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Military Deaths

The Defense Department last week identified the following American military personnel killed in Afghanistan and Iraq:

Stephen W. Castner, 27, of Cedarburg, Wis.; specialist, Army National Guard. Castner died Monday of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee during combat operations in Tallil, Iraq. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery in Milwaukee.

Adam J. Fargo, 22, of Ruckersville, Va.; corporal, Army. Fargo died July 22 in Baghdad of injuries sustained when his convoy encountered enemy forces’ small-arms fire. He was assigned to the 4th Brigade Troop Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division at Ft. Campbell, Ky.

Joseph A. Graves, 21, of Discovery Bay, Calif.; specialist, Army. Graves was killed Tuesday in Baghdad when his convoy encountered enemy fire. He was assigned to the 110th Military Police Company, 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade at Ft. Hood, Texas.

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David M. Hierholzer, 27, of Lewisburg, Tenn.; sergeant, Army. Hierholzer died Monday in Pesch, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when his platoon encountered enemy forces’ small-arms fire. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division at Ft. Drum, N.Y.

Edward A. Koth, 30, of Towson, Md.; petty officer second class, Navy. Koth died Wednesday at Camp Victory, Iraq, after ordnance exploded during a disposal operation. He was assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Eight, serving with the Multinational Corps-Iraq in Baghdad.

Christopher T. Pate, 29, of Hampstead, N.C.; captain, Marine Corps. Pate died July 21 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to the 2nd Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, Command Element, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Christopher C. Rafferty, 37, of Brownsville, Pa.; first sergeant, Army. Rafferty died July 21 in Sharana, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained July 20 when his unit encountered small-arms fire during combat operations. He was assigned to the 37th Engineer Battalion at Ft. Bragg, N.C.

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Blake H. Russell, 35, of Fort Worth, Texas; captain, Army. Russell died July 22 of injuries sustained from enemy forces’ munitions while investigating a possible mortar cache during combat operations in Baghdad. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Ft. Campbell, Ky.

Dennis K. Samson Jr., 24, of Hesperia, Mich.; specialist, Army. Samson died Monday in Taqaddum, Iraq, of injuries caused by enemy small-arms fire. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division at Ft. Campbell, Ky.

Christopher W. Swanson, 25, of Rose Haven, Md.; staff sergeant, Army. Swanson died July 22 in Ramadi, Iraq, of injuries sustained when his patrol encountered enemy forces’ small-arms fire. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division in Baumholder, Germany.

Andrew Velez, 22, of Lubbock, Texas; specialist, Army. Velez died Tuesday in Sharona, Afghanistan, from a noncombat-related injury. He was assigned to the Corps Support Battalion, Theater Support Command at Ft. Irwin, Calif.

Jason M. West, 28, of Pittsburgh; captain, Army. West died Monday in Ramadi, Iraq, when he encountered enemy forces using small-arms fire. He was assigned to the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division in Friedberg, Germany.

Source: Department of Defense

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War casualties

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Total U.S. deaths* as of Friday:

In and around Iraq: 2,571

* In and around Afghanistan: 261

* Other locations: 56

* Includes military and Department of Defense-employed civilian personnel killed in action and in nonhostile circumstances

Source: Department of Defense


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