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2009 - NYS Hockey Players Support Our Troops

VIEWS: 13 PAGES: 18

									                                                  2009
              Spec. Brian M. Connelly




              Hometown: Union Beach, New Jersey, U.S.

              Age: 26 years old

              Died: February 26, 2009 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

              Unit: Army, 40th Engineer Battalion, Task Force 1-6, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored
              Division, Baumholder, Germany

              Incident: Died in Adhamiya, Iraq, of wounds suffered when his vehicle was struck by an explosive
              device.


Army Spc. Brian M. Connelly, February 27, 2009
By Vinessa Erminio
March 02, 2009, 11:35AM

Age: 26

Hometown: Union Beach

Circumstances: Killed when his vehicle was struck by an explosive on a Baghdad street.

A YOUNG SOLDIER'S DREAM CUT SHORT
Union Beach family mourns the loss of a husband and son killed in Iraq

By Leslie Kwoh and Joe Ryan/The Star-Ledger, March 1, 2009

During most of their five short months of marriage, Spc. Brian M. Connelly and his wife saw
each other only through webcams. Such is the fate of a couple separated by war.

So Brian and Kara Connelly made the best of it, booting up computers as often as they could
to exchange words and smiles beamed halfway around the globe between Iraq and Monmouth
County. Even their engagement came via webcams.

"It wasn't really all that romantic," said Kara Connelly, 23. She cherished the moment
nonetheless.

On Thursday, Kara Connelly gazed at her husband for the last time. Four hours later, he was
killed when his vehicle was struck by an explosive on a Baghdad street, the Department of
Defense said yesterday.

Brian Connelly is at least the 106th member of the armed services with ties to New Jersey to
die in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Kara Connelly, her face streaked with tears, stood in the kitchen of her husband's boyhood
home yesterday and mourned the fun-loving, blue-eyed soldier she had a crush on since high
school.

"He was just awesome," she said. "He was good-hearted. He was funny. He was everything."

Brian Connelly, 26, grew up in Union Beach, a postage-stamp-size town on the Raritan Bay,
about 10 miles south of Perth Amboy. At 2 square miles, it is a place where people can't help
but know one another.
Brian and Kara Connelly were married by the borough's mayor, Paul Smith. He ordered flags
in town yesterday to be lowered to half-staff in Connelly's honor.

"He was so young," Smith said.

Brian Connelly grew up in a one-story house at the end of a cul-du-sac. Yellow ribbons
fluttered on the front porch yesterday. A banner on the house read: "Bring Our Troops
Home."

Inside, Connelly's mother, Jean Dammann, clung to her husband and wept. She decried Army
recruiters who persuaded her son to pull on a uniform.

"They shouldn't be able to talk to our kids in high school," said Dammann, 44.

Connelly was born Brian Blonske and was the older of two boys. He recently took the name
Connelly, his mother's maiden name, she said.

The family lives minutes from the Raritan Bay. As a boy, Connelly trolled the waters for fluke
and weakfish. "He just loved being on the water," said Mark Dammann, 48, his stepfather.

Connelly had little interest in school, his family said. He liked reading about mechanics and
philosophy but did not care for textbooks, they said.

His brother, Kevin Connelly, recalled him as rowdy and loyal. He loved raucous music, mosh
pits and once saved his younger sibling from a rip tide. Another time, Connelly smacked his
little brother in mouth with a hockey stick, knocking out his front teeth.

After graduating from Red Bank Regional High School in 2000, Connelly enrolled in Brookdale
Community College in Lincroft, where he studied computer technology for about 18 months.
He joined an electricians union, then was laid off.

Unemployed and directionless in 2007, Connelly turned back to the Army recruiters he had
met as a teenager, his mother said.

"He was having a hard time finding a job," she said

Connelly knew his mother did not want him to join the Army. After enlisting, he put off telling
her for almost 10 days, she said.

His first assignment was in Germany. Shortly after, he and Kara began their long-distance
courtship. They had met nearly a decade earlier, and she always admired him. But they
remained friends, she said.

A year ago, Brian Connelly stared into a webcam and sprung the question.

"Yes," she said.

Connelly shipped off to Iraq two months later. He was a member of the 40th Engineer
Battalion, Task Force 1-6, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division.

The couple married in September, while Connelly was home on an 18-day leave. The wedding
was at the Keyport Veterans of Foreign Wars Post. She wore a white summery dress. He wore
khaki slacks and a white shirt. They honeymooned in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

After finishing his Army stint, Connelly hoped to land a construction job to help pay for his
wife's college. They talked about moving south, to someplace warm and affordable.

And they looked forward to seeing each other without webcams.

"All he wanted to do was come home and start a family," Connelly's mother said.

Staff writers Sharon Adarlo and Nyier Abdou contributed to this report.

Army Cpl. Brian M. Connelly
26, of Union Beach, N.J.; assigned to the 40th Engineer Battalion, Task Force 1-6, 2nd Brigade
Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Baumholder, Germany; died Feb. 26 in Baghdad, of wounds
sustained when his vehicle was struck by an explosive device.
Funeral services held for newlywed N.J. soldier
The Associated Press

KEYPORT, N.J. — Hundreds of people attend funeral services for a fallen soldier from New Jersey, who
was killed in Iraq just five months after being married.

Spc. Brian M. Connelly of Union Beach died Feb. 26, after his vehicle was struck by an explosive device.
The 26-year-old was assigned to the 40th Engineer Battalion, Task Force 1-6, 2nd Brigade Combat Team,
1st Armored Division based in Germany.

Connelly had married his wife, Kara, last September.

While speaking with her via webcam just four hours before he was killed, he told her his tour in Iraq had
been shortened by three months and that he would be heading back to Germany in May.

At Saturday‘s service, Connelly‘s younger brother, Kevin, said ―it‘s up to all of us to finish what he‘s left
undone and to take his lessons with a humble heart.‖


Soldier ‘was everything’ to those who loved him
The Associated Press

Once, when Brian M. Connelly was mad at his mother, he put itching power all over her clothes.

―He loved practical jokes, anything to keep people laughing and smiling,‖ said his wife, Kara. ―He never tried
anything with me. He knew better.‖

Connelly, 26, of Union Beach, N.J., died Feb. 26 in Adhamiya of wounds suffered when his vehicle was
struck by an explosive device.

He was assigned to Baumholder, Germany. His brother, Kevin Connelly, recalled him as rowdy, loyal and
protective. He loved being on the water, raucous music, mosh pits and once saved his younger sibling from
a rip tide.

After graduating from high school in 2000, Connelly enrolled in Brookdale Community College, where he
studied computer technology for about 18 months. He joined an electricians‘ union, then was laid off.

After finishing his Army stint, Connelly hoped to land a construction job to help pay for his wife‘s college.
They talked about moving south, to someplace warm and affordable, and starting a family.

―He was just awesome,‖ said his wife. ―He was good hearted. He was funny. He was everything.‖

Once, when Brian M. Connelly was mad at his mother, he put itching power all over her clothes. "He loved practical
jokes, anything to keep people laughing and smiling," said his wife, Kara. "He never tried anything with me. He knew
better." Connelly, 26, of Union Beach, N.J., died Feb. 26 in Adhamiya of wounds suffered when his vehicle was struck
by an explosive device. He was assigned to Baumholder, Germany. His brother, Kevin Connelly, recalled him as
rowdy, loyal and protective. He loved being on the water, raucous music, mosh pits and once saved his younger
sibling from a rip tide. After graduating from high school in 2000, Connelly enrolled in Brookdale Community College,
where he studied computer technology for about 18 months. He joined an electricians'' union, then was laid off.
After finishing his Army stint, Connelly hoped to land a construction job to help pay for his wife''s college. They talked
about moving south, to someplace warm and affordable, and starting a family. "He was just awesome," said his wife.
"He was good hearted. He was funny. He was everything."

Brian M. Connelly

(Asbury Park Press)

CORPORAL BRIAN M. CONNELLY
UNION BEACH
Corporal Brian M. Connelly, Union Beach, a combat engineer with Company A, 40th Engineer Battalion, 2nd Brigade,
1st Armored Division, died Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009, in Adhamiyah, Iraq, from injuries suffered when his vehicle was
struck by an explosive device. Corporal Connelly was born Sept. 14, 1982. He graduated from Red Bank Regional High
School, Red Bank in 2000, and also attended Brookdale Community College, Lincroft. Among his many interests were
salt water fishing, video games and practical jokes. Corporal Connelly joined the Army in 2006. He completed basic
and advanced individual training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., in January 2007. He joined the 40th Engineer Battalion,
Baumholder, Germany, in January 2007 and deployed with his unit to Iraq in April 2008. His awards and decorations
include the Iraqi Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the National
Defense Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon and the Overseas Service Ribbon. He has been awarded
posthumously the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Army Good Conduct Medal, and the Combat Action
Badge. He has been posthumously promoted to Corporal.
He was predeceased by his grandparents, William and Jean Connelly; his grandmother, Barbara Dammann; and his
father-in-law, Robert A. Thomas Jr. He is survived by his wife, Kara Connelly; his mother and father, Jean and Mark
Dammann of Union Beach; his brother, Kevin Connelly of Union Beach; his grandfather, Carl Dammann of Holmdel;
his mother-in-law, Mary Jo Cittadino of West Long Branch; his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Robert A. Thomas III
and Katherine Thomas of Belmar; his aunt and uncle, Linda and Bart Babiak of Colts Neck; his aunt and uncle, Alice
and Thomas Connelly of Ohio; his uncle, William Connelly of Union Beach; his cousins, Matthew and Laura Babiak of
Colts Neck; his cousin, Thomas Connelly Jr.; and Thomas's daughter, Kailey, Ohio; and his cousins, Lauren and Randy
Smith, and Randy's son, Sean of North Carolina.


A visitation will be held for Corporal Brian M. Connelly from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 6,
2009 at Day Funeral Home, 361 Maple Place, Keyport. A memorial service for family and friends to honor the
memory of Corporal Connelly will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 7, 2009 at the funeral home. Corporal Connelly
will be buried with full military honors at Forest Green Park Cemetery, 535 Texas Road, Morganville, immediately
following the memorial service.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Fisher House Foundation or to Army Emergency
Relief. To donate to the Fisher House Foundation, please make checks payable to Fisher House Foundation in
memory of Corporal Brian M. Connelly and mail to Fisher House Foundation, Inc., at 111 Rockville Pike, Suite 420,
Rockville, MD 20850. You may also call the Fisher House Foundation to donate at 888-294-8560 or donate online at
www.fisherhouse.org, again specifying that the donation is being made in memory of Corporal Brian M. Connelly. To
donate to Army Emergency Relief, please make checks payable to Army Emergency Relief in memory of Corporal
Brian M. Connelly and mail to Army Emergency Relief, 200 Stovall St., Room 5-N-13, Alexandria, VA 22332-0600. You
may also donate online at www.aerhq.org, specifying that the donation is being made in memory of Corporal Brian
M. Connelly.


                 Sgt. Christian E. Bueno-Galdos




                 Hometown: Paterson, New Jersey, U.S.

                 Age: 25 years old

                 Died: May 11, 2009 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

                 Unit: Army, 3rd Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 172nd Infantry Brigade, Grafenwoehr, Germany

                 Incident: Died in Camp Liberty, Baghdad, of wounds suffered in a non-combat related incident.


Army Sgt. Christian E. Bueno-Galdos, May 11, 2009
By Vinessa Erminio
May 13, 2009, 11:39AM




Age: 25
Hometown: Paterson
Circumstances: One of five soldiers killed in a shooting at Camp Liberty in Iraq. Sgt. Bueno-
Galdos was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 172nd Infantry Brigade,
Grafenwoehr, Germany.
Paterson family mourns soldier killed in Camp Liberty shooting in
Iraq
By Matt Dowling/The Star-Ledger
May 13, 2009, 10:29PM




ANDREW MILLS/THE STAR-LEDGER The remains of Army Sgt. Christian E. Bueno-Galdos (foreground)
of Paterson are lowered from the cargo hold of a plane at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Del. Bueno-
Galdos, 25, was killed by a fellow U.S. soldier at a military stress center clinic at a base in Baghdad
with four others Monday. All five killed arrived here tonight aboard a chartered Boeing 747.

Sgt. Christian E. Bueno-Galdos was prepared to fight for his country. No one ever thought he
would be gunned down by one of his own.

Candles, a blue rosary, and a framed photo of a boyish-looking uniformed soldier with short
cropped hair were carefully set up today in the small living room of the Paterson home where
Bueno-Galdos grew up, as family and friends gathered to mourn a young man who had made
the army his life.

"He always told me he was going to be safe," sobbed his mother, Eugenia Galdos.
Bueno-Galdos, 25, was killed at a military stress center clinic at a base in Baghdad with four
others Monday, in a deadly soldier-on-soldier shooting involving another sergeant. The
shooter was nearing the end of his third tour in Iraq.

Bueno-Galdos is at least the 107th member of the armed services with ties to New Jersey to
die in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. His body arrived, draped in an American flag, aboard
a 747 tonight at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Del. with the four others killed in the incident
at Camp Liberty, Iraq.

Army officials have released few details of the shooting, calling it only a "non-combat related
incident," which remained under investigation.




