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Seymour-Johnson Airman dies in United Arab Emirates


Late Friday, July 13, 2018, the Pentagon announced the death of a United States Airman who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve in the United Arab Emirates.

Staff Sgt. James Tyler Grotjan, 26, of Waterford, Connecticut, died July 12, at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, from injuries sustained in a non-combat related incident July 8, at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates.

According to the Sgt. Grotjan’s family he died of over-exposure to methane gas while working underground in a manhole.  “As he was trying to climb out of the manhole, he went unconscious and fell back down”, his family stated.

He was assigned to the 4th Civil Engineer Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina.

Additional information including previous deployments, marital status, and commendations, is available to media sources by contacting the 4th Fighter Wing public affairs office at (919) 722-0027, (North Carolina).




Summerville, S.C. Soldier, 75th Ranger Regiment, killed in Afghanistan


This morning, when the Department of Defense announced the death of a soldier  who was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, the sadness hit in my hometown.

Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Andrew Celiz, 32, of Summerville, South Carolina, died, July 12, 2018, in Afghanistan, of wounds sustained as a result of enemy small arms fire.  He and his team were conducting operations in support of a medical evacuation landing zone in Zurmat district, Paktiya province.

As with all fatalities in the military, the incident is under investigation.

SFC Celiz was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah, Georgia.

Christopher Celiz was a graduate of Summerville High School and attended the Citadel in downtown Charleston.  His Facebook page is still active.  This writer did not use the personal image he has posted on the page.

Additional information, including previous deployments and commendations for Sgt. 1st Class Christopher A. Celiz is available to media sources by contacting Lt. Col. Robert M. Bockholt, U.S. Army Special Operations Command Public Affairs, at (910) 494-1589 (in North Carolina) or

California Soldier killed in insider attack in Afghanistan


July 8, 2018, the Department of Defense announced the death of a U.S. Soldier who was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan.

Cpl. Joseph Maciel of South Gate, California, died July 7, 2018, in Tarin Kowt District, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan from wounds sustained during an apparent insider attack.  Two other Soldiers were injured in this attack which is under investigation by the military. Their condition is not known at this time.

The Pentagon release said Cpl. Maciel was assigned to 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Task Force 1-28 Infantry is currently deployed in support of the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade.  They are a specialized unit of Army advisers who are deployed to train, advise and assist Afghan forces.

Additional information, including commendations and previous deployments for Cpl. Maciel, is available to media sources by contacting Maj. Anthony Hoefler, 3rd Infantry Division public affairs at – – 912-432-0519 or Ben Garrett, Maneuver Center of Excellence, Ft. Benning, Georgia public affairs at -706-545-9229.

The Department of Defense has more information about 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, and the media is advised to email Maj. Matt Fontaine, 1st SFAB public affairs at for that information.

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