliban in Afghanistan and then during the early stages of the U.S. mission in Iraq.
His fellow SEALs gave him the nickname Badger after the small but ferocious animal. The name was bestowed after Carter beat a 6-foot-5 opponent in a wrestling match.
The facts behind his death and earlier service in Afghanistan and Iraq may never be fully known. Like other special forces units, the SEALs keep a tight hold on their identities and the facts behind their missions. His parents, Cindy and Dr. Thomas Carter, now of Council Bluffs, Iowa, have declined to speak to the media.
Although SEALs do multiple tasks, one of Carter's specialties was keeping team members in radio contact during missions. When team members cannot communicate with each other, high-risk missions can go awry.
"Without a good comm guy, you can't complete a mission," said Petty Officer 1st Class Steve Otten, who teaches at the SEALs school and will soon leave active duty. "Next to the officer in charge, the comm guy is probably the most important. Mark was one of the best."
Yep, as Matt Drudge reminds us, "we never need an excuse for a good party." Amein.The basic elements of aThe Menorah are eight holders for oil or candles and an additional holder, set apart from the rest, for the ("attendant") candle.
The lights can either be candle flames or oil-fueled. Since the miracle of Chanukah happened with olive oil – the little cruse of oil that lasted for eight days – an oil menorah is preferable to a candle one, and olive oil is the ideal fuel. Cotton wicks are preferred because of the smooth flame they produce.
Whenever purchasing a article, we try to buy the most beautiful one that is within our means. So, if at all possible, go for the silver menorah. Beautifying a mitzvah is our way of expressing our appreciation to , and showing how dearly we hold His commandments.
The eight candles of the menorah must be arranged in a straight, even line, not in a zigzag or with some lights higher than others. If it is an oil menorah, the oil cups must hold enough oil to burn for the required time – at least 30 minutes on weeknights, and up to one-and-a-half hours on Friday evening (see Special Shabbat Rules). If it is a candle menorah, the candles should be large enough to burn for the required time.
Electric menorahs are great for display purposes, and are a wonderful medium for publicizing the Chanukah miracle. But the Chanukah lights used to fulfill the mitzvah should be real flames fueled by wax or oil – like the flames in the Holy Temple.
On Dec. 20, as his funeral procession slowly traveled from Crippen Mortuary to St. James the Less Catholic Church, thousands of people from his hometown lined the 2 1/2 -mile route.
Steinbacher was assigned to Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Calvary Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Ft. Hood, Texas. His comrades described him as the spirit of their unit.
Army Staff Sgt. Steven H. Bridges of Tracy, a father of four who had hoped to become a history teacher when he finished his military career, died Monday on a nighttime patrol north of Baghdad.Read the full LA Times article about Army Staff Sergeant Steven H. Bridges here, find messages and remembrances here and Sergeant Bridges' photograph is to be found here.
Army officials said Bridges, 33, was in one of two Stryker vehicles -- a lightweight, high-tech troop carrier introduced only recently in Iraq -- that plunged into a canal when the dike on which they were driving suddenly collapsed.
Two other soldiers, Spc. Joseph M. Blickenstaff, 23, and Spc. Christopher J. Rivera Wesley, 26, both of Oregon, also died in the accident.
Bridges graduated from Tracy High in 1988 and, to the surprise of his family, joined the Army in 1991.
He is survived by his wife, Debra; their 5-year-old daughter; and three stepchildren from his wife's earlier marriage.
In a statement read by military authorities in Ft. Lewis, Debra Bridges said of her husband: "He knew that he was going to miss his family and, at times, expected he might not see us again. But he deployed with confidence that he was well-trained and ready. No one could have predicted the accident that suddenly took this man from our lives."
His parents, Sheldon and Loretta Bridges, live in Tracy.
Poway High Grad, Kenneth Necochea Jr., dies in Afghanistan
By Blanca Gonzalez
Specialist Kenneth Necochea Jr.
Five other American soldiers were also killed when a vehicle packed with explosives blew up at the entrance of a joint NATO-Afghan base in Kandahar province. Spc. Necochea and his fellow soldiers were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team.
Friends said Spc. Necochea was a personable, polite young man with a strong faith, great smile and good sense of humor.
