Saturday, April 30, 2011

Juan de Dios Garcia-Arana, Army, Staff Sergeant -- Rest In Peace

Juan de Dios Garcia-Arana, 27

Army, Staff Sergeant
Based: Camp Hovey, South Korea
5th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: April 30, 2005
Khaldiya (near Fallouja), Iraq
Married, 1 child
Gender: Male
Hometown: Los Angeles
High School: John C. Fremont Senior High (Los Angeles)
Foreign Country of Birth: Mexico
Burial: Buried in Guadalajara, Mexico

From the LA Times:
Army Staff Sgt. Juan De Dios Garcia-Arana had a fondness for horseplay, liked to tinker with cars and electronics, and was hoping to make the military his career.

"He was a role model type of brother," Edgardo Garcia said of his older sibling, who had a penchant for disassembling and reassembling radios and TVs as a kid and taught his two younger brothers how to install sound systems in vehicles. "He would just tell us, 'If you're going to do something, make sure you do it and finish it. Don't do it [halfway] and procrastinate.' "

Garcia-Arana, a 27-year-old married father of one from Los Angeles, was killed April 30 when the Bradley fighting vehicle he was captain of was attacked with small-arms fire in Khaladiyah, Iraq, the Department of Defense said.

Garcia-Arana was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, and moved to Los Angeles in 1993. The 1998 graduate of John C. Fremont High School enlisted in the Army three months after graduation and was deployed to Iraq last August.

"You would never find that guy sad or depressed," said Edgardo Garcia, 21, who followed in his older brother's footsteps and enlisted in the Army in April 2003. He was deployed to Kuwait in December, then to Iraq, but is home now on emergency leave. "He was one of the most joyful guys around."

Edgardo Garcia, a specialist assigned to the 376th Personnel Services Battalion from Long Beach, recalled how his brother liked to playfully bait him and their younger brother, Angel, 20, into wrestling matches.

"He would brag about how strong he was," Edgardo Garcia said. "He would tell my brother and I that we were puny and try to wrestle with both of us at the same time."

Despite Garcia-Arana's fondness for wrestling, Edgardo Garcia said he didn't recall his brother ever getting into a fight.

"Wherever he went, he'd be surrounded by friends," Edgardo Garcia said. "He had a lot of charisma and an easy way of going. He was just so easy to talk to."

Garcia-Arana was particularly proud of his son, Adrian, who will celebrate his first birthday May 19, Edgardo Garcia said.

Adrian "was just born and he already wanted to play soccer with him," Edgardo Garcia said. "He was riding around in the car with him the day after he was born and showing him off to his friends."

Garcia-Arana met his wife, Guadalupe, 25, in Mexico when his parents renewed their wedding vows in Guadalajara in January 2001. The couple married on the bridge between El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico, on Oct. 9, 2003.

In addition to his two brothers, wife and son, Garcia-Arana is survived by his parents, Daniel and Martha; and a 16-year-old sister, Fatima.

Find messages and remembrances of Army Staff Sergeant Juan de Dios Garcia-Arana at Fallen Heroes.
Army Lt. Col. Kristan Hericks, top left, presents a flag to the parents of Staff Sgt. Juan De Dios Garcia Arana at Friday's American Gold Star Manor Memorial Ceremony in Long Beach. Daniel and Martha Garcia's son was killed April 30, 2005 in Khaladiyah, Iraq. Gold Star Mothers, Inc. was founded in 1928 by a group of mothers who had lost sons in wars fought by the U.S. armed forces. Picture found at the Press Telegram.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Musical Cool -- Der Bingle & Satchmo

Shabbat Shalom -- ינוח בשלום על משכבו

Profiles of The Fallen

Reflecting on the Lives of the American Jewish Service Members Who Died Fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan

In some of the painful interviews collected for this week’s “Profiles of Our Fallen” feature, we heard from parents initially worried and embarrassed about their childrens’ choice. Melinda Kane, whose son, Jeremy, died in Afghanistan, described “the stigma that a nice Jewish boy from Cherry Hill would want to go into the military. It was really unheard of and sadly I was afraid that people would judge my son for being a certain way that was not who he was.”
Instead, when she asked Jeremy why he chose to enlist here, he responded: “It doesn’t matter whether I fight for the Israelis or the Americans. We’re all battling the same thing.”
Read the entire editorial in The Jewish Forward.

