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Posts Tagged ‘Killed in Afghanistan’

Kevin O’Rourke, Retired NYPD, Civilian Contractor killed in Afghanistan Insider Attack

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 1, 2012

HERNANDO –October 3, 2012

A 52-year-old contractor from Citrus County was one of two people killed last weekend in Afghanistan.

According to Bay News 9’s partner newspaper the Citrus County Chronicle, Kevin O’Rourke, who lived in the town of Hernando, was in Afghanistan as a civilian contractor with NATO, working for Engility, a law enforcement professional firm based in Alexandria, Va.

A former New York City police officer, O’Rourke missed being in the World Trade Center by 20 minutes on September 11, 2001. He spent hours that day helping a friend trapped in the rubble.

Friends say after 9/11, O’Rourke saw “a great need to go to (Iraq and) Afghanistan and to help the younger generation understand what we went through in New York.”

New York Post  October 1, 2012

A retired NYPD sergeant working as a civilian contractor in Afghanistan was killed during an apparent “insider attack” by members of the Afghan military.

Kevin O’Rourke, 52, and an unidentified US soldier were slain Saturday in the clash with Afghan troops.

O’Rourke had been on the force for 20 years and worked as member of the NYPD’s elite Emergency Service Unit.

He was also one of the department’s scuba instructors, based at Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett Field.

O’Rourke, originally from Long Island, retired in 2003 and later moved to Florida.

The soldier was the 2,000 service member to die in the 11-year conflict.

Three Afghan troops were also killed in the shootout at a checkpoint in the eastern part of the country.

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Nicholas Dickhut, featured Friday by Rueters, killed Sunday in Afghanistan

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 30, 2012

U.S. soldier Nicholas Dickhut from 5-20 infantry Regiment attached to 82nd Airborne points his rifle at a doorway after coming under fire by the Taliban while on patrol in Zharay district in Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan

Rochester Soldier Killed in Afghanistan

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) — A Rochester family got the worst kind of news this morning — their son has been killed fighting in Afghanistan.

Jacqueline Carson said Monday morning that her son, Nicholas Dickhut, was killed Sunday in action in Afghanistan.

Nicholas had just been featured Friday by Reuters News Service, and was pictured in a battle with Taliban fighters.

When Jacqueline called to tell us what had happened this morning, she was still waiting for a visit from an officer with the official word of what had happened.

Nicholas was with the 520th Infantry Regiment, attached to the 82nd Airborne

The 82nd in Afghanistan

Battleland CNN

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James McLaughlin, Contractor MPRI, Killed in Afghanistan

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 28, 2011

From the Press Democrat.com  April 28, 2011

A Santa Rosa man who had been working in Afghanistan for the past three years as a civilian contractor was one of nine Americans killed Wednesday in a shooting near Kabul International Airport.

James McLaughlin Jr., 55, and eight U.S. troops died early Wednesday when a veteran Afghan pilot opened fire during a meeting in a military compound near the airport.

His wife, Sandy McLaughlin, said Thursday she was notified that he had been shot to death, but was not told any of the circumstances.

“The only thing I know is an Afghan pilot opened fire and my husband was shot and killed,” she said.

Her husband retired as a lieutenant colonel from the U.S. Army in 2007, after 25 years in the service.

The following year, he began training helicopter pilots in Afghanistan for L-3 MPRI, an Alexandria, Va., division of the giant defense contractor, said Rick Kiernan, a vice president of communications for L-3.

“He was one of 12 trainers we have,” Kiernan said. “Having been a retired lieutenant colonel, his skills were in aviation.”

McLaughlin, who had lived in Sonoma County since 1987, was also an avid ham radio enthusiast. He helped set up a digital communications system for the ham operators who are part of the Sonoma County Office of Emergency Services disaster communications network, said Ken Harrison of Santa Rosa, a friend for 20 years and fellow ham operator.

In Afghanistan, McLaughlin worked on the U.S. Army Military Auxiliary Radio System, a Department of Defense-funded ham radio program that helped keep U.S. troops in contact with family at home.

“He didn’t talk too awful much about the danger,” Harrison said. “I think he liked to downplay that end of that. He didn’t want people to worry.”

McLaughlin’s death sent shock waves through the close-knit ranks of ham radio operators. He had been home in Santa Rosa two weeks ago before returning to Kabul.

“My gut hurts,” Harrison said. “He was just in town. I am upset that I didn’t get to see him.”

Wednesday’s attack was the fourth in the past two weeks in which someone wearing an Afghan security-force uniform struck from within a government compound.

The shooting occurred during a morning meeting between American and Afghan officers. Nine Americans were killed and five Afghan soldiers were wounded.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces killed the attacker in a gunfight.

L-3’s Kiernan said the shooting occurred in what has been considered a secure compound in Kabul.

