Thursday, June 03, 2010

US military announces mulitple deaths

The Defense Dept announced late yesterday, "The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Pfc. Alvaro R. Regalado Sessarego, 37, of Virginia Beach, Va., died May 30 at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, of injuries sustained April 18 from a non-combat related incident at Dahuk, Iraq. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas. For more information, media may contact the Fort Bliss public affairs office at 915-568-4505." WAVY (link has text and video) adds:

"It was his goal to give back to this country that was doing so much for him," said mother-in-law Jackie Dayton. "He saw it as way to take care of his family."
He was not yet an American citizen when he enlisted in the Army at the age of 36.
"I never thought he would get into the Army at such a late age," Dayton said. "I never did, but his intellect spoke volumes for him."

Bill Sizemore (Virginian-Pilot) reports
he took his oath of citizenship one month prior to his deployment to Iraq and that his survivors include Teresa Dayton-Regalado, "a 13-year-old daughter who lives in Peru" and "three stepsons in Virginia Beach: Andrew Dayton, 19, Derrick Dayton, 17, and Richard Dayton, 13."

Meanwhile AP reports that 1 US soldier died yesterday in Baghdad ("noncombat related incident") according to USF. Those deaths will bring the number of US service members killed in the Iraq War to 4402 although ICCC is not yet aware of the death AP has reported and lists 4401. (It's 4402 -- Sunday it stood at 4400.) And the number may be 4403. Tim Stanley (Tulsa World) reports on the death of Spc Mark Andre Harding:

But, on Friday, he died at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa of complications from a cranial injury. His death has not yet been officially declared service-related, although he had been treated for a traumatic brain injury while in the service, according to a Veterans Affairs spokesman.
Harding was 21.
A funeral service, with military honors, is set for 10:30 a.m. Thursday at First Baptist Church in South West City, Mo. Worley-Luginbuel Funeral Home in Grove is handling arrangements.

Yesterday we noted Iraq War veteran Gary Pfleider whom the US military is demanding payment for. Though they'd spoken to multiple outlets, as the story got traction yesterday, the military changed their story. KVAL notes, "He [Pfleider] showed KVAL News a statement he filed with the Oregon National Guard in February 2010 trying to get those charges cleared. An Oregon Guard spokesman also told KVAL News on Friday that Pfleider was being billed for gear by Joint Base Lewis-McChord." As the story gained traction yesterday, the military changed their story. It's not equipment, they insist, but they can't say what it is. They can't? They did last Friday according to KVAL. Pat Dooris (KGW) reports that the current claim appears to be that Pfleider was overpaid for his last three months. It is known that his disability check has been garnished. That's $120 dollars they're taking out each month of an $800 check. A disabled veteran, wounded in a bombing, receiving an $800 a month check does not have $120 to spare. Whatever the military's claiming (this time) they're billing him for, it's ridiculous to think they're grabbing 15% of his small monthly disability check. If something is truly owed -- if -- that's far too much to be taken out each month. If? The overpayment claims are already met with a doubtful response.

The following community sites updated last night:

We'll close with this from Tina Susman and Nicole Santa Cruz' "New Orleans: Protesters Rage at BP" (World Can't Wait):

Despite pelting rain and occasional blasts of thunder, some 200 people gathered in New Orleans’ French Quarter on Sunday to hear speakers demand the ouster of BP and other oil giants from the gulf region and to plead for volunteerism to save turtles, birds and other wildlife.
Organized by locals in the last week, the rally was publicized through social networking sites, including Twitter and a Facebook group, BP Oil Flood Protest. Homemade signs waved by the boisterous crowd spoke to the anger: [. . .] “BP oil pigs” and “Kill the well now.” And one sign, "BP sleeps with MMS" spoke to what President Obama has called a "cozy" relationship between oil companies and federal regulators at the Minerals Management Service.
Many speakers, including the president of the United Commercial Fishermen's Assn. and an environmental studies professor from Loyola University in New Orleans, assailed what they saw as the inadequacy of BP's response to the spill. More people took the stage after showing up and asking to have their say.
“I’m a little upset that the perpetrators of a crime that killed 11 people are still in charge of the crime site,” said musician Dr. John, an impromptu speaker, referring to the crew members who died after an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig April 20.

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thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends