Saturday, July 10, 2010

Death Toll Mounts for US/NATO Occupation Forces in Afghanistan

Deadly blast rocks Kandahar city

Nato commanders say a full investigation has been launched into an
attack that killed civilians

An explosion has rocked the city of Kandahar in southern Afghanistan,
killing at least one person, while five Nato troops died in fighting
elsewhere in the country.

Seven people were also wounded in the Kandahar blast on Saturday,
which occurred near the Continental Hotel in the city's commercial
centre when explosives strapped to a parked motorcycle were detonated.

Cars were ablaze and windows shattered in the immediate aftermath of
the blast, according to local security officials.

The five Nato death on Saturday occured in three separate attacks in
eastern and southern parts of the country, Nato's International
Security Assistance Force (Isaf) said.

The AFP news agency cited anonymous Isaf officials as saying that a
sixth soldier had died in an accidental explosion, and that all the
dead were Americans. However, Isaf's policy is not to announce the
nationalities of killed forces.

Afghan deaths

Nato forces also issued a statement on Saturday admitting troops
accidently killed six civilians while battling Taliban fighters
earlier in the week.

A brief statement released by the mission's headquarters said that the
civilians died on Thursday under artillery fire from a Nato unit in
Paktia province, south of Kabul.

Nato's admission comes a day after the force said it was responsible
for accidentally killing five Afghan soldiers in a botched airstrike.

The incident occured in Andar district of Ghazni province, where the
Afghan soldiers were launching a pre-dawn ambush against fighters.

Aircraft from the military alliance began firing on them without
warning, an Afghan defence ministry official said. Nato blamed the
attack on a communication error.

A statement, also issued on Friday, said a joint investigation
determined that the Afghan army unit gave the wrong location to
international forces when it reported it would be operating in Ghazni.

The two incidents would likely hurt efforts by international troops to
gain the trust of the Afghan people and improve co-ordination with
Afghan security forces in hope of handing over more responsibility for
security to them, nearly nine years into the war.

Hundreds of Afghans took to the streets of Mazar-i-Sharif on Saturday
to protest against civilian deaths.

The protesters chanted slogans against foreign forces and Hamid
Karzai, the Afghan president, after US troops killed two civilians and
arrested three others during a pre-dawn raid on Wednesday in the
northern city's outskirts.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

Five US soldiers killed in Afghanistan attacks

Saturday, 10 July 2010 15:20 UK

June was the worst month for coalition casualties since 2001

Five US soldiers have been killed in separate incidents of violence in
Afghanistan, Nato has said.

Three died in east Afghanistan and two were killed in separate
roadside bombings in the south. A sixth American died in an accidental

More than 350 Nato soldiers have been killed this year.

In other violence, gunmen killed 11 Pakistani Shia tribesmen in the
east and one person was killed by a motorbike bomb in Kandahar.

Also on Saturday, hundreds of Afghans took to the streets of the
northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif in protest at increasing civilian

Rising trend

Nato said the three separate incidents in the east were small-arms
fire, a home-made bomb attack and an "insurgent attack" that was not

The two separate attacks in the south were with improvised explosive
devices, or IEDs.

The accidental explosion took place in the east.

The deaths add to the rising trend of casualties for Nato's
International Security Assistance Force. June was the worst month for
foreign troop deaths since the US-led invasion in late 2001.

In the east of the country, 11 Pakistani Shia tribesmen were killed
when gunmen opened fire on their bus, which had taken a detour into
Afghanistan to avoid a dangerous route in Pakistan.

Buses have been taking the lengthy detours fore the past few years to
avoid the direct Kurram to Peshawar route.

In Kandahar, a civilian was killed as he drove his car past the
motorbike as the bomb planted on it exploded. The blast set cars on
fire and damaged a shopping centre.

In Mazar-i-Sharif, demonstrators marched to protest against the
killing of two civilians by US troops on Wednesday.

The new US commander of Nato forces, Gen David Petraeus, has stressed he remains committed to the policy of his predecessor in trying to reduce civilian casualties, a continuing point of contention between the international forces and the Afghan government.

Five Afghan soldiers were accidentally killed in a Nato helicopter air
strike on Wednesday.

British soldier killed in Afghanistan explosion named

Friday, 9 July 2010 21:42 UK

A British soldier killed by an explosion in Afghanistan has been named
by the Ministry of Defence.

Bombardier Samuel Robinson, 31, from 5th Regiment Royal Artillery died while on foot patrol in Sangin on Thursday.

The soldier, from Carmarthen, was the 313th member of the UK Armed
Forces to die in Afghanistan since 2001 and the 100th death to occur
in Sangin.

Bombadier Robinson's family said they were "very proud" of him and
"would miss him forever".

He was on his fourth operational tour of Afghanistan after joining the
Army in 1999 at the age of 20, the Ministry of Defence said.

His family said in a statement released by the Ministry of Defence:
"Sam was doing the job that he loved and was proud to be doing it."

'Role model'

Lt Col Richard Hayhurst RA, commanding officer 5th Regiment Royal
Artillery said: "This courageous man held the respect of all that knew
him, his strength of character, professionalism, and outright
robustness made him a force to be reckoned with, and he was the
perfect role model for the rest of the regiment.

"He was special and will be sorely missed. His tragic loss has come as
a shock to us all and my greatest sympathy goes out to his family and
to his friends."

Capt Lee Chapman, operations officer with the special observation post battery called him a "consummate professional".

"He will be greatly missed by the patrol and the special observer
'family' and will always be remembered for his dedication, loyalty and
his love for his beloved Wales."

Secretary of State for Defence Dr Liam Fox said: "I extend my deepest
sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of Bombardier Samuel
Joseph Robinson.

"Those that served with him talk of a highly courageous and extremely
professional soldier. The fact that he volunteered to return to
Afghanistan so shortly after his last tour shows true bravery and
commitment to his duty."

Mr Fox said on Wednesday that about 1,000 Royal Marines are expected to leave Sangin and be redeployed to central Helmand by the end of 2010.

A US Marines battle group will be moved from Nimruz Province to take
control in Sangin, leaving the British military effort concentrated in
central Helmand.

US troops killed in Afghanistan and Africa

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
Saturday, July 10, 2010; 1:46 PM

-- Army Spc. Jared C. Plunk

Jared Plunk had a passion for shooting guns by the time he was
elementary-age, according to his grandmother, Nelmalee Plunk. As a
young boy, he got his hands on her pellet gun and took aim, sending
glass pellets flying toward a door with a whack.

"He came in the house and he said 'Granny, I was shooting at the
bricks, I wasn't shooting at the door,'" she said.

She described him as "a pretty smart kid" who was hardworking, did
some farming and enjoyed life.

Plunk, 27, of Stillwater, Okla., died June 25 at Konar, Afghanistan,
of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using
rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire. He was assigned to Fort Campbell.

Plunk grew up in the Oklahoma Panhandle town of Turpin. He played
football and graduated from high school there before taking classes at
Oklahoma State University, though he left to join the military.

Survivors include his wife, Lindsay, and two sons, 5-year-old Noah and
baby Kason.

He also had two brothers, two sisters and a stepfather.

He was to be buried next to his father in Liberal, Kan.


Marine Sgt. John K. Rankel

John Rankel enjoyed reading about people who stood their ground
against the odds, and he had a passion for the pursuit of excellence,
on the field and in the field.

At Speedway High School in Speedway, Ind., he played football,
basketball and baseball. He graduated in 2005 and joined the Marines
that year.

"He was a quiet leader for us, not a rah-rah guy," Speedway football
coach Denny Pelley said. "There was nothing false about him at all."

The military made Rankel stronger, more passionate and more caring,
said Ryan Smith, a friend.

The 23-year-old Rankel, known as "Johnny," died June 7 after
reportedly being hit by enemy fire in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
He was assigned to Camp Pendleton and had served twice in Iraq.

"He was just a big kid," said his girlfriend, Lindsay Raikes, who met
him after peer-editing school essays about the traits of a perfect
match. Once, she said, he sang Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" to her
at a karaoke party.

Survivors include his mother and stepfather, Don and Trisha Stockhoff;
his father and stepmother, Kevin and Kim Rankel; and two brothers,
Nathan Stockhoff and Tyler Rankel.


Army Spc. Blaine E. Redding

Blaine Redding and his love, Nikki, planned to marry when he returned
from Afghanistan, but he switched things up and insisted on a wedding
before he left.

"I think he had a gut feeling, and I just didn't know," she said.

They married March 13, and he was killed June 7 by a roadside bomb in Konar.

The 22-year-old from Plattsmouth, Neb., struggled in high school but
earned his GED before coming into his own in the Army, his brother
said. Redding was assigned to Fort Campbell and had served in Iraq.

