Cmdr. Christopher E. Kalafut, 49, of Oceanside, California died Oct. 24, in Doha, Qatar, of a non-combat related incident at Al Udeid Air Base. The incident is under investigation. He was assigned to Naval Amphibious Liaison Element, Combined Forces Air Component Center, U.S. Central Command. Kalafut attended El Camino High School graduating in 1983. Kalafut graduated in 1987 from the Merchant Marine Academy and entered active duty as an E-2C Hawkeye pilot. He did a cruise aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln and spent six years in the service before leaving and entering the reserves. He later moved to the Atlanta area, where he worked as a pilot for Delta. Kalafut was recalled to active duty once before to fly counter narcotics missions out of Atlanta. He flew with the reserves less often in recent years. Kalafut left for Qatar in July for a 9 month deployment to work in the aircraft control center on base. He was on a non-flying assignment. When he wasn’t working for the military, Kalafut was a commercial airline pilot for Delta Airlines. The July deployment, a non-flying position, was seen as a final step before retirement.
To be updated…
Lance Cpl. Sean P. Neal, 19, of Riverside, California, died Oct. 23, in Baghdad, Iraq, from a non-combat related incident. The incident is under investigation. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command, whose headquarters element deploys from Camp Pendleton, California. Sean graduated in 2013 from La Sierra High School in Riverside and enlisted in the Marine Corps in July of 2013 where he was serving his first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
To be updated…
Corporal Jordan L.Spears, 21, of Memphis, Indiana passed away October 1, 2014 while bailing out of his aircraft over the North Arabian Gulf. He was serving his country with VMM-163 (REIN), 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. He was serving aboard the USS Makin Island. Jordan was a 2011 graduate of Silver Creek High School in Sellersburg Indiana. He leaves his mother, Cosette (Field) Spears, his father, Gregory Spears, his brothers; Grant, Nathan, his sisters; Ilana, Brittany and Jessi. Spears was assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron-163, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California. Sellersburg Cemetery in Sellersburg, Indiana.
Maj. Jonathan D. Walker, 44, of Merriam, Kansas, died Oct. 1, in Doha, Qatar, of a non-combat related incident at Camp As Sayliyah. The incident is under investigation. He was assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Walker joined the Navy in 2000 and received a commission the same year through Officer Candidate School, according to his biography. In 2008, he joined the Army and became a psychological operations officer the next year. Walker served with various psychological operations and military information support operations units on Fort Bragg, including stints as commander of D Company, 9th Military Information Support Battalion and D Company, 3rd Military Information Support Group. His awards and decorations include, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Naval Good Conduct Medal, the Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two Campaign Stars, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Naval Sea Service Deployment Ribbon 5th Award, the NATO Medal, the Kuwait Liberation Medal, the Flight Officer Award, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Navy Unit Commendation, and the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation. Walker was posthumously awarded the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster.
To be updated…
Sgt. 1st Class Andrew T. Weathers, 30, of DeRidder, Louisiana, died Sept. 30, at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, from wounds sustained when the enemy attacked his unit with small arms fire Sept. 28, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Weathers, a native of Crestview, Fla., joined the Army in January 2003 and attended basic training at Fort Knox, Ky. He then attended advanced individual training at Fort Eustis, Va., and graduated as a CH-47 Chinook helicopter repairer. He was stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky., and assigned to the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade. Weathers deployed twice with the 101st CAB, first to Iraq in 2005 as a crew chief and to Afghanistan in 2008 as a Flight Engineer. Weathers volunteered for Special Forces in 2010, graduating as a Special Forces medical sergeant and earning his Green Beret. He was assigned to the 4th Battalion of the 7th SFG (A) in 2012 and then to the group’s 2nd Battalion in 2014. His awards and decorations include the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Achievement Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Army Good Conduct Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, the Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon with two Oak Leaf Clusters and the NATO Medal. Weathers was also the recipient of the Special Forces Tab, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Aviator Badge and the Parachutist Badge. Arlington National Cemetery – Sec 60 Site 10740
Navy Reservist, Stephen Byus, 39, of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, died Sept. 16, in Kabul, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered from an enemy attack. He was a member of the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime in Columbus, Ohio, working as a supply specialist, and assigned to the Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan while deployed. Stephen grew up in Jackson County in southern Ohio graduating in 1993 from Wellston where he was a triple-sport athlete, playing basketball, football, and baseball. Byus was on his third tour of combat duty. He leaves behind his wife, two children, three brothers, and his parents. Byus was a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve, but was not serving in that capacity when he was killed. Fairmount Cemetery in Jackson, Ohio
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A private family gathering will be held at the McWilliams Funeral in Wellston at the family's convenience. Public visitation will be Saturday from 2 to 8 P.M. at the Wellston High School. Funeral service will be Sunday at 2 P.M. at the Wellston High School with John Pelletier, CLP officiating. Burial will follow in the Fairmount Cemetery in Jackson with military honors by the Navy Operational Support Center Columbus, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, the family would greatly appreciate contributions be given to a fund that has been set up in Reynoldsburg to help with the future education of his children, Alexandrea and Jacob, C/O Valerie Byus, 8423 Rodebaugh Road, Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068.
