'They answered our nation's call' — Fort Bragg paratroopers killed in Afghanistan remembered as selfless, courageous

Community

Spc. Michael Nance, 24, of Chicago, and Pfc. Brandon Kreischer, 20, of Stryker, Ohio, were killed by small arms fire in Afghanistan on July 29, 2019

(U.S. Army photos)

Two 82nd Airborne Division soldiers killed in Afghanistan on Monday were selfless, courageous paratroopers, their commander said.

Spc. Michael Nance, 24, of Chicago, and Pfc. Brandon Kreischer, 20, of Stryker, Ohio, were killed by small arms fire, according to a statement released by the 82nd. A Defense Department statement said they died in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan province, as a result of wounds sustained in a combat related incident.

The Associated Press reported that the paratroopers were shot and killed by a member of the Afghan army.


Nance and Kreischer were members of the division's Company B, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

"These young men were true All Americans and embodied the qualities of selfless service and courage as they answered our nation's call to deploy to Afghanistan," Col. Arthur Sellers, commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, said in the 82nd statement. "Our focus is now providing their loved ones with every available resource to help them in this most difficult time."

Kenon Forest, Nance's great uncle, told the CBS 2 news station in Chicago that Nance was grateful to be able to serve his country.

"Brilliant young man; really enjoyed his life; was really looking forward to being in the Army – it's like a lifelong dream of his," he said.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine ordered flags on public buildings and grounds in Williams County and at the Ohio Statehouse to be flown at half-staff in honor of Kreischer's life and service, according to the governor's website. Carrie Schlade, the mayor of Bryan, Ohio, and local school officials honored Kreischer during a news conference Tuesday, according to a report in the Toledo Blade.

Kreischer graduated from Bryan High School last year and participated in football, wrestling, track and choir, The Blade reported. The Bryan City Schools planned to offer support and counseling as needed to students and families within the district, Diana Savage, the Bryan schools' superintendent, told the paper.

School officials planned to discuss a way to honor Kreischer, according to The Blade. The mayor said more events were expected to be held in his honor.

Nance, an automatic rifleman, joined the Army in January 2017. He completed Basic Combat Training, Advanced Individual Training and Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Nance's awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terror Service Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Basic Parachutist Badge.

Nance is survived by his father of Chicago and mother of Glenwood, Illinois, according to the division's statement.

Kreischer, a rifleman, joined the Army in June 2018 and also completed Basic Combat Training, Advanced Individual Training and Airborne School at Fort Benning. His awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terror Service Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Basic Parachutist Badge.

Kreischer is survived by his wife of Fayetteville.

The soldiers' deaths came 10 days after the 3rd Brigade Combat Team had assumed authority for operations in Afghanistan. The paratroopers are responsible for missions ranging from base security to developing the capacity of Afghan security forces in locations throughout the country.

The brigade is deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel, which started in 2015. The operation is supporting NATO's Resolute Support Mission to continue training, advising and assisting Afghan security forces; and to continue the U.S.'s counter-terrorism mission against the remnants of al-Qaida.

———

©2019 The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

The former Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs thinks that the VA needs to start researching medical marijuana. Not in a bit. Not soon. Right goddamn now.

Read More Show Less
Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney takes questions during a news briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 17, 2019. (Reuters/Leah Millis)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's withholding of $391 million in military aid to Ukraine was linked to his request that the Ukrainians look into a claim — debunked as a conspiracy theory — about the 2016 U.S. election, a senior presidential aide said on Thursday, the first time the White House acknowledged such a connection.

Trump and administration officials had denied for weeks that they had demanded a "quid pro quo" - a Latin phrase meaning a favor for a favor - for delivering the U.S. aid, a key part of a controversy that has triggered an impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives against the Republican president.

But Mick Mulvaney, acting White House chief of staff, acknowledged in a briefing with reporters that the U.S. aid — already approved by Congress — was held up partly over Trump's concerns about a Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer server alleged to be in Ukraine.

"I have news for everybody: Get over it. There is going to be political influence in foreign policy," Mulvaney said.

Read More Show Less

CEYLANPINAR, Turkey (Reuters) - Shelling could be heard at the Syrian-Turkish border on Friday morning despite a five-day ceasefire agreed between Turkey and the United States, and Washington said the deal covered only a small part of the territory Ankara aims to seize.

Reuters journalists at the border heard machine-gun fire and shelling and saw smoke rising from the Syrian border battlefield city of Ras al Ain, although the sounds of fighting had subsided by mid-morning.

The truce, announced on Thursday by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence after talks in Ankara with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, sets out a five-day pause to let the Kurdish-led SDF militia withdraw from an area controlled by Turkish forces.

The SDF said air and artillery attacks continued to target its positions and civilian targets in Ral al Ain.

"Turkey is violating the ceasefire agreement by continuing to attack the town since last night," SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted.

The Kurdish-led administration in the area said Turkish truce violations in Ras al Ain had caused casualties, without giving details.

Read More Show Less

Boyfriends can sometimes do some really weird shit. Much of it is well-meaning: A boy I liked in high school once sang me a screamo song that he wrote over the phone. He thought it would be sweet, and while I appreciated that he wanted to share it with me, I also had no idea what he was saying. Ah, young love.

Sure, this sounds cringeworthy. But then there's 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker, who appears to be, dare I say, the best boyfriend?

Read More Show Less

The Colt Model 1911 .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol that John Browning dreamed up more than a century ago remains on of the most beloved sidearms in U.S. military history. Hell, there's a reason why Army Gen. Scott Miller, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, still rocks an M1911A1 on his hip despite the fact that the Army no longer issues them to soldiers.

But if scoring one of the Army's remaining M1911s through the Civilian Marksmanship Program isn't enough to satisfy your adoration for the classic sidearm, then Colt has something right up your alley: the Colt Model 1911 'Black Army' pistol.

Read More Show Less