This time, he was stationed less than an hour from his younger
brother, Pvt. Logan Redding.

"Blaine was always the leader, and Logan was always Blaine's crash
test dummy," said their mother, Theresa Redding.

Blaine Redding left his brother his other love, a blue Subaru he named Trixie.

It fit his laid-back but adventurous style. He was a casual dresser -
his family requested people wear flip-flops to honor his memory - who
enjoyed video games, had a habit of leaving behind chewed gum and made a game of tossing his wife's small dog with his brother.

He was a "priceless personality," his mother said.

Other survivors include his father, also named Blaine.


Army Pfc. Robert Repkie

Robert Repkie's dad wanted him to get a college education before he
joined the military. But the young man dreamed of leading and wanted
to pay his dues.

"Dad, how can I command troops if I don't know what they went
through?" Repkie told his father, Russell Repkie.

Robert Repkie was remembered as a happy, intelligent and funny person who joined the Army to continue his family's history of military
service. He primarily worked as a cook while on his deployment to
Afghanistan, but he also had been trained as a gunner and sometimes
went out on missions in the turret.

The 20-year-old from Sweetwater, Tenn., died June 24 at Forward
Operating Base Farah in an incident unrelated to combat. The military
is investigating. Repkie was assigned to Fort Bragg.

The soldier's stepsister, Letiscia Loepp, said the two were close and
considered themselves biological siblings.

Repkie also made sure to keep in touch with teachers and counselors
back at Sweetwater High School. Staff at the school said Repkie would
send them Facebook messages and call them from Afghanistan before
class started.

"It's our job to make a difference in a child's life," said principal
David Watts. "But he made a difference in my life."


Marine Lance Cpl. William T. Richards

William Richards - who preferred his middle name, Taylor - was a
long-haired kid who could pluck a mean banjo in high school.

"His music was just a big part of his life," said Linda Wilson, who
taught Richards in 10th grade. She said he had shoulder-length hair as
a teen but shaved it during his senior year as he prepared to join the

Richards, 20, of Trenton, Ga., died June 26 in Helmand province,
Afghanistan. He was assigned to Camp Lejeune and graduated from Dade County High School in 2008.

The Marine's family said in a statement that Richards was a dedicated
father to his 9-month-old daughter, Kayden Leigh. He was married to
his high school sweetheart, Emily.

Chuck Carver, who ran a youth ministry that Richards was a part of in
high school, said the teen had a clearer vision than most of what he
wanted from life. He often asked Carver for advice about life and
marriage, and knew the dangers of joining the Marines.

"I know Mr. Carver. That's what I'm destined to be," Carver recalled
the teen telling him.

Richards also is survived by his mother and father.


Army Sgt. Mario Rodriguez

Mario Rodriguez was a leader who helped keep high school teammates in line and fought to keep his units secure when he was serving overseas, friends said.

He played linebacker on the football team at Smithville High School
and enjoyed going to Friday night games when he was home on leave.

"He was always there for people," classmate Britni Fleming said. "He
was extremely close to his friends. He was a shoulder to cry on, there
when you needed him."

Rodriguez, 24, of Smithville, Texas, died June 11 in Powrak,
Afghanistan, when insurgents attacked his unit. He was assigned to
Fort Bragg.

Rodriguez joined the National Guard in 2003 and had served in Kosovo and Iraq.

"He knew what his job was, and it didn't scare him," said Rosalva
Rodriguez, one of his four sisters. "He was always worried about
others being safe."

His wife, Leslie, said their 7-year-old daughter, Raven, was the apple
of his eye.

"He was going to teach her how to play soccer," she said. "He always
told her that he loved her big head."

Rodriguez also is survived by his parents and two brothers.


Army Sgt. John M. Rogers

John Rogers entered the military with his sights set on eventually
becoming a police officer. But his plans soon changed.

The 26-year-old grew to see his fellow military members as his
"brothers" and planned to make the military his career, said Rogers'
sister Kayla Reynolds, who also enlisted in the Army.

"Eventually he learned to really love it," said his wife, Zuleika F. Rogers.

Rogers, of Scottsdale, Ariz., died June 27 in an incident not related
to combat at Forward Operating Base Blessing, Afghanistan. He was
assigned to Fort Campbell.

"He was very distinguished, very decorated," Reynolds said. "He was
really getting there. He loved what he did. He was the most amazing
person I ever met. ... He had the ability to make anybody laugh, even
when they were in the middle of crying."