Jonathan A.V. Yelner, Air Force, Senior Airman -- Rest In Peace

Jonathan A.V. Yelner, 24

Air Force, Senior Airman
Based: Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.
28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
Supporting: Operation Enduring Freedom
Died: April 29, 2008
Bagram, Afghanistan
Gender: Male
Hometown: Lafayette
High School: De La Salle High School (Concord)
Burial: Oakmont Cemetery, Lafayette, Calif.

From Military Times:
Senior Airman Jonathan A.V. Yelner — Vega to his friends — had no difficulty holding his own among the soldiers at Forward Operating Base Kutschbach, Afghanistan.

“As one of the very few airmen on the FOB, the other soldiers down there enjoyed razzing Yelner up quite a bit. He never let it bother him and was quick to shoot back with a smart comment,” Army Capt. Casey McCausland, Kapisa South Civil Affairs team leader, recalled at his memorial service at Bagram Air Base.

Yelner, 24, was just a few months into a yearlong tour with the Army when he was killed April 29 by an improvised explosive device near Bagram. A bomb loader by training, he volunteered for the in-lieu-of tasking as a Humvee driver for the Kapisa and Parwan Provincial Reconstruction Team, a job he did carefully and conscientiously.

“From setting up the radios, to mounting the crew serve weapon ... we could always count on Yelner to get it done right the first time,” McCausland said.

Master Sgt. Felipe Richards, the PRT first sergeant, remembered Yelner as a “smart, vibrant, full-of-life person who brought a smile to my face.”

The California native enlisted in the Air Force in October 2003 and was assigned to the 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., as a weapons load crew member for the B-1B bomber, according to Bagram officials. It was his third deployment, but his first in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

“I’m very proud of him,” his father, Bruce Yelner of El Cerrito, Calif., told the San Francisco Chronicle. “He was performing one of the ... nobler duties of the military in Afghanistan. He did a lot of good for the local Afghans.”

In addition to his mother, Yolanda Vega he is survived by his father, Bruce Yelner; his stepfather, Bill Theile; and a brother, Mathew Luis Vega Yelner.
Do read the LA Times article about Air Force Senior Airman and find more about Airman Jonathan Yelner at the Jewish Daily Forward.

Lieutenant Col. William D. Andersen, Kapisa-Parwan Provincial Reconstruction Team commander, salutes Army Col. Jonathan Ives upon uncovering the sign dedicating a dining facility on Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan to Senior Airman Jonathan A.V. Yelner. Airman Yelner, deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., was killed April 29 when an improvised explosive device detonated underneath his vehicle in Tag Ab Valley, Kapisa Province, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo

Thursday, April 28, 2011

David L. McDowell, Army, Specialist -- Rest In Peace

David L. McDowell, 30

Army, Sergeant 1st Class
Based: Ft. Lewis, Wash.
2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
Supporting: Operation Enduring Freedom
Died: April 29, 2008
Bastion, Afghanistan
Married, 2 children
Gender: Male
Hometown: Ramona
High School: Poway High (Poway)

From Ranger Lead the Way:
Sgt. 1 st Class David L. McDowell, 30, was a platoon sergeant assigned to 2 nd Battalion, 75 th Ranger Regiment at Fort Lewis, Wash.He was born in Hawaii on Oct. 17, 1977.

He was wounded by enemy fire while conducting combat operations and later died on April 29, 2008 near Bastion, Afghanistan. McDowell was serving in his seventh combat deployment. His previous deployments were to Afghanistan and Iraq.

