Spc. Wyatt J. Martin, 22, of Mesa, Arizona died Dec. 12, in Parwan Province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when the enemy attacked their vehicle with an improvised explosive device. These soldiers were assigned to 3rd Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Martin joined the Army in August of 2012 and had been assigned Fort Hood’s 2nd Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, since June of 2014. He deployed to Afghanistan in June 2014. Mariposa Gardens Memorial Park.
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Sgt. 1st Class Ramon S. Morris, 37, of New York, New York died Dec. 12, in Parwan Province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when the enemy attacked their vehicle with an improvised explosive device. These soldiers were assigned to 3rd Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Morris joined the United States Army in February of 1996 and had been assigned to the unit since March 2012. He deployed to Korea from February of 2002 to February of 2003, Iraq from July of 2003 to April of 2004, March of 2005 to March of 2006 and from November of 2007 to February of 2009. He also deployed to Afghanistan in June of 2014. His decorations include a Bronze Star Medal.
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Staff Sgt. Matthew R. Ammerman, 29, of Noblesville, Indiana, died Dec. 3, in Zabul Province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered from small arms fire while conducting a clearing operation. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Ammerman joined the Army in July 2004. He was deployed in 2006 to Iraq, where he served 14 months. In 2009, Ammerman was sent to Afghanistan for 12 months, serving as an an assistant gunner, fire team leader and squad leader. Two years later, the sergeant was stationed at Fort Steward, Ga., where he served as a senior sniper and squad leader with the 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment. He volunteered for Special Forces in 2012, graduated in 2013 as a Special Forces communications sergeant and was assigned to 3rd Bn., 7th SFG (A) in July,2014. He deployed in late fall of 2014 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His awards and decorations include, the Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, the Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, the Global War on Terror Service Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon and NATO Medal. Additionally, he received the Special Forces Tab, the Ranger Tab, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Parachutist Badge and the Driver and Mechanic Badge.
Sgt. Maj. Wardell B. Turner, 48, of Nanticoke, Maryland died Nov. 24, in Kabul, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when the enemy attacked their vehicle with a vehicle borne improvised explosive device. He was assigned to Headquarters, United States Army Garrison, Fort Drum, New York. Turner graduated in 1984 from James M. Bennett High School where he was a member of the 1983 championship football team. He attended Towson University on a football scholarship, graduating in 1989 with a bachelors degree in management. He later earned a master's degree in criminal justice from Central Missouri State University in 2011. Turner had served in several military police units since 1993, most recently in the 720th Military Police Battalion. He was promoted to sergeant major in July 2013. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart , three Meritorious Service medals, three Army Commendation medals and four Army Achievement medals. Arlington National Cemetery – Sec 60 Site 10710
Born: January 19, 1987
Died: November 24, 2014 in Kabul, Afghanistan
Spc. Joseph W. Riley, 27, of Grove City, Ohio died Nov. 24, in Kabul, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when the enemy attacked their vehicle with a vehicle borne improvised explosive device. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Riley joined the Army in 2012 and was assigned to Fort Bragg after basic training and Airborne school. Riley’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO medal, Combat Infantryman Badge and Basic Parachutist Badge. Concord Cemetery
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Born: in July 26, 1983 Bay City, Michigan
Died: November 14, 2014 in Kunduz, Afghanistan
Sgt. 1st Class Michael A. Cathcart of Bay City, Michigan enlisted in the Army in June 2001 as a Fire Support Specialist and served more than five years with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where he served for more than five years. He had two combat tours to Iraq. He volunteered for the Special Forces in 2007, and after his training he joined the 3rd Special Forces Group in 2009 as a senior engineer sergeant. His many awards and decorations include, four Bronze Star Medals, two Purple Hearts, a Meritorious Service Medal, four Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, four Army Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three bronze service stars, Iraq Campaign Medal with four bronze service stars, Global War on Terrorism Medal, three Non Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbons, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Nato Medal, Special Forces Tab, Combat Infantryman Badge, Military Master Freefall Parachutist Jump Master Badge, Master Parachutist Badge and the Air Assault Badge. The Army posthumously awarded Cathcart his fourth Bronze Star Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal. This was Cathcart's fifth deployment with the battalion, known as the Bushmen, to Afghanistan. Having a great passion for Hockey, Cathcart had practiced with the Carolina Hurricanes at Fort Bragg while he was station in the area. SFC Cathcart died at age 31 in Kunduz Province, Afghanistan, of wounds received from small arms fire while on dismounted combat operations. Green Ridge Cemetery in Bay City.
3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne)
Fort Bragg, North Carolina
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. Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, Georgia – Sec 7A Site 391
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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.
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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.