Rogers, of Scottsdale, Ariz., attended North Canyon High School in
Phoenix and met his wife at a local Starbucks, where she worked.

"He was a customer there who eventually asked me out on a date," she said.

Rogers enlisted in the Army in June 2004.

His survivors include his wife; father, John H. Rogers of Kansas City,
Mo.; sisters Sally and Kayla; and brother Jimmy.


Marine Lance Cpl. Timothy G. Serwinowski

Tim Serwinowski stood out among students at his high school, and not
just because of his 6-foot-2-inch frame.

Teachers called the North Tonawanda, N.Y., native a quiet leader with
a disarming sense of humor that made him a role model to his peers.

During his 2007 senior year at North Tonawanda High School, his
football coaches honored him for excellence and leadership after the
team won the league's North Division Championship.

"I can still hear myself saying, 'Be more like Tim,' to the other kids
in the class," said Greg Woytila, who taught Serwinowski as a

Serwinowski, 21, joined the Marines a year after high school and was
deployed to Afghanistan in December. He was killed in a June 21 sniper attack in Helmand province. He was assigned to Camp Lejeune.

Survivors include his parents, Sally Urban and Phillip Serwinowski,
and several siblings.

Several people have left remembrances and notes of condolences on a Facebook page for Serwinowski. Among them is a note from his cousin, Christen Giles-Suarez: "timmy i love you and like my last words were to you, im proud of you and im still proud."


Marine Sgt. Derek L. Shanfield

Like his brothers, 22-year-old Sgt. Derek Shanfield was a Marine. But
for him, the Marines was his calling.

"He was truly amazing," said his older brother, Sgt. Sydney Shanfield.
"He rose up through the ranks very high in a very short time. He was
basically a picture of perfection when it comes to being a Marine."

That comes as no surprise to Tim Laurito, Derek Shanfield's high
school principal. Shanfield, of Hastings, Pa., stood out as a leader
at Cambria Heights High School, Laurito said. He had the grades and
aptitude to do whatever he wanted and graduated in 2006 near the top
of his class, he said.

As a Marine squad leader, Shanfield went to Afghanistan ahead of his
unit. He had been there only two weeks when he was killed during an
attack. It happened on his first day on patrol, June 8.

"He felt very strongly about what he was doing - very strongly about
the cause - and paid the ultimate price for his country," Laurito

Shanfield was assigned to Camp Lejeune, where his twin brother, Cpl.
Devin Shanfield, serves in a different unit.

Survivors also include his parents, David and Pamela Shanfield, and
sisters, Jessica and Allison Shanfield.


Army Staff Sgt. Eric B. Shaw

Eric Shaw was so passionate about history that he decided on a career as a history teacher.

He enrolled at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham, graduating
in 2003 with a degree in history and education.

Then he changed his mind.

Shaw, who grew up in Exeter, Maine, decided to follow his deceased
father's footsteps into the military. He enlisted in the Army.

Shaw was in Konar, Afghanistan, on his third overseas deployment June 27 when his unit from Fort Campbell was attacked. He died in combat.

Shaw put his teaching career on hold and left his young family behind
to go to war because he loved his country, said Rick Whitney, his high
school history teacher.

"He'd be the type of person who put himself out there to help someone
else if they needed him. No matter what the cost to him would be. It's
just the way he was," Whitney said.

Shaw listed his wife, Audrey, as his hero on his MySpace page because "it takes a tough person to say goodbye to their mate for a long extended period of time and take care of two children," he wrote
before his third child was born. "All you army wives are (heroes)


Army Staff Sgt. Brandon M. Silk

Brandon Silk's favorite movie growing up was "Top Gun."

It was one of his inspirations for joining the Army and becoming a
Black Hawk crew chief for the 101st Airborne Division based at Fort

Silk, of Orono, Maine, enlisted shortly after graduating from Orono
High School in 2003. Working on Black Hawk helicopters and
accompanying pilots on missions was a dream come true. Silk loved his job so much he turned down a promotion to a desk job.

He served in Korea, Iraq and twice in Afghanistan. He wasn't required
to go on the second Afghanistan tour, said his father, Mark Silk.

"But he had been training all these other guys. He didn't want them to
go without him," his father said.

Silk, 25, died June 21 after a hard landing in a helicopter near Gaza
Ridge, Afghanistan.