After graduating from Poway High School in Poway, Calif., McDowell enlisted in the Army from his hometown of Ramona in July 1996. He completed One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning,Ga., as an infantryman. After graduating from the Basic Airborne Course there, he was assigned to the Ranger Indoctrination Program also at Fort Benning.

He graduated from the Ranger Indoctrination Program in November 1996 and was then assigned to 2 nd Bn., 75 th Ranger Regiment in December 1996. He served there as an automatic rifleman, machine gun team leader, fire team leader, rifle squad leader, and weapons squad leader. In 2005, he was assigned to the Regimental Training Detachment as a preRanger Course instructor at FortBenning. Following that assignment, McDowell returned to 2 nd Bn., 75 th Ranger Regiment as aplatoon sergeant in 2006.

His military education includes Basic Airborne Course, Nuclear Hazards Course, Ranger Course,Warrior Leader Course, Jumpmaster Course, Combat Lifesaver Course, Basic NoncommissionedOfficer Course, and the Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Course.

McDowell’s awards and decorations include Bronze Star Medal with Valor device, Army Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Army Achievement Medal with three oak leafclusters, three Army Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, three NCO Professional Development Ribbons, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, and the Ranger Tab.

He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star Medal with Valor device and Meritorious Service Medal.

He is survived by his wife Joleen, son Joshua and daughter Erin of Lakewood, Wash., his mother Laurie Ann Wathen of Julian, Calif., and father Steven L. McDowell of Hope Mills, N.C.

As a Ranger, Sgt. 1 st Class David L. McDowell distinguished himself as a member of the Army’spremier light infantryunit, traveled to all corners of the world in support of the Global War on Terrorism, and fought valiantly to “uphold the prestige, honor, and high ‘esprit de corps’” of the Ranger Regiment.

In lieu of flowers, prefer donations are made to the 2nd Ranger Association Foundation, checks are payable to Mark Wilkins, Treasurer, 2nd Ranger Battalion Assistance Foundation, c/o MerrillLynch, 1630 So. Lyndbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63131
Read the LA Times article about Army Specialist David L. McDowell.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

William Timothy Dix, Army, Specialist -- Rest In Peace

William Timothy Dix, 32

Army, Specialist
Based: Ft. Lewis, Wash.
14th Engineer Battalion, 555th Engineer Brigade
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: April 27, 2008
Camp Buehring, Kuwait
Gender: Male
Hometown: Culver City
High School: Park View High School (South Hill, VA)
Burial: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.

"My brother was all about coming up, same as me.
-- Christopher Dix

Dix's fellow battalion members remember his sense of humor and upbeat spirit, no matter what the circumstances.

During down time, he could inevitably be found wearing headphones and flailing away to some silent rhythm in his bunk area, Capt. Cobey Warren recalled in Dix's eulogy.

"When I asked him why he danced so much, he just said with that big smile of his, 'That's how we roll in Cali,' " Warren said, according to remarks released by Ft. Lewis.

On April 27, Dix and his battalion were at Camp Boering, Kuwait, awaiting deployment to Iraq later that day.

Dix missed the 8 a.m. muster. The Army told his brother that his body was found two hours later, alone next to his service rifle...

At services in Dix's honor, his superiors said he had taken his own life.

[At the time of this article] Dix's death remains under investigation.

In the meantime, his family is still looking for answers.

"M-16s go off all the time," Stephanie said. "Who's to say he wasn't stomping bugs and it went off?"

"He wouldn't do something like that," Christopher said of suicide.

At a closed-casket ceremony in South Hill, Christopher said he insisted on making sure the body in the coffin belonged to his brother. Dix's head was wrapped, his brother said, but there on his right biceps was the tattoo of a chain with a dangling smiley face.

It was Timmy, all right.

Spc. William Timothy Dix, 32, was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in May.

