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Tag: marines


Local links, April 5

If you haven’t had a chance, check out my colleague Steve Maynard’s excellent report about families coping with the loss of a loved one during combat.

He profiles the parents of Parkland’s Sgt. Thomas F. Allison, killed in 2002 when his helicopter crashed in the Philippines; the widow of Sgt. Gabriel DeRoo, who was killed by small-arms fire in Mosul in 2006; and the mother of Sgt. Michael T. Washington, the Tacoma Marine killed in 2008 from an IED strike in Afghanistan.

Other local links:

62nd Medical Brigade
Soldiers ‘eager’ to lend hand in Haiti [The News

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UPDATED: Lower your flags

From the guv’s office:

Governor Chris Gregoire has directed flags at all Washington State agencies lowered to half-staff on Monday, March 1, 2010, in memory of U. S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Eric L. Ward, 19, of Redmond, who was killed in Afghanistan on February 21.

Flags should remain at half-staff until close of business on Monday, or until first thing Tuesday morning, March 2.

UPDATE: Got this today:

Governor Chris Gregoire has directed that flags at all Washington State agency facilities be lowered to half-staff Tuesday, March 2, in memory of Specialist William C. Spencer who died of injuries

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People in the service

(This is a periodic update of Washington folks serving across the armed forces. If you’d like to add any news — new training, a deployment, a retirement, etc. — email me at

olsonmugAdm. Eric T. Olson, a Tacoma native commanding U.S. Special Operations Command, recently inherited the title of “Bull Frog,” given to the sailor with the greatest amount of service following SEAL training.

Olson, a 1973 graduate of the Naval Academy, gained the title after the retirement of SEAL Capt. Pete Wikul. As a four-star admiral, Olson is the highest ranking SEAL to earn the Bull Frog title.

Marine Cpl. Timothy Lewis of Fall City just graduated from Marine Security Guard school and is now stationed in Brussels. The Marines of Marine Corps Embassy Security Group are tasked with guarding American embassies and consulates abroad.

The 4-9 Infantry's Field Trains Command Post in Baghdad
The 4-9 Infantry's Field Trains Command Post in Baghdad

Army Capt. Bud Corbin is leading the field trains command post for Fort Lewis’ 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment — a unit of 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. The soldiers “are working all day and night” at Victory Base Complex in Baghdad to make sure the battalion is well-equipped, their commander said.

National Guard Pvt. Aaron Kim of Tacoma graduated from basic infantry training at Fort Benning, Columbus, Ga. Kim is a 2009 graduate of Washington High School in Parkland.

James W. Goodgion of Kent graduated from the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps Leader Development and Assessment Course at Fort Lewis. Goodgion, a 2006 graduate of Kentlake High School, is a student at Missouri State University.

Army Pvt. Omar A. Cervantes of Tacoma graduated from Basic Combat Training at Fort Sill, Okla.

Army Reserve Pvt. Sampson I. Sneed of Federal Way graduated from Basic Combat Training at Fort Sill, Okla.

Army Pvt. Jason A. Dudley of Covington graduated from basic infantry training at Fort Benning, Ga. Dudley is a 2009 graduate of Tahoma High School.

Air Force Reserve Airman 1st Class Afsheen C. Saatchi of Tacoma graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Saatchi earned distinction as an honor graduate. Saatchi graduated in 2000 from Life Christian Academy in Tacoma and received an associate degree in 2004 from Pierce College.
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Danger in Afghanistan

I’ll start by stating the obvious: Afghanistan is a dangerous place. But two incidents this week shed a bit more light onto how tenuous one’s safety can be, even in areas not previously known for high rates of violence.

McClatchy Newspapers’ Jonathan S. Landay was with a Marine embedded training team in eastern Kunar province when it came under fire. The unit was pinned down. They were told they couldn’t fire artillery and received no air support. Four Marines were killed, along with eight Afghan troops and an interpreter.

And New York Times reporter Stephen Farrell has written

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