Orangekite1’s Weblog

Afghanistan Today, your portal to the United States’ growing nightmare abroad.

Archive for April 2014

Afghanistan Today, the GWOT Hotspot (The Afghanistan Scandal?) 4-30-14-Wed. (245 days to go)

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245 days to go for US troops in Afghanistan, and the end of another month in that country leading up to the 31 December 2014 withdrawal of all US troops.

The month ends on a sad note as retrograde operations go on, with US troops busily closing down bases and packing equipment, two US Army soldiers were killed by hostile fire. God bless our troops still in Afghanistan, a still hostile place. May God comfort the families of the fallen and heal those injured. RIP soldiers.

Links from around the GWOT:

1.) Two US soldiers killed in hostile action in Afghanistan. RIP soldiers:

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2014/04/fort_drum_sergeant_among_two_army_soldiers_killed_in_afghanistan_report_says.html

2.) Family of hero killed in Afghanistan discuss their brave son:

http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140430/NEWS/404300314/-1/SITEMAP

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Afghanistan Today, the GWOT Hotspot (The Afghanistan Scandal?) 4-29-14-Tue. (246 days to go)

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246 days to go for US troops in Afghanistan.

ANOTHER UPDATE, 1 MAY 2014. There is now an obituary posted for Army Captain Kelly Marie Hasselman, 29, and a link to the Citadel TAPS website where her death notice is posted. There is no cause of death.

She died stateside 19 April 2014, while serving at Ft. Bliss. She served in Afghanistan not once, but twice, and I honor her service, as I have been told many times by Marines, Afghanistan is, “The WORST place in the world.”

As a civilian I am protected by these service members like Capt. Hasselman, who are sent sometimes, to places we cannot even imagine being, with danger surrounding them daily.

Her last tour to Afghanistan was much written about as she served as Commander for Ft. Bliss’ first Female Engagement Team. You can ‘Google’ it and see the stories and videos both pre-deployment and while deployed.

May Capt. Hassleman RIP.

Rest in Peace Captain, it is well deserved after serving not once, but twice in Afghanistan.

I can’t further comment on cause of death, as no cause is mentioned at these links. Sympathy to her family, and to her friends and fellow soldiers, may they find comfort at this time of loss.

UPDATED LINKS:  1 May 2014:

OBITUARY: US Army Captain Kelly Marie Hasselman: decorated Afghanistan war veteran. Link:

http://hosting-25037.tributes.com/obituary/show/Kelly-Marie-Hasselman-USA-101324410

CITADEL “TAPS” listing for decorated US Army Captain Kelly M. Hasselman. May she RIP. Link:

http://citadelalumni.org/taps/index.php?ID=14876

UPDATE: Evening of 29 April 2014:

AFTER I POSTED THIS BLOG ENTRY, I FOUND NEW INFORMATION WHICH HAD JUST BEEN RELEASED ON THE COMBAT DEATH OF ARMY NURSE 1ST LT. JENNIFER MORENO, POSTHUMOUSLY PROMOTED TO CAPTAIN. HERE IS THE UPDATE I AM POSTING THIS EVENING, WHICH INCLUDES HER BRONZE STAR WITH V CITATION:

UPDATE: Capt, Jennifer Moreno, new information released: Should her Bronze Star w/V be upgraded?

Links:

Heroic Army nurse “ran into hell”: (Award citations for four soldiers including Moreno at end of story)

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/04/29/3170731/heroic-nurse-ran-into-hell.html?sp=/99/296/

Bronze Star with V Award Citation for Capt. Jennifer Moreno:

http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1146716-moreno-bronze-star.html

ORIGINAL POST (Pre-update):

When I started this blog, the Afghanistan war had been going on since 2001. After extensive studies of Afghanistan history, and of our current war, it was suggested I start this blog, and give it the ‘motto’ which appears at the top right, about this blog being your portal into America’s growing nightmare.

One thing which has really gotten to me during the time I started and have been the “news director” of this blog, has been the maiming injuries suffered by American troops in Afghanistan.

The second thing which has really gotten to me, has been the deaths of American women troops in Afghanistan.

It reached a “low” when I read of the death of Army Sgt. Linda Pierre a few years back, and I wrote extensively of her death. While in Florida at the end of 2013 I had the honor to visit her grave site in Florida, which brought tears to my eyes.

I also called the cemetery and had the flags replaced in the Veteran’s section where she was buried as they were tattered, faded, and some had mold on them. I was leaving town and could not re-visit the cemetery before I left, but received several calls from cemetery officials  that assured me the flags were being replaced as we spoke.

