On Sunday, Mr. Obama declared that America’s thirteen-year war in Afghanistan is now officially over. The new mission, Resolute Support, will focus on training Afghan security forces to stand up to terrorists without the force protection of the United States military.
As Big Press news stations compile clips of “notables” who passed away in 2014, this Examiner will publish the names of every American military service member who lost their life in the fight around the world, in 2014. Names and unit affiliations are published from information released by the Department of Defense. Names published yesterday can be found here.
On February 10, 2014, Pfc. Joshua A. Gray, 21, of Van Lear, Kentucky, died at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, from a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York. Another Kentucky Soldier died on February 10. Spc. Christopher A. Landis, 27, of Independence, Kentucky, died at Bagram Airfield 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, North Carolina.
Two Special Forces Soldiers were killed on February 12. Spc. John A. Pelham, 22, of Portland, Oregon, and Sgt. First Class Roberto C. Skelt, 41, of York, Florida, died from enemy small arms fire. Pelham and Skelt were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Marine Master Sgt. Aaron C. Torian, 36, of Paducah, Kentucky, died Feb. 15, while conducting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, Marine Special Operations Regiment, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Lance Cpl. Caleb L. Erickson, 20, of Waseca, Minnesota, died Feb. 28, also while conducting combat operations in Helmand Province. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Army Master Sgt. David L. Poirier, 52, of North Smithfield, Rhode Island, died Feb. 28, from a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to the 157th Operations Support Squadron, Pease Air National Guard Base, New Hampshire.
On April 1, Capt. James E. Chaffin III, 27, of West Columbia, South Carolina, died in Kandahar, Afghanistan, from a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Army Spc. Kerry M. G. Danyluk, 27, of Cuero, Texas, died April 15, at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, of injuries sustained April 12, when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire in Logar Province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York.
These warriors were laid to rest by families who sacrificed everything in support of the Global War on Terror. Tomorrow, their brothers-in-arms who died later in 2014 will be recognized by the Examiner. It should be noted that Special Forces units took heavy losses in 2014.