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Archives: May 2011


Lewis-McChord Ranger earns Medal of Honor

A Joint Base Lewis-McChord Ranger is set to become the second living service member to earn a Medal of Honor for his actions in the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry, 31, lost his right hand while throwing a live grenade away from his fellow Rangers during a daylight operation in Paktya, Afghanistan on May 26, 2008.

Petry was already wounded. His actions saved the lives of at least two other Rangers who were with him on the mission, the Army says.

At the time, he was serving with Lewis-McChord’s D Company, 2nd Battalion, 75th

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Former lawmaker aims to raise money for veterans’ funerals

The melancholy notes of “Taps” ring out at many military funerals, but former state Sen. Ken Jacobsen fears too many veterans are missing a final honor they’ve earned.

He submitted a bill last year to compel the state Department of Veterans Affairs to hire buglers that would be available to perform at every veterans’ funeral, but it didn’t pass the Legislature.

He’s taking a different approach with a Memorial Day fundraiser called “Taps for Taps” at Seattle’s Ravenna Alehouse.

“Only 12.2 percent of Washington’s deceased veterans receive a live performance of ‘Taps’ at their funeral,” Jacobsen said in a news

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JBLM soldiers to participate in Puget Sound Memorial Day ceremonies

Service members from Joint Base Lewis-McChord plan to attend Memorial Day ceremonies throughout the South Sound this weekend. The base is hosting its own event Monday and visitors will be able to get day passes to attend it.

Here’s a look at the ceremonies planned for the weekend:

Sunday, May 29

  • Fir Lane Cemetery Memorial Day Service, 1 p.m., Spanaway
  • Vaughn Cemetery Memorial Day Service, 1 p.m., Gig Harbor
  • Yelm Cemetery Memorial Day Service, 1 p.m., Yelm
  • Roy Cemetery Memorial Day Service, 2 p.m., Roy

Monday, May 30

  • Joint Base Lewis-McChord

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Stryker soldier says his platoonmate helped kill Afghan

A Stryker soldier who has confessed to helping murder three Afghans last year testified today that one of his subordinates helped plan a killing and “didn’t object” when they carried out one of their schemes.

Confessed killer Spc. Jeremy Morlock of Wasilla, Alaska, said in court at Joint Base Lewis-McChord that Pfc. Andrew Holmes of Boise was a willing participant in conversations about how they could kill an Afghan civilian in such a way that it appeared to be legitimate combat. They’d employ an off-the-books grenade that Morlock received from platoon mate Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, Morlock said.

“The way

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Canada loans Army officers to Lewis-McChord

A Canadian brigadier general who was assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord in an exchange program is headed back to his motherland, while another Canadian officer will replace him.

Brig. Gen. Eric Tremblay was the first general officer from a foreign country to take part in the exchange at Lewis-McChord. Officers and other soldiers will say goodbye to him at a ceremony Tuesday afternoon. Tremblay had been assigned to I Corps since August 2009, deployed with the unit on its Iraq deployment, and moves on to become commandant of the Royal Military College of Canada.

“I think in life there is

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Double amputee Ranger returns to his unit at Lewis-McChord

Sgt. 1st Class Ray Castillo is still leading his fellow Rangers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord two years after losing both of his legs in attack in Mosul, Iraq.

“Just because I lost my limbs doesn’t mean I can’t give my experience and my knowledge to other guys, (but) I understood eventually I was going to be behind a desk,” Castillo, now an operations sergeant with 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, told an Army writer. “There’s nothing I could’ve done about that. I still wanted to be in the military, I still wanted to contribute.”

Here’s the full story

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Lewis-McChord’s “Triple Nickel” brigade dedicates new memorial to fallen soldiers

Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s combat engineer brigade plans to dedicate a new memorial to 27 of its fallen soldiers Friday.

The 555th Engineer Brigade, known as the “Triple Nickel,” has deployed to Iraq three times since 2003. Its latest deployment took place in 2008-09, where it managed construction projects throughout the country and searched for roadside bombs.

Tomorrow’s ceremony is to take place at 10 a.m. in Lewis-McChord’s Memorial Park. It folds into events this week called “Engineer Days,” where soldiers celebrate the brigade’s history.


Army alleges a sixth Stryker soldier participated in Afghan murders

The Army today accused a sixth Stryker soldier at Joint Base Lewis-McChord of participating in staged killings of Afghan civilians during a deployment last year with the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.

Staff Sgt. David Bram of Vacaville, Calif., previously faced less serious charges of misconduct that centered on his role in an assault on a private at Forward Operating Base Ramrod in southern Afghanistan in May 2010.

The Army now alleges that Bram played a bigger part in an alleged “kill team” that murdered three civilians.

He now stands accused of:

* Soliciting someone to commit murder,

* Assaulting

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