Sgt. Christopher W. Mulalley
Died August 22, 2014 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom
26, of Eureka, Calif., assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died Aug. 22 in Gardez, Afghanistan, as the result of a noncombat-related incident
Army Sgt. 1st Class Matthew I. Leggett
Died August 20, 2014 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom
39, of Ruskin, Florida, died Aug. 20, in Kabul, Afghanistan, of injuries received when he was engaged by the enemy. He was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Samuel C. Hairston
Died August 12, 2014 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom
35, of Houston; assigned to 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died Aug. 12 in Ghazni, Afghanistan, of injuries caused by small-arms fire.
Sgt. 1st class killed in Afghanistan
From Military Times
Sgt. 1st Class Samuel C. Hairston was killed Tuesday in Ghazni, Afghanistan, when his unit took small-arms fire from the enemy, the Defense Department announced Wednesday.
Hairston, 35, was a paratrooper and platoon sergeant with A Company, 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division of Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
He was from Houston, Texas.
“We have suffered a great loss in the 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment and express our deepest condolences. Sgt. 1st Class Samuel Hairston was an exceptional noncommissioned officer and a valued member of our team,” said Lt. Col. Chris Hockenberry, Hairston’s battalion commander, in a release from the 82nd Airborne. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time. We will never forget him.”
Hairston joined the Army in 2003 and completed the basic airborne course at Fort Benning, Georgia. He was assigned to 1st BCT in August 2013.
His awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Citation with two oak leaf clusters, Army Good Conduct Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two Campaign Stars, Iraqi Campaign Medal with two Campaign Stars, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Among his qualifications are the Ranger tab, Combat Infantryman Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Military Master Free Fall Parachutist Badge and the Basic Parachutist Badge.
He is survived by his wife, Staff Sgt. Tawana Hairston and his son Hayden.
Army Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene
Died August 5, 2014 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom
55, of Schenectady, N.Y.; assigned as deputy commanding general of Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan; died Aug. 5 of wounds caused by small-arms fire in an insider attack in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Army Staff Sgt. Girard D. Gass Jr.
Died August 3, 2014 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom
33, of Lumber Bridge, N.C.; assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group,Fort Bragg, N.C.; died Aug. 3 in Jalalabad Air Field Hospital, Afghanistan, from a non-combat related incident while on patrol in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan.
Soldier Missing From WWII Accounted For
The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing since World War II, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Pfc. Bernard Gavrin, 29, of Brooklyn, N.Y., will be buried on Sep. 12, in Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, D.C. On June 15, 1944, as part of an Allied strategic goal to secure the Mariana Islands, U.S. forces were ordered to occupy Saipan. After a month of intense fighting, enemy forces conducted a suicide assault, known as a banzai attack. This was designed to inflict as many casualties as possible against the 105th Infantry Regiment (IR), 27th Infantry Division (ID). During these attacks, elements of the 105th IR sustained heavy losses, with more than 900 soldiers killed or injured. Gavrin was reported missing in action on July 7, 1944.
On July 8, 1945, with no new information concerning Gavrin or 21 other service members of the 105th IR, investigators issued a presumptive finding of death. In November 1948, the American Graves Registration Services (AGRS) reviewed the circumstances of Gavrin’s loss and concluded his remains were non-recoverable.
In September 2011, a private archaeological company excavated land near Achugao Village, Saipan, and uncovered human remains of an American serviceman from the July 7, 1944, battle. These remains were identified as Army Pvt. William Yawney, 23, of Freemansburg, Pa.
In September 2013, a Japanese non-governmental organization interested in recovering Japanese soldiers from the battle in Saipan, alongside the same private archaeological company from 2011, recovered human remains and personal effects belonging to American servicemen, from an unmarked burial located a few meters from the 2011 excavation site. The remains were handed over to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC).
In the identification of Gavrin’s remains, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools including dental comparisons and mitochondrial DNA, which matched Gavrin’s cousin. Along with Gavrin, Army Pfc. Richard L. Bean, 24, of Manassas, Va., was accounted for.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans, who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPMO web site at www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.