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Nov 17th, 2009

U.S. Military Deaths in Iraq

As of Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009, at least 4,363 members of the U.S. military had died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

Since the start of U.S. military operations in Iraq, 31,571 U.S. service members have been wounded in hostile action, according to the Defense Department’s weekly tally.

Latest identifications:

Marine Staff Sgt. Stephen L. Murphy, 36, Jaffery, N.H., died Nov. 9, 2009 as a result of a non-hostile incident in Asad, Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to 2nd Intelligence Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, Camp Lejeune, N.C.


U.S. Military Deaths in Afghanistan

As of Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009, at least 841 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan as a result of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to the Defense Department.

Latest identifications:

Army Sgt. Benjamin W. Sherman, 21, Plymouth, Mass., died Nov. 4, 2009 in Bala Murghab, Afghanistan, while participating in a resupply mission. [According to his family, he was swept away after jumping into a river to help another soldier; see related report below.] He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

Marine Lance Cpl. Justin J. Swanson, 21, Anaheim, Calif., died Nov. 10, 2009 in Nawa, Afghanistan, from injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated beneath the Humvee he was driving while supporting combat operations in Helmand province. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Army Reserve Cpl. Christopher J. Coffland, 43, Baltimore, Md., died Nov. 13, 2009 in Sayed Abad district, Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 323rd Military Intelligence Battalion, Fort Meade, Md.

Marine Lance Cpl. Shawn P. Hefner, 22, Hico, Texas, died Nov. 13, 2009 in Nawa, Afghanistan while supporting combat operations in Helmand province. He was assigned to 2nd Amphibious Assault Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown (DUSTWUN):

Army Sgt. Brandon T. Islip, 23, Richmond, Va., has been unaccounted for since Nov. 4, 2009 in Bala Murghab, Afghanistan, when he went missing while involved in a resupply mission. He is assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C. Search and recovery efforts are ongoing, and the incident is under investigation. [Update: For more information, see “Related reports on this site” below.]

Remember Their Sacrifice

Remember Their Sacrifice

Related links

Iraq Casualties

Afghanistan Casualties

Honor the Fallen

Click to visit the Military Times Hall of Valor

Visit Military Times — The top source for military news

Faces of the Dead
An interactive look at each U.S. service member who died in Afghanistan or Iraq

Related reports on this site

Iraq-Afghanistan Casualties (Dec. 1, 2009)

Taliban Holding U.S. Bodies (Nov. 6, 2009)


Related report

Paratrooper’s Mom Begs Obama: ‘End It’
Army Spc. Benjamin Sherman, who died in Afghanistan on Nov. 4, 2009.
(Photo: Facebook tribute page)

WCVB TV5 (Boston)
November 11, 2009

As family and friends mourn a fallen U.S. paratrooper on Veteran’s Day, his mother made an emotional plea to President Barack Obama that it’s time to either bring home the troops or end the war in Afghanistan.

The body of Benjamin Sherman, 21, was recovered in Afghanistan Tuesday.

“It’s time we do something. This has gone on too long. They either need to come home or we need to end it,” a tearful Denise Sherman said.

Sherman was on his second tour of duty when he disappeared in Afghanistan last week during a mission to resupply troops in the western part of the country. He was a paratrooper with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, based in Fort Bragg, N.C.

His family said Sherman jumped into a river to try to help another soldier when both were swept away. He was missing for about a week.

Dozens of troops searched frantically for Sherman and his comrade and found Sherman Tuesday. Sherman’s family received the news on the eve of Veterans Day.

The South Shore native leaves behind a wife, Patricia, who is expecting their first child in just a few months. Sherman graduated from Plymouth South High School three years ago.

In a statement, his sister Meredith said she knows why he plunged into that river to save his struggling comrade. She said he didn’t do it because he was trained to but because that’s what his heart told him to do.

“My brother is the type of man whose main values are honor, respect and standing up for what you believe in. Yet, more importantly, he was all about brotherhood. He would consider every single soldier, friend or even a stranger his brother,” she wrote in a statement confirming his death.

Denise Sherman added that her son was strong-willed, honorable and loyal. Growing up, she said, they called him “the unstoppable one.”

“I am requesting because we are One Nation under God that you ask for our nation to come together and pray. To pray for all who are missing to persevere, be found safe and returned home, for those have gone before us and have made their sacrifice to our country, for those who serve our great nation to be guided and protected,” his mother wrote.

Denise Sherman urged the president to make a decision about the Afghan war.

“I think it is time that a decision is made that this country comes together and supports our troops or whatever (Obama) decides. God will guide him. But it is time. It is time,” she said.

Sherman will be honored at Veterans Day services in New Bedford, where he was born, but his family is planning to bury him in Plymouth.

Full story

FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — November 17, 2008

An Afghan police officer inspects the wreckage of a car used by a bomber after a suicide attack on a U.S. convoy in Heart, Afghanistan, Nov. 16, 2008 (Photo credit: AP)

Taliban Offered Safe Conduct

One-year retrospective: One year ago today, I reported that Afghan President Hamid Karzai had offered safe passage and security for the Taliban’s reclusive leader Mullah Omar if he agreed to enter peace talks, but that Taliban militants rejected the offer, saying there would be no negotiations until foreign troops left Afghanistan.

4 Responses to “Iraq-Afghanistan Casualties”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Taliban Holding U.S. Bodies Says:

    […] Sgt. Benjamin W. Sherman, 21, Plymouth, Mass., died Nov. 4, 2009 during a resupply mission in Bala Murghab, Afghanistan. […]

  2. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Yemen Air-Freight Package Bombs Says:

    […] Sgt. Benjamin W. Sherman […]

  3. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Afghan War Set to Drag On Says:

    […] Iraq-Afghanistan Casualties […]

  4. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Iraq-Afghanistan Casualties Says:

    […] Iraq-Afghanistan Casualties (Nov. 17, 2009) […]

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