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Category: Fallen service members


Plan your Memorial Day observances with this look at the weekend’s events

A busy weekend of Memorial Day events is just around the corner in Pierce and Thurston counties. Here’s a look at the weekend’s ceremonies culled from community groups, Joint Base Lewis-McChord and the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs.


  • Key Peninsula Veterans Aisle of Honor, 1 p.m., VaughnBayCemetery, the cemetery is located at the corner of 100th Street Kp N and 186th Avenue Kp N, Vaughn. 253-884 9852. Signs will be posted from State Route 302. The formal ceremony begins about 1 p.m., but flags will be on display from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Yelm Cemetery Memorial Day

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Fallen soldier was a Green Beret in JBLM’s 1st Special Forces Group

The Defense Department today identified a Joint Base Lewis-McChord Green Beret who died Thursday at a military hospital Germany from wounds he sustained last week in Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Michael H. Simpson, 30, leaves behind a wife and two sons ages 3 and 1.

The Army identified his hometown as San Antonio. His father, retired Special Forces Lt. Col. Michael W. Simpson, is the city manager in Olmos Park, Texas.

The elder Simpson has sent messages to Olmos Park residents about his son’s fatal injuries, and has received an outpouring of support from the town. The family announced the soldier’s

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Family reports death of JBLM soldier from wounds suffered in Afghanistan

A Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier has died from wounds he suffered in Afghanistan, his family in Texas reported to local media this week.

Staff Sgt. Michael H. Simpson, 30, leaves behind a wife and two sons aged 3 and 1, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

His father, Michael W. Simpson, told the newspaper earlier this week that his son was wounded by a mine while driving on an ATV. The elder Simpson disclosed the injuries because he is the city manager of Olmos Park in Texas and he wanted thank residents for their support.


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Accident that caused Tacoma soldier’s death in Afghanistan led to sanctions for his commanders

The accident in Afghanistan that took Pfc. Neil Turner’s life not only led to a court-martial for his killer, but also contributed to some negative consequences for officers and senior enlisted soldiers in his unit.

As we reported today, Spc. Francisco Perez last week was sentenced to 15 months in confinement for killing Turner on Jan. 11, 2012 by pointing a loaded shoulder-fired rocket launcher at him and pulling the trigger inside their company headquarters in Afghanistan. The missile tore through Turner’s abdomen, but did not explode.

The Army investigator who looked into the incident laid almost all

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“We are glad you are home:” 3rd Stryker Brigade marks end of Afghanistan tour today at JBLM

 Sgt. 1st Class Christoper Montera hugs Sherry Wyatt, whose son Spc. Sterling Wyatt, was killed in Afghanistan in July. Montera and Spc. Wyatt served in the same Stryker unit.  Photo by Janet Jensen/The News Tribune

Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Montera returned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s main parade ground today for the first time since he left for Afghanistan more than a year ago.

He made his way onto the field in his wheelchair, rejoining the ranks of soldiers he last saw in March when a Taliban mortar round triggered explosions that deliver near-fatal injuries in Kandahar province.

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IED kills JBLM soldier in Afghanistan

A Joint Base Lewis-McChord 4th Stryker Brigade soldier died Jan. 16 when he encountered an IED while on a dismounted patrol in Afghanistan, the Army said today.

Sgt. David J. Chambers of Hampton, Va. died in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province at the age of 25.

He joined the Army in May 2009, and deployed to Afghanistan from June 2010 to May 2011, and again in November 2012.

Chambers was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment of the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

He received the Purple Heart, Army Achievement Medal

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Lewis-McChord soldier killed in Afghanistan

UPDATE: A Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier died in Afghanistan on Saturday, the 36th and likely last reported fatality from the local base in 2012.

Pfc. Markie T. Sims, of Citra, Fla., died a week before his 21st birthday in southern Afghanistan in the blast of improvised explosive device, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Sims was a combat engineer who enlisted in the Army in November 2011. This was his first deployment.

Sims ran track and played basketball in high school and graduated from Marion Technical Institute in Ocala, Fla.

Sims’ mother, Wanda Thompson, told the Star-Banner newspaper that her son

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Veteran JBLM Stryker soldier killed by IED in Afghanistan


A Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker soldier on his third deployment was killed in Afghanistan Monday, the Defense Department announced tonight.

Staff Sgt. Wesley Williams, 25, was killed by an insurgent bomb during a mission in Kandahar province.

He served with Lewis-McChord’s 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, which deployed last month to replace another local Stryker unit in southern Afghanistan.

Williams of New Carlisle, Ohio joined the Army in 2005 after graduating high school. He met his wife at an ROTC program at Tecumseh High School in his hometown, WHIO TV reported.

Williams spent his first couple years

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