Image courtesy: Pfc. David Hauk, U.S. Army. Kandahar, Afghanistan, November 12, 2009

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Across the nation

Image courtesy: U.S. Army

Moreland, Georgia, and Westlake Village, California, are more than 2,200 miles apart. At this hour, these communities, along with 16 other American neighborhoods, are joined together in grief. Since Sunday, August 29, the Pentagon has identified 18 fallen heroes from the post-9/11 struggle against terrorism in Afghanistan.

Petty Officer 3rd Class James Swink, 20, Yucca Valley, California
Master Sgt. Daniel Fedder, 34, Pine City, Minnesota
Staff Sgt. James Ide, 32, Festus, Missouri
Spc. James Robinson, 27, Lebanon, Ohio
Spc. Chad Coleman, 20, Moreland, Georgia
Pvt. Adam Novak, 20, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin
Capt. Ellery Wallace, 33, Salt Lake City, Utah
Pfc. Bryn Raver, 20, Harrison, Arkansas
Gunnery Sgt. Floyd Holley, 36, Casselberry, Florida
Sgt. Patrick Durham, 24, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Spc. Andrew Castro, 20, Westlake Village, California
Capt. Dale Goetz, 43, White, South Dakota
Staff Sgt. Jesse Infante, 30, Cypress, Texas
Staff Sgt. Kevin Kessler, 32, Canton, Ohio
Staff Sgt. Matthew West, 36, Conover, Wisconsin
Pfc. Chad Clements, 26, Huntington, Indiana
Sgt. Joseph Bovia, 24, Kenner, Louisiana
Lance Cpl. Cody Roberts, 22, Boise, Idaho

These departed warriors hail from 15 different states and span in age from 20 to 43. As their flag-draped caskets arrive in Dover, Delaware, and are led home with great care by family and military escorts, let's pause for a moment and reflect on what is being done for us in Afghanistan and Iraq on a daily basis. As we adjust our air conditioning, use our smartphones, and go to the movies, thousands of men and women are fighting hard and hoping to see their families again. By making their service an integral part of our national consciousness, we can show America's volunteer warriors that we are worth fighting for.

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