                                                                   JENNIFER BROWN/THE STAR-
LEDGERSgt. Christian E. Bueno-Galdos, 25, was a Paterson resident and one of the victims of the
deadly Monday soldier-on-soldier shooting at Camp Liberty in Iraq. His family made a shrine to him at
the family home in Paterson.

Among those killed were Navy Cmdr. Charles Springle, 52, from Wilmington, N.C., whose
specialty was treating soldiers for combat stress; Maj. Matthew Houseal, 54, a psychiatrist
from Amarillo, Texas; Pfc. Michael Edward Yates Jr., 19, of Federalsburg, Md.; and Spc. Jacob
D. Barton, 20, of Lenox, Mo.

Charged in the shooting is 44-year-old Sgt. John M. Russell, who was said to have been
deeply angry at the military.

Bueno-Galdos' parents said they learned of their son's death on Monday night, when three
casualty assistance officers came to the house in Paterson to give them the news. They said
they had been given no explanation of what had happened.
"We want people to know we're proud of our son's Army, but if my son had died in war we
would be able to handle that," said his father, Carlos Bueno. "But not to die in this manner."

Married without children, Bueno-Galdos was born in Arrequipa, Peru, and came to this country
when he was just seven, the youngest of four -- with two brothers and a sister -- to settle
with their parents in a tidy gray house with wide awnings across the street from the Passaic
County road department in south Paterson.

Today, yellow roses were planted in the patch of soil that served as a front yard, while black
ribbon hung from the house. Inside, a picture of the brothers as youngsters, sprawled on a
couch in soccer uniforms, was displayed on one wall. A pair of Army boots, veterans of Bueno-
Galdos' first tour of duty in Iraq, stood guard in the front porch. The toe of one was partially
chewed through by the soldier's dog, a husky named Burro who prowled the back of the
house.

Bueno-Galdos became a U.S. citizen while in the army, but his father, Carlos Bueno, said "he
almost felt as if he was born here."

Nicknamed "Chinito," he was quick to learn and spoke more English than Spanish, his father
said.

"He was a great kid, very studious. Almost everything that he wanted he achieved," said
Bueno. " He was not the biggest guy in high school. He didn't do a lot of sports -- not really
into a lot of football -- but he did always get very good grades."
He went to Passaic County Technical Institute High School, the county's regional vocational
school, and then began a pre-university program with the intention to study medicine, his
father said, when he instead decided to go into the army.
"It was a quick decision," he recalled.

He joined the Army Reserves in February 2002, specializing in chemical warfare operations,
and then entered active duty two years later at Fort Drum, N.Y.
His family said Bueno-Galdos liked army life.

He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 172nd Infantry Brigade, in
Grafenwoehr, Germany. While there, he bought a white 2007 Ford Mustang with blue racing
stripes and had it shipped overseas. He later married a woman from Paterson, Greisyn, who
was with her husband's family today.

Bueno-Galdos' job involved biohazard detection and to conduct airborne chemical analysis on
the battlefield, but his father said he did not talk much about what he did. He did, however,
bulk up and began smoking.

"Physically he changed," said Bueno. "And he had this military voice to him."
Still, he would send home part of his paycheck to the family each month.
After his first tour of duty in Iraq, he come home in February and told his father he had
decided to sign up for another tour. "I love being in the army," he father recounted a
conversation with him one morning.
 As he talked about his son, Bueno frequently broke down. He spoke about working 14-hour
days in a clothespin factor near Teterboro Airport to bring his family here from Peru in 1992.

"I gave a lot to give them a better life," he said. "I'm thankful to this country and the military
which educated my son and his comrades who care for him."

But as he prepared to travel to Dover Air Force Base, accompanied by two casualty assistance
officers, to meet the flag-draped coffin of his son, the father, dressed in black, said sadly, "I'll
never be able to get back my son."

Paterson soldier slain at Camp Liberty shooting wanted to study
medicine
By Katherine Santiago/The Star-Ledger
May 13, 2009, 1:44PM

The Department of Defense today identified Paterson resident Sgt. Christian E. Bueno-Galdos
as one of the five victims of the deadly shooting Monday at Camp Liberty in Iraq.

Bueno-Galdos is survived by his wife, Greisyn Bueno, his mother, Eugenia Galdos, his father,
Carlos Bueno, two brothers and a sister.

"We will never forget him," said his mother. "He was always a very good kid, and we love him
a lot."

Bueno-Galdos, 25, the second youngest of four children, emigrated from Mollendo, Peru when
he was about 7 years old.

"He was a great kid, very studious," said Carlos Bueno, his father. "Almost everything that he
wanted, he achieved."

Bueno-Galdos was considering studying pre-med, but decided to enlist in the U.S. Army
Reserves after graduating from high school. "He always told me he was going to be safe,"
said his mother.




JENNIFER BROWN/THE STAR-LEDGER The family of Sgt. Christian E. Bueno-Galdos mourns his in their
Paterson home. His brother Carlos Bueno-Galdos, left center, his mother Eugenia Galdos and his father
Carlos Bueno, accept condolences from Paterson police officers.

Bueno-Galdos was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 172nd Infantry
Brigade, Grafenwoehr, Germany; this was his second tour in Iraq.
"SSG Bueno-Galdos was an excellent leader," said Bruce Anderson, a spokesman for the U.S.
Army, in an e-mail. "His dedication to duty, to his family and to his faith was an inspiration to
us all. His love for country and friends were a model for all of us to follow. His presence will be
missed by all the soldiers of the Task Force Black Knights."

Bueno-Galdos's awards include: Army Commendation Medal (Two Oak Leave Cluster), Army
Good Conduct medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Service Medal, Global
War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and Overseas Service Ribbon.

Camp Liberty, where the deadly shooting took place in Baghdad, is operated by the 55th
Medical Company, a Reserve unit headquartered in Indianapolis.
The other victims were Navy Cmdr. Charles Springle, Pfc, 52; Michael Edward Yates Jr., 19, of
Federalsburg, Md.; Spc. Jacob D. Barton, 20, of Lenox, Mo.; and Maj. Matthew Houseal, 54, a
psychiatrist from Amarillo, Texas.

Sgt. John Russell, 44, of Sherman, Texas, was taken into custody outside a mental health
clinic at Camp Liberty following Monday's shooting and charged with five counts of murder
and one of aggravated assault, Maj. Gen. David Perkins said. The case, the deadliest of the
war involving soldier-on-soldier violence, has cast a spotlight on combat stress and emotional
problems resulting from frequent deployments to battle zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Paterson soldier is named as one of victims in deadly Iraq
shooting
By Paul Cox/The Star-Ledger
May 13, 2009, 11:40AM
The Department of Defense today identified a Paterson resident as one of the victims of the
deadly soldier-on-soldier shooting Monday in in a clinic in Iraq.

