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thedrifter
04-02-06, 10:45 AM
Marines hold service for fallen comrade
Honolulu Star-Bulletin

The Lava Dogs from Kaneohe Bay's 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, held a memorial service in Afghanistan March 21 for Lance Cpl. Nicholas Anderson, 21, of the B Company weapons platoon, who died a week earlier when his Humvee overturned.

Anderson, of Sauk City, Wis., died during a mission in Torkham District of Nangarhar Province. Marine Sgt. Naiche Kennedy, Anderson's section leader, said in a written news release that Anderson was serving as the Humvee's gunner and was riding in the turret when his vehicle overturned. "The state of the roads in Afghanistan is beyond comprehension," Kennedy said. "Here, we face danger during contact with the enemy, but we also face danger every single time we are on these roads."

Marine Staff Sgt. Ronald Jones, the platoon sergeant, said: "Losing such a fine young Marine like Lance Cpl. Anderson in this manner is a tragedy. He was on a convoy mission in a combat zone and just that in and of itself is inherently dangerous. We all know the dangers over here, and Anderson was never one to back down from a mission. He loved being a Marine, and he was on the right track to go far in the Marine Corps."

Jones said Anderson "simply loved being a Marine. I would like to say to his family back in Wisconsin, especially to his mother and father, that they raised a good son. They must have done a fine job raising him for him to turn out as good as he did," he said.

"Words can't describe how saddened we all are by his loss," said Marine Gunnery Sgt. Alvin Bassfield, the gunnery sergeant for B Company. "He was one of those people that everyone just liked being around. He was not only an outstanding Marine, he was an outstanding person. I will never forget him."

Master Sgt. Sarun Sar, an Army Special Forces noncommissioed officer who was awarded the Silver Star and Bronze Star with "Valor" device for his actions in combat in Afghanistan, and his wife were guests of CNN Wednesday at the 62nd annual Radio and Television Correspondents dinner in Washington, D.C. .


Sar led his men in multiple firefights, denying insurgents a sanctuary and saved the lives of his men during the battles. Sar received the Silver Star for his actions during a firefight during which he was shot in the head. Sar's helmet saved his life. He was credited with saving the lives of his men.

Sar, a 20-year Army veteran who immigrated to the United States from Cambodia as a teenager, credited his team for the combat awards he received. "The other guys on my team are more deserving of these awards than I am," said Sar. Sar's team is one of the most decorated Special Forces teams since the Vietnam War. His team has earned the following combat awards: two Silver Stars, three Purple Hearts, eight Bronze Stars with "Valor" devices, four Army Commendation Medals with "Valor" devices and 13 Bronze Star Medals.

"My entire team deserves the recognition I am receiving from the CNN recognition dinner," said Sar. "I didn't do any of this alone. We achieved so much because we were dedicated as a team, and always stride to do more than was ever expected from us."

Brig. Gen. Carla G. Hawley-Bowland, commanding general of European Regional Medical Command, will be the next commander of Tripler Army Medical Center. She will replace Maj. Gen. Gale S. Pollock, who will become deputy surgeon general of Army, chief of staff of the Army Medical Command and chief of the Army Nurse Corps at Falls Church, Va.

Capt. Mark Darrah will relieve Capt. Jeff Connelly as commanding officer of Pacific Missile Range Facility tomorrow at Kauai's Barking Sands. Connelly will retire after completing a 30-year naval career. A 1976 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Connelly first flew P-3 Orions. He commanded the USS Bonhomme Richard in 2000 and Amphibious Squadron 3 and the Bonhomme Richard Ready Group in 2001 while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Darrah succeeds Connelly after serving as the deputy program manager for the Navy's new electronic jamming aircraft, the EA-18G.

Ellie