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Dec 31st, 2010


U.S. Military Deaths in Iraq

As of Friday, Dec. 31, 2010, at least 4,430 members of the U.S. military had died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003, according to iCasualties.org.

Since the start of U.S. military operations in Iraq, more than 32,000 U.S. service members have been wounded in hostile action, according to the Defense Department’s latest available tally.

Multimedia
U.S. Troop Casualties in Iraq

Latest identification:

None

U.S. Military Deaths in Afghanistan

As of Friday, Dec. 31, 2010, at least 1,445 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan as a result of the invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to iCasualties.org.

Since the start of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, 9,256 U.S. service members have been wounded as of Nov. 30, 2010, according to iCasualties.org.

Latest identifications:


Marine Cpl. Sean A. Osterman, 21, Princeton, Minn., died Dec. 16, 2010 from wounds received Dec.14 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.


Marine Lance Cpl. Jose L. Maldonado, 21, Mathis, Texas, died Dec. 17, 2010 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.


Marine Cpl. Eric M. Torbert Jr., 25, Lancaster, Pa., died Dec. 18, 2010 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.


Army Pfc. Conrado D. Javier Jr., 19, Marina, Calif., died Dec. 19, 2010 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, Vilseck, Germany.


Marine Lance Cpl. William H. Crouse IV, 22, Woodruff, S.C., died Dec. 21, 2010 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.


Marine Lance Cpl. Kenneth A. Corzine, 23, Bethalto, Ill., died Dec. 24, 2010 of wounds received Dec. 5 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.


Marine Sgt. Garrett A. Misener, 25, Cordova, Tenn., died Dec. 27, 2010 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.


Marine Cpl. Tevan L. Nguyen, 21, Hutto, Texas, died Dec. 28, 2010 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.


Army Sgt. Michael J. Beckerman, 25, Ste. Genevieve, Mo., died Dec. 31, 2010 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky. 

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Remember Their Sacrifice

Remember Their Sacrifice

Related links

Iraq Casualties

Afghanistan Casualties

Honor the Fallen

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Tech Counselor Recalls Marine Osterman’s Pride

By David Unze
St. Cloud Times
December 22, 2010

Sean Osterman was the type of friendly, fun-loving student who would stop in and see his high school counselor even when he didn’t have an appointment.

“Hey Hamak” is what Technical High School counselor Bridget Hamak remembers Osterman saying on those days when he was just checking in to say hi.

After a tour of duty in Afghanistan, Marine Cpl. Sean Osterman stopped back at Tech this summer to see how Hamak was doing.

“He was the same kid I remember — exuberant, friendly,” she said. “But he would say ‘ma’am’ and not even realize it.”

The 2007 Tech graduate, who followed his father into the Marines, died Saturday after being wounded while leading his platoon in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Osterman, 21, is survived by his mother, Kelly Hugo, who is a guidance counselor at North Junior High School in St. Cloud, and his father, Anthony Osterman, a retired Marine colonel living in Virginia Beach, Va.

He also leaves behind two sisters in Virginia Beach and two younger siblings in Princeton, where his mother lives.

A funeral service is planned for Fort Myer Chapel with internment at Arlington National Cemetery. A local memorial service will be planned in the near future, according to a statement from Hugo.

Sean Osterman was a reconnaissance man assigned to the 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, according to the Department of Defense. He was deployed from August to December 2009 and was on his second deployment when he was mortally wounded Dec. 14. Osterman was medevaced to Kandahar after being injured and then was taken to Landstuhl Medical Center at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany, where he died.

Osterman joined the Marine Corps in July 2007 and was promoted to corporal in January 2009. His awards include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan campaign medal, Global War on Terrorism service medal and the NATO International Security Assistance Force medal.

Osterman was born in LaCrosse, Wis., and lived near there until age 9. His family moved to Princeton, and he attended Cambridge Elementary School, Cambridge Middle School and Tech.

He joined the Marine Corps at the age of 17 on the Delayed Entry Program. After graduation, he went to active duty.

He was very proud of his father and of his own service in the military, said Hamak, who was his counselor during the four years Osterman attended Tech.

“He was well-liked at school and had a lot friends,” Hamak said. “I think the miliary was a good fit for him. He felt connected in the military. He was very excited, even when he talked about enlisting and going to basic.”

He took time to make his decision about which military branch to enter and chose to follow his father into the Marines. When Hamak saw Osterman last summer, she didn’t sense any apprehension in him about his pending second deployment, she said.

“He was just so proud of what he was doing. That’s what sticks in my head,” she said. “It’s unfortunate what happened, but he knew that this is what was for him.”

In addition to seeing him last summer, Hamak also bumped into Osterman at a St. Cloud-area bookstore in October.

It was about a month before Osterman would begin his second tour.

“I said ‘Hi’ to him,” she said. “It was a very brief conversation, and that was the last time I saw him.”

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Governor Orders Flags at Half-Staff for Fallen Minnesota Marine

The Associated Press via St. Cloud Times
December 31, 2010

Gov. Tim Pawlenty has ordered U.S. and Minnesota flags be flown at half-staff Tuesday [Jan. 4, 2011] to honor [St. Cloud] Technical High School graduate and Marine Cpl. Sean Osterman, who died Dec. 16 from injuries he received in combat in Helmand province in Afghanistan. Osterman will be buried Tuesday at Arlington National Cemetery.

Pawlenty will attend a memorial service for Osterman at 1 p.m. Saturday [Jan. 1, 2010] at Atonement Lutheran Church in St. Cloud.

Osterman’s brother will accept a Purple Heart during Saturday’s service, which is expected to be attended by members of the Patriot Guard and the Gold Star Mothers.