Sgt. Christian E. Bueno-Galdos, 25, was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment,
172nd Infantry Brigade, Grafenwoehr, Germany.

Sgt. John Russell, 44, of Sherman, Texas, was taken into custody outside a mental health
clinic at Camp Liberty following Monday's shooting and charged with five counts of murder
and one of aggravated assault, Maj. Gen. David Perkins said. The case, the deadliest of the
war involving soldier-on-soldier violence, has cast a spotlight on combat stress and emotional
problems resulting from frequent deployments to battle zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The other victims were Navy Cmdr. Charles Springle, Pfc, 52; Michael Edward Yates Jr., 19, of
Federalsburg, Md.; Spc. Jacob D. Barton, 20, of Lenox, Mo.; and Maj. Matthew Houseal, 54, a
psychiatrist from Amarillo, Texas.

Springle made a career of treating soldiers for combat stress caused by frequent deployments
to battle zones. He also tried to fight the stigma that can prevent those who need mental help
from seeking it.




AP This U.S. Army photo made available via the family shows U.S. Army Sgt. John M. Russell.

He was deployed at a U.S. military clinic in Baghdad, Iraq, counseling service members when
a sergeant finishing up his third tour of duty allegedly shot and killed him and four other
comrades.

The deadliest case of the war involving soldier-on-soldier violence starkly shows the struggle
Springle and his colleagues face dealing with the emotional problems suffered by some
soldiers repeatedly deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.




Courtesy of U.S. Army Christian E. Bueno-Galdos in an undated photo.


"He regarded it as very important work," said Bob Goodale, a friend of Springle's and director
of behavioral mental health for the Chapel Hill, N.C.-based Citizen-Soldier Support Program.
"We all who work in this know that it is difficult. This is an example of how difficult."

A commander since 2002, Springle went by his middle name of "Keith" and had been in the
Navy for 21 years. A Navy spokesman at the Pentagon said Springle left behind a wife and
two children in Wilmington.

Goodale and Springle had worked together on a presentation that outlines potential traumas
experienced by service members who have done multiple tours and the barriers that can keep
them from being treated.

"We have to find better ways to reduce the stigma," Goodale said Tuesday. "To work on the
acceptance of combat stress as a real thing. It has been for centuries, and we must
persevere."
Houseal also treated people with psychological problems in his dozen years with the Texas
Panhandle Mental Health and Mental Retardation clinic, said executive director Bud Schertler.

"He was dedicated to his patients. He was a family man, very thorough diagnostician. We
couldn't ask for a better psychiatrist," Schertler said. Schertler said Houseal's wife confirmed
his death. He said Houseal had volunteered to go back to assist in Iraq and was called up for
duty. He did not know Houseal's rank or what branch of the service he was in, but said he had
six children.

Yates' mother, Shawna Machlinski, said two Army representatives came to her home on
Maryland's Eastern Shore and said her son was killed by what they called "friendly fire."
Machlinski, who last spoke to her son on Mother's Day, said he had talked about the alleged
shooter, 44-year-old Sgt. John M. Russell, who Yates said was deeply angry at the military.

"He said, 'Man, this guy's got issues,'" said Machlinski. She said her son wasn't more specific
about Russell's problems and that he told her he got along with him.
The clinic in Baghdad is operated by the 55th Medical Company, a Reserve unit headquartered
in Indianapolis. Capt. Adam Jackson, a spokesman for the unit, said Tuesday he could release
no information on the clinic shooting or the people involved.

Machlinski said Yates, who had a 1-year-old son, was being treated at the clinic because he
was having difficulty readjusting to life in Iraq after visiting Maryland for most of April, when
he seemed angry and distant.

"I think he just had a lot on his mind and had a hard time adjusting to civilian life," she said.

Machlinski said that while she was angry at Russell, she was angrier at the military for not
doing more to intervene and that she could understand the stress Russell must have been
under.

"I do have some sympathy and I do know that I can forgive him," Machlinski said. "I kind of
blame the Army for not protecting my son. Someone should have helped this sergeant way
before he got this bad."

-The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Christian E. Bueno-Galdos never made a trip to the corner bodega without a group of neighborhood children
tailing him, knowing he would buy them candy or a soda. It was the same in Iraq, where he was on his
second tour. "We will never forget him," said his mother, Eugenia Galdos. "He was always a very good kid,
and we love him a lot." Bueno-Galdos, 25, of Paterson, N.J., was one of five killed May 11 by an Army
sergeant at a mental health clinic at Baghdad. He was assigned to Grafenwoehr, Germany. He was 7 when
his family emigrated from Mollendo, Peru, for better economic opportunities. The youngest of four children,
"Chinito," became a U.S. citizen in high school and joined the Army as soon as he graduated. Bueno-Galdos
began a pre-university program with the intention to study medicine, said his father, Carlos Bueno. Then,
suddenly, he switched gears and went into the military. He also is survived by his wife, Greisyn. "He was a
great kid, very studious. Almost everything that he wanted he achieved," said Bueno.


                Pvt. Bradley W. Iorio




                Hometown: Galloway, New Jersey, U.S.

                Age: 19 years old

                Died: May 29, 2009 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

                Unit: Army, Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss,
                Tex.
                 Incident: Died at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany, of injuries suffered
                 from a non-combat related incident in Tallil, Iraq.


Galloway man dies while serving in Iraq
By Michael Rispoli/The Star-Ledger
June 01, 2009, 9:32PM
A soldier from southern New Jersey has died of injuries suffered in Iraq, the Department of
Defense announced today.

Pvt. Bradley W. Iorio, 19, died Friday at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, a U.S. military
hospital in Germany. Iorio, a resident of Galloway Township in Atlantic County, had been
injured two days earlier in Tallil, Iraq, about 190 miles southeast of Baghdad.

The military released little information about the incident, saying only that it was not combat-
related. A spokeswoman at Fort Bliss, Texas, where Iorio was based before his deployment,
could provide no additional information.

Reached at home earlier this evening, Iorio's mother declined to comment.
Anthony Librizzi, a family friend who coached Iorio in youth soccer, said the teen joined the
Army after graduating from Absegami High School in Galloway as a means of paying for
college and pursuing a medical degree.

"He was looking for an avenue to become a doctor, and he thought he could serve his country
and go into the medical field at the same time," said Librizzi, 56, a retired police detective
who broke down in tears as he spoke of Iorio. "This kid was a perfect kid, and I don't know
anybody who couldn't say he was a blessing to the world. It's just a tremendous loss."

At the high school, Iorio was an active member of the drama club, designing and building sets
for productions, said Chip Garrison, a drama teacher and the club's supervisor.

