The Defense Department issued the following: "The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Spc. Joshua L. Hazlewood, 22, of Manvel, Texas, died June 25 in Arifjan, Kuwait, of injuries sustained from a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to the 614th Automated Cargo Documentation Detachment.
The circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation. For more information the media may contact the Office of the Chief Army Reserve public affairs office at (703) 601-0846." The death brings to 4316 the number of US service members killed in the illegal war.
Until yesterday, the press was eagerly preparing their end of the month talking points but they've lost one because 2 deaths have been reported (by DoD). They bring the total for the month to 10 which will not allow June to be billed as the lowest monthly death toll for the year thus far. And, in fact, 10 may not end up being the final number. (March is the lowest month of the year thus far, with 9 reported deaths.)
US deaths are also on the mind of US service members and Ernesto Londono's "Military: No Ban on Use of Mine-Resistant Vehicles in Iraq" (Washington Post) notes a specific concern:
The U.S. military said Saturday that U.S. soldiers will not be barred from using mine resistant armored vehicles during the daytime in Iraqi cities after July 1, a departure from guidance officers and squad leaders said they received in writing in recent days.
The reported rule banning the use of the hulking vehicles, known as MRAPs, in urban areas starting July 1, raised safety concerns among soldiers.
A Washington Post story published Friday said soldiers were worried that using the smaller, less armored Humvees would leave them more vulnerable to armor-piercing roadside bombs and grenades.
The illegal war hasn't ended. Elizabeth Baier (Minnesota Public Radio) reports, "More than 550 troops from the Minnesota Army National Guard will head to Iraq next month, where they will serve a one-year deployment as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom." Bob Von Sternberg (Minneapolis Star-Tribune) adds, "They are scheduled to return to Minnesota next April."
In some of today's reported violence, Reuters notes a Baghdad motorcycle bombing which claimed the life of 1 person and left four more injured and a Baghdad roadside bombing which injured three.
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