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Fort Carson’s heroes

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By Michelle Malkin  •  October 8, 2009 06:32 AM

Please take time to read the profiles of the American soldiers who died in the siege at Kamdesh.

The Colorado Springs Gazette tells their stories here and here.

Many were fathers. All were patriots. They were stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado. They leave behind grieving wives, girlfriends, young children, family, and friends. Remember their names. Remember their heroism:

Spc. Stephan Lee Mace, 21
Sgt. Joshua Kirk, 30
Pfc. Kevin Thomson, 22
Spc. Christopher T. Griffin
Spc. Michael P. Scusa, 22
Sgt. Vernon W. Martin
Sgt. Justin T. Gallegos, 22
Sgt. Joshua M. Hardt, 24

Spc. Mace’s family is speaking out. Let’s pray the White House is listening:

Stephan Mace of the Army’s 61st Cavalry Regiment knew the Taliban would be waiting for him when he returned to eastern Afghanistan in September.

During a two-week leave in early September, the 21-year-old specialist sat on his father’s couch in Winchester, Virginia, and discussed his concerns over Forward Operating Base Keating in Kamdesh District, a region known as a Taliban stronghold.

“He talked about the village next to the base, that it had 300 Taliban, and they couldn’t do anything about it because they were in mosques hiding or with other civilians,” says his father, Larry Mace.

“They knew they were there and they couldn’t do anything about it and they killed them.”

Sgt. Gallegos is survived by a 5-year-old son and friends and family who remember his fighting spirit:

t was Gallegos’ third deployment to the Middle East. His family says he did two tours in Iraq before he went to Afghanistan.

It was only after he died that [family friend Bessie] Guadiana-Hoffman says his family learned he’d won two Purple Hearts for being wounded. Now, she says, the Army will award him a third for being killed and a Bronze Star.

Guadiana-Hoffman says, “He was an unsung hero. He was not the type of a man who touted his accolades. That’s Justin.”

The father of a 5-year-old son, Guadiana-Hoffman says he loved his country. “He would get really upset when people would put down the United States for being at war. He said we don’t choose to be at war. We choose to help end the war. Unfortunately the war ended his life.”

But, Guadiana-Hoffman says it didn’t end his memory. She says, “That’s the type of individual Justin is. I won’t say was because his sprit is still here. That’s how he is.”

***

Fort Carson lost yet another soldier yesterday in a separate incident:

One day after a firefight killed eight Fort Carson soldiers in Afghanistan, a ninth soldier from the post was killed in a separate incident, the Department of Defense announced this afternoon.

Spc. Kevin O. Hill, 23, of Brooklyn, N.Y., died Oct. 4 at Outpost Dehanna, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit using small arms and indirect fire. He was assigned to the 576th Mobility Augmentation Company at Fort Carson.

His death marks the 279th fatality from Fort Carson since 2001, and the 24th in Afghanistan, records show.

Support a charity that supports the troops in Colorado here.

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