- NATO Kosovo Force
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Octave Shield
- Operation Odyssey Lightning
- Operation Spartan Shield
- U.S. Africa Command Operations
- U.S. Central Command operations
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Marine Cpl. Albert P. Gettings
Died January 5, 2006 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
27, of New Castle, Pa.; assigned to 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Jan. 5 of wounds sustained due to enemy small-arms fire while conducting combat operations in Fallujah, Iraq.
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Five Camp Lejeune Marines killed in Iraq
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — At least 10 members of the military with ties to North Carolina have died in Iraq since Thursday, including five Marines from Camp Lejeune who died in weekend attacks, the military has confirmed.
Three Marines from the 2nd Marine Division of the II Marine Expeditionary Force were killed Sunday by small arms fire in Fallujah, 40 miles west of Baghdad, the military said. Two other N.C.-based Marines were killed Saturday by roadside bombs, the military said.
Three Marines from Lejeune died Thursday, while another one from North Carolina who died Friday. An Army reservist from North Carolina was killed Saturday, the Pentagon said.
The Marines killed Thursday include Sgt. Adam L. Cann, 23, of Davie, Fla., who died in a suicide bomb attack on a police recruiting station in Ramadi. Stationed at Camp Pendleton, Cann was attached to the II MEF.
Cpl. Albert P. Gettings, 27, of New Castle, Pa., and Lance Cpl. Ryan S. McCurdy, 20, of Baton Rouge, La., died Thursday after being hit by enemy small-arms fire in Fallujah. Gettings was a member of 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment and McCurdy was a member of Headquarters Company, both in the 2nd Division.
Identities weren’t officially released for the Marines killed this weekend because all of their relatives hadn’t been notified, said Staff Sgt. Angela Mink at Camp Lejeune.
The Lejeune-based force was scheduled to begin leaving Iraq late this month or in February and be replaced by Marines from Camp Pendleton, Calif.
“The families are going to be heartbroken,” Mink said.
Another dead N.C. Marine was identified as Jeriad Paul Jacobs, 19, of Clayton, where he graduated from high school, said his uncle, state Rep. Ron Sutton, D-Robeson. Jacobs was killed by small arms fire in Fallujah, Sutton said.
“He had signed up for the Marine Corps before he graduated from high school,” Sutton said Monday in a telephone interview. “His stepfather was a Marine and that was his goal.”
Jacobs is survived by his mother, stepfather and two sisters, Sutton said.
The North Carolina reservist who died was identified as Spc. Robert T. Johnson, 20, of Erwin, who was a member of the 805th Military Police Company in Raleigh. Johnson and another soldier died in Umm Qasr when their Humvee was hit by a civilian vehicle, the Pentagon said.
It was a grim weekend for American forces in Iraq. An Army Black Hawk helicopter went down in northern Iraq, killing all 12 Americans believed to be aboard in the deadliest crash in nearly a year.
The helicopter was flying for the Kentucky-based 101st Airborne Division, but the helicopter was from another unit that officials didn’t immediately release.
With the latest military deaths, at least 2,207 U.S. service members have died since the war started in 2003, according to an Associated Press count. Military figures show 632 Marines from all bases have died in Iraq.
— Associated Press
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Western Pa. soldier and Marine killed in Iraq
A soldier killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq became the first officer of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard to die in action since World War II, guard officials announced Saturday.
Lt. Col. Michael McLaughlin, 44, of Mercer County, was speaking with Iraqi leaders and police candidates on Thursday when the blast occurred at a recruiting station in Ramadi. The explosion also killed a Marine and about 80 Iraqis, and injured dozens of others, including two soldiers from western Pennsylvania who have since returned to duty.
The same day, in a separate incident, Marine Cpl. Albert P. Gettings, 27, of New Castle, was killed when his squad was attacked by small arms fire near Fallujah, said his father, David.
Albert Gettings, who married a childhood friend in May in front of 800 friends and family members, is the first Lawrence County resident killed in action in Iraq.
“There are no words to describe him,” his wife, Stephanie, said. “He was sweet, he was loving and he was my best friend. He knew me better than I know myself. I cherish every minute that I got to spend with him.”
An avid baseball player who grew up in New Castle, Gettings first thought about joining the military after the Sept. 11 attacks. He enlisted in April 2002 and was assigned to a supply and accounting job, which made his parents happy, his father said.
“But my son absolutely hated it. He thought it was a job for civilians,” David Gettings said. “He felt the job of a Marine was to protect people.”
His son was transferred to the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment and was shipped to Afghanistan, where he spent five months before returning to United States and getting married.
McLaughlin, a member of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division, lived in Mercer County, about 15 miles north of New Castle.
“Colonel McLaughlin was a hands-on leader who died working to ensure Iraqis will one day be able to provide their own security,” Gov. Ed Rendell said in a statement. “Midge and I are deeply saddened, and we extend our deepest sympathies to the McLaughlin family.”
McLaughlin was a private contractor in Mercer. He was a 1980 graduate of West Forest High School in Tionesta, and held bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. McLaughlin joined the National Guard in April 1980.
“Mike died doing his job the only way he knew how — out front, with great enthusiasm and courage,” said Col. John L. Gronski, commander for the 2nd Brigade Combat Team. “He was a very close friend. My heart and my prayers go out to his family.”
Survivors include his wife and two daughters.
— Associated Press