"He was quite a leader for our organization," Garrison said. "He was very talented in stage
design. I was trying to push him into a career in stage design, but he had plans. He was going
to join the military, and he believed that would help him pay for college."

Iorio was assigned to a support battalion of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, part of the 1st
Armored Division. The Fort Bliss spokeswoman said Iorio had deployed to Iraq in the past two
months.

Iorio made some reference to his service on his MySpace page. On May 26, a day before his
injury, he wrote that he was learning the noncommissioned officers' creed.

Librizzi said Iorio would have made a "fine officer" had he chosen to remain with the army.

"He was so smart," Librizzi said. Iorio was at least the 108th armed service member with ties
to New Jersey to die in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Army Pvt. Bradley W. Iorio is laid to rest with military honors
 Absegami thespian will forever be the community‘s ‗angel‘ waiting backstage

 Jun, 10-2009 11:08 am

 By STEVE PRISAMENT

 Staff Writer

 GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP – Vincent Iorio told about 250 people at his brother‘s funeral about going to a

 Christian music festival last summer with Bradley, who died last week from injuries suffered in the military

 in Iraq.

 ―We stood up on stage with all the staff for the candlelight vigil and got to share a view of 75,000 candles

 lighted over a field,‖ Iorio said at the funeral Monday, June 8 at Trinity Alliance Church. ―We felt like we

 were on top of the world. Whenever you were with Brad, you felt like you were on top of the world.‖

 Iorio, speaking after his other brother, teachers and friends, said it was time to say good night.

 ―Goodbye just seems too final. Now I have an angel to watch over me, to help me be on top of the world

 forever.‖
Pvt. Bradley W. Iorio, 19, died May 29 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany, from

an injury suffered May 27 that was unrelated to combat. It was just six days after he arrived in Tallil, Iraq.

The Army arranged for his parents and brothers to be at his bedside when he passed.

Born in Freehold Township, Iorio moved to the Smithville section of Galloway Township in 1996 with his

family and graduated from Absegami High School in 2008. He enlisted in August.

According to an obituary prepared by the family, he loved Legos, Cub Scouts, video and computer

games, which he played with his brother Rick; soccer, hockey, Absegami‘s drama troupe the Emanon

Players, his church youth group, camping with Vincent at Creation – the festival where they stood atop

the world, ―haunting the Village on Halloween, and one day owning his dream Mustang.‖

With the Emanon Players he traveled to England and Scotland, was named National Honor Thespian,

and received the MacGyver Award, the Door Knob Award, the Emanon Players Backstage Award twice,

and Absegami‘s Best Thespian award his senior year.

―Quiet by nature, Bradley never sat silently when a friend was in need,‖ the obituary reads. ―He had the

ability to lighten a serious moment with his amazing sense of humor.‖

Hundreds passed his casket at viewings Saturday, June 6 and before the services Monday at the

Wimberg Funeral Home in Egg Harbor City. Led by a military honor guard and motorcycle-riding veterans

followed by about two dozen vehicles and escorted by Galloway Township police, the casket was

transported the six miles to the church for an 11 a.m. service.

Assistant pastor and youth group leader Jeffrey Conley said it was not a time for tears.

―Brad would want us to celebrate his life,‖ Conley said.

He said there were three characteristics he associated with Bradley Iorio.

―First,‖ Conley said, ―Brad had two speeds: 110 percent and sleep.‖

The second characteristic was a propensity for suffering minor injuries.

―He wouldn‘t get hurt climbing or swinging – doing something dangerous,‖ the minister said. ―But he‘d be

standing and suddenly his foot hurt.‖

The third, Conley said, was that Iorio was searching for something, and he found the object of his search

through religion.

Vincent Iorio said Bradley was the best brother anyone could ever ask for.

―I‘m so lucky I got to call him mine. Growing up he was quiet, but his heart had a lot to say. It‘s funny to

hear that one of the only places he should have been quiet he was really loud – offstage in the wings,

cheering everyone on.‖

His brother touched many in his 19 years, he said.

After speaking of the silly faces Bradley would make and how he brought the family together, Iorio closed

with some words to his brother.

―Keep watching over us Brad,‖ he said. ―I love you. I know I‘ll see you again someday. You now wait in

the wings for us to walk off the stage one last time. But for now, thank you for everything. Rest easy and

good night – or as I found out you liked to say, see ya later.‖

Most of those at the funeral walked behind the hearse about a quarter-mile from the church to Germania

Cemetery for Iorio‘s burial with military honors following a gun salute.

Bradley Iorio is survived by his mother, Laura, of Galloway Township, his father, James (Cheryl), of

Middletown, and his brothers Richard (Tish) of Orange, Calif., and Vincent of Galloway Township. He
 was predeceased by his maternal grandfather David Williams and survived by his grandmother Bernice

 Williams, Uncle Dave, Aunt Judie and cousins Loren, Ashleigh, Frank and D.J. He was also predeceased

 by his paternal grandfather Anthony Iorio and survived by his grandmother Claire, Uncle Lenny (Roberta),

 cousins Liam and Isabella, and extended family members too numerous to name.

 Donations may be made to Trinity Alliance Church or TAPS, an organization that helps children whose

 parents have died in this war. Checks can be made payable to TAPS, Note: Bradley Iorio c/o Ellen Lee,

 Nuance Comm., 23 Christopher Way, Eatontown N.J. 07724.

VIGIL HELD AT FALLEN SOLDIER'S ALMA MATER
Christina Stolfo ( ) - 6/8/09 10:32 pm
Last Updated - 6/9/09 05:11 pm

GALLOWAY TWP.--Family and friends gathered tonight in honor of a local soldier who died last month, while
serving in Iraq.

A candlelight vigil was held tonight at Absegami High School in loving memory of Army Private Brad Iorio.

The soldier died May 29th in Germany, after suffering injuries from a non-combat related incident in Iraq.

The Galloway Township native graduated from Absegami just last year.

Iorio was laid to rest this morning at the age of 19.