In addition to his brother and sister, Dix is survived by his mother, Barbara Moore Dix, of Palmer Springs, Va., and father, Wilhelm Dewey Dix, of Florida.
Do read the entire LA Times article about Army Specialist William Timothy Dix here
Find more at Arlington Cemetery and find messages and remembrances of 
Specialist William T.  Dix at Fallen Heroes.

Members of the Old Guard carry the casket of Army PFC William Timothy Dix to his final resting place at Arlington National Cemetery in May 2008. One of the duties of the Old Guard is to perform various honors during military burials at Arlington. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
You will find this picture in the Washington Times 
with the editorial 

Army Specialist William Timothy Dix -- Requiescat In Pace

    ‘Elegy for a Dead Soldier’ -- Washington Times Editorial

    Elegy for a Dead Soldier
     -- 4:45 a.m., Monday, May 25, 2009
    A white sheet on the tailgate of a truck
    Becomes an altar, two small candlesticks
    Sputter at each side of the crucifix
    Laid round with flowers brighter than the blood,
    Red as the red of our apocalypse,
    Hibiscus that a marching man will pluck
    To stick into his rifle or his hat,
    And great blue morning-glories pale as lips
    That shall no longer taste or kiss or swear.
    The wind begins a low magnificat,
    The chaplain chats, the palm trees swirl their hair,
    The columns come together through the mud.

    We too are ashes as we watch and hear
    The psalm, the sorrow, and the simple praise
    Of one whose promised thoughts of other days
    Were such as ours, but now wholly destroyed,
    The service record of his youth wiped out,
    His dream dispersed by shot, must disappear.
    What can we feel but wonder at a loss
    That seems to point at nothing but the doubt
    Which flirts our sense of luck into the ditch?
    Reader of Paul who prays beside this fosse,
    Shall we believe our eyes or legends rich
    With glory and rebirth beyond the void?

    For this comrade is dead, dead in the war,
    A young man out of millions yet to live,
    One cut away from all that war can give,
    Freedom of self and peace to wander free.
    Who mourns in all this sober multitude
    Who did not feel the bite of it before
    The bullet found its aim? This worthy flesh,
    This boy laid in a coffin and reviewed -
    Who has not wrapped himself in this same flag,
    Heard the light fall of dirt, his wound still fresh,
    Felt his eyes closed, and heard the distant brag
    Of the last volley of humanity?

    By chance I saw him die, stretched on the ground,
    A tattooed arm lifted to take the blood
    Of someone else sealed in a tin. I stood
    During the last delirium that stays
    The intelligence a tiny moment more,
    And then the strangulation, the last sound.
    The end was sudden, like a foolish play,
    A stupid fool slamming a foolish door,
    The absurd catastrophe, half-prearranged,
    And all the decisive things still left to say.
    So we disbanded, angrier and unchanged,
    Sick with the utter silence of dispraise.

    We ask for no statistics of the killed,
    For nothing political impinges on
    This single casualty, or all those gone,
    Missing or healing, sinking or dispersed,
    Hundreds of thousands counted, millions lost.
    More than an accident and less than willed
    Is every fall, and this one like the rest.
    However others calculate the cost,
    To us the final aggregate is one,
    One with a name, one transferred to the blest;
    And though another stoops and takes the gun,
    We cannot add the second to the first.