Dossett recalled that he brought her mother flowers the first time he met her. “She wondered ‘What’s he buttering me up for,’ but she learned that was just Kenny being Kenny. My family just loved him.”
David LeMaster, assistant principal at Poway High, remembered Spc. Necochea as a low-key student in his history class. “He was a nice, sweet kid. His classmates liked him and he worked well in groups,” LeMaster said. Although he didn’t participate much in class discussions, “he was great one-on-one,” LeMaster said. “Like many kids, he wasn’t too thrilled about (history) at first but he left the class excited about the subject.”
According to the Department of the Defense, Spc. Necochea was an Infantryman who joined the Army in February 2009 and arrived in Fort Campbell in June of 2009. His awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, and Army Service Medal.
Laurie Davidson of Selah, Wash., has known Spc. Necochea since he befriended her son, Spc. Markus Jensen at Fort Campbell. The two formed a special bond and planned on becoming police officers or opening a business together after they got out of the Army, she said.
Everybody who met Spc. Necochea loved him, Davidson said. “He was so easy to talk to … He was the type of person you wanted to spend time with, he always had something good to say.”
A California native, Kenneth E. Necochea Jr. was born March 1, 1989. He graduated from Poway High in 2007.
Survivors include his father, Kenneth E. Necochea of Poway; his mother and stepfather, Donna and Neal Wright of San Diego; and several siblings.
|Dignified Transfer at Dover AFB|
A U.S. Army carry team transfers the remains of Army Spc. Kenneth E. Necochea Jr., of San Diego, Calif., at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Dec. 13, 2010. Necochea was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky. (U.S. Air Force photo/Roland Balik)
"He was my only child," his mother said Thursday as she waited in Sacramento for her son's body, which was being escorted home by his cousin, Lisa Herrik, 28, of Chico, who is an Army helicopter pilot stationed at Ft. Bragg, N.C.
|The casket of Army Spc. Arron R. Clark of Chico, Calif., is moved Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2003, from Neighborhood Church to a hearse after a funeral service in Chico, Calif. At right center in the rear is Clark's mother, Lynn Clark. (AP Photo/Chico Enterprise-Record, Ty Barbour) |
This photograph is found here.
Staff Sgt. Vincent W. Ashlock put in nearly 10 years in the active-duty Army as a young man. After he left, his yearning to get back in uniform never waned. Three years ago, he signed up with the California Army National Guard and found himself, at age 42, staffing dangerous checkpoints south of Baghdad.
"Getting back into the service was his mission in life," said his mother, Margot Stengel. "When he went to Iraq, he said: 'I finally feel like a man.' He just felt good about what he was doing."
Ashlock died Dec. 4, partway through the second tour of duty in his second military life. He was attached to an Army National Guard company, the 890th Engineer Battalion, 168th Engineer Brigade in Lucedale, Miss. He had been serving in eastern Afghanistan's Khowst province, on the Pakistani border. He was 45.
Ashlock appears to have died in his sleep, relatives and military officials said. The cause of death is presumed to be a heart attack, said his wife, Angela.
"He had a strong patriotism," his wife said. "He took the military spirit to heart. He tried to be a man of honor and liberty and honesty."
Ashlock was born in San Jose and reared largely in Merced, then in Montana, his mother said. He joined the Army at 18. After leaving the military in his late 20s, he held a variety of jobs — installing flooring and carpeting and working as a warehouse manager in Sacramento.
After joining the National Guard in California, he was quickly attached to a Mississippi unit that was ready to deploy to Iraq. There, he helped train security forces from other nations — at one point trading in the rum cakes his mother sent him for a goat, which he cooked as a holiday meal for Ugandan forces.
"I said, 'You did what?' " his mother said. "He said, 'That's what they like. I made sure they got Christmas dinner.' "
After that deployment, Ashlock volunteered for another tour, this one in Afghanistan. Much of it was spent conducting dangerous road-clearing missions. He injured his neck in one roadside explosion.
In November, shortly before he died, Ashlock visited home on leave. His daughter's elementary school asked him to participate in a Veterans Day ceremony.
"They sang songs to them and honored them," his wife said. "It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. He went up there with my daughter in front of everybody and had tears in his eyes. He was really proud of what he did. It was the last time he was here."
