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Archives: Nov. 2012

Nov.
11th

Army EOD sergeant from JBLM killed in Afghanistan by an improvised explosive

 

A Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier trained to disable the enemy’s lethal, handmade bombs in Afghanistan was killed by an explosive on Saturday, the Defense Department announced tonight.

Kenneth Wade Bennett, 26, of Glendora, Calif. was killed in the Sperwan Gar area of Kandahar province. He was assigned to the 53rd Ordnance Company of Lewis-McChord’s 3rd Explosive Ordnance Battalion.

EOD companies belonging to the 3rd battalion are serving throughout southern Afghanistan in small teams this year, attaching themselves to infantry units patrolling through dangerous terrain in the Taliban’s birthplace.

Bennett was on his third deployment to Afghanistan. He served

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Nov.
10th

Bales hearing: 7-year-old girl hides behind her father and sees him shot to death by U.S. soldier

10:40 p.m. update: A 7-year-old Afghan girl said she was hiding behind her father in their home when he was shot to death by an American soldier.

Robina, a chatty girl dressed in a red scarf, was one of two young girls to testify tonight at an evidence hearing for Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who is accused of wounding both children in a nighttime massacre that left 16 civilians dead. The Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker veteran could face the death penalty if his case proceeds to a court-martial.

Robina’s father, Nazar Mohammed, was among the dead. She said he was

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Nov.
9th

Bales hearing: Afghan teenagers describe attack on their home – “We kept saying we are children”

2:15 a.m. update: A night of haunting testimony from witnesses to a March massacre in Afghan villages concluded with Haji Mohammed Naim testifying than an American soldier shot him in the neck at extremely close range.

The shooter “was as close as this bottle,” he said, gesturing to a water bottle a few feet from his face.

He pointed to three spots on his neck and upper chest, saying the gunman shot him “here, here and here.”

Naim testified from Kandahar province through a video link to a courtroom at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, where Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is in the

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Nov.
8th

Bales hearing: Army forensic expert finds blood from nine people, connects one to SSG Bales’ gear

3:45 p.m. update: Today’s testimony concluded with a textile expert who said materials taken from a pillow in an Afghan house that Staff Sgt. Robert Bales allegedly assaulted matched fibers on the “cape” he wore the night he turned himself over to soldiers at his combat outpost.

The implication is that Bales was in the house and carried fibers with him back to Village Stability Platform Belambay.

Soldiers who took him into custody on the early hours of March 11 reported that Bales turned himself wearing a T-shirt, combat pants, a helmet, night vision goggles and what they described as

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Nov.
7th

Bales hearing: Army medic describes gruesome gunshot wounds to children

4:50 p.m. update: A medic who treated the first wounded Afghans from Staff Sgt. Robert Bales’ alleged massacre closed today’s testimony at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, hinting at the horror that we’re likely to learn about in coming days.

Maj. Travis Hawks could not pay much attention to the first victim he saw. She was a child with gunshot wounds to her head, and she was totally unresponsive.

Instead, he prepared for more casualties from the village of Alkozai who were showing up at Forward Operating Base Zangabad on March 11.

“In a mass casualty, you want to focus your efforts

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Nov.
6th

Two junior soldiers overheard 30 minutes of gunfire coming from direction of SSG Bales’ alleged first assault

2:20 p.m. update:

Two junior soldiers manning a guard tower in Kandahar Province’s Panjwai District heard more than 30 minutes of persistent gunfire coming from the direction of the village Staff Sgt. Robert Bales allegedly attacked first in the early hours of March 11.

Pfc. Derek Guinn and Pfc. Damian Blodgett testified today that they heard clusters of shots fired one at a time. They did not know what to make of the shooting, and noted that it was not directed at their coalition outpost, Village Stability Platform Belambay.

The two privates first class decided to fire a flare

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Nov.
6th

JBLM Stryker soldier from big family in Iowa dies in Kandahar Province

A 19-year-old Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier died Monday in Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province, the Defense Department announced today.

The Defense Department did not release any details about the manner of Brandon Buttry’s death. Buttry of Shenandoah, Iowa served with the 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment of Lewis-McChord’s 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.

Buttry grew up with 13 brothers and sisters raised by Don and Pam Buttry, the Omaha World-Herald reported. The family had a mix of the couple’s adopted and biological children.

“They really are an amazing family,” Steve Buttry, Brandon’s uncle, told the Omaha World-Herald. “They are devastated.

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Nov.
5th

Bales on night of killings: “I thought I was doing the right thing”

3:30 p.m. update: A peer of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales simply did not believe Bales when he made a 2 a.m. visit on March 11 saying he had shot Afghan villagers that night, and planned to leave their base a second time to kill more before sunrise.

“I’ve just been to Alkozai (a village) and I shot up some people,” Bales told Sgt. Jason McLaughlin, McLaughlin testified today.

“No you didn’t, Bob,” McLaughlin replied.

A sleepy McLaughlin thought “it was ridiculously out of the realm of possibility,” that Bales could have left Village Stability Platform Belambay that night to massacre

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