Maj. Michael J. Donahue, 41, of Columbus, Ohio, died Sept. 16, in Kabul, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered from an enemy attack. He was assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Donahue enlisted in the Army in February 1996 and commissioned through Officer Candidate School in April 2000. He arrived at Fort Bragg in July 2012, where he was assigned to the corps’ Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. He served three combat tours of duty. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Purple Heart, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two campaign stars, the Iraq Campaign Medal with one campaign star, the Korean Defense Service Medal, the Combat Action Badge and the Senior Parachutist Badge. Donahue is survived by a wife and children. Arlington National Cemetery – Sec 60 Site 10728
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Born: November 24, 1985
Died: September 15, 2014 in Herat, Afghanistan
Sgt. Charles C. Strong, 28, of Suffolk, Virginia graduated from Nansemond River High School in 2003 where he was known as a hard working, well liked student. The following August he enlisted in the Marine Corps. Sergeant Strong was a Critical Skills Operator attached to the 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, out of Camp Lejeune, and had served in the Marine Corps since 2003. He was serving his fourth deployment and had previously deployed twice to Iraq. In 2005, he was there as a Motor Transport Operator, and in 2006, he returned to Iraq as the only Vehicle Recovery Operator for his Battalion and supporting units. In 2011, Sergeant Strong deployed to Afghanistan as a Team Leader and Navigator for all logistical mounted patrols. Upon returning from this deployment, he began training and applied for the United States Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) Assessment & Selection. His hard work and dedication, coupled with his passion to succeed, culminated with his selection to this elite unit in 2013. After selection, Sergeant Strong returned to his parent command and was assigned to Fox Company, 2ndMSOB where he served as an Element Member (EM). Sergeant Strong’s personal decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2nd award), the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal (3rd award), and the Combat Action Ribbon. Strong is survived by his wife and their unborn daughter, who is due in December. He also leaves his parents, Donald and Mary. Quantico National Cemetery
2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion
Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
A funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m., September 25, 2014, at Covenant Funeral Service, Stafford Chapel. Burial will follow in Quantico National Cemetery with full military honors.
The family will receive friends on September 24, 2014, at the funeral home from 6 to 8 p.m.
To be updated…
Spc. Brian K. Arsenault, 28, of Northborough, Massachusetts, died Sept. 4, in Ghazni, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when his unit was engaged by enemy small-arms fire. Arsenault was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Brian graduated from Algonquin Regional High School in 2004. Arsenault enlisted in the Army in November 2011 and completed the basic airborne course at Fort Benning, Ga. He arrived at Fort Bragg in 2012, and was assigned to 1st BCT in November 2013. His awards and decorations include the Purple Heart Medal, Army Commendation Medal (one oak-leaf cluster), Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Basic Parachutist Badge. Howard Street Cemetery in Northborough, Massachusetts.
Sgt. Christopher W. Mulalley, 26, of Eureka, Calif., died Aug. 22, in Gardez, Afghanistan, as the result of a non-combat related incident. The incident is under investigation. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Mulalley was a 2006 graduate of Eureka High School. Mulalley deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from March 2007 to December 2007 and Operation Enduring Freedom from May 2009 to June 2010. His latest deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom began in June. His awards and decorations include three Army Commendation Medals, four Army Achievement Medals, two Army Good Conduct Medals, National DefenseService Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Medal, NATO Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Expert Infantry Badge and Marksmanship Qualification Badge Expert with Rifle.
To be updated…