"He was one of those rare individuals that could make a bad day good
and a good day that much better," former colleague Jared Adams posted on a Facebook page honoring Silk. "He made me a better crew chief, a better soldier and a better person."

He also leaves behind his wife, Kayce Silk, stepson, Brayden Browning, and mother, Lynn Silk.


Air Force Staff Sgt. David C. Smith

Whether you knew him as "Smitty," "Stuntman," "Cazzie" or any other
nickname, David Smith was the guy who could be counted on as a

In grade school, his mother said, he stood up for a buddy who was
being teased because he had learning disabilities. As a helicopter
flight engineer, he was trying to save soldiers who had been wounded
in Afghanistan's Helmand province when the chopper crashed, killing

The 26-year-old Smith of Eight Mile, Ala., was assigned to Nellis Air
Force Base. He graduated from Satsuma High School and joined the
military a year later.

He was remembered as a computer nerd who loved reading and playing video games.

"Anything electronic, he could take it apart and put it back
together," said his mother, Mildred Hardee.

He had a dry sense of humor and loved stand-up comedy, Hardee said.

Smith also was well-respected by the other men he worked with.

"He was intelligent, funny, dependable, honest, humble, tough and,
most importantly, he was a constant," said Master Sgt. Kristopher
Angone. "He was a known value. He was a steady force in today's
chaotic environment."

Smith also is survived by four siblings.


Marine Cpl. Jeffrey R. Standfest

Jeffrey Standfest was an "all-American kid" who joined the military
because his grandfather served in the Marines during World War II,
according to family friend Doug Mills.

Standfest, 23, of St. Clair, Mich, died June 16 when he was hit by an
explosive device while on foot patrol in Helmand province,
Afghanistan. He was a dog handler and combat engineer based in
Twentynine Palms, Calif.

He enlisted in 2008, three years after graduating from St. Clair High
School, where he ran cross country and track. He also played baseball.

"He was an outstanding high school athlete and a respectful person who loved his family and loved being in the Marine Corps," said Richard Maierle, who works with Standfest's father at a Michigan police department. "He was just an overall great kid."

Standfest ran cross country while attending Oakland University and
helped lead the team to a conference championship, his coach said.

He also was dedicated to hitting the books and had carried a high
grade-point average in high school, fellow students said. In his down
time, he enjoyed rabbit hunting and fishing, as well as baseball and

Survivors include his parents, Timothy and Karen.


Army 1st Lt. Joseph J. Theinert

Even as a little boy, Joe Theinert knew he wanted to be a soldier.
Growing up on the east end of Long Island, N.Y., he enjoyed playing
army games in the back yard with his brothers.

As he got older, he participated in other activities that hinted at
his military interest - hunting and paintball.

He joined the New York Army National Guard and then volunteered for
active duty, based at Fort Drum. His unit was sent to Afghanistan.
Before he left, his little brother, James, asked if he was scared.
Theinert simply replied, "Nope, born to it."

Theinert, 24, died June 4 while disabling a bomb near Kandahar.
Because he ordered his 20-man unit to retreat, no one else was injured
or killed.

Theinert was a graduate of the State University of New York at Albany
with a bachelor's degree in history. He also completed the Siena
College ROTC program.

An entry in a book Theinert started compiling in high school explains
his interest in military service.

"There is nothing glorious about war, but I will go into it to keep
the people I love away from it," he wrote.

Survivors also include his parents, James Theinert and Chrystyna Kestler.


Army Spc. David W. Thomas

David Thomas quit the military after working for a time as a recruiter
- he had a hard time whenever he found out a young man he'd recruited had been killed in action overseas.

"I think that bothered him a lot," said his sister, Donna Butler. But
after so many years in the armed forces, he got the itch again.

"He just loved military life. He tried civilian life, but it just
wasn't for him," Butler said. Thomas was trying to hit the 20-year
mark before he finally retired.

But the 40-year-old Army specialist from St. Petersburg, Fla., was
killed June 27 when insurgents attacked his unit. He was assigned to
Fort Campbell.

His mother, Mary Thomas, said the loving father loved to play with his
children - two sons, two daughters and a stepson.

David Thomas had first served in the Navy for about three years,
signing up a week after he graduated from high school. A few years
later, he joined the Marines and served three tours in Iraq.

Thomas often called and e-mailed to check in on his family and always
was careful about what he said so they wouldn't worry. He asked his
wife to wish his mother a happy birthday in case he couldn't call.

He tried to assure his sister: "I'm OK, sis. I'm OK."