    The time to mourn is short that best becomes
    The military dead. We lift and fold the flag,
    Lay bare the coffin with its written tag,
    And march away. Behind, four others wait
    To lift the box, the heaviest of loads.
    The anesthetic afternoon benumbs,
    Sickens our senses, forces back our talk.
    We know that others on tomorrow’s roads
    Will fall, ourselves perhaps, the man beside,
    Over the world the threatened, all who walk:
    And could we mark the grave of him who died
    We would write this beneath his name and date:

    Underneath this wooden cross there lies
    A Christian killed in battle. You who read,
    Remember that this stranger died in pain;
    And passing here, if you can lift your eyes
    Upon a peace kept by a human creed,
    Know that one soldier has not died in vain.

    was published with this photograph of members of the Old Guard carrying the casket of Army Specialist William Timothy Dix to his final resting place at Arlington National Cemetery in May 2008. Army Specialist William Timothy Dix died on April 27th, 2008. Army Specialist William Timothy Dix is survived by his brother, Christopher, his sister, Stephanie, his mother, Barbara Moore Dix, of Palmer Springs, Va., and father, Wilhelm Dewey Dix, of Florida. One of the duties of the Old Guard is to perform various honors during military burials at Arlington.
    (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

    Tuesday, April 26, 2011

    Does This Ass Make My Truck Look Fat?

    Spotted in Oklahoma on Easter Sunday.
    But, have to add that no matter where spotted, more often than not the better bumper stickers are found on vehicles with license plates from the Republic of Texas.
    Coincidence? I think not.

    I'm not a racist!
    I don't like his white half either!

    All photographs courtesy of Contento, Ltd.
    And hey, it was raining hard.

    Peeps Didn't Start the Fire -- Musical Interlude

    Peeps Didn't Start the Fire

    Via Mary Katharine Ham & the Daily Caller
    Special gratitude to Jim Geraghty & Morning Jolt for sending us back to Ms. Ham.

    Allen C. Johnson, Army, Sergeant 1st Class -- Rest In Peace

    Allen C. Johnson, 31

    Army, Sergeant 1st Class
    Based: Ft. Bragg, N.C.
    Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group
    Supporting: Operation Enduring Freedom
    Died: April 26, 2005
    Khanaqin, Afghanistan
    Married, 2 children
    Gender: Male
    Los Molinos
    High School:
     Los Molinos High (Los Molinos)
    Allen Johnson, who was born in Sun Valley, loved to draw and ride horses as a boy and wanted to be a veterinarian. He attended elementary and middle schools in Burbank and enlisted in the military shortly after his 1991 graduation from Los Molinos High School.

    "He was a fantastic child and a fantastic boy," said his mother, Adriaantje Johnson. "He was my buddy and my friend and my only son."

    His older brother, Brian, was killed in a 1988 motorcycle accident at age 22...

    In 1996, Allen Johnson changed his military occupational specialty from infantryman to corrections specialist.

    Two years later, he was accepted into Special Forces training and, in April 2000, began the more than two years of training to become a medical sergeant...

    He met his future wife at a club in Fayetteville, N.C., during the summer of 2000 while both were acting as designated drivers for friends...

    He met his future wife at a club in Fayetteville, N.C., during the summer of 2000 while both were acting as designated drivers for friends.

    "Because he had long hair, I thought he was a civilian," she said. "He wasn't like a regular Army soldier with a high and tight" haircut.

    She said it was his sparkle, smile and blue eyes that caught her eye.

    Eunice Johnson, 31, a native of Puerto Rico, is assigned to the 525th Military Intelligence Brigade at Ft. Bragg...

    "I will teach his kids what an awesome man he was, what an awesome soldier he was, and what he gave to the United States and to the American people," said Eunice Johnson, who hasn't yet told her children about their father's death...

    In addition to his wife, son, daughter and mother, Johnson is survived by his stepfather, Ray Johnson, his father, Gary Haggerty; and a daughter from a previous marriage, Stacy, 9.
    Read the entire LA Times article about Army Sergeant Allen C. Johnson here
    and find messages and remembrances of Sergeant Allen C. Johnson at Fallen Heroes.

    Sunday, April 24, 2011

    Aaron William Simons, Marines, Lance Corporal -- Rest In Peace

    Aaron William Simons, 20

    Marines, Lance Corporal
    Based: Twentynine Palms, Calif.
    1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force
    Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
    Died: April 24, 2006
    Qaim (near Syrian border), Iraq
    Gender: Male
    Hometown: Modesto
    High School: Grace M. Davis High (Modesto)
    Burial: Lakewood Memorial Park, Hughson, Calif.
    Simons had just taken off his armor and Kevlar gloves. Then came the attack.