Bradley W. Iorio




IORIO, BRADLEY W. 19 - of Galloway, died on May 29, 2009 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in
Landstuhl, Germany from a non-combat related injury suffered on May 27, 2009, six days after arriving in
Tallil, Iraq. The Army saw to it that his parents and brothers were there with him. Born in Freehold
Township, he moved to Smithville in 1996 and graduated from Absegami High School in 2008. PV2 Iorio
enlisted in August. Bradley loved his Legos, cub scouts, video and computer games (playing with his brother
Rick), soccer, hockey, the Emanon Players, his youth group, camping with his brother Vinnie at Creation,
haunting the Village on Halloween, and one day owning his dream Mustang. With the Emanon Players he
traveled to England and Scotland, received National Honor Thespian, The McGyver Award, The Door Knob
Award, The Emanon Players Backstage Award twice and Absegami's Best Thespian. His Friends and those
his life touched, will miss him. Quiet by nature, Brad never sat silently when a Friend was in need. He had
the ability to lighten a serious moment with his amazing sense of humor. He is predeceased by his maternal
grandfather, David Williams and his paternal grandfather, Anthony Iorio. Bradley is survived by his mother,
Laura, his father, James (Cheryl), Middletown and his brothers, Richard (Tish), Orange, CA. and Vincent,
Smithville; his maternal grandmother, Bernice Williams, Uncle Dave, Aunt Judie and cousins, Loren,
Ashleigh, Frank and DJ; his paternal grandmother, Claire, Uncle Lenny (Roberta) and cousins, Liam and
Isabella. Too numerous to name, Brad's extended Family is also grieving his sudden passing.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Trinity Alliance Church or the following organization that
helps children whose parents have died in this war. Checks payable to: TAPS Note: Bradley Iorio c/o Ellen
Lee, Nuance Comm. 23 Christopher Way, Eatontown N.J. 07724. A public viewing for Friends will be held
on Saturday, June 6 from 2:00 to 6:00pm at Wimberg Funeral Home, 400 Liverpool Ave., Egg Harbor City
N.J. A private Family viewing will be held on Sunday, June 7 from 3:00 to 7:00pm. A final viewing will take
place on Monday, June 8, from 9:00 to 10:30am at the Wimberg Funeral Home with services at Trinity
Alliance Church, 101 S. Cologne Ave., Egg Harbor City, N.J. at 11:00am. Interment will immediately follow
at the Germania Cemetery on Moss Mill Road and Vienna Avenue, Galloway. Friends are invited to Trinity
Alliance Church after the burial. Arrangements have been entrusted to Wimberg Funeral Home, 400
Liverpool Avenue, Egg Harbor City, NJ 609-965-0357. For condolences or directions, please visit
wimbergfuneralhome.com


                    Staff Sgt. Andrew T. Lobosco
                 Hometown: Somerville, New Jersey, U.S.

                 Age: 29 years old

                 Died: August 22, 2009 in Operation Enduring Freedom.

                 Unit: Army, 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C.

                 Incident: Died in Yakhchal, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit.


Army Staff Sgt. Andrew T. Lobosco, August 22, 2009
By Vinessa Erminio/The Star-Ledger
September 04, 2009, 10:40AM




Age: 29
Hometown: Somerville
Circumstances: Died in the town of Yakhchal, Afghanistan from wounds he suffered when
enemy forces attacked his unit.

Family, friends mourn soldier from Somerville killed in Afghanistan
by Amy Ellis Nutt/The Star-Ledger

Tuesday August 25, 2009, 7:55 AM
He was the first person to come to your defense, and the last person to leave a job that was not yet finished,
his friends said. That was why he joined the military.

Army Staff Sgt. Andrew T. Lobosco, 29, of Somerville, died Saturday in Yakhchal, Afghanistan, of wounds
suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit. He had been assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces
Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, N.C., and was at least the 107th armed services member with ties to New
Jersey to die in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.




Andrew Mills/The Star-LedgerWearing white gloves, an elite U.S. Army "carry team" remove the remains of Army Staff
Sgt. Andrew Lobosco of Somerville from an Air Force C-17 aircraft during a transfer ceremony at Dover Air Force Base
in Delaware.

New Jersey's fallen servicemen
"It's mind-blowing that this could happen," said Jeff Mosier, 29, a friend of Lobosco's from Immaculata
High School in Somerville. "He was a truly special, remarkable human being." Mosier, who lives in New
York City and who said he last spoke with Lobosco several months ago, was frequently in touch with him
online, through Facebook. He said Lobosco last updated his profile five days ago, with these words:
"What you are is what you have been, and what you will be is what you do now." Today, Lobosco's mother,
Bonnie Jo, who lives in Pennsylvania, and his twin, Lisa, from Minnesota, were on their way to Dover Air
Force Base in Delaware where the remains of their son and brother arrived aboard an Air Force C-17
military jet shortly after 6 p.m.

Lisa Lobosco received word of her brother's death about 6 p.m. Sunday, said her fiancée, Jason Safar. They
were both on the front lawn when two men from the military approached them with the news.

"We knew right away," Safar said. "We were very proud of him. He was somebody everybody looked up to."

Safar and Lisa Lobosco were waiting to get married until her brother's return. Lobosco had visited his sister
last month, on July 4th, and the two went hiking in the mountains, Safar said. Six days later, he re-deployed
to Afghanistan. Safar said it was at least his second or third time overseas.

"He wanted to serve his country after 9/11," Safar said. Mosier remembered his friend as someone who
could be "light-hearted" and "knew how to have a good time" -- the two friends were both in bands in high
school -- but Lobosco was also disciplined, and passionate about helping others.

"He was fearless," Mosier said. "He couldn't tell me a lot, but I knew he physically saved people's lives while
he was there."

News of Lobosco's death also shook Bonnie Jo Lobosco's neighbors in Forks Township, Pa., just outside of
Easton.

"A mother has to have this possibility in the back of her mind when her son goes to war, said Nancy Kopin,
fighting back tears. "But you never think it's going to happen so close to home." Kopin said her neighbor
and friend often spoke of her son, describing him as "wonderful" and "happy-go-lucky." "This just never
should have happened," she said.

"He was a conscientious, but had a sense of humor," said Sister Karen, who taught Lobosco theology his
freshman year at Immaculata. She remembered her former student, who graduated in 1998, as an expert in
martial arts, and once performed in a school talent show, along with his sister who was a student at
Bridgewater-Raritan High School.

"They were doing karate with fire," she said. "It was amazing." Jan DeVito, a former art teacher at
Immaculata, agreed. "He was just a really nice kid," she said. Lobosco was not currently in a relationship,
according to Kopin, but had previously expresssed a desire to get married and have children, because he was
the last man in his family to carry on the Lobosco name.

"I really believe Andy was there to try and make things better," Mosier said. "He was always the first person
to come to your defense if you needed him. He was always in your corner. He was special. ... There was so
much brightness. I hope people remember that, and he doesn't just vanish into the numbers."

The Express-Times of Easton, Pa., contributed to this report.

Memorial services to begin Monday for fallen N.J. soldier
By Tomas Dinges
August 29, 2009, 6:27PM
Memorial services begin Monday for Army Staff Sgt. Andrew T. Lobosco, 29, a native of
Somerville and a Special Forces medic who was killed in a firefight in southern Afghanistan on
Aug. 22.

