Saturday, June 25, 2005


Information is not yet complete, but the AP is reporting via Yahoo News that two of America's best have paid the ultimate price serving our country. One was Lcpl Holly Charette.
050317-low-7364D-012.jpg(photo credit below)

BAGHDAD, Iraq - The lethal ambush of a convoy carrying female U.S. troops in Fallujah underscored the difficulties of keeping women away from the front lines in a war where such boundaries are far from clear-cut.
The suicide car bomb and ensuing small-arms fire killed at least four Marines, and a Marine and a sailor were missing and presumed dead, the military said Saturday. At least one woman was killed, and 11 of the 13 wounded troops were female.
The only other Marine identified is Cpl. Chad Powell. Unfortunately, I was unable to find any information on him. I say unfortunate because I do not want to make it seem that his death was in any manner less of a sacrifice than Lcpl Charette's. However, Lcpl Charette's gender raises different emotions.

From the photo caption below, and from her background information here, Lcpl Charette's mission as a Marine, and plan for her future, was to deliver mail. But being a Marine, she was first a rifleman, and was performing necessary duties as directed. Our women in the Armed Forces have performed admirably.

I extend my heartfelt sympathies to her fellow Marines, her friends, and especially her family.

UPDATE: (06/25/05) 3:50 PM CDT) CBS News (Click on video options on right side) is now reporting that the death toll in this attack may be much higher, with as many as five female Marines dead.

UPDATE: (06/26/05) 11:35 PM CDT) Watch Your Six points to a post at Chaotic Synaptic Activity about this attack The concern is equality vs. inequality, a must read. Personally, I refer you to my characterization above: she was first a rifleman. Our female members of the military may not possess the upper body strength, nor the endurance, of their male counterparts, but they remain warriors nonetheless. To willingly face the same dangers thusly handicapped demonstrates conviction and courage that leaves me shaking my head in wonder and admiration.

UPDATE: (06/27/05) 10:45 AM CDT) Here is some information on Cpl Chad Powell.

UPDATE: From Michael Yon's Online Magazine:
On 23 June 2005, the enemy rammed a vehicle loaded with explosives into a truck carrying our troops, ending the lives of one sailor and five Marines.
The 8th Regimental Combat Team of the United States Marine Corps held a memorial for six fallen comrades. [...]

All who gave their lives in this attack are named here. Michael is performing a fine and needed service, also.
LCPL Holly Ann Charette, USMC, of South Kingston, Rhode Island. Holly was born in 1983.

CS1 Regina Renee Clark, US Navy, of Centralia, Washington. Regina was born in 1962.

PFC Veashna Muy, USMC, of Long Beach, California, born in 1984. Veashna's friends said his parents are from Cambodia.

CPL Carlos Antonio Pineda, USMC, from San Salvador, El Salvador. CPL Pineda was the latest of many people from other countries who died in service to the United States. He was born in 1982.

CPL Chad Wayne Powell, USMC, born in 1983, from West Monroe, Louisiana.

CPL Ramona Magdalena Valdez, USMC, from the Bronx, New York. CPL Valdez was born in 1984.

Photo Caption:
Lance Cpl. Holly Charette, a 21-year-old from Cranston, R.I., delivers Headquarters Battalion Marines' mail, March 17. