The U.S. death toll in Afghanistan

SUN JOURNAL

May 26, 2002

Army Sgt. Philip J. Svitak was 31 years old when he died March 4, killed in action in Afghanistan.

He was one of seven Americans killed that day in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan when two U.S. helicopters carrying troops came under enemy fire.

"Phil gave his life for his country," his brother-in-law, Sean Starmer, said at the funeral, according to an account in the Kansas City Star. "When one gives his life for his country, he should never be forgotten."

Tomorrow, America observes Memorial Day, dedicated to remembering Svitak and all the others who have given their lives while serving their country.

"What Phil gave his life for was worth dying for," said Svitak's pastor, Patrick Peck. "And worth living for."

Marine Staff Sgt. Walter F. "Trae" Cohee III of Mardela Springs was 26 when he died Jan. 20 in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

At his funeral, Gunnery Sgt. Ken Jourdan, a fellow Marine, promised that the military men and women still in Afghanistan would not let "Trae's death be in vain. We're going to get the job done, finish what we started."

Since Sept. 11, 36 American servicemen supporting the U.S. war against terrorism have died in Afghanistan and the surrounding region. Another 10 died in February in a helicopter crash in the Philippines.

Here are the names of those who died in the Afghanistan region, as supplied by the U.S. Department of Defense:

U.S. Army:

Sgt. Gene Arden Vance Jr., 19th Special Forces Group, 38, of Morgantown, W.Va.; killed in action on May 19 in the vicinity of Skhin, Afghanistan, when his patrol was ambushed by enemy forces.

Staff Sgt. Brian T. Craig, 710th Explosive Ordnance Detachment at Point Loma, Calif., 27, of Houston; one of four soldiers killed as the result of an explosion during clearing operations on April 15 near Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Justin J. Galewski, 710th Explosive Ordnance Detachment at Point Loma, 28, of Olathe, Kan.; killed in the April 15 explosion.

Sgt. Jamie O. Maugans, 710th Explosive Ordnance Detachment at Point Loma, 27, of Wichita, Kan.; killed in the April 15 explosion.

Sgt. 1st Class Daniel A. Romero, 19th Special Forces Group at Pueblo, Colo., 30, of Longmont, Colo.; killed in the April 15 explosion.

Spc. Marc A. Anderson, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, 30, of Brandon, Fla.; killed by enemy gunfire March 4 during Operation Anaconda.

Cpl. Matthew A. Commons, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, 21, of Boulder City, Nev.; killed by enemy gunfire March 4 during Operation Anaconda.

Sgt. Bradley S. Crose, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, 27, of Orange Park, Fla.; killed by enemy gunfire March 4 during Operation Anaconda.

Sgt. Philip J. Svitak, 2nd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment at Fort Campbell, Ky., 31, of Joplin, Mo.; killed by enemy gunfire March 4 during Operation Anaconda.

Chief Warrant Officer Stanley L. Harriman, 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, N.C., 34, of Wade, N.C.; killed by enemy mortar fire March 2 during Operation Anaconda.

Spc. Jason A. Disney, 7th Transportation Battalion at Fort Bragg, N.C., 20, of Fallon, Nev.; struck and killed by a piece of heavy machinery while working at a construction site at Bagram Air Field on Feb. 13.

Master Sgt. Nathan Ross Chapman, 5th Special Forces Group, 31, of San Antonio; killed by enemy gunfire Jan. 4 near Khost, Afghanistan. He was the first U.S. combatant killed by hostile fire.

Master Sgt. Jefferson Donald Davis, 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Campbell, Ky., 39, of Watauga, Tenn.; one of three Special Forces soldiers who died Dec. 5 when a B-52, flying in support of opposition forces north of Kandahar, dropped bombs near U.S. forces.

Sgt. 1st Class Daniel H. Petithory, 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Campbell, Ky., 32, of Cheshire, Mass.; died in the "friendly fire" incident of Dec. 5.

Staff Sgt. Brian Cody Prosser, 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Campbell, Ky., 28, of Frazier Park, Calif.; died in the "friendly fire" incident of Dec. 5.

Pvt. Giovanny Maria, 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y., 19, of Camden, N.J., died on Nov. 29 in Uzbekistan from a gunshot wound unrelated to enemy action. His death is under investigation.

Spc. John J. Edmunds, 75th Ranger Regiment, 20, of Cheyenne, Wyo.; died in the crash of a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter on Oct. 19 in Pakistan.

Pfc. Kristofor T. Stonesifer, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, 28, of Missoula, Mont.; killed in the Oct. 19 helicopter crash.

U.S. Navy

Chief Petty Officer Matthew J. Bourgeois, 35, of Tallahassee, Fla.; a Navy SEAL killed by a land mine March 27 near Kandahar.

Aviation Boatswain's Mate-Handling 1st Class Neil C. Roberts, 32, of Woodland, Calif.; a Navy SEAL killed March 4 in eastern Afghanistan when his helicopter was hit during Operation Anaconda.

Electrician's Mate Fireman Apprentice Michael J. Jakes Jr., 20, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; died Dec. 4 in a shipboard accident on the USS Kitty Hawk in the Northern Arabian Sea.

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