- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Odyssey Lightning
- Operation Spartan Shield
- U.S. Africa Command Operations
- U.S. Central Command operations
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Army Spc. Blaine E. Redding
Died June 7, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom
22, of Plattsmouth, Neb.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.; died June 7 in Konar, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device. Also killed in the attack were Sgt. Joshua A. Lukeala, Spc. Matthew R. Catlett, and Spc. Charles S. Jirtle.
Most 101st soldiers killed in 1 day since 2003
By Jake Lowary
The (Clarksville, Tenn.) Leaf-Chronicle
Fort Campbell on June 16 identified four of the five soldiers who died June 7 in one of the deadliest days for the 101st Airborne Division in recent memory.
According to Fort Campbell, the soldiers who died were:
* Sgt. Joshua A. Lukeala, 23, of Yigo, Guam.
* Spc. Matthew R. Catlett, 23, of Houston, Texas.
* Spc. Charles S. Jirtle, 29, of Lawton, Okla.
* Spc. Blaine E. Redding, 22, of Plattsmouth, Neb.
The Associated Press reported the fifth soldier who died was First Sgt. Robert N. Barton, a Roxie, Miss., native.
They were all assigned to Company A, 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team and died when their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device in the Dangam district of Kunar Province.
The deaths are the most in a single day since members of the division began deploying to the country earlier this year. It’s also the most casualties in a single day since a helicopter crashed in Mosul, Iraq, in 2003, killing four 101st soldiers.
Lukeala is survived by his wife, Deniece N. Lukeala, and daughter, Maiya L. Lukeala, of Hanford, Calif.; and parents, Anthony and Dorothy Lukeala of Yigo, Guam. Catlett is survived by his wife, Brytnee L. Catlett, and two daughters, Ryann and Stephanie Catlett of Houston, Texas; his mother, Jerrie Catlett of Houston, Texas; and father, Darrel Catlett of Texas.
Jirtle is survived by his wife, Savannah L. Jirtle of Fort Campbell; daughters Cheyenne and Chelsie; and son, Jordan of Lawton, Okla.; and his parents, Terry L. and Virginia C. Jirtle of Lawton, Okla.
Redding is survived by his wife, Victoria Redding of Lincoln, Neb.; mother, Teresa Redding of Elmwood, Neb.; and father, Blaine Redding, of Lincoln, Neb.
A memorial service for the soldiers will be held in Afghanistan, and the soldiers will again be honored at a future Eagle Remembrance Ceremony at Fort Campbell.
Carefree spirit, was joined by brother in Army
The Associated Press
Blaine Redding and his love, Nikki, planned to marry when he returned from Afghanistan, but he switched things up and insisted on a wedding before he left.
“I think he had a gut feeling, and I just didn’t know,” she said.
They married March 13, and he was killed June 7 by a roadside bomb in Konar, Afghanistan.
The 22-year-old from Plattsmouth, Neb., struggled in high school but earned his GED before coming into his own in the Army, his brother said. Redding was assigned to Fort Campbell, Ky., and had served in Iraq.
This time, he was stationed less than an hour from his younger brother, Pvt. Logan Redding.
“Blaine was always the leader, and Logan was always Blaine’s crash-test dummy,” said their mother, Theresa Redding.
Blaine Redding left his brother his other love, a blue Subaru he named Trixie.
It fit his laid-back but adventurous style. He was a casual dresser — his family requested people wear flip-flops to honor his memory — who enjoyed video games, had a habit of leaving behind chewed gum and made a game of tossing his wife’s small dog with his brother.
He was a “priceless personality,” his mother said.
Other survivors include his father, also named Blaine.