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Oct 7th, 2011

U.S. Military Deaths in Iraq

As of Friday, October 7, 2011, at least 4,477 members of the U.S. military had died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003, according to

Since the start of U.S. military operations in Iraq, 32,200 U.S. service members have been wounded as of Sept. 30, 2011, according to


U.S. Troop Casualties in Iraq

Latest identification:


U.S. Military Deaths in Afghanistan

As of Friday, October 7, 2011, at least 1,802 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

Since the start of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, 14,327 U.S. service members have been wounded as of Sept. 30, 2011, according to

Latest identifications:

Army Spc. James A. Butz, 21, Porter, Ind., died Sept. 28, 2011 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

Army 1st Sgt. Billy J. Siercks, 32, Velda Village, Mo., died Sept. 28, 2011 in Landstuhl, Germany, of wounds suffered Sept. 27 in Logar province, Afghanistan, when insurgents attacked his unit using indirect fire. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Caleb A. Nelson, 26, Omaha, Neb., died Oct. 1, 2011 after his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device while conducting a combat patrol in Zabul province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to an East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit, Norfolk, Va.

Army Pvt. Danny Chen, 19, New York, died Oct. 3, 2011 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of unspecified causes. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

Marine Lance Cpl. Benjamin W. Schmidt, 24, San Antonio, Texas, died Oct. 6, 2011 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using small-arms fire. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.


Remember Their Sacrifice

Remember Their Sacrifice

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Iraq Casualties

Afghanistan Casualties

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1/23/12 Update

Soldier May Not Face Manslaughter Charge in GI’s Alleged Hazing Death

Pvt. Danny Chen, left, with his mother, Su Zhen Chen, at his graduation from basic training. (Photo: Courtesy of the Chen family via

By Miranda Leitsinger

January 23, 2012

The first soldier to face legal proceedings in the death of a Chinese-American GI believed to have committed suicide in Afghanistan after allegedly being hazed by his fellow troops may not face the toughest charge the Army had sought of involuntary manslaughter.

The Article 32 hearing for Spc. Ryan Offutt, a 32-year old infantryman from Greenville, Penn., into the death of Pvt. Danny Chen, finished Sunday, Sgt. 1st Class Alan G. Davis, an Army spokesman, said in an email.

The investigating officer recommended forwarding all charges to court-martial, except for the manslaughter charge, Davis said, later noting that the charge was not dropped but the officer “recommended not moving forward” on it “because he believed that insufficient evidence was presented at the hearing to justify” proceeding with it.

Eight soldiers, including Offutt, have been charged in connection with the death of Chen, 19, who died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on Oct. 3 [2011]. Five of them were charged with involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide, thought to be the first time such charges have been brought in this type of case, according to experts on hazing and on the military legal system.

The Article 32 hearings, which will determine whether there was enough evidence for a court-martial against the men, will run through about Feb. 20 at Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan. The charges against Offutt that the investigating officer recommended be forwarded to court-martial include maltreatment, assault consummated by battery, reckless endangerment and negligent homicide.

The maximum punishment for involuntary manslaughter is 10 years and a dishonorable discharge, while negligent homicide is a dishonorable discharge and three years. …

Chen was found dead at a guard tower with his rifle lying next to him at Combat Outpost Palace in the Panjwa’i district of Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan. …

Full story



One Year Ago — October 7, 2010

10th Year of War in Afghanistan

One year ago today, I provided news and analysis on the 9th anniversary of the beginning of the U.S. war in Afghanistan on October 7, 2001.


Two Years Ago — October 7, 2009

Afghanistan: The 8-Year War

Two years ago today, on October 7, 2009, I provided news and analysis on the 8th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan to topple the Taliban, destroy al-Qaida, and kill or capture Osama bin Laden and other leaders of the terrorist organization.


Three Years Ago — October 7, 2008

McCain, Obama Split on Iraq War Strategy

Three years ago today, on October 7, 2008, I highlighted the differences between presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain with respect to handling the war in Iraq.

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