    A rocket-propelled grenade hit his compound. Simons' wounds were severe and he bled to death April 24 before reaching a medical facility, Widick said.

    The Department of Defense issued a news release two days later stating that Simons was killed "while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Al Anbar province."

     He was on his second tour in Iraq.

    A dark-haired man with thick eyebrows, Simons was "a dichotomy," said his sister Rachel. He combined a nonconformist, artistic sensibility with a love for military life, she said.

    He was the youngest of four children born to an electrical engineer and a homemaker in what was, when he was a child, still a farming community. The family still lives in the same house where Simons was born.

    "When he was growing up, he was very shy, very quiet, very artistic," his cousin said…

    He had been cautious in talking about his service in Iraq, though he told his family that he disagreed with some of the decisions he saw being made there. But he was deeply committed to the Marines, and to Iraqis, Widick said. He had recently adopted an Iraqi family with an ill daughter, giving them support and helping them get medical aid, his cousin said.

    Simons "wanted to do the best job he could," Widick said. "He thought it was already too late. We were already in Iraq, and we needed to do our best."

    In addition to his sister Rachel, Simons is survived by his parents, John and Charlotte Simons; a brother, Michael; and another sister, Michelle, all of Modesto.
    Read the entire LA Times article about Marine Lance Corporal Aaron William Simons here
    Find more at Fallen Heroes 
    and in Lance Corporal Simons' Guest Book.

    Saturday, April 23, 2011

    Anthony J. Davis Jr., Army, Sergeant -- Rest In Peace

    Anthony J. Davis Jr., 22

    Army, Sergeant
    Based: Ft. Lewis, Wash.
    1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division
    Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
    Died: April 23, 2005
    Mosul, Iraq
    Married, 2 children
    Gender: Male
    Hometown: Long Beach
    High School: Jordan High (Long Beach)
    Burial: Rose Hills Memorial Park, Whittier

    "i am the second daughter and i loved my dad even though i never met him i am 5 years old and i love him"
    --aniya of nevada
    "i am his daughter ahlania and in the year 2010 i am 10 and i want to say i loved my dad i am thankful for knowing him and let him rest in peace"
    --ahlania of nevada

    From the LA Times:
    Anthony Jerome Davis Jr. and his wife, Michell, danced in her mother's Compton living room to the music of Marvin Gaye and Patti LaBelle shortly before the Army sergeant's October deployment to Iraq.

    It was a happy moment. Michell, 20, was pregnant with the daughter who would be born two weeks after Anthony's departure. Her husband was feeling playful and "silly," laughing and smiling.

    "When he smiled, his whole face lit up and everybody else couldn't help but smile too," she said.

    That smile caught Michell's eye when she was just 12 and Anthony was the 13-year-old "boy next door."

    "He was different; he didn't have to be like everybody else," she said.

    Anthony Davis, a 22-year-old father of two from Long Beach, was killed April 23 when an explosive device detonated in Mosul, Iraq, near the eight-wheeled, armored Stryker vehicle he was in, the Department of Defense said. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team) at Ft. Lewis, Wash.

    A 2001 graduate of Jordan High School in Long Beach, he enlisted in the Army the summer after graduation, when Michell was pregnant with their first daughter, Ah'lania, now 4.

    The couple were married April 13, 2002. Aniya, the daughter he never met or held, was born Oct. 30, 2004.

    Davis didn't tell his parents he was enlisting in the Army. When he told them that he needed their permission to finalize the paperwork because he was only 17, they tried to talk him out of it, said his mother, Charlotte Davis.

    "It wasn't about going to fight for my country," she said. "But once he got in there, he tried to be all he could be. He did it initially to be able to support his family."