Sgt. Pierre was killed by an Afghan soldier who threw multiple grenades into the room where she, another American woman soldier, and several other male US soldiers were, killing them all. I don’t know why Sgt. Pierre’s death stood out so much to me, but it did. I will post her YouTube video below again.

Another “low” was reached in late 2013 when I read about the death of US Army 1st Lt. Jennifer Moreno, an Army nurse sent to Afghanistan to help their women especially, who was killed with several other soldiers by multiple IED’s. It was reported at the time, that she ran forward to save soldiers who were hurt, including Army Rangers with leg amputations.

1st Lt. Moreno was posthumously promoted to Captain and awarded the Bronze Star with V.

I didn’t know the full details, but from my reading of the news, as a civilian, it seems to me she needed a medal upgrade, and perhaps should even be considered for the Medal of Honor.

I wrote extensively of her death, as I did Sgt. Linda Pierre before her. I watched Capt. Moreno’s memorial service (which was posted online) at the college where she earned her nursing degree. It was moving and brought me to tears.

Then, I am brought forward to today, and the report of another military woman’s death, that of Ft. Bliss based Army Captain Kelly Hasselman in Texas with no cause of death given. I honor and respect her service, as she served not once, but twice in Afghanistan, and chose the path of service to country, to protect citizens like me and the defend the US Constitution to secure our freedoms. RIP Captain.

I remember reading a bit about Captain Hasselman’s deployment from Ft. Bliss as the commander, a first, of a 55 woman Army Female Engagement Team sent to Afghanistan. Pre-deployment there was much build up and press coverage around 2012-2013.

During the deployment there were some videos and stories posted at DVIDS-Hub, and nationwide press coverage from Al Jazeera, or I guess, actually, international press coverage. There was coverage far and wide, including media coverage in her hometown of Broken Arrow and home state of Oklahoma There was media coverage in Texas and the Ft. Bliss area of El Paso, and coverage in military publications and web sites.

So, far, officially, I only see that the Army has said that there were three suicides at Ft. Bliss over the Easter weekend, one being a captain. No names were listed.

(UPDATED 5/1/14: see above) I have now seen an obituary for Capt. Kelly Hasselman, before that, all I knew is what I saw on “social media”, comments, and stories at the Army Times web site, which did not list names, and at MilitaryCorruption.com which did list her name.

Capt. Kelly Hasselman’s 19 April 2014 death now confirmed, it does give me another “low” feeling, similar to the combat deaths of Sgt. Linda Pierre and 1st Lt. Jennifer Moreno in Afghanistan.

Even with the publication of the obituary and TAPS listing at the Citadel, I have no official confirmation of the cause of death, but in any case, I honor her service in Afghanistan, a dangerous country where she faced enemy attack daily, and where she served not one tour, but two.

There are confirmed military suicides I am aware of which have been in the news, and the family left behind have often tried to bring awareness to depression, PTSD, TBI, and other post-deployment issues our troops and veterans have experienced, one which comes to mind is Rob Guzzo, a Navy Seal, whose family has spoken out after his suicide.

I believe there may be in these suicides, an awareness, and chance to save others, despite the terrible loss. God bless and pray for our military families, and families of the fallen.

I have been realizing the last few days, that while the war in Afghanistan winds down and all US troops are home by 31 December 2014, the after affects of the war in Afghanistan and Iraq will be “forever” for those who lost their legs, for those families who have lost a loved one, for those vets with mental and physical problems, and for those with PTSD, TBI, and various other mental issues, and for those who have thought of suicide.

And for those who have to cope with a suicide of a service member, there might be a lifetime of sorrow after US troops leave December 31, 2014.

Keep our troops and our vets in your thoughts and prayers. Keep our wounded troops and vets in your thoughts and prayers. Keep the families of the fallen, and those wounded mentally and emotionally in your thoughts and prayers.

I will recap today some of the stories of our heroes such as Sgt. Linda Pierre, Capt. Jennifer Moreno, Navy Seal Rob Guzzo, and others, along with what has been posted about Capt. Kelly Hasselman. May we all learn and grow, from their sacrifice and help our veterans and active duty military troops.

I did see a link on one “social media” site, to Capt. Kelly Hasselman’s Facebook page, and one of the last posts was of a song by Christian singer Plumb, “Need You Now (How Many Times)” on April 18, 2014, and no posts by her since that I could see.

I have heard the song on Christian radio many times, and like it, but listening to it again by clicking on her link, the live version, it just put tears in my eyes to think of whatever struggles Capt. Kelly Hasselman may have had and put tears in my eyes thinking of her possible death.

