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Archives: Oct. 2011


McChord crew makes rescue flight to South Pole for ailing researcher

A Joint Base Lewis-McChord Air Force crew made a life-saving trip to Antarctica today to rescue a researcher who reportedly suffered a stroke on the icy continent in late August.

Renee-Nicole Douceur, 58, of Seabrook., N.H., is getting medical help today. She told CBS’ Today Show she was “feeling elated” to be off the Amundsen-Scott research station and in a hospital.

Weather complications held up her rescue. So did concerns from her employer, Raytheon Polar Services, she said in her interview with CBS.

Her flight to Christchurch, New Zealand is the second medical rescue McChord-based crews have performed

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Navy Seal from Pierce County dies in motorcycle crash

A deployed Navy Seal who listed his hometown as University Place died in a non-combat accident this week while he was on leave in Bali, Indonesia, the Department of Defense announced today.

Chief Petty Officer Michael R. Tatham, 33, died in a motorcycle accident Wednesday while on rest-and-recuperation leave from supporting the war in Afghanistan, the DOD said.

A native of Fayetteville, N.C., Tatham had been assigned to an undisclosed West Coast based Naval Special Warfare unit since 2005. He was a highly decorated service member with experience in the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns. He is survived by his parents

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Sergeant from Tacoma died from combat injuries in Kandahar Province, Army says

The Army sergeant from Tacoma who died in Afghanistan this week was felled by combat-related injuries in Kandahar Province, the Defense Department announced today.

Sgt. Nathan Wyrick, 34, listed Enumclaw as his hometown. He graduated from Franklin Pierce High School with the class of 1996.

Wyrick was serving with the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division. A spokeswoman from his home station of Fort Drum, N.Y., said the “circumstances surrounding his death are currently under investigation.”

Wyrick was a supply specialist who joined the Army in March 2006. He served in Iraq

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Chase aiming to help JBLM famiiles, veterans avoid foreclosure

Chase is opening a home ownership center in Lakewood this week to help service members and veterans avoid foreclosure. It’s one of six such centers the bank aims to open this year near major military installations.

Chase’s is aiming to cut some of the red tape that keeps people from losing their homes by putting them in front of a person who can answer their questions. Spokeswoman Darcy Donahoe-Wilmot said the Lakewood center will be open to all residents, but it will be staffed with employees who have military experience.

“They understand firsthand the needs of military personnel,” said Phyllis

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JBLM Ranger from California killed in Afghan battle

Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s Ranger battalion lost a second soldier in a two week stretch Saturday when insurgents killed a 24-year-old specialist from Salinas, Calif.

Ricardo Cerros Jr. was mortally wounded as he attacked a group of insurgents “barricaded in a compound” in  Afghanistan’s Logar Province, according to the U.S. Special Operations Command.

His commanders in the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment called him a bright and talented young man who could have done anything in life. Cerros joined the Army in 2010 after he graduated from the University of California, Irvine.

“Spc. Ricardo Cerros was incredibly talented and a well-respected

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Partnerships bring butterflies and frogs back to JBLM

Exploding artillery rounds can be awfully hard on an endangered species. Joint Base Lewis-McChord is gaining some attention this week for two collaborations it’s undertaking to nurture the little critters that live on its ranges.

The first comes from the north, where the Kitsap Sun shares a story of inmates at Mission Creek Corrections Center raising the endangered Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly. One of its last native habitats is an artillery range at the base, and if the insect’s numbers diminish, the base could be compelled to test its guns less often.

From the Sun:

Kelli Bush, manager

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Army buying more Strykers with extra protection from bomb blasts

The Army is investing another $243 million in redesigned Stryker infantry vehicles that provide better protection from roadside bombs, the Defense Department announced this week.

That money will buy an additional 115 “double v hull” Strykers on top of the 450 the Army has already ordered from manufacturer General Dynamics. The two orders would give the Army almost enough of the redesigned Strykers to field two brigades.

Three of the Army’s seven Stryker brigades are stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. They’ve fought with the original flat-bottom Strykers in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003.

The newer Strykers have a

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Readers share stories of near scams from soldier impostors

Yesterday’s story about soldier romance scams hit home with a couple readers who called The News Tribune in the past two days to share their own stories of nearly falling for someone who claimed to be a service member in need of help online.

One woman is in touch with someone claiming to be Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli, who is telling her he’s stuck in Iraq. That’s hard to swallow if only for the reason that he’s most often at the Pentagon.

Another woman nearly sent $3,000 to someone claiming to be

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