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Special Forces Sgt. Maj. James Sartor identified as KIA in Afghanistan

Earlier today, the Department of Defense announced the death of a Special Forces soldier who was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan.

Sgt. Maj. James G. Sartor, 40, of Teague, Texas, was killed Saturday, July 13, 2019, in Faryab Province, Afghanistan, as a result of injuries sustained from enemy small arms fire during combat operations.

Officials at the Pentagon say Sartor joined the Army in 2001 as an infantryman and had deployed numerous times to Iraq and Afghanistan.  Sartor had received more than two dozen awards and decorations and will posthumously receive a Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Carson, Colorado.

Last month was also deadly for U.S. troops in Afghanistan. June 30, 2019, Sgt. 1st Class Elliott J. Robbins, 31, from Ogden, Utah, died in Helmand Province, from a non-combat related incident.

Also, killed in June, were Master Sgt. Micheal B. Riley, 32, of Heilbronn, Germany, and Sgt. James Johnson, 24 of Fort Hood, Texas. Master Sgt. Riley was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Carson, Colorado, and Sgt. James G. Johnston of Trumansburg, New York, was assigned to 79th Ordnance Battalion (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), 71st Ordnance Group, Fort Hood, Texas.

As with all military deaths, these troop losses remain under investigation by the Department of Defense. Official reports will be released at a later date.

For additional information on Sgt. Major Sartor, including awards, marital status, and commendations, media sources may contact Lt. Col. Loren Bymer, U.S. Army Special Operations Command Public Affairs at (910) 432-3383 or

Nevada National Guard identifies soldier killed in tank rollover near Fort Irwin

To date, Task and Purpose is the only major news outlet, military or otherwise, to highlight the death of Staff Sgt. David W. Gallagher, 51, who died in a rollover accident at the National Training Center in California, this past Tuesday.

The Abrams M1A1 tank in which Gallagher and three other Soldiers were riding rolled over, killing Gallagher and injuring Sgt. Christian Tijerina, 27, Pfc. Brandon Fuka, 20, and Pfc. Zachary Little, 19, all of Las Vegas, Nevada. The injured Soldiers were treated at Fort Irwin’s Weed Army Community Hospital and released. 

Interestingly, every major print and television network reported extensively on the death of Christopher J. Morgan, a West Point cadet who was also killed in a military rollover accident in Virginia, Thursday, June 6.

Morgan, 22, was a member of the 2020 class at the United States Military Academy. Twenty other cadets were injured in that accident; none seriously.

Cadet Morgan was from West Orange, New Jersey, and was on a summer training exercise in rough terrain.

Staff Sgt. Gallagher, an armor crewman, was a member of the Nevada National Guard who first joined the military in 1988.  He joined the Nevada Army National Guard in 2009.  He was a member of the 1st Squadron, 221st Cavalry Regiment, based in Las Vegas. The brigade includes more than 3,200 Soldiers and is headquartered in Boise, Idaho, with battalions from Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Oregon.  Staff Sgt. Gallagher was posthumously promoted to the rank of Sergeant First Class.

Nevada’s Governor Steve Sisolak”

“I am heartbroken by the loss of one of Nevada’s bravest, Sgt. David Gallagher.  He was a leader within his unit and served as a mentor and someone his fellow soldiers looked up to. The First Lady and I continue to send our deepest condolences to Sgt. Gallagher’s wife, and are keeping the Gallagher family, his friends and loved ones, the 221st Cavalry Regiment, and the entire Nevada National Guard family in our prayers during this extremely difficult time.”

Columbus, Indiana, works to get “Flying Boxcar” home-‘Project Charlie 119’

The long-retired Fairchild C-119, fondly known as the “Flying Boxcar” is an American military transport aircraft that was put into service in 1949.  It was designed to carry cargo, personnel, litter patients, and mechanized equipment.  The aircraft was also used to drop cargo or troops into various areas of operation via parachute.  Now, citizens of Columbus, Indiana, are on a mission to bring one of the last C-119s back to Columbus.

The Atterbury-Bakalar Air Museum, which is dedicated to the memory of all military and civilian personnel, has started a fundraiser with a goal of $50,000 to bring one of these storied aircraft back to their facility in Columbus.  There were only 1, 183 of these original airframes built.

The museum, located at 4742 Ray Boll Boulevard, is near the Columbus Municipal Airport, and is staffed entirely by local volunteers and there is never an admission fee for visiting.

Once the C-119 is acquired, it will be displayed in front of the museum alongside a retired F-4 Phantom fighter jet.

Following its active-duty military service many of the retired C-119s were put into use by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service.  It is unclear exactly how many C-119s and their variants still exist.

The donation link  below has more information on the C-119 and what it means to the citizens of Columbus to have one on display.  The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) is providing matching funds for this project.  D=Your donations to the site will be doubled due the generosity of the IHCDA.   (!/ )

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