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UNSUNG HEROES: The Guardsman Who Died Saving An Afghan Child From Harm
Spc. Dennis Weichel, Jr., 29, was less than a month into his March 2012 deployment to Afghanistan when he and other members of his unit noticed multiple Afghan children were running into the path of their convoy, according to an Army news release. They dismounted to direct the children to safety, as hulking MRAPs barrelled down on them.
The children complied. But one boy raced to pick up brass shell casings in the road, which Afghan civilians often recycle, reported CNN. Although the Army’s initial account stated that the rescued child was a girl, the Huffington Post later cited new details that the child was a boy. Weichel saw the boy head into the path of the approaching 16-ton MRAP and knew immediately what he had to do.
Weichel, who had a young son and two daughters of his own, as well as a fiancé, grabbed the boy out of the MRAP’s path in the nick of time.
In the next moment, the Afghan child was still alive and uninjured. But Weichel, run over by the massive truck, was mortally wounded. He was evacuated to a medical facility at Jalalabad Airfield, where he died from his injuries.
Staff Sgt. Ronald Corbett, who deployed to Iraq with Weichel in 2005, said his sacrifice was characteristic of Weichel’s attitude toward others. "He would have done it for anybody," Corbett told the Army. "That was the way he was. He would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it."
Weichel, who proudly wore a Superman tattoo on his right arm, was posthumously promoted to the rank of sergeant and awarded the Bronze Star.
At his funeral service, National Guard Chaplain Capt. Timothy Bourquin read aloud a letter written by Weichel’s son Nicholas, reported by the Daily Mail. “I really, really miss you,” read a portion of that letter. “I promise I will protect my sisters, Hope and Madison, like you told me to. You are my hero. I know you are in heaven watching over me. You are the brightest star.”
Nicholas Weichel, son of Rhode Island National Guard Sgt. Dennis Weichel Jr., who was killed in Afghanistan, stands next to his father's casket during funeral services at the state Veterans Cemetery in Exeter, R.I., Monday, April 2, 2012.
Three soldiers were killed and another three injured when their Bradley Fighting Vehicle rolled over during a training exercise at Fort Stewart in Georgia on Sunday morning, Army officials announced.
KABUL (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrived in Afghanistan on Sunday in a bid to bring talks with the Taliban back on track after President Donald Trump abruptly broke off negotiations last month seeking to end the United States' longest war.
Esper's trip to Kabul comes amid questions about the United States' commitments to allies after a sudden withdrawal of U.S. troops from northeastern Syria and Trump's long-time desire to get out of foreign engagements.
Mark Esper is the third person after James Mattis and Patrick Shanahan to helm the Pentagon since Donald Trump became president, and he's apparently not making much of an impression on the commander-and-chief.
On Sunday, Trump sent a very real tweet on "Secretary Esperanto," which is either a reference to a constructed international language developed more than 130 years ago and only spoken on the PA system in Gattaca or an egregious instance of autocorrect.
This rifle could be a dark horse candidate for the Army's next-generation squad weapon — and you can snag one next year
The Army says it's settled on three defense contractors to battle it out to become the service's M4 carbine and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon replacements, but at least one other company is hoping that a bit of consumer approval could help upset the competition.
The U.S. reportedly offered a long-term plan to help North Korea develop a tourist area in return for denuclearization during recent working-level talks in Stockholm that ended with the North side walking out, according to a new report.
American negotiators had drafted a plan to help build up the Kalma tourist area, the South's Hankook Ilbo newspaper reported Saturday, citing an unidentified top South Korean diplomat. The report didn't say how the North Koreans responded to the offer, but chief nuclear negotiator Kim Myong Gil portrayed the U.S. as inflexible after the talks earlier this month, blasting the Americans for not giving up "their old viewpoint and attitude."