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JBLM ‘Night Stalker’ killed, six others injured in helicopter crash in Afghanistan

 

This morning, the Department of Defense announced the death of a Joint Base Lewis-McChord Soldier who was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan.

Chief Warrant Officer Jacob M. Sims, 36, of Juneau, Alaska, was mortally wounded Oct. 27, 2017, when his helicopter crashed in Logar Province. Six other Soldiers were injured in the crash. The Department of Defense did not release details regarding the medical status of the injured Soldiers or the type of helicopter involved in the crash.  The incident is under investigation; however the DOD said the crash was not the result of enemy fire.

CWO Sims was assigned to 4th Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The 160th, otherwise known as Task Force 160 (TF-160), or the ‘Night Stalkers’, are an elite U.S. Army special operations unit who fly helicopters in support of both Special Forces operations and regular forces. The 160th consist of the Army’s best aviators.

Headquarters for the 160th SOAR is Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Chief Warrant Officer Sims was born in Oklahoma and enlisted in the Army in 1999.

Additional information, including marital status, commendations and previous deployments, is available to media sources by contacting the U.S. Army Special Operations Command Public Affairs Office, 910-494-1589, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

October has been a deadly month for U.S. troops around the world.  October 4, four U.S. Soldiers, three of whom were Special Forces were ambushed in the African country of Niger.  Sgt. La David Johnson was attached to the Special Forces team that was attacked that day. The FBI has teamed with the military to investigate the incident.

Spc. Alexander W. Missildine, 20, of Tyler, Texas, died Oct. 1, 2017, in Salah ad-Din Province, Iraq, as a result of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his convoy. That incident remains under investigation as well.

Florida Homegoing for Sgt. La David Johnson is without controversy

 

Mourners wore red to honor Sgt. La David Johnson, 25, at Friday night’s viewing, but donned white attire for his funeral Saturday morning.  There was no sign of controversy inside Christ the Rock church and the family refused to let reporters inside the sanctuary.

The hour-and-a-half long service spoke only of the Soldier himself and his commitment to his wife, his children, and his country. There was reference to his neighborhood moniker of “Wheelie King” from his days of riding his trick-bicycle on the streets before he joined the Army in 2014. There was no mention of the days-long news coverage regarding the condolence call from President Trump to Myeshia Johnson, La David’s young widow.

A media dust-up started after Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson called news outlets to say that President Trump had “disrespected” Sgt. Johnson during the condolence call to his widow. Wilson stated that Mr. Trump said  “he knew what he was getting into” when he signed on to be a Soldier.  The cowboy-hat-wearing representative said she overheard the conversation. Rumor has it that Wilson nearly busted a high-heel in her haste to call the press.

Sgt. Johnson, a member of the Army’s elite Green Berets based out of Fort Bragg, was killed by Islamic militants in Niger along with is comrades Staff Sgt. Bryan Black of Puyallup, Washington, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson of Springsboro, Ohio, and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright of Lyons, Georgia.  All four Special Forces operators died Oct. 4, 2017.  The details of the attack are under investigation by the Pentagon as well as the FBI.

Sgt. La David Johnson leaves behind his wife Myeshia, who is carrying their third child, and two daughters ages 6 and 2.

The Soldiers’ deaths in Niger have brought to light the role of American advisers and troops in Africa who are under the command of AFRICOM, one of nine “unified combatant commands” of the Unites States Armed Forces.  Marine Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser is the commander of AFRICOM which is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.  Currently, the U.S. military is operating in some 20 African countries fighting Islamic extremism.

Although the American public is demanding answers into what went wrong on Oct. 4, the thorough investigation will take even longer with both the military and the FBI involved.  Those answers will not come anytime soon.

 

 

FOX News forced to remove false story about artist Garofalo’s ‘Vietnam hero’ status

 

Fake news is the “hot talker’ these days and most of it is published by fake news sites with a political agenda, but sometimes honest reporters and legitimate news sources get taken in.  That is exactly what happened to FOX News and they were forced to remove a story about a Vietnam “hero” from their website.

The Oct. 8, report highlighted John Garofalo, a 72-year-old glass artist who came out of retirement to create a 150-pound glass and bronze presidential seal for President Donald Trump.  According to the Star-Telegram, Garofalo claimed he was one of the first U.S. Navy SEALs.

FOX reported this:

“Decorated War Hero Hopes to Honor Trump With Glass Presidential Seal” — included numerous details of Garofalo’s alleged military past.

Yesterday, the post was finally removed from the FOX News Channel website after Garofalo’s claims were refuted.  FOX News admitted they had been duped. FOX News:

“Unfortunately, all of Garofalo’s claims turned out to be untrue.  The fact is that he did not serve in Vietnam. He was never a U.S. Navy SEAL. Even though he showed us medals, Garofalo was not awarded two Purple Hearts or any of the other nearly two dozen commendations he claimed to have received, except for the National Defense Service Medal.”

Bryan Llenas, who reported the phony story, displayed Garofalo’s work in progress which the artist described as a tribute to his hero, Trump, who “woke something up in me.”

Although FOX tried to “soft-sell” their retraction by stating Garofalo is an “artist and a veteran”, they admitted they had failed to research the claims of Garofalo being a highly-decorated veteran and one of the first Navy SEALs before publishing the story. They issued an apology to their viewers, “especially the veterans”.

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