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Category: Fallen service members

Nov.
23rd

Wounded Montana soldier describes insider attack that killed JBLM intel analyst

The Montana Missoulian this week published an eye-witness account of an insider attack in Kandahar Province that killed a well-loved Joint Base Lewis-McChord intelligence soldier last month.

Spc. Brittany Gordon of Lewis-McChord’s 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division died with a CIA officer and four Afghan partners Oct. 13 when a man in an Afghan intelligence uniform detonated a suicide vest. Press reports suggest the killer was a member of the Afghan National Directorate of Security

Spc. Steve Beaty of the Montana National Guard was among the wounded that day. He was part of a security detail protecting a

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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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Oct.
16th

Report: JBLM soldier was killed in suicide attack with Afghan security leader

The Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier who was killed by an enemy bomb Saturday might have died in an insider attack carried out with a suicide vest, according to reports in the Tampa Bay Times and The New York Times.

Spc. Brittany Gordon, 24, reportedly died with an American contractor, the deputy intelligence director for Kandahar providence, two of his bodyguards and another Afghan intelligence employee.

Republican Rep. Bill Young of Florida told the Tampa Bay Times that Gordon was killed in a suicide attack.

“It is not one that was planted as a mine. The person was wearing

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Oct.
15th

Two JBLM soldiers killed Saturday in separate IED attacks, DOD announces

Two Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers were killed in Afghanistan Saturday in separate enemy attacks with handmade explosives, the Defense Department announced today.

Spc. Brittany Gordon, 24, of JBLM’s 572nd Military Intelligence Company was killed in Kandahar Province.

Sgt. Robert Billings, 30, of JBLM’s 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment died from wounds he suffered in the Spin Boldak District in Kandahar Province near the Pakistan border.

Family members had announced Spc. Brittany Gordon’s death this weekend to local media in her hometown, St. Petersburg, Fla. She is the daughter of St. Petersburg Assistant Police Chief Cedric Gordon and his

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Oct.
14th

Veteran JBLM Army Ranger shot to death in Afghanistan firefight

A veteran Joint Base Lewis-McChord Army Ranger was shot to death in a “heavy firefight” in Afghanistan’s Ghazni Province Friday, the Defense Department announced today.

Sgt. Thomas MacPherson, 26, of Long Beach, Calif. was serving on his fifth deployment with Lewis-McChord’s 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.

MacPherson leaves behind his wife, Claudia, and son, Brayden, of Tacoma, as well as his parents, Troy and Diona MacPherson of Long Beach.

MacPherson’s battalion deployed in June for its 15th combat assignment since 2002 to Iraq or Afghanistan. MacPherson served on one deployment to Iraq; this was his fourth in

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Oct.
6th

Soldier from Gig Harbor to be laid to rest next week in Lakewood

Funeral services are set for Staff Sgt. Orion N. Sparks, the soldier from Gig Harbor who was killed in Afghanistan on Sept. 26.

Sparks, 29, is to be laid to rest at noon on Saturday, Oct. 13 at Mountain View Funeral Home, 4100 Steilacoom Blvd. SW, in Lakewood.

The Defense Department reported that Sparks was killed when an insurgent wearing a suicide vest detonated the device near his patrol
in Pul-E Alam of Afghanistan’s Logar Province. Sgt. Jonathan A. Gollnitz, 28, of Lakehurst, N.J., also died in the blast.

Sparks was serving with the 173rd Airborne

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Oct.
1st

From Afghanistan, JBLM cavalry troop pays respects to soldiers killed in “insider attack”

Back in April, Peter Haley and I spent a couple weeks in the care of the soldiers you see here during our embed in Southern Afghanistan. Back then, Capt. Brian Rieser’s cavalry troop was just getting into the busy season of a spring offensive by finding their first weapons caches and apprehending insurgents.

Peter and I got an unusual amount of feedback from stories we wrote about Rieser’s soldiers, especially this piece on the troop’s first engagement with an enemy bomb-making crew. The troop won that fight, and a number of readers dug Rieser’s “We own the night”

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Sep.
19th

Three JBLM soldiers killed in “insider attack” Sunday, DOD announces

A bloody weekend in Afghanistan hit home in the South Sound with the deaths of three Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers at the hands of one of their Afghan allies at a remote outpost near the Pakistan border, the Defense Department announced today.

The deaths are the first publicly known incident involving Afghan service members turning their weapons on Lewis-McChord soldiers this year. So far, 51 Western service members have been killed in Afghanistan in 2012 by men wearing the uniforms of the Afghan army or Afghan police, according to an Associated Press tally.

Sunday’s victims were among four American soldiers

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