Links from around the GWOT:

1.) The late Sgt. Linda Pierre, US Army, in her own words. She was killed by an Afghan soldier in Afghanistan. Link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wMVxRzuxfc

2.) Rob Guzzo Memorial-Facebook page. Guzzo was a Navy Seal who committed suicide and his family and friends are dedicated to bringing awareness to the issues related to suicide in the military and in our veteran population. Link:

https://www.facebook.com/RobGuzzoMemorial

3.) The Wounded Walk: Story of veterans bringing attention to sucide:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/04/25/trek-calls-attention-to-vet-suicides/8185559/

4.) Commander: US Special Forces-record suicides:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/17/us-usa-military-suicides-idUSBREA3G2EK20140417

5.) Army 1st Lt. Jennifer Moreno, posthumously promoted to Captain after her death at the hand of the enemy in Afghanistan. An Army nurse, she served with Army Rangers. Link:

http://projects.militarytimes.com/valor/army-capt-jennifer-m-moreno/6568521

6.) MilitaryCorruption.com: Their story on the death of Army Captain Kelly Hasselman:

http://militarycorruption.com/hasselman.htm

7.)  More “social media” on the apparent death of super achieving soldier, Army Captain Kelly Hasselman:

http://www.thinkinghousewife.com/wp/2014/04/soldier-and-super-achiever-commits-suicide/

8.) More on the late Army Captain Kelly Hasselman:

http://www.thinkinghousewife.com/wp/2014/04/fanfare-about-her-life-silence-about-her-death/

9.) Capt. Kelly Hasselman, Ft. Bliss training of Congressional staff. The high profile and decorated soldier was mentioned in this story. Link:

http://fortblissbugle.com/1st-bct-1-ad-trains-congressional-staff/

10.) Army reports three suicides at Ft. Bliss over Easter weekend, including that of a captain. No names were given, investigations in progress it said. Link:

http://www.armytimes.com/article/20140424/NEWS/304240052/3-possible-suicides-Fort-Bliss-last-weekend

11.) Song by Christian singer Plumb, “Need You Now (How Many TImes)”. Pray for the families of our fallen soldiers, our wounded soldiers, and yes, the families of those  veterans and troops who fell by their own hand. Pray for our soldiers who now face suicidal thoughts. Pray for all of our troops and vets who are crying out for help that their suicides can be prevented. Link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGIumjD6I3M

Afghanistan Today, the GWOT Hotspot (The Afghanistan Scandal?) Mon. 4-28-14 (247 days to go)

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247 days to go for US troops in Afghanistan, and if you read the story at link #1 you see there is a plan afoot for more dirt bikes for them to ride in their remaining days there. Look at the comments too for more details. Featured in the story is the author of the upcoming book on MARSOC, Special Operations Marines, titled, “Level Zero Heroes.”

1.)  “Level Zero Heroes” author, former MARSOC (Special Operations Marine) comments in this CNN story about the use of motorized bikes in Afghanistan. The book sounds like it will be excellent, I plan to read it. Other stories said the forward of the book will be written by retired Marine Major Fred Galvin who was the leader of the first ever MARSOC company in Afghanistan in 2007. Link:

http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/28/us/stealth-military-motorcycle/

 

Afghanistan Today, the GWOT Hotspot (The Afghanistan Scandal?) 4-27-14-Sun. (248 days to go)

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While it is 248 days left to go for US troops in Afghanistan, as I read several recent stories concerning military suicides and PTSD, I realized, that for some troops, their experience in Iraq and Afghanistan are going to go on many days past 31 December 2014. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Links from around the GWOT:

1.) Medal of Honor recipient Ty Carter’s mission to help those with combat stress, PTSD, and other mental health issues related to their service to our country. God bless him, and may those suffering emotionally find help and peace, as we honor their service and combat stress. Link:

http://www.stripes.com/news/veterans/medal-of-honor-recipient-ty-carter-comes-home-to-antioch-1.280206#.U10G6NN-2Es.facebook

