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Pentagon identifies soldier killed in Kabul car bombing
The Pentagon has identified a soldier killed in a car bombing in Afghanistan on Thursday as Sgt. 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz.
Barreto, 34, from Morovis, Puerto Rico, was killed in a blast from a car bomb that was detonated close to his vehicle near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.
Barreto was serving with Company H, 82nd Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina as a maintenance control sergeant.
"With honor and courage, Sgt. 1st Class Barreto answered our nation's call to deploy and serve in Afghanistan," Col. Arthur Sellers, commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, said in a statement. "In this most difficult time, his loved ones are now surrounded by a community of love and caring by members of our Paratrooper Family Readiness Group."
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing, which also killed a Romanian soldier and 10 civilians. More than 40 others were wounded. The incident is under investigation, a Pentagon news release said.
Barreto, who leaves behind a wife and children in Cameron, North Carolina, first joined the Army in 2010.
His awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorius Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Good Conduct Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Combat Action Badge, the Basic Parachutist Badge, the Army Driver and Mechanic Badge, according to a release from the 82nd Airborne Division.
Barreto is the 19th U.S. service member to be killed in Afghanistan in 2019.
The command chief of the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, was removed from his position last month after his chain of command received evidence he disrespected his subordinates.
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
The "suck it up and drive on" mentality permeated our years in the U.S. military and often led us to delay getting both physical and mental health care. As veterans, we now understand that engaging in effective care enables us not just to survive but to thrive. Crucially, the path to mental wellness, like any serious journey, isn't accomplished in a day — and just because you need additional or recurring mental health care doesn't mean your initial treatment failed.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has called on the security alliance's allies to maintain and strengthen their "unity," saying the organization is "the only guarantor of European and transatlantic security."
Stoltenberg told reporters on November 19 that NATO "has only grown stronger over the last 70 years" despite "differences" among the allies on issues such as trade, climate, the Iran nuclear deal, and the situation in northeastern Syria.
He was speaking at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels on the eve of a NATO foreign ministers meeting aimed at finalizing preparations for next month's summit in London.
WASHINGTON — More than $35 million of the roughly $400 million in aid to Ukraine that President Donald Trump delayed, sparking the impeachment inquiry, has not been released to the country, according to a Pentagon spending document obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
Instead, the defense funding for Ukraine remains in U.S. accounts, according to the document. It's not clear why the money hasn't been released, and members of Congress are demanding answers.