Governor Palin Honors Eight
January 25, 2007
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin today offered her condolences to
the families of the eight paratroopers who died on Saturday in
Iraq. Four paratroopers with the 4th Airborne Brigade Combat
Team and four from the 25th Infantry Division were killed in
In the first incident, soldiers were repelling an attack on the
Provincial Joint Coordination Center (PJCC) in Karbala, Iraq.
An illegally-armed militia conducted the attack using grenades,
small arms and indirect fires.
In the second incident, Fort Richardson paratroopers were conducting
a mounted patrol when their Humvee was struck by a roadside bomb
near Karmah, Iraq.
"Our state is affected deeply by the loss of these brave
soldiers," said Governor Palin. "Todd and I extend
our deepest sympathies to their families and friends. These fine
men risked their lives to protect our freedom and they will stay
in our hearts forever."
"The PJCC is a coordination center where local Iraqi officials,
Iraqi security forces and Coalition forces stationed within the
center meet to address the security needs of the population,"
said Brig. Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, Deputy Commander for Multi-National
Division - Baghdad. "A meeting was taking place at the
time of the attack to ensure the security of Shiite pilgrims
participating in the Ashura commemorations."
"The attack on the Karbala Provincial Joint Coordination
Center was aimed at Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces working
together toward a better future for the citizens of Karbala,"
said Lt. Col. Scott R. Bleichwehl, spokesman for Multi-National
Division - Baghdad.
The paratroopers who died are:
- 1st Lieutenant Jacob N. Fritz,
25, a field artilleryman from Verdon, Nebraska, who joined the
Army in May 2005 and was assigned to Alaska in March 2006.
- Specialist Johnathan B. Chism,
22, a field artillery cannon crewmember from Gonzales, Louisiana,
who joined the Army in March 2005 and was assigned to Alaska
in August 2005.
- Private Johnathon M. Millican,
20, a field artillery cannon crewmember from Trafford, Alabama,
who joined the Army in July 2005 and was assigned to Alaska in
- Private First Class Shawn
P. Falter, 25, a field artillery cannon crewmember from Cortland,
New York, who joined the Army in August 2005 and was assigned
to Alaska in March 2006.
- Sergeant Phillip D. McNeill,
22, a combat medic from Sunrise, Florida, who joined the Army
in January 2003 and was assigned to Alaska in September 2005.
- Specialist Toby R. Olsen,
28, an infantryman from Manchester, New Hampshire, who joined
the Army in June 2004 and was assigned to Alaska in April 2005.
- Sergeant Sean P. Fennerty,
25, an infantryman from Corvallis, Oregon, who joined the Army
in July 2004 and was assigned to Alaska in April 2005.
- Specialist Jeffrey D. Bisson,
22, an infantryman from Vista, California, who joined the Army
in December 2004 and was assigned to Alaska in June 2005.
Governor Palin will send each
family a letter of condolence and a state flag that has flown
over the Capitol to honor their service and sacrifice.
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