Visitation hours are from 7 - 9 p.m. on Monday, and from 2 - 4 p.m. and 7 - 9 p.m on
Tuesday at Higgins Home for Funerals, 752 Mountain Blvd., Watchung.

A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Blessed Sacrament Church, 1890
Washington Valley Road, in the Martinsville section of Bridgewater. Lobosco served with 2nd
Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) of Fort Bragg, NC, and was in the second
month of his second deployment when he was killed.

He was last in the United States in July and went on a hiking trip with his sister.
Lobosco, who grew up in Bridgewater, was involved in his community and church. When he
suggested to his father a couple of months ago that they organize a drive to collect crutches
and wheelchairs for the residents of Afghanistan there was a tremendous response.

In June a tractor-trailer loaded with more than a thousand of the items left Bridgewater for
Fort Bragg, bound eventually for Afghanistan.

Lobosco, who grew up in Bridgewater, was involved in his community and church. When he
suggested to his father a couple of months ago that they organize a drive to collect crutches
and wheelchairs for the residents of Afghanistan there was a tremendous response.
In June a tractor-trailer loaded with more than a thousand of the items left Bridgewater for
Fort Bragg, bound eventually for Afghanistan.

Lobosco wanted the people there to know "Americans care about them," said the Rev. Msgr.
Eugene Prus, a pastor who gave him his first communion and who will preside over the
funeral mass on Wednesday. For Lobosco "it was more than just fighting a battle," he said.

Lobosco's body will be buried in the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia next Wednesday.
He was at least the 107th armed services member with ties to New Jersey to die in the wars
in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Somerville soldier killed in Afghanistan is mourned by family,
friends
By Katherine Santiago/The Star-Ledger
September 02, 2009, 7:36PM
BRIDGEWATER -- The sides of the valley in the Nuristan Province in northeast Afghanistan
were so steep the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter carrying Staff Sgt. Andrew T. Lobosco and a
team of Afghan border police he was leading could place only one wheel on the landing pad,
the roof of a home.

Lobosco was second off the helicopter, quickly demonstrating to his commanding officers an
instinct for action.

For the nighttime mission, which involved at least 12 other helicopters, his job was to clear
the southeast part of the village of insurgents.

"Everywhere you looked, he was there," Chief Warrant Officer Dennis Guy recalled today.
Lobosco led searches of homes, provided security, and secured prisoners in that mission. "He
was just one of those guys who knew what to do next without being told," Guy said.

The story was one of many his fellow soldiers recalled today as funeral services were held for
Lobosco, a Bridgewater native and special forces medic who was killed Aug. 22 in a small-
arms firefight while on a foot patrol near the town of Yakhchal, in southern Afghanistan.

"He was definitely a warrior, and he loved his job,"said Staff Sgt. Jarrett Warr, 25, a
communications specialist who served on the special forces team with Lobosco. "He didn't like
being on the base, he liked being on missions."

Assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, N.C., the
29-year-old Lobosco was in the sixth week of his second deployment when he was was killed.

He was at least the 107th armed services member with ties to New Jersey to die in the wars
in Iraq and Afghanistan.

His death comes as more and more U.S. soldiers are waging war in Afghanistan on foot
patrols. August was the deadliest month for U.S. and NATO forces in the country since the
Afghan conflict began in 2001.

Lobosco's two-hour funeral ceremony at the Blessed Sacrament Church in the Martinsville
section of Bridgewater, was held on a bright, cloudless day. Two large American flags hung
over Washington Valley Road as a procession of 36 motorcyclists, police cars and a pipe-and-
drum band led the black hearse to the church in mid-morning.

Dozens of residents, including several Boy Scouts, came out to pay their respect for the fallen
soldier. They stood at attention, some holding flags, as the hearse slowly passed. Hundreds of
friends and family filled the pews of the church, where Lobosco made his First Communion
and served as an altar boy.

Lobosco's fellow soldiers sat in a pew to the right of the casket, which was draped first in an
American flag and then in a cream-colored pall. Family members, including Lobosco's mother,
father and twin sister, sat to the left.

"Andy was one of our boys," said the Rev. Msgr. Eugene Prus, who deliverd the eulogy during
the Mass.

"He developed a compassion for his fellow human beings that was really a marvel."
While home on a visit this past spring, Lobosco organized a succesful drive to collet canes,
crutches and wheelchairs to be sent to Afghanistan.
Lobosco, he said, "was never one to stand on the sidelines and watch. That was "something
that was part of Andy and something he took with him until the day he died."

In Afghanistan, Lobosco was the junior of two medics on the 12-team special forces
operational detachment.

He was responsible for maintaining the health of his team, giving soldiers routine shots,
tracking their medical records and treating their wounds. He was the first medic out of the
base to treat Afghan civilians wounded by errant mortars aimed at American forces and even
treated enemy combatants in battle, said the soldiers who served with him.

Lobosco was a sharp shot as rear gunner and developed a passion for weapons that he had
hoped to bring home with him. He talked about someday building guns, his fellow soldiers
said.

He qualified to be a special forces medic in 2007, completing a training course that is the
longest and one of the most difficult in special forces.

Special Forces soldiers, also known as Green Berets, are an elite part of the Army that
historically have gone deep into a combat zone to train and fight with allied local forces. They
operate in teams of 12 soldiers and are known for being highly autonomous and self-
sufficient.

Capt. Marcus Hunter, 33, his commanding officer, said Lobosco was a dedicated medic who
also was eager to learn the specialties of other soldiers.

"He truly set the example of what it means to be a team member," Hunter said.

Staff Sgt. Andrew T. Lobosco

Andrew T. Lobosco Staff Sergeant
Staff Sgt. Andrew Thomas Lobosco, age 29, of Somerville, NJ was killed in action on Saturday, August 22,
2009 while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. He was born in Somerville and had lived in
Bridgewater, NJ. Andrew graduated in 1998 from Immaculata High School in Somerville, NJ. He attended
Raritan Valley Community College and received his Associates Degree. He joined the Army in 2003 and
was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, NC. He earned the
distinction of being a Green Beret in January 2007. Survivors: Parents, Bonnie Kostiuk Lobosco and Robert
Lobosco; twin sister, Lisa of MN; grandfather, Joseph M. Kostiuk and his extended family. Services: A
funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday, September 2, 2009 at Blessed Sacrament Church in Martinsville,
NJ. Visitation will be on Monday from 7-9 and on Tuesday from 2-4 & 7-9. He will receive full military
honors at Arlington National Cemetery where he will be interred on September 9th.
Contributions: In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Special Forces Association at
P.O. Box 4136, Fayetteville, NC 28309-1436 or at www.specialforcesassociation.org/donations.php. To send
condolences, please go to www.higginsfuneralhome.com.
Published in Morning Call on August 29, 2009




                 Sgt. Michael P. Scusa




                 Hometown: Villas, New Jersey, U.S.