    Davis, who played football and baseball in the neighborhood park as a child and loved his mother's "home-style" macaroni and cheese, was "smooth" and "carefree," his mother said.

    "I was truly blessed," she said. "He didn't do drugs, he didn't gangbang, he didn't disrespect us, he didn't drink or smoke cigarettes. I couldn't have asked for a better son. My son is a hero, and he's my soldier, and I'll miss him."

    Davis and his wife spoke frequently by Webcam. Their last conversation was two days before his death.

    The conversation was brief and lighthearted, his wife said.
    Read more about Army Sergeant Anthony J. Davis Jr.  at Military Times, find messages and remembrances at Fallen Heroes and in Sergeant Davis' Guest Book

    Anthony J. Davis, Jr.

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    Shabbat Shalom

    Kyle A. Colnot, Army, Sergeant -- Rest In Peace

    Army, Sergeant
    Based: Ft. Hood, Texas
    1st Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division
    Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
    Died: April 22, 2006
    Iskandariya, Iraq
    Gender: Male
    Hometown: San Dimas
    Burial: Forest Lawn Memorial-Park, Covina Hills

    From the Pasadena Star News:
    ARCADIA - U.S. Army Sgt. Kyle A. Colnot was described as a young man who knew what his life was about and thought he was making a difference by serving in Iraq.
    Colnot, 23, of San Dimas and three other soldiers were killed April 22 in Baghdad when a bomb exploded near the Humvee they were riding in, causing a fire.
    Also killed were: Pfc. Jacob H. Allcott, Pvt. Michael E. Bouthot and Spc. Eric D. King.

    His funeral was held Saturday at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Arcadia. Colnot attended Arcadia High School part of his sophomore and junior years.

    More than 300 people attended the service, including more than 100 members of the Patriot Guard Riders, flag-waving Vietnam vets who travel around California on motorcycles attending the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    "We want to pay our respects to what we refer to as a fallen hero and his family," said Jerry Zimmerman, a member of the group. He said the Riders attend a service every week somewhere in California.

    The Rev. Roger Sonnenberg said as far as Colnot was concerned, life "was about service and making a difference. He was motivated by the satisfaction of serving. If you're not willing to lay down your life, you don't belong in the military."

    Colnot's dress uniform hung on a rack behind his flag- draped coffin as music played and photographs depicting his life flashed on a screen.

    They showed him as a blond infant and teen, playing with friends, siblings and his parents, fishing, swimming, playing his guitar, in Halloween outfits, posing next to his car and, finally, with fellow soldiers in Iraq. As he matured, his hair went from blond to brown and he acquired several tattoos. Colnot joined the Army in May 2000 and served in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.
    He re-enlisted in July 2004, knowing he would likely be sent to Iraq, which he was in November. He was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 67th Armored Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood, Texas.
    Denise Colnot, Kyle's mother, said her son's death has not dampened her support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Following the hourlong service, Colnot was buried with military honors at Forest Lawn Memorial-Park, Covina Hills.

    In an interview last week, Denise Colnot said, "It's important to remember he gave his life, he did not lose it."
    Read more about Army Sergeant Kyle A. Colnot
    in the LA Times,


    Pfc Jacob H. Alcott -- Rest In Peace

    Pvt. Michael E. Bouthot -- Rest In Peace

    Spc. Eric D. King -- Rest In Peace
    Also remembered today:

    Corporal Patrick D. Tillman -- Rest In Peace

    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    Maundatum Novarum -- Maundy Thursday

    April 21 Maundy Thursday
    7:30 pm Institution of the Lord's Supper & Procession
    9:00pm Overnight Vigil

