Posts Tagged ‘Afghanistan’

11
Apr

Blackfeet mourn warrior slain in Afghanistan

   Posted by: admin    in Blackfeet

Our thoughts are with the family of warrior Spc. Antonio C. Burnside. Burnside was killed in action last week in Afghanistan.

An Army carry team transfers the casket containing the remains of Army Spc. Antonio C. Burnside, of Great Falls, upon arrival at Dover Air Force Base, Del., on Monday. The Department of Defense announced the death of Burnside, who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. (AP PHOTO/JOSE LUIS MAGANA)


Kristen Cates of the Great Falls Tribune has the story:

    In addition to close family and friends, the Blackfeet Nation is mourning the loss of one of its “warriors” in the wake of U.S. Army Spc. Antonio C. Burnside’s death in Afghanistan on Friday.

    Burnside (Many Hides, his Blackfeet family name), was killed when insurgents attacked his unit with small-arms fire in the Ghanzi province of Afghanistan on Friday.

    The 31-year-old, originally from Great Falls, leaves behind his wife, four children, parents and siblings, as well as a grieving Blackfeet Nation.

    Tribal officials report that Burnside’s parents are on their way to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to retrieve his body and bring him home to the Blackfeet Reservation for services and burial.

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We are very late in catching up with this story, but think it’s important to run. It’s from the Navajo Times, and it’s about Army Spc. Christopher Moon, who gave up a full college scholarship and a promising career in professional baseball to serve his country.

Earlier this month, he died after being wounded by an improvised explosive device while on patrol in the Arghandab River Valley in Afghanistan.

Spc. Christopher Moon (Courtesy photo to Navajo Times)

Spc. Christopher Moon (Courtesy photo to Navajo Times)

As the Times’ Jan-Mikael Patterson reports:

    He is the 12th Navajo Nation soldier killed in the Middle East since the U.S. was attacked by Islamic extremists Sept. 11, 2001, according to information provided by President Joe Shirley Jr.’s office.

    Moon was an infantryman with the 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

His mother, Marsha Moon, tells the Times that her son “always had the desire to be in the military, as far back as mid-school. We saw his talents in baseball and we tried to get him to go in that direction. But what he wanted to do was join the military.”

He was a star baseball player at Tucson High Magnet School, where he graduated in 2007. That made him a guaranteed starter his freshman year at the University of Arizona. The prep baseball honor will bear his name from now on, the Times reports.

And, writes Patterson, Moon also had earned a full scholarship to the UA, and he was drafted by the Atlanta Braves.

Our hearts go out to his family and friends.

Gwen Florio

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Army Spc. Darek Blackwolf of Lame Deer is greeted by his aunt Sandy Bruised Head and father, Darrell Blackwolf, at Billings Logan International Airport on Friday. Blackwolf returned from duty in Afghanistan, where he has been since June of 2009. (Billings Gazette/David Grubbs)

Army Spc. Darek Blackwolf of Lame Deer is greeted by his aunt Sandy Bruised Head and father, Darrell Blackwolf, at Billings Logan International Airport on Friday. Blackwolf returned from duty in Afghanistan, where he has been since June of 2009. (Billings Gazette/David Grubbs)



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Here’s a story from Rob Rogers of the Billings (Mont.) Gazette that warmed the heart of this particular mom:

Connie Blackwolf watched through tears as her son walked down the stairs from the concourse at Billings Logan International Airport to greet his friends and family.

Army Spc. Darek Blackwolf just finished an eight-month tour of duty in Afghanistan and arrived home Friday for the first time since June.

“We depended a lot on prayer,” Connie Blackwolf said. “That’s what we’re thankful for. That’s what brought him home safe.”

Northern Cheyenne medicine man Charles Little Oatman and Darek Blackwolf’s maternal grandfather, Mack Parkett, a Navajo, were on hand to seal his safe arrival.

Before Darek Blackwolf greeted any of the 30 or so friends and family members gathered in the lobby, before he could even touch them, Little Oatman and Parkett each performed a cleansing ceremony. Touching him with blankets, chanting and blessing him, the two men, each in turn, rid Darek Blackwolf of the evils he may have brought back from the war.

“The ceremony,” said his father, Darrell Blackwolf, “is to wipe (away) all the bad stuff that … he might have picked up.”

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28
Jul

Saluting Sgt. Conrad Begaye

   Posted by: admin    in Indian Veterans, Navajo

Sgt. Begaye at the ceremony during which he received the Silver Star. (U.S. Army/Africa)

Sgt. Begaye at the ceremony during which he received the Silver Star. (U.S. Army/Africa)

And not just because of the heroism of the Navajo soldier from Black Canyon City, Ariz. Yes, it’s impressive that Begaye – although wounded in a firefight in Afghanistan’s Nuristan Province – led his men to safety under heavy fire after their platoon leader was killed, according to this story Stars and Stripes story reprinted in the Navajo Times.

But because of his remarks at a recent ceremony where he received the Silver Star for his actions that day. “I really don’t know how I feel about getting a medal for just doing my job,” he tells Stars and Stripes. “So this medal’s not for me, but for the guys who died that day.”

Five soldiers and a Marine were killed that day. Begaye has since re-enlisted.

Gwen Florio

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