                 Age: 22 years old

                 Died: October 3, 2009 in Operation Enduring Freedom.
              Unit: Army, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division,
              Fort Carson, Colo.

              Incident: Died in Kamdesh, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their
              contingency outpost with small arms, rocket-propelled grenade and indirect fires.


Fallen Jersey soldier was known for his military passion
By Tomas Dinges/The Star-Ledger
October 07, 2009, 12:26PM

Instead of the mundane announcements normally read over the intercom at Lower Cape May
Regional High School, there was a moment of silence yesterday for a 2005 graduate -
someone remembered for his quiet respect and "yes, ma'am" and "no, ma'am" way of
addressing teachers.

The student, Army Spc. Michael P. Scusa of Villas had died in Afghanistan days earlier.
Seven former students, all members of the New Jersey National Guard, had safely returned
from their recent deployment to Iraq. Another former student returned missing a limb. But
this was the first military death of an alumnus.

Scusa, who would have turned 23 on Monday, was killed along with seven other U.S. soldiers
on Saturday during a fierce daylong attack by as many as 200 insurgents in a forward
operating base deep in the mountains of Afghanistan, according to military officials. He is the
109th service member with ties to New Jersey to have died in the wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan.

"We pay the price with our young men," said Bert Kern, the assistant principal at Lower Cape
May Regional. "We all miss him."

Scusa was a nice kid who always wanted to go into the military, Kern said, adding "he
basically stayed under the radar."

As a teenager, Scusa would load up a backpack with bricks and jog through his neighborhood,
David Shuhart, a family friend, told the Press of Atlantic City. He was impassioned about
joining the Army.

"That is all he ever said he wanted to do," said Valerie Davis, his math teacher in the 11th
and 12th grades.

A month after graduating from high school, he was in basic training. After his first tour of
duty, he returned to Davis' class, in uniform, to talk to her students about what his life was
like. Scusa entertained questions about the social life and the heat, but also serious ones
about the danger.

"He made it seem that it wasn't as bad as it was on TV," Davis said. Still, he told his teacher,
he would wait until after the holidays to tell his mother he had re-enlisted.

Stationed in Fort Carson, Colo., he got married there about 18 months ago, Shuhart said. He
and his wife, Alyssa, had a son, Connor.

Scusa, who was attached to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, died in a firefight that marked the
greatest loss of life for the brigade in a single battle in Iraq or Afghanistan. The mountainous
outpost was in the final stages of withdrawing from the position, according to the military
officials speaking to the Gazette of Colorado Springs. Scusa's death came days from the
eighth anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan by the United States and amid high-level
deliberations about military strategy in the region.

His body was returned to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware early yesterday morning in a
solemn procession with the bodies of five other soldiers and 50 relatives, according to the
Associated Press. A single child wailed on the crisp, sunny day.

In Fort Carson, on the door of the home where he lived, a wreath and a yellow ribbon hung
with Scusa's name.

Tomas Dinges may be reached at (973) 392-1544 or tdinges@starledger.com.
Army Sgt. Michael P. Scusa
22, of Villas, N.J.; assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th
Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.; died Oct. 3 in Kamdesh, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy
forces attacked his contingency outpost with small arms, rocket-propelled grenade and indirect fires. Also
killed were Sgt. Justin T. Gallegos, Spc. Christopher T. Griffin, Sgt. Joshua M. Hardt, Sgt. Joshua J. Kirk, Spc.
Stephan L. Mace, Staff Sgt. Vernon W. Martin and Pfc. Kevin C. Thomson.



Carson honors 15 killed in Afghanistan

By Dan Elliott
The Associated Press


FORT CARSON, Colo. — Fort Carson paid somber tribute Wednesday to 15 of its soldiers killed in
Afghanistan last month, the worst single month for combat deaths the post has endured since the Vietnam
War.

Eight soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division were killed in a single battle on Oct. 3, and seven soldiers from
the 4th Engineer Battalion were killed in three separate incidents.

The 4th Infantry soldiers were honored at a service in the Soldiers‘ Memorial Chapel at midday. A second
service was scheduled later in the day for the others.

Chuckles rippled through the nearly full chapel as letters were read from soldiers still in Afghanistan
recounting the fallen troops‘ lives and praising their bravery and friendship.

―I would have followed that man straight to hell if he thought it was a good idea,‖ one letter said of Sgt.
Joshua T. Kirk, 30, of South Portland, Maine.

Maj. Dan Chandler said each of the eight 4th Infantry soldiers enlisted after the terrorist Sept. 11, 2001,
terrorist attacks. ―They were helping to make a difference when they were taken from us,‖ he said.
The others killed in that battle were Staff Sgt. Justin T. Gallegos, 27, of Tucson, Ariz.; Staff Sgt. Vernon W.
Martin, 25, Savannah, Ga.; Sgt. Joshua M. Hardt, 24, Applegate, Calif.; Sgt. Michael P. Scusa, 22, Villas,
N.J.; Spc. Christopher T. Griffin, 24, Kincheloe, Mich.; Spc. Stephan L. Mace, 21, Lovettsville, Va.; and Pfc.
Kevin C. Thomson, 22, Reno, Nev.

Across the front of the chapel, each fallen soldier was represented in the Army tradition with his portrait, a
pair of boots and an M-4 rifle, standing muzzle-down with a helmet resting atop it and dog tags dangling
from the pistol grip. The boots had spurs with black straps, signifying the eight were members of a cavalry
regiment.

A soldier sobbed quietly at the back of the chapel as Sgt. Major Leslie Frye called the roll, pausing silently
after he twice called out the name of each man killed.

Outside the chapel, seven riflemen fired three volleys in a 21-gun salute, and a bugle played taps.

Army Secretary John McHugh attended the service but didn‘t speak. He was also scheduled to attend the
second service and then hold a news conference.

The 4th Engineer Battalion soldiers were Staff Sgt. Glen H. Stivison Jr., 34, of Blairsville, Pa.; Spc. Kevin O.
Hill, 23, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Spc. Jesus O. Flores, 28, La Mirada, Calif.; Spc. Daniel C. Lawson, 33, of Deerfield
Beach, Fla.; Spc. Eric N. Lembke, 25, Tampa, Fla.; Spc. Kimble A. Han, 30, Lehi, Utah; and Pfc. Brandon
M. Styer, 19, Lancaster, Pa.

Fort Carson says 32 soldiers from the post have been killed in Afghanistan and 255 have been killed in Iraq.
Officials said they did not know the exact month and year when the post had more soldiers killed in combat
but said it was in Vietnam.

								
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