Orangekite1’s Weblog

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

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Afghanistan Today, the GWOT Hotspot (The Afghanistan Scandal?) 8-19-14 Tue. (134 days to go)

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134 days left for US troops in Afghanistan, as they complete retrograde operations in preparation for all US troops to leave that country by 31 December 2014.

Remember our injured troops, and families of the fallen in your prayers.

Remember in your prayers, the family of Sgt. Rob Richards, Marine Sniper, Purple Heart recipient, who was found dead in his home in North Carolina a week ago tomorrow.

Links from around the GWOT:

1.) RIP Marine Sgt., Purple Heart Recipient, Rob Richards:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/14/robert-richards-dead_n_5680092.html

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Afghanistan Today, the GWOT Hotspot (The Afghanistan Scandal?) 6-9-14-Mon. (205 days to go)

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The days wind down for US troops in Afghanistan, about 205 days until 31 December 2014 when all are set to leave. (And take our money with us too, I hope, as the US taxpayer can no longer fund this Afghanistan venture.) Around the time the VA health care scandal hit the news a few weeks ago, and just before the Taliban commander swap, there was news of President Obama doing away with the 31 December 2014 date for US troops to leave and he was keeping them there two years longer! I hope the US Congress can put a stop to this, defunding the extra two years should do the trick. Let’s hope and pray, only 205 more days for US troops and US taxpayer funding in Afghanistan.

Links from around the GWOT:

1.) The troubled legacy of US involvement in Afghanistan:

http://thediplomat.com/2014/06/the-troubled-us-afghanistan-legacy/

Written by orangekite1

June 9, 2014 at 5:57 pm

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?) 4-20-14-Mon. (254 days to go)

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The last Easter Monday for US troops in Afghanistan as they have 254 days left in that country until all American troops leave by December 31, 2014.

Links from around the GWOT:

1.) Movie, “The Hornet’s Nest” set to open Memorial Day Weekend 2014. Sounds good, I want to see this Afghanistan war documentary. Link:

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2014/04/21/war-in-afghanistan-seen-as-never-before-in-new-documentary-hornets-nest/

 

Afghanistan Today, the GWOT Hotspot (The Afghanistan Scandal?) 4-6-14-Sun. (269 days to go)

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God bless American troops still in Afghanistan completing retrograde operations closing bases and packing equipment so they can be out of that country by the deadline of 31 December 2014.

Yesterday was election day in Afghanistan, for a replacement for Hamid Karzai.

Links from around the GWOT:

1.) Bati Kot, Afghanistan “packed with Taliban” according to tribal leader there. Voting was light in such areas. Read story at this link for complete details:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/06/world/asia/apathy-and-fear-of-taliban-combine-to-keep-rural-voters-away-from-the-polls.html?_r=0

 

 

Afghanistan Today, the GWOT Hotspot (The Afghanistan Scandal?) 3/29/14 Sat. (277 days to go)

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277 days to go for US troops in Afghanistan. December 31, 2014 can’t come soon enough.

Links from around the GWOT:

1.) The first MARSOC Marine Commander, Major Fred Galvin (ret.) will pen the forward to the upcoming book, “Level Zero Heroes.” Sounds like an excellent book, I wish them great success! (Note the revision / correction at the bottom of the link now. Also read the comments for more details.) Link:

http://blogs.militarytimes.com/battle-rattle/2014/03/27/former-marsoc-commander-to-pen-forward-for-level-zero-heroes/