Army Spc. Blair D. Thompson

Blair Thompson enjoyed paintball and loved hockey. His favorite team
was the New Jersey Devils. Friends also say he was somewhat

"He would do anything and everything to cause some innocent ruckus,"
said former classmate Eric Benfrey. "He was always trying to make
people laugh because he cared about them."

Thompson, of Rome, N.Y., had wanted an Army career since childhood. He joined the Air Force Junior ROTC as a high school sophomore. He joined the Army after graduating from Rome Free Academy in 2008.

Thompson, 19, deployed to Afghanistan in May. On his Facebook page last month, he posted a photo showing shrapnel injuries he suffered in an insurgent attack.

His father, Vincent Thompson, said the Army offered his son a chance
to rest and heal, but he wanted to be back in the fight. On June 25,
insurgents again attacked Thompson's unit. He did not survive.

"He went over there with a very open mind, with a true patriot's
heart," his father said. "All he wanted to do was protect you and me."

Thompson was assigned to Fort Campbell. He also is survived by his
mother, Arena Young, and three brothers.


Marine Sgt. Zachary J. Walters

Zachary Walters liked a lot of things that give people an adrenaline
rush: surfing on Daytona Beach in Florida. Climbing mountians. Fast

In fact, he had two Ford Mustang muscle cars waiting for him at home.
One was a dark blue 2008 model; the other a black 1987 model.

"He was really proud of that," said his girlfriend, Victoria Falcon.

Walters, 24, of Palm Coast, Fla., was killed June 8 in Helmand
province, Afghanistan. His grandmother Bobbie M. Walters said he was leading his platoon through a training exercise with Afghan forces
when he stepped on a bomb. Another Marine died in the blast. He was
assigned to Camp Lejeune.

The Marine had planned to ask Falcon to marry him - he'd just gotten
the blessing to pop the question from Falcon's father, Thomas
Zoblisien. He died before he had the chance.

Walters got his start in the Junior ROTC program at Flagler Palm Coast High School, the school he graduated from in 2005. His instructor said he always took the uniform seriously, and that stuck with him when he passed up scholarships and job offers to join the military.

"He just knew he wanted to be in the service," Bobbie Walters said.
"He felt like he was doing what he thought was right."


Air Force Senior Airman Benjamin D. White

Benjamin White's job - flying in on a helicopter to rescue soldiers
wounded in battle - was embodied in the tattoo on his back. It was a
Bible verse that read: "Greater love hath no man than this, that he
lay down his life for a friend."

His father, Anthony White, recalled White as a somewhat aimless
teenager who found what he truly wanted to do in the Air Force. The
airman's grandfather, Curtis White, recalled that the young man
started lifting weights so he'd be ready for the military's challenge.

"He said he finally felt a sense of purpose - that he was doing what
he was supposed to do," said his sister-in-law, Ashlee White.

White, 24, of Erwin, Tenn., was killed June 9 in a helicopter crash in
Afghanistan. He was assigned to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. He
graduated from Science Hill High School in 2004 and spent a few
semesters at East Tennessee State University before enlisting in 2006.

Family and friends said White was always worried about everyone else -even though he was in danger. Ashlee White said her brother-in-law was the one praying for everyone back home. His supervisor, Staff Sgt. Jason Walker, said White always asked: "What can I do to help?"

White also is survived by his mother, Brenda Shelton-Logozo, and
stepmother, Jennifer White.


Army Spc. William C. Yauch

William Yauch was an outgoing guy who loved life and his country,
relatives said.

"He very much loved the U.S. Army and was doing what he believed in
and wanted to be doing," his stepmother, Debbie Yauch, said.

The 23-year-old from Batesville, Ark., died June 11 in Jalula, Iraq,
of wounds from a vehicle-borne explosive device. He was assigned to
Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Debbie Yauch said her stepson was scheduled to come home in less than two months.

"Chris," as he was known, is being remembered for how he enjoyed a
good game of paint ball, his passion for riding his motorcycle and his
love of tinkering with his car.

"He was a friendly young man, pleasant to be around, just an
all-around good guy," said principal David Campbell of Batesville High
School, where Yauch graduated in 2005.

He enlisted in the Army in 2007 and married his wife, Mallory Rhodes,
in February of the following year.

Other survivors include his mother and stepfather, Lucretia and Dennis
Robertson; his father, Kurt Yauch; and four stepsisters, Jenny,
Rachel, Barbara and Brenda.