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Fallen soldiers bring home impact of war

Posted July 18, 2010
Updated July 19, 2010

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— Military officials say seven North Carolina-based soldiers have been killed this week in Afghanistan. Another died this week at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany from injuries sustained in Afghanistan.

All eight were from Fort Bragg.

The military identified the soldiers as Sgt. Zachary M. Fisher, 24, of Ballwin, Mo.; First Lt. Christopher S. Goeke, 23, of Minnesota;  Spc. Matthew J. Johnson, 21, of Maplewood, Minn.;  Spc. Jesse D. Reed, 26, of Orefield, Pa.; Spc. Chase Stanley, 21, of Napa, Calif.; Staff Sgt. Christopher T. Stout, 34, of Worthville, Ky.; Spc. Christopher Moon, 20, of Tucson, Ariz.; and Staff Sgt. Sheldon L. Tate, 27, of Hinesville, Ga.

The deaths of the soldiers have hit the Fort Bragg community hard as many face future deployments to Afghanistan. Some also worry about waning public support for the war.

"A lot of people don't realize that there are still people over there fighting and dying,” Sgt. Adam Smith with the 82nd Airborne said.

Smith will be deployed to Afghanistan next year. He will leave behind his baby daughter Skyler.

"She's the most beautiful girl in the world,” he said.

He missed her birth while serving 12 months in Iraq last year.

"I didn't know her for the first five months of her life,” he said.

Anthony Porreca, also with the 82nd Airborne, hasn't served overseas yet but worries about dying while deployed.

"I just hope it doesn't happen to me when I go because I've got a family to take care of,” he said.

Goeke, Stout and Tate died Tuesday repelling an attack on a police compound in Kandahar, the center of a push to drive the Taliban out of southern Afghanistan. Insurgents used a car bomb, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades.

Fisher, Johnson, Reed and Stanley died of injuries sustained Wednesday in the Zabul Province when insurgents attacked their military vehicle with an improvised explosive device.

Moon died Tuesday of his wounds at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. He was on patrol July 6 in Afghanistan's Arghandab River Valley when he was injured by an improvised explosive device.

Goeke and Stout were assigned to 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, while Tate belonged to the 782nd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

Moon was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division.

Stanley, Reed, Johnson and Fisher served with the 27th Engineer Battalion (Combat Airborne), 20th Engineer Brigade (Combat).


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  • tootie Jul 19, 2010

    God Bless them for their sacrifice! and prayers & thank you to the families that love them. Rest in peace!

  • u stand corrected Jul 19, 2010

    Rest in peace. Love to the families. Semper Fi

  • just my2cents Jul 19, 2010

    Godspeed to our heroes. My prayers are with the families and comrades that serve our great country. My son did not get the know his son til he was almost 13 months old, so I can sympathize with what some of these guys are saying. His deployment started 2 weeks before my grandson's due date. The gov't did see fit to let him stay for the birth, but had to leave as son as the baby arrived.
    We lost 8 great American Heroes. I hope and pray that support for our troops is not "waning" as they made the ultimate sacrifice for us. Others still fight, and deserve our support regardless of your beliefs on the war.

  • bjhbowhunter Jul 19, 2010

    How many times have you heard about the total number of troops that have been killed in action since obama took over as president?????? ALL (including WRAL) of the so called un-biased news media outlets were almost giddy over reporting the total K.I.A. when Bush was president! Hey news media, is it OK for troops to die while obama is president?