    The Washing of the Feet is a traditional component of the celebration in many Christian Churches.
    In the Roman Catholic Church, the Mass of the Lord's Supper begins as usual, but the Gloria is accompanied by the ringing of bells, which are then silent until the Easter Vigil. After the homily the washing of feet may be performed. The service concludes with a procession taking the Blessed Sacrament to the place of reposition. The altar is later stripped bare, as are all other altars in the church except the Altar of Repose. In pre-1970 editions, the Roman Missal envisages this being done ceremonially, to the accompaniment of Psalm a practice which continues in many Anglican churches. In other Christian denominations, such as the Lutheran Church or Methodist Church, the stripping of the altar and other items on the chancel also occurs, as a preparation for the somber Good Friday service.
    Today, Christians around the world commemorate Maundy Thursday.
    Some Christians misunderstand that this day is only a “Catholic” celebration. Christians both ancient and modern have remembered Christ’s last supper with his disciples on Maundy Thursday, which begins the great triduum, the three days of the paschal celebration.

    The word “maundy” comes from the Latin word maundatum for “commandment”, which comes from Jesus’ words from the last supper: “I give you a new commandment; that you love one another…” The full Latin phase is maundatum novarum, which means “a new commandment.” According to Robert Webber (The Services of the Christian Year, pg. 252), these words were translated in the French word mande. This in turn was anglicized into “maundy.”

    During this day, Christians celebrate Jesus’ last supper with his disciples through serving and receiving communion with a special service. Often, all of or some of John 13 is read. This scripture recalls:
    1.The celebration of Passover
    2.The plan of betrayal against Jesus by Judas
    3.How washed his disciples feet
    4.Peter’s rejection of the washing, but then wants his hands and head washed
    5.Jesus told his disciples to wash one another’s feet
    6.The Last Supper
    7.The new commandment

    Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?

    Troy David Jenkins, Army, Sereant -- Rest In Peace

    Troy David Jenkins, 25

    Army, Sergeant
    Based: Ft. Campbell, Ky.
    B Company, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment
    Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
    Died: April 24, 2003
    Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany
    Married, 2 children
    Gender: Male
    Hometown: Ridgecrest
    High School: Hillcrest High School (Evergreen, Ala.)
    Burial: Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside

    From Military Times:

    Army Sgt. Troy David Jenkins 25, of Ridgecrest, Calif.; assigned to B Company, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment based in Fort Campbell, Ky.; died from wounds received as a result of an explosion April 19 while on a dismounted patrol with other soldiers in Iraq. He died from his injuries at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany.
    Troy Jenkins told his father he planned to get out of the military because he felt his luck was running out. Even so, he made a courageous, split-second decision April 19 that ended his life, but saved those of a 7-year-old girl and several soldiers in his 187th Infantry Regiment

    Jenkins, 25, was critically wounded when an Iraqi child approached a group of soldiers with an unexploded cluster bomb. As the bomb went off, Jenkins threw himself over it.

    He was transported to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and died Thursday.

    “The boys in his outfit called me and said he deserves the (Medal of Honor),” said his father, Jack Jenkins of Turkey Creek, La. He said one soldier from his son’s outfit explained Troy’s actions this way: “If you were standing in a store and there was a guy in there with a hand grenade, which way would you run? Troy ran forward, to save that little girl and to save his buddies.”

    Jenkins grew up in Evergreen, Ala., the youngest of three children of divorced parents, raised by their father. “He loved music. He loved to roam the woods. And he loved to go fishing,” his father said. “He was the kind of kid, if he had a problem, he’d take his radio out to the woods and try to think it out. He never got in any trouble, and he never lied to me.”

    When he graduated from high school in 1995, Jenkins had already joined the Marines. He later joined the Army.

    Jenkins, who served in Afghanistan, was planning to leave the service in July and wanted to join the California Highway Patrol. He didn’t want to leave his wife and two children, ages 4 and 2, alone again. “I think he had a premonition,” his father said.

    His wife, Amanda Jenkins, said the circumstances of his death were not surprising. “He didn’t have a selfish bone in his body. He was always thinking of other people first.”

    — USA Today, Associated Press
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