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Marine Gunnery Sgt. Scott Koppenhafer KIA in Iraq

Late yesterday, the Department of Defense announced the death of a Special Operations Marine who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq.

Gunnery Sergeant Scott A. Koppenhafer, 35, of Mancos, Colorado, died August 10, 2019, after being engaged by enemy small arms fire while conducting combat operations in Nineveh Province.  He was assisting Iraqi security forces at the time of his death.

Koppenhafer was assigned to the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, Marine Forces Special Operations Command, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.  His home of record is Mancos, Colorado.  Gunnery Sgt. Koppenhafer leaves behind a wife and two children.

Additional information, including special training and previous deployments, is available to media sources by contacting Maj. Kristin Tortorici, MARSOC Communication Strategy and Operations Officer, at

The incident remains under investigation by the United States military.  Gunnery Sgt. Koppenhafer’s combat death is the first one in Iraq for August 2019.

Two U.S. Soldiers identified as latest casualties in Afghanistan

Early this morning, the Department of Defense announced the deaths of two American Soldiers who were supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan.

Killed in the incident were Pfc. Brandon Jay Kreischer, 20, of Stryker, Ohio, and Spc. Michael Isaiah Nance, 24, of Chicago, Illinois.

The Soldiers died in the same incident July 29, 2019, in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan, as a result of wounds sustained in a combat related incident.

Afghan officials told Stars and Stripes on Tuesday that both men were shot by an Afghan solider at a military base in the Shah Wali Kot district in southern Kandahar province. The 82nd Airborne confirmed the soldiers were struck by small-arms fire in Kandahar.

The incident remains under investigation. 

The Pentagon said that both Spc. Nance and Pfc. Kreischer were assigned to 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  This unit had deployed just a few weeks prior to the incident.

Additional information on these two Soldiers, including previous deployments, military training and marital status is available to media sources by contacting Lt. Col. Mike Burns, Public Affairs Officer, 82nd Airborne Division, at (910) 432-6189 or

Army Sgt. William Friese dies in Kuwait

Yesterday, the Department of Defense announced the death of a West Virginia National Guard soldier who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve in Kuwait.

Sgt. William Edward Friese, 30, from Rockport, West Virginia, died July 18, 2019, in Camp Buehring, Kuwait, from a non-combat related incident.

Friese was assigned to 821st Engineer Company, 1092nd, Engineer Battalion, 111th Engineer Brigade, Summersville, West Virginia.  

According to the online publication, Task & Purpose, Friese was a light-wheeled vehicle mechanic who joined the National Guard in 2008.  He served with the 821st Engineer Company for his entire career.

Additional information regarding Sgt. Willliam Edward Friese, including previous deployments and marital status, is available to media sources by contacting Maj. Holli Nelson, State Public Affairs Officer, West Virginia National Guard at 304-389-8184 or by email at

The non-combat fatality remains under investigation.

The death of Sgt. Friese brings to eight the number of service-members who have died supporting the Global War on Terror and anti-ISIS missions.

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