Retired Special Forces soldier killed in Afghanistan while working as a defense contractor

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Retired Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Christian McCoy was killed on June 24 while working as a military contractor in Afghanistan, Task & Purpose has confirmed.


McCoy's Army career spanned just over 30 years and included five combat deployments, according to the Army. He was on active-duty from 1988 to 1995; then he served in the Virginia National Guard from 1995 to 1997 before returning to active-duty from 1997 to 2018. Among his many awards are the Special Forces Tab, Rangers Tab, Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star with "V" device, and Defense Meritorious Service Medal.

He is the second contractor to be killed in Afghanistan in a week, after Navy veteran Kevin Yali was killed on June 19th.

Newsweek reporter James LaPorta was first to bring McCoy's death to light. McCoy reportedly joined Special Forces in 1993; he deployed once to Iraq and four times to Afghanistan between 2007 and 2014.

Details of McCoy's death remain uncertain. A Defense Department source told Newsweek that "a Mine-Resistant Armored Vehicle was damaged along with two remote-controlled weapon systems" at the time of McCoy's death. McCoy was on a Joint Expeditionary Team, which is "designed to counter the efforts of improvised explosive device manufacturing networks in a region as a part of a larger counterinsurgency operation."

Newsweek obtained a letter from from Mark Haselton, vice president of The Wexford Group — a subsidiary of defense contractor CACI International — informing his company's employees that McCoy had "died of wounds suffered during an operation in Afghanistan."

"There are no words to express the sorrow we all feel on this tragic loss," Haselton wrote in the letter. "I know each of us recognizes the hazards associated with the work that you do, especially on the JET. As we reflect on this terrible loss ... please never forget that the work that Chris was doing, and in fact the work that all of you do, has saved countless lives."

CACI International spokeswoman Jody Brown sent Task & Purpose a statement about McCoy's death.

"CACI honors the service and memory of our dedicated employee who was fatally injured while protecting our nation during a mission abroad," Brown said. "We at CACI remain steadfastly committed to our continued and ongoing support of our customers' critical national security missions. CACI extends our support to all those impacted by his ultimate sacrifice."

SEE ALSO: The number of armed contractors in Afghanistan has increased more than 65% since Trump took office

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(Task & Purpose photo illustration by Paul Szoldra)

Jordan Way was living a waking nightmare.

The 23-year-old sailor laid in bed trembling. At times, his body would shake violently as he sobbed. He had recently undergone a routine shoulder surgery on Dec. 12, 2017, and was hoping to recover.

Instead, Jordan couldn't do much of anything other than think about the pain. Simple tasks like showering, dressing himself, or going to the bathroom alone were out of the question, and the excruciating sensation in his shoulder made lying down to sleep feel like torture.

"Imagine being asleep," he called to tell his mother Suzi at one point, "but you can still feel the pain."

To help, military doctors gave Jordan oxycodone, a powerful semi-synthetic opiate they prescribed to dull the sensation in his shoulder. Navy medical records show that he went on to take more than 80 doses of the drug in the days following the surgery, dutifully following doctor's orders to the letter.

Instinctively, Jordan, a Navy corpsman who by day worked at the Twentynine Palms naval hospital where he was now a patient, knew something was wrong. The drugs seemed to have little effect. His parents advised him to seek outside medical advice, but base doctors insisted the drugs just needed more time to work.

"They've got my back," Jordan had told his parents before the surgery, which happened on a Tuesday. By Saturday, he was dead.

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(Associated Press/Gregory Bull)

The Navy has paused proceedings that could strip Eddie Gallagher and three other SEALs of their tridents while the service awaits a written order to formally stand down, a senior Navy official told Task & Purpose on Thursday.

Rear Adm. Collin Green, the head of Naval Special Warfare Command, was expected to decide on the matter after the SEALs appeared before a review board next month. But Trump tweeted on Thursday that Gallagher was in no danger of losing his trident, a sacred symbol of being part of the SEAL community.

"The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher's Trident Pin," the president tweeted. "This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!"

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U.S. President Donald Trump salutes a transfer case holding the remains of Chief Warrant Officer David Knadle, who was killed November 20 in a helicopter crash while supporting ground troops in Afghanistan, during a dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base, in Dover, Delaware, U.S. November 21, 2019. (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. (Reuters) - President Donald Trump traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Thursday to receive the remains of two American soldiers killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan this week.

Trump, who met with families of the soldiers, was accompanied at the base by first lady Melania Trump, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley and national security adviser Robert O'Brien.

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T-38 Talon training aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Two airmen from Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, were killed on Thursday when two T-38 Talon training aircraft crashed during training mission, according to a message posted on the base's Facebook age.

The two airmen's names are being withheld pending next of kin notification.

A total of four airmen were onboard the aircraft at the time of the incident, base officials had previously announced.

The medical conditions for the other two people involved in the crash was not immediately known.

An investigation will be launched to determine the cause of the crash.

Emergency responders from Vance Air Force Base are at the crash scene to treat casualties and help with recovery efforts.

Read the entire message below:

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Two Vance Air Force Base Airmen were killed in an aircraft mishap at approximately 9:10 a.m. today.

At the time of the accident, the aircraft were performing a training mission.

Vance emergency response personnel are on scene to treat casualties and assist in recovery efforts.

Names of the deceased will be withheld pending next of kin notification.

A safety investigation team will investigate the incident.

Additional details will be provided as information becomes available. #VanceUpdates.

This is a breaking news story. It will be updated as more information is released.

Photos: 1st Cavalry Division

The Army has identified the two soldiers killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Wednesday as 33-year-old Chief Warrant Officer 2 David C. Knadle, and 25-year-old Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kirk T. Fuchigami Jr.

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