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Fourth Service Member Dies From November IED Blast In Afghanistan
A fourth service member has died as a result of a Nov. 27 roadside bomb blast in Afghanistan, officials announced on Monday.
- Sgt. Jason Mitchell McClary, of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, died on Sunday from wounds he received from the improvised explosive device explosion in Ghazni Province, a Defense Department news release says.
- McClary, 24, was originally from Export, Pennsylvania. His military awards include two Purple Hearts, the Army Commendation Medal with Valor, Army Commendation Medal (Combat), Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Combat Infantry Badge, and Air Assault Badge.
- “The Rock battalion expresses its deepest sympathies and condolences to the family and friends tragically affected by the loss of Sgt. Jason McClary,” Lt. Col. Christopher Roberts, commander of 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, said in a news release. “He epitomizes what it is to be a professional, a warrior and a soldier. Sgt. McClary served honorably as an up-armored vehicle gunner for the Attack Company. His memory and contributions will never be forgotten."
- Three other U.S. troops were killed on Nov. 27: Army Capt. Andrew Patrick Ross, 29; Sgt. 1st Class Eric Michael Emond, 39; and Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin, 25.
- Ross and Emond were both Green Berets assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Ross was on his second deployment and Emond was on his seventh. Both men were posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Meritorious Service Medal.
- Elchin was a combat controller with the 26th Special Tactics Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico. He was the first special operations airman killed in Afghanistan since 2015, Air Force magazine reported.
- Two other service members and an American contractor were wounded by the explosion. A total of 14 U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan in 2018.
UPDATE: This story was updated at 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 3 with more information about Sgt. McClary.
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After 70 years, service members are finally filing medical malpractice claims against the US military
Jessica Purcell, a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve, was pregnant with her first child when she noticed a swollen lymph node in her left underarm.
Health-care providers at a MacDill Air Force Base clinic told her it was likely an infection or something related to pregnancy hormones. The following year they determined the issue had resolved itself.
It hadn't. A doctor off base found a large mass in her underarm and gave her a shocking diagnosis: stage 2 breast cancer.
Purcell was pregnant again. Her daughter had just turned 1. She was 35. And she had no right to sue for malpractice.
A 1950 Supreme Court ruling known as the Feres doctrine prohibits military members like Purcell from filing a lawsuit against the federal government for any injuries suffered while on active duty. That includes injury in combat, but also rape and medical malpractice, such as missing a cancer diagnosis.
Thanks in part to Tampa lawyer Natalie Khawam, a provision in this year's national defense budget allows those in active duty to file medical malpractice claims against the government for the first time since the Feres case.
With the Department of Defense overseeing the new claims process, the question now is how fairly and timely complaints will be judged. And whether, in the long run, this new move will help growing efforts to overturn the ruling and allow active duty members to sue like everyone else.