Ashlock was buried in Monterey near his hometown of Seaside, south of Santa Cruz.
In addition to his wife and mother, he is survived by five children, Christopher Romine, Erica Sepanski, Jessee Ashlock, Kali Ashlock and Steven Ashlock; his stepfather, Neil Schweitzer; two brothers, Ryan "Buzz" Schweitzer and Lonnie Everson; a sister, Dawn Doss; his grandmother, Bonnie Ashlock; and two grandchildren.
"He looked back once, and he smiled at me," Nicole said. "He had that smile on his face that he always has . . . it was a goofy smile, it was that don't-you-dare-cry sort of smile, but his eyes looked kind of sad, and I'd never seen that before.
After his hospital stay to treat shrapnel wounds, Army Sgt. Ryan C. Young expected to be released soon and come home to Riverside County.
The 21-year-old soldier from Corona had appeared to be recuperating steadily from the injuries he suffered Nov. 8 when an improvised explosive device detonated and hit his vehicle in Fallujah, Iraq. But he unexpectedly developed a blood clot in his lungs that traveled to his heart, and he died Dec. 2. ...
Young ... met his future wife, neighbor Sarah Smith ... the summer before their sophomore year at Norco High School. "Ever since that day, we were best friends," she said. They were married in a civil ceremony in August 2002.
A month after graduating in 2000 from Norco High, Young joined the Army, just as he had planned since he was 7. His wife said he welcomed his September deployment to Iraq. "He just couldn't wait," she said. "That's what he got trained to do, and he finally got to do it."
Young also is survived by his father, Marvin Young of Iowa; his stepfather, Steve Cutshall; a brother, Brandon Cutshall; two sisters, Jenifer and Nicole Cutshall; his paternal grandparents, Milton Young of Louisiana and Billy Jean Shackleford of Texas; and his maternal grandparents, Walt and Gwen Duran of Oregon.
Marine Lance Cpl. John Lucente, 19, Grass Valley; Killed by Hand Grenadehere, see the Arlington National Cemetery article about Lance Corporal Lucente here and visit his Guest Book here.
There was something sweetly old-fashioned about Marine Lance Cpl. John Lucente, who was among five Marines killed Nov. 16 in combat in Ubaydi, Iraq, an insurgent stronghold near the Syrian border.
The 19-year-old Grass Valley, Calif., resident went to church regularly, enlisted in the Marine Corps in his junior year in high school, held down a summer job as a dishwasher and never failed to tell his family that he loved them.
In his last e-mail home, Lucente asked for prayers for his safety and that of others in Operation Steel Curtain, which was launched earlier this month with 2,500 Marines, soldiers and sailors, as well as 1,000 Iraqi soldiers.
The assault was said to be the first time that battalion-sized Iraqi units have fought alongside U.S. forces in restive Al Anbar province, stretching west almost from Baghdad to the Syrian border. The province is a stronghold of Sunni-led insurgents fighting the American-backed Iraqi government.
In addition to his mother and stepfather, Lucente is survived by two brothers, Cris, 15, and 2-month-old Jake; and a sister Cassie, 9. Jake was given his name by Lucente, his mother said.
Matthew Holley was the son every parent wants: smart, handsome, creative, and filled with purpose. A three-time AAU national karate champion, he was an exceptionally-skilled athlete. He was also a gifted amateur artist. With his talent and his drive, Matthew could have excelled in nearly any profession he chose. He chose to be a Soldier.
When Matthew enlisted in the United States Army in February of 2004, he was following the example of generations of his family. His father and his mother were both Army veterans. Between uncles, cousins, and grandfathers, the Holley family had collectively served more than 150 years in uniform since World War II, and Matthew was ready to do his part. But most importantly, Matthew was excited to be following in his father's footsteps.
The day he graduated from Air Assault School Matthew called home, saying, “I've got my wings, Dad. We can put them with yours.” Matthew put in for assignment to his father's old unit, the 101st Airborne. He got his wish and became a Screaming Eagle, just like his dad before him. He chose his military specialty, Combat Medic, because he wanted to help people, again following the example set by his father, who has been both a paramedic and a professional firefighter.