Local News

Death Toll Continues to Mount for 82nd Airborne in Afghanistan

Posted October 9, 2007 7:05 p.m. EDT
Updated October 10, 2007 6:00 a.m. EDT

— It has been a deadly year for soldiers serving in Afghanistan. So far, 87 troops have died; 26 were from the 82nd Airborne Division, based at Fort Bragg.

Just last week, a 82nd Airborne paratrooper died in Afghanistan. Cpl. Adam D. Quinn was killed Saturday after a car bomb exploded near Kabul. Quinn, 22, from Orange City, Fla., joined the division in 2004.

The 82nd has about 6,000 troops in Afghanistan, and they are only about half-way through a 15-month tour.

Laurrie White's husband, Staff Sgt. Norbert White, is serving in Afghanistan with the 82nd's 4th Brigade Combat Team.

"They have lost several [soldiers], so it has been a hard deployment already," Laurrie White tearfully told WRAL's Christi Lowe on Tuesday.

Norbert White is a 21-year military veteran and has been to Iraq three times. His wife doesn't rest any easier, though, now  that he is in Afghanistan, a war that gets a lot less media coverage.

"They are in just as much real danger as they are in Iraq," Laurrie White said.

Lt. Col. Brian McFadden, an Apache helicopter pilot with the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, got back from Afghanistan a week ago.

"It is dangerous. We are fighting a very smart enemy. They [the Taliban] have been fighting this war for a long time. He [the Taliban] knows how to fight against helicopters," McFadden said.

According to The Associated Press, insurgents have launched more than 100 suicide attacks in Afghanistan this year. McFadden said soldiers have killed many more Taliban insurgents in 2007 than in years past.

The U.S. has about 25,000 troops in Afghanistan. That compares with 130,000 serving in Iraq, of which about 13,000 are from the 82nd. The division has lost 123 paratroopers in Iraq.