Monday, August 5, 2013

Just as no one should be left behind, no one should ever be forgotten

I am posting this today with mixed emotions. Please know that while I still adhere to my stance on not discussing politics, I do feel that our government holds a huge responsibility in our country. We count on them and defer to them in times of crisis to make responsible, reasonable and well informed decisions. Being a paid public figure who sits in such positions is an awesome responsibility and certainly not one that I would want, so I certainly don't mean any disrespect with this post. I just feel that with their job there can not be any room for error. Just as our military is bound by a code of conduct much higher than any other organization in this country, shouldn't our government be held to the same standards? It is because of that immense weight we lie upon their shoulders that I'm torn between what I came across this morning.

On August 1st, 2013 U.S. Representative, Scott Rigell stood before the house and asked the speaker to bear with him for five minutes as he paid honor to the 32 American Heroes lost nearly two years earlier on August 6, 2011 during Extortion 17. Please know that the number 32 referenced above is not an error or typo on my part. That is the number he mentioned twice during his five minute speech. Then he listed the names of those American Heroes, going through the Navy, Army and Air Force personnel until all 30 names were read. Once again, when I wrote 30, that was not an error. If we are counting only American casualties, from Extortion 17 alone, the number would be 30, plus 1 military working dog named, Bart. To read the entire record for that day, please click HERE.

The faces of the 30 American heroes lost in Extortion 17 on August 6, 2011

Please know that I believe Mr. Rigell's intention to be pure of heart and obviously his assistant or whoever slipped him the little piece of paper gave him wrong information. However, I can't help but wonder how quickly someone in the military would be reprimanded (severely) if they made even the slightest error on a mission. Regardless, I will digress as I am neither judge, nor jury. My biggest bone of contention with this is that sadly we lose countless lives every week, month and year and these names do not get mentioned. They do not take five minutes out of their sessions to read their names. My question is why? Now, to the people who are saying to me right now, "but, it was the greatest loss of life for NSW (Naval Special Warfare) in a single day since Operation Red Wings in 2005" I completely agree with you and can't tell you how much my heart hurts for the families that lost loved ones that day. 

Marine Sgt. Daniel J. Patron
However, how many know that on that same day, of the same year, we also lost a Marine? Marine Sgt. Daniel J. Patron was 26 years old and from Canton, OH. He died in Helmand Province, Afghanistan while attempting to disarm a roadside bomb. We've all heard the names of the 31 heroes (including Bart) that were killed during Extortion 17, but how many of you can honestly say they've heard of Marine Sgt. Patron? Did you know that he has a highway which has been dedicated to him? Did you also know that after serving two tours in Iraq in 2005 and 2009 that he voluntarily extended his service? When he was killed, he only had three months left on his tour. In November he would have been home. Home with his family.

Every day on Honor Them the names and faces of the our fallen heroes are shared with everyone who wishes to take a moment to say thank you for the tremendous sacrifice these heroes have made for our country and us. In light of Mr. Rigell's five minutes wishing to pay remembrance to those American heroes lost, I can't help but feel that an injustice has been done to the other families who also grieve on this day. So, please, if you would, join me in a moment of silence while I list the other names that were not mentioned and who lost their lives on August 6th during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn.

Army Spc. Zeferino E. Colunga KIA 2003-08-06
Army Pvt. Kyle C. Gilbert KIA 2003-08-06
Army Staff Sgt. Brian R. Hellermann KIA 2003-08-06
Army Sgt. Leonard D. Simmons KIA 2003-08-06
Marine Cpl. Roberto Abad KIA 2004-08-06
Army Spc. Joshua I. Bunch KIA 2004-08-06
Marine Lance Cpl. Larry L. Wells KIA 2004-08-06
Marine Lance Cpl. Chase J. Comley KIA 2005-08-06
Army Sgt. Brahim J. Jeffcoat KIA 2005-08-06
Army Spc. Kurt E. Krout KIA 2005-08-06
Army Sgt. Carlton A. Clark KIA 2006-08-06
Army Staff Sgt. Tracy L. Melvin KIA 2006-08-06
Army Staff Sgt. Stephen A. Seale KIA 2006-08-06
Army Cpl. Jose Zamora KIA 2006-08-06
Army Cpl. Juan M. Alcantara KIA 2007-08-06
Army Sgt. Nicholas A. Gummersall KIA 2007-08-06
Army Cpl. Kareem R. Khan KIA 2007-08-06
Army Spc. Christopher T. Neiberger KIA 2007-08-06  
Army Staff Sgt. Jacob M. Thompson KIA 2007-08-06
Marine Lance Cpl. James D. Argentine KIA 2009-08-06
Marine Lance Cpl. Travis T. Babine KIA 2009-08-06
Marine Sgt. Jay M. Hoskins KIA 2009-08-06
Marine Cpl. Christian Guzman Rivera KIA 2009-08-06
Marine Cpl. Daniel L. Linnabary II KIA 2012-08-06

My final thought is more of a question for Mr. Rigell and every other politician who serves in such an important capacity for our country. I ask you to not forget the sacrifice paid by so many others. We have lost thousands upon thousands of heroes since the global war on terror began. Not just 30, or even 32. I ask you to please make note of every loss of life, not just the ones lost in certain tragedies. It should never be about the number of lives lost. The person who was lost should be what matters the most. 

Since Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn has began (and at the time of this post), U.S. Central Command has confirmed 6,714 deaths as the result of these conflicts. They were fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, they were husbands and wives. And more importantly, they were heroes. They served our great nation valiantly, they put duty before self. 

Quite simply, they gave their today, for our tomorrows

Let us not forget any one of them.

With respect, and immense gratitude. I thank you for your time in reading this message.
~ Amanda HONOR THEM! 


  1. You are Absolutely right, they all should be honored with gratitude and respect. Thanks for the thoughtful post. We are gathering tomorrow in SD to celebrate the life and honor the 31 heroes lost in Extortion 17. (I always count Military dogs as team members)I will make sure to toast to the memory of Daniel J Patron as well and the others on the list who were lost on this date.
    PS. Gathering in Shakespeare's PUB at 6pm, if you want to let others know to come join us. Everybody is welcome!