“They are looking into the incident to find out what would have motivated the perpetrator,” said L-3’s Kiernan.

The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for the attack, identifying the assailant as a Taliban militant named Azizullah from a district of Kabul province.

The gunman’s brother insisted he was not a Taliban sympathizer. The attacker, identified as Ahmad Gul Sahebi, 48, was an officer who had served as a pilot in the Afghan military for two decades and was distressed over his personal finances, said the brother, Dr. Mohammad Hassan Sahibi.

“He was under economic pressures and recently he sold his house. He was not in a normal frame of mind because of these pressures,” Sahibi said. “He was going through a very difficult period of time in his life.”

Since March 2009, 48 NATO troops and military contractors have been killed in at least 16 attacks in which Afghans have turned their weapons on coalition forces, for reasons investigators later attributed to battlefield stress and personal animosity toward coalition soldiers, rather than Taliban infiltration.

Sandy McLaughlin said she was naturally concerned about his work in the war-torn country.

“This job was offered, he was using his military background and he was doing something he loved,” she said. “He loved doing the work.”

The couple had been married 28 years. They have three adult children, Adam McLaughlin, Eve McLaughlin-Suttif and James McLaughlin, all of Santa Rosa.

Sandy McLaughlin said her husband’s body is being brought back to Dover, Del., on Friday and then will be returned to Santa Rosa.

Please read more about James McLaughlin here

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Javier de la Garza Jr, Killed in Attack in Afghanistan

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on September 10, 2010

Cousin remembers slain military contractor as man who cared for soldiers, Afghan civilians alike

Javier de la Garza Jr. loved traveling the world because it allowed him to meet new people and learn about other cultures.

His cousin Le-Ann Alaniz-Herrera remembers when he announced he would be going to Afghanistan to work for an information technology company.

“We told him not to go,” she said Saturday, the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that prompted the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. “We said it was dangerous.”

De la Garza, 27, of Edinburg, was killed Monday in Afghanistan when the bunker in which he was staying came under attack.

He was working for DRS Technologies Inc., a company headquartered in Parsippany, N.J., that provides products, services and support to military forces and intelligence agencies across the globe.

Although he was not in Afghanistan as a soldier, de la Garza was working very closely with the U.S. Army, said Alaniz-Herrera. He had previously done a tour in Iraq while he was in the Army, and he wanted to return to the Middle East.

Dalia de la Garza reflected on her son’s death in a letter to her family, recalling how scared she was when Javier had enlisted at the age of 17.

“He did what he thought was best for himself and his country,” she wrote. “He is my hero.”  Read the entire article here

Former Valley Soldier Killed in Afghanistan

HAVANA – The family of a former valley soldier is mourning tonight.

Lots of questions surround the death of UTPA alumn Javier de la Garza Jr.

His grandparents in Havana tell CHANNEL 5 NEWS he worked as a private contractor overseas.

De la Garza was killed during some kind of attack in Afghanistan earlier this week.

The 27-year-old lived in Austin for some time before joining the Army in 2000. He deployed to Iraq then settled in the Valley after his service. He attended UT-Pan American in Edinburg before deciding to return overseas. This time he went as a civilian and worked in the IT department for a private contractor in Afghanistan.

De la Garza’s family hasn’t been told when his body will return to the states.

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Robert Wayne Pittman, Wexford Group, Killed in Afghanistan

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 6, 2010

Clarksville contractor killed in Afghanistan

GREENWOOD, Miss. (AP) – A Greenwood, Miss., couple is mourning their 41-year-old son who was killed while working as a private contractor in Afghanistan

Wayne and Vicki Pittman said Robert Wayne Pittman Jr. of Clarksville, Tenn., retired as a U.S. Army master sergeant in April and had been working for The Wexford Group International as a combat adviser in Afghanistan.

He died July 29. An obituary in The Leaf Chronicle said services are Saturday at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Clarksville, Tenn. Burial will be in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

The family said a funeral Mass will take place at 10 a.m. Monday at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Greenwood.

Robert Pittman is also survived by his wife, Melissa, and daughters Loren and Robbie.

Robert Pittman graduated from Greenwood High School. He enlisted in the Army in 1990 and served multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Military people don’t talk about what they do,” Wayne Pittman told The Greenwood Commonwealth. “When he was in the military, we knew that he was in harm’s way. We didn’t know that he would be in harm’s way after he got out of the military. He just always told us, ‘Everything’s fine; I’m doing great.’ He was that kind of guy.”

Vicki Pittman said her son was the kind of person who was “once a friend, always a friend.”

Wayne Pittman said his son surrounded himself with good people when he was growing up and later when he was in the military.

“They’re Americans who sacrifice everything every day to let us live with the freedoms we have,” Wayne Pittman said. “Robert was always supportive of them, and they were the same way toward him.”

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Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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