2.) The Army has confirmed three suicides, one a captain, at Ft. Bliss over the Easter weekend, written about in the links below at MilitaryTimes.com and ArmyTimes.com, but does not list the names of the soldiers.  In the meantime, MilitaryCorruption.com reports on Ft. Bliss suicides, including naming  the woman captain, one of three suicides over Easter weekend. God bless our troops, and our veterans, and those who suffer from mental and physical wounds. Prayers go out to the families of these three soldiers. Their loved ones served during a time of war, protecting us in a volunteer military that has been at war 13 years. Condolences to the families of these three soldiers. Link:

http://militarycorruption.com/hasselman.htm

3.)  More on the death of a woman Army captain at Ft. Bliss. Official Army reports state that there is an ongoing investigation and at this time to do not list the names of the soldiers (see the two links below from MilitaryTimes.com and ArmyTimes.com). With the suicide investigation, will there be, an investigation into the deployment of this Female Engagement Team, as it seems maybe there should be? RIP Captain, and prayers for your loved ones. Two tours of Afghanistan. Honor and respect. Thank you for your service brave Captain. Pray for our troops and veterans with physical and emotional scars from these wars the last 13 years. They are America’s finest, stepping up, swearing to protect us, volunteering in a time of war. Such honor. Such pride. Such dedication. Such love. Love for country. Love for their fellow Americans and our way of life. I live free due to their sacrifice. God bless you Captain, God bless your family.

http://www.thinkinghousewife.com/wp/2014/04/soldier-and-super-achiever-commits-suicide/

4.) When I read these stories about three suicides at Ft. Bliss, this one posted at MilitaryTimes.com, I just have to wonder: What is going on at Ft. Bliss? It says an investigation is ongoing into these suicides? The 3 Suicides were reported at Ft. Bliss last weekend (Easter Weekend). No names are given for the three suicide victims. May God comfort their families. They volunteered to serve in a time of war. Honor. Respect. Service. Love. Pray for our troops and veterans with physical and emotional injuries of war.  Link:

http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20140424/NEWS/304240052/3-possible-suicides-Fort-Bliss-last-weekend

5.) Fort Bliss, Texas: ArmyTimes reposts on suicides at this Army base, including three Easter Weekend. They do not name the soldiers. God bless and comfort the families of these soldiers, they chose to serve during time of war. They volunteered to protect us, while the US has been at war these last 13 years. Link:

http://www.armytimes.com/article/20140424/NEWS/304240052/3-possible-suicides-Fort-Bliss-last-weekend

 

 

Afghanistan Today, the GWOT Hotspot (The Afghanistan Scandal?) 4-26-14-Sat. (249 days to go)

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249 days to go for US troops in Afghanistan as they complete retrograde operations, closing bases and packing equipment, while bad news comes from the British with the crash of their helicopter and the death of five service members.

Links from around the GWOT:

1.) British helicopter crashes in Afghanistan, five dead:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/26/us-afghanistan-helicopter-crash-idUSBREA3P07L20140426

Afghanistan Today, the GWOT Hotspot (The Afghanistan Scandal?) 4-25-14 Fri. (250 days to go)

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250 days to go for US troops in Afghanistan as they complete retrograde operations (closing bases, packing equipment) and head home by 12-31-14. While this plan to leave, and hopefully take our money with us, is supposedly set in stone, there seems to be a push to keep US troops there past that date! I say NO to that! Also, the US can no longer fund and quip the Afghan military, as our country is broke! We need to fund US troops and veterans!

Links from around the GWOT:

1.) Military makes 3 budget plans in case US troops are left in Afghanistan past 12-31-14:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-24/pentagon-to-deliver-3-budget-plans-on-u-s-afghan-troop-presence.html

Written by orangekite1

April 25, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Posted in Afghanistan

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Afghanistan Today, the GWOT Hotspot (The Afghanistan Scandal?) 4-24-14-Th. (251 days to go)

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251 days to go for US troops in Afghanistan, and it can’t pass fast enough. I would hope today after 3 US civilian doctors were murdered, and other Americans injured after being shot by an Afghan guard who was supposed to be protecting them, President Obama would make an announcement that he is ordering the US State Department to issue a travel ban to Afghanistan by all US civilians. Then, he should encourage US troops to speed up the withdrawal with enhanced retrograde operations to close bases and pack up equipment, and get us out of there before 31 December 2014, and our money with us. Links from around the GWOT:

1.) Afghanistan: Three US doctors murdered by Afghan guard hired to protect them, other Americans reported to be injured: Afghan officer kills 3 U.S. doctors” this LA Times story headline reads:

http://www.latimes.com/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-afghan-guard-kills-us-doctors-20140424,0,822039.story#axzz2zpMvx3zo

2.) Report on another civilian death: Diplomat death: murdered in Afghanistan delivering books, reports details poor planning:

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-04-23/news/chi-report-details-poor-planning-that-led-to-river-forest-womans-death-in-afghanistan-20140423_1_state-department-smedinghoff-river-forest