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Petty Officer 1St Class Matthew Holzemer dies in Djibouti


Yesterday, the Department of Defense announced the death of an American Sailor who died while deployed to Djibouti, Africa.
Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew I. Holzemer, of Nashville, Tennessee, died June 17, 2018, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, as a result of a non-combat related incident.  He was in Africa supporting Special Operations Command Forward, East Africa for U.S. Africa Command. His death is under investigation by the U.S. military.  Little information has been released at this time.
Additional information on PO1 Holzemer, including previous deployments and marital status, is available to media sources by contacting the Navy Office of Information (CHINFO) at 703-697-5342 (Virginia) or .

For any additional queries, contact U.S. Africa Command (Stuttgart, Germany) Public Affairs Office at +49-(0)151-4217-6009 or+49-(0)9641-70-591-0229 or via email to; or  U.S. Africa Command (Stuttgart, Germany) Public Affairs Office at +49-(0)151-4217-6009 or+49-(0)9641-70-591-0229 or via email to

Army Staff Sgt. Alexander W. Conrad killed by Al-Shabab in Somalia


Yesterday, June 9, 2018, the Pentagon announced the death of an American Soldier who was supporting Operation Octave Shield in the eastern part of Africa.

Staff Sgt. Alexander W. Conrad, 26, of Chandler, Arizona, died June 8, in Somalia of injuries sustained from indirect fire by Al-Shabab. The incident is under investigation by the United States military.

Four other U.S. troops and one partner force member were wounded in the attack.  They were all treated and released.

According to Army Times there were some 800 Somali and Kenyan forces on the mission conducting a multi-day operation.  The forces were about 220 miles southwest of Mogadishu when the attack occurred.  The death of Staff Sgt. Conrad was the first military death in Africa since four U.S. Special Forces Soldiers were ambushed in Niger in October 2017.

Staff Sgt. Conrad, who had been in the military eight years, was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Additional  information regarding Staff Sgt. Conrad is available to media sources by contacting U.S. Army Special Operations Command Public Affairs Office, Lt. Col. Robert Bockholt at 910-494-1589, or via email at

Additional queries may also be directed to U.S. Africa Command (Stuttgart, Germany) Public Affairs Office at +49-(0)151-4217-6009 or+49-(0)9641-70-591-0229 or via email to

Family offers $5K reward for missing Army veteran from Kansas


May 18, 2018, is the last day that Ashely Meiss’ family saw her, and as the days drag on, they are more worried than ever.  Currently, Meiss and her husband are not only going through a divorce, but also a custody battle, which could have prompted her to go missing.  The children are ages 4 and 6.

According to her family, Meiss, 31, suffers from PTSD possibly stemming from her tour of duty in Iraq in 2010.  Although her father, Tom Lewis, indicated that her behavior began to change in late 2016.  While in the Army she was a military police office.

“We started to see signs of stress, depression and anxiety. “Ashley’s mother and I were talking to Ashley every other day to see how she was doing. Ashley thought it may be signs of PTSD.”

Typically, the military doesn’t expend resources looking for missing active-duty Soldiers unless they suspect the Soldier is in Harm’s Way, or there is a criminal investigation.  Ashley Meiss is no longer active duty having been honorably discharged in 2010 when she became pregnant with her first child.

According to Stars and Stripes: 

May 17, Ashley Meiss left her apartment in running gear, without her phone, I.D. or car.  Authorities said they do not know where she spent that night. On May 18, she was shown in surveillance footage picking up her mail and seemed downcast after getting a letter.  She was also seen that day at a community center and a bar, according to the Riley County Police Department. On May 19, she called a friend from the Army and said she was feeling down. No one has heard from her since.

Meiss is a white woman; 5 ft. 4 inches tall with short brown hair, shaved on the sides.  An online search shows she doesn’t have an active Facebook page or an active Twitter account.

There was no mention if foul-play is suspected.  Meiss, according to NBC News has had issues with mental stability in the past and is presumed to still be on medication.

Anyone who has any information regarding Meiss should contact the Riley, Kansas, Police Department at (785) 537-2112 or Crime Stoppers at (785) 539-7777. Her family is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to her safe return.

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