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Archives: Dec. 2011


Lewis-McChord IED hunters get Purple Hearts for Christmas in Afghanistan

Eight soldiers in a Joint Base Lewis-McChord battalion charged with hunting for deadly roadside bombs in Afghanistan received Purple Hearts on a Christmas Day ceremony at a Marine base in Helmand Province.

A Marine writer picked up some moving quotes from the soldiers in the 14th Engineer Battalion.

“Pfc. Joseph Jackson, 571st Sapper Company, and a native of Erwin, N.C., was in the middle of clearing a road and recovering a downed vehicle when he and his team struck a roadside bomb.

‘I got slapped in the face with a .50-cal that sheared off of the truck. It

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Lewis-McChord commander sends holiday greetings from Afghanistan

Joint Base Lewis-McChord senior commander Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti this week sent home from Afghanistan a letter wishing happy holidays to Washington’s military communities. He’s leading about 500 soldiers from the base’s I Corps as the war’s day-to-day commander.

His letter follows. Come back to Sunday to check out holiday greetings from Washington soldiers serving overseas.

To the Pacific Northwest and South Sound Communities –

Cindy and I would like to wish you and your families a joyous holiday season and a very happy New Year. This is a time for family, celebration, and generosity.

As we reflect on

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Rangers recognize six-time combat vet whose widow confronted Rumsfeld over Army suicides

Army Rangers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord this week paid their respects to a fellow soldier who took his own life just before their battalion deployed to Afghanistan, recognizing a veteran Ranger whose death gained national attention.

Staff Sgt. Jared Hagemann, 25, killed himself June 28 at Lewis-McChord, leaving behind his two children. His wife, Ashley Joppa-Hagemann, pushed for the Ranger regiment to give him a memorial service in the same manner that it honors soldiers who die in combat.

Her effort to draw attention to his suicide peaked in August, when she confronted former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld

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Stryker brigade fights alcohol abuse with perks and transparency

A Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker brigade is tackling an uncomfortable problem by opening up and drawing attention to the repercussions soldiers face when they’re arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Since September, the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division has published DUI totals for each of its six subordinate battalions. Units are rewarded with a three-day weekend whenever they hit six weeks without a DUI.

Commanders post the information to the brigade’s Facebook page, where soldiers and family members root for DUI-free streaks.

“There’s a lot of competition; the units take it very seriously,” said Staff Sgt.

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Joint Base Lewis-McChord infantry brigade hits the ground in Kandahar

UPDATE Dec. 27: A public affairs officer from the 3rd Stryker Brigade sent a message to clarify that the Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers pictured here will be working mostly in Zabul Province over the next year, not Kandahar. Zabul is to the east of Kandahar.

I apologize for the misinformed reporting.


Infantry soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord set up their operations in Southern Afghanistan and started sending images home over Facebook this week.

About 2,500 soldiers from the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division are set to spend the next year in the region, mostly in Kandahar Province. They’ll be

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JBLM to host private memorial for helicopter crash victims

Joint Base Lewis-McChord plans to host a memorial next week for the four Army aviators who were killed in a helicopter accident Monday.

The memorial will be open to family, friends, soldiers in 16th Combat Aviation Brigade and invited guests, Lewis-McChord spokesman Joe Piek said.

It is scheduled to take place at 2 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 19 in the Lewis-North chapel inside the base.

On Thursday, a crash investigation team from Fort Rucker, Ala. continued its work looking into what caused the accident that killed Capt. Anne Rockeman Montgomery, Chief Warrant Officer Frank Buoniconti, Chief Warrant Officer

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Defense bill includes $296 million for work at Lewis-McChord

Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s construction priorities survived a year of talk of budget cuts on Capitol Hill and remain funded in the defense spending bill the Senate is debating today.

The House passed the bill yesterday. It includes $519 million for military construction in Washington State, with $296 million reserved for work at Lewis-McChord.

Lewis-McChord would get $56 million to replace the dated headquarters building for the 4th Stryker Brigade, $82 million for Army aviation improvements and $21 million for a Special Forces facility.

Rep. Adam Smith, D-Tacoma, touted some of the bill’s highlights in a press

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JBLM crash victims remembered by the loved ones they left behind

We’re starting to get a better sense of the lives of the four soldiers who died in a helicopter crash at Joint Base Lewis-McChord from media reports in their hometowns.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Lucas Sigfrid was expecting a child, his cousin told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

“He’s my cousin, and we were like best friends,” cousin Mark Duclos told the newspaper.

Capt. Anne Rockeman Montgomery lived all over the world and wanted to go to West Point to serve the country she loved, according to the Dickinson Press. Read a tribute from her

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