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Missing for 46 years, air commando laid to rest

An air commando who died when his C-123 Provider flare ship was shot down over Ahn Khe, Vietnam, was laid to rest Oct. 26 at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, Texas.

The 310th Air Commando Squadron loadmaster, Airman 1st Class Jerry Mack Wall, 24, was killed when his plane was hit by enemy fire and crashed into the central highlands, May 18, 1966. Until recently Wall, who was one of five crew members, was listed as Missing in Action.

Soldier, hero carries squad leader to safety

At least once in every man’s life he is faced with a situation that tests and challenges him to his very core. For soldiers serving in the dangerous Panjwa’i district of Afghanistan, those defining moments are frequent and often brutal.

U.S. Army Pfc. Cory Szaro, 19, a mortarman serving with Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, Task Force 1-23 Infantry, operating out of Combat Outpost Khenjakak, has spent the past 10 months willingly stepping forward into situations that would challenge other men.

AN AMERICAN GOLIATH IN AFGHANISTAN

The following is largely based on an interview with Contractor, MSG (Retired) Michael (Train) Beltran

The Best Assignment of a Warrior’s Life
MSG Michael (Train) Beltran enlisted in the Army out of California in 1975 at the age of 19, completed jump school and went straight into the 2nd BN. (Ranger) 75th Inf. Ft. Lewis WA.

AFGHANISTAN: TAKING SIDES

Help Me Escape
“Can you help me?” That is the question we hear fairly frequently from our Afghan partners. This question, from a young man we will call Naji, was posed with regard to his desired escape from Afghanistan.

IN PURSUIT OF VICTORY

Ross Elder is a soldier recently returned from Afghanistan who has been writing these columns to give a “boots on the ground” perspective of Operation Enduring Freedom.

I have been asked some very specific questions about my experience in Afghanistan, so I will give some very direct opinions in this, and future, articles.

LAST ROLL CALL

Without question, this is the most difficult article I have ever attempted to author. Although feelings of loss and sadness never fully leave a person, the grieving process has run its course. It isn’t so much the memory as much as it is the struggle to find the appropriate words to describe it that makes it so difficult. Out of respect for the family of the fallen, I will not mention their names or their unit. Suffice to say, they were men I knew.

Green Berets awarded Distinguished Service Cross for Valor

Two Green Berets from 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in a ceremony held at the John F. Kennedy Auditorium, June 14.

Chief Warrant Officer Jason W. Myers and Staff Sgt. Corey M. Calkins received the U.S. Army's second highest award for valor for two separate missions in Afghanistan in 2010. The Distinguished Service Cross is second only to the Medal of Honor.

RULE OF LAW: THE AFGHAN WAY

Rule of law, according to U.S. Army doctrinal definition, is defined as: . . . a principle of governance in which all persons, institutions and entities, public and private, including the state itself, are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced, and independently adjudicated, and which are consistent with international human rights principles.
U.S. Army, 2011 Rule of Law Handbook

Navy Cross awarded for tenacity under enemy fire in Kajaki

Corporal Christopher B. Farias, 1st Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, was awarded the nation’s second highest award for bravery during a ceremony here, May 18.
Under Secretary of the Navy Robert Work presented the Navy Cross to Farias for heroic actions while serving as an assistant squad leader in the Kajaki district of Afghanistan on Oct. 5, 2010.

After Farias, a native of La Porte, Texas, arrived in Afghanistan, the commanding officer pulled the Marines together and mentioned they would protect the Kajaki Dam and relieve British forces at the front line.

MEMORIES OF FSB GELA

Video by Larry Johns

BOOTS ON THE GROUND IN AFGHANISTAN: FIRST IMPRESSIONS

For several years, the greatest desire in my professional life has been to put my boots on the ground in Afghanistan. I have been a reader of SOF magazine for more than 30 years. During that time, there have been innumerable stories about Afghanistan and the various adventures of hearty men who have traversed its mountain passes. I always wanted to see it for myself.

THE WAR ON TERROR MOVIE WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR

If there is a war movie that seemed to have the odds against it being a blockbuster, Act of Valor is it. It features none of the top stars who might be picked for such a role. There are no big-name producers behind it. The directors – nobody’s really heard of either of them.

Vietnam hero to receive Medal of Honor posthumously

President Barack Obama has announced that Spc. 4 Leslie H. Sabo Jr., a rifleman with the 101st Airborne Division, will posthumously receive the Medal of Honor May 16 for his actions during the Vietnam War.

Sabo is credited with saving the lives of several of his comrades in Company B, 3rd Battalion, 506th Infantry when his platoon was ambushed May 10, 1970 near the Se San River in eastern Cambodia. Sabo shielded a comrade from an enemy grenade and silenced a machine-gun bunker before he was killed.

Screaming Eagle Soldier to be presented Distinguished Service Cross

Sgt. Felipe Pereira will be presented with the Distinguished Service Cross by Gen. Ray Odierno, chief of staff of the Army, during a ceremony scheduled for April 12, 2012 at the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Headquarters located on Fort Campbell, Ky. Pereira is assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 502d Infantry Regiment (Strike).

DUSTOFF CREW EARNS AIR/SEA RESCUE AWARD FOR MISSION IN AFGHANISTAN

An aviation crew with C Company “Dustoff,” Task Force Phoenix, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, recently earned an Army Aviation Association of America National Award for a mission conducted in June 2011 in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. The Air/Sea Rescue of the Year Award was presented to Chief Warrant Officer 2 Erik Sabiston, pilot in command, 25 January, at Fort Rucker, AL.