Osterman was from Princeton but attended Tech. His mother, Kelly Hugo, is a guidance counselor at North Junior High School in St. Cloud.

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UPDATES

Remembering a Marine: Memorial Service for Tech Grad Cpl. Sean Osterman

During a memorial service for Marine and Technical High School graduate Cpl. Sean Osterman, his brother Eli Osterman (right) is awarded his brother’s Purple Heart on Saturday at Atonement Lutheran Church.
During a memorial service for Marine and Technical High School graduate Cpl. Sean Osterman, his brother Eli Osterman (right) is awarded his brother’s Purple Heart on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2011 at Atonement Lutheran Church. (Photo credit: Jason Wachter / St. Cloud Times)

By Ben Katzner
St. Cloud Times
January 2, 2011

Excerpts

Kelly Hugo is used to getting calls about her son Sean Osterman, usually pertaining to the fact he’d somehow managed to hurt himself once again.

There was that time on the family snowboarding trip where he dodged a little girl but ended up hitting a tree; there was the time when he was in grade school that he injured his two front teeth; and there were the familiar “triage” conversations that they had that typically started with Osterman saying “Mom” in a familiar tone and Hugo responding almost instinctively with, “What happened?”

But the last call Hugo got about her son is one no mother ever wants.

“Someone called me and said, you know the Marine Corps is looking for you, and the panic that I felt almost made me speechless,” Hugo said. “I saw a number on my cell phone that I didn’t recognize, I called it and it was the (gunnery sergeant) and I said, ‘What happened?’ and he said, ‘Ma’am, where are you at, we’ll come to you.’ ”

After a few more seconds of conversation she was on her way home from St. Cloud — almost an hour away in Princeton — racing toward the worst news she’d ever received.

Osterman, Hugo’s oldest son, was in trouble. He was hit by a sniper while serving with the Marines in Afghanistan.

He was wounded Dec. 14 and in the days that followed his immediate family flew to Washington, D.C., got passports, and then flew to Germany — the facility that Osterman was being treated at was there — to say their goodbyes. Osterman died Dec. 16.

“You can’t change what it is, it’s a war,” Hugo said, fighting back tears. “He touched a lot of lives for being 21.”

Memorial service

Friends and family gathered Saturday for a memorial service filled with Marine pride for Osterman at Atonement Lutheran Church in St. Cloud. …

If the loss of Osterman could be summed up in one image it would have been that of his 14-year-old brother, Eli, standing in front of the fallen soldier battle cross erected at the front the church. The helmet atop a rifle propped up by a soldier’s boots served as a reminder of the soldier’s life lost and a realization that a brother, a son and a friend, wasn’t coming home. …

Father’s footsteps

Osterman’s father is a Marine officer, and Sean followed in his footsteps. His mother admits she would have preferred her son choose a different branch of the military.

“I told him, pick any branch of service other than the Marine Corps, not because I have any difficulties with the Marine Corps but because I wanted him to make his own way; I wanted him to be his own man,” Hugo said. “He said, ‘No, Mom, I want to be in the Marines’ … That’s what he wanted.”

At 17, Osterman signed up to join the military’s Delayed Entry Program and started active duty after graduation in 2007. …

Eventually Osterman became a member of the 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, which ended up being stationed in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Osterman planned to go to college when his term of service was done, Hugo said. …

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Osterman Laid to Rest at Arlington

Defense Secretary Robert Gates (right) offers condolences to Kelly Hugo during a burial service for her son Marine Cpl. Sean Osterman on Tuesday at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates (right) offers condolences to Kelly Hugo during a burial service for her son Marine Cpl. Sean Osterman on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011 at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. (Photo credit: AP via the St. Cloud Times)

By David Unze
St. Cloud Times
January 4, 2010

ARLINGTON, Va. — Technical High School graduate and Marine Cpl. Sean Osterman was buried today in Arlington National Cemetery in a ceremony attended by U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Osterman, 21, died Dec. 16 from injuries he received in combat two days earlier in Afghanistan. Osterman’s mother, Kelly Hugo, a guidance counselor at North Junior High in St. Cloud, received condolences today from Mullen, Gates and Mullen’s wife Deborah Mullen at the ceremony. Osterman’s father, retired Marine Col. Anthony Osterman, also attended the service today in Arlington, Va. …

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St. Cloud Times photo gallery: Arlington burial service (22 photos)


A Marine Corps Honor Guard holds the flag covered casket during burial services for Marine Corporal Sean A. Osterman, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011, at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. (Photo credit: AP via the St. Cloud Times)

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 Year in Review Video: In Memoriam 2010

Gone, but not forgotten (NBC Nightly News, Dec. 27, 2010) – A final farewell to those we lost in 2010. NBC’s Brian Williams reports. (04:43)

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FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — December 31, 2009

“Death to Obama”

Image: An effigy of President Obama is burned during a protest in Afghanistan
Protesters chant anti-American slogans and burn an effigy of President Barack Obama in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009. (Photo credit: Rahmat Gul / AP)

One year ago today, I reported that Afghans took to the streets to protest civilian casualties, chanting “Death to Obama, Down with Karzai!” at the same time as attacks in Afghanistan killed eight American civilians including CIA officers, four Canadian soldiers, and a Canadian journalist. Meanwhile, coordinated explosions in Iraq killed 23 people and wounded an Iraqi provincial governor in the worst violence there in months.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — December 31, 2008

MN-06: Notable Year in Review

2008 Golden Crookie Award from Crooks and Liars

Two years ago today, on Dec. 31, 2008 I reported that Michele Bachmann, Minnesota’s 6th District representative in Congress, made a strong showing in several “Year in Review” lists – no easy feat, considering the U.S. House of Representatives has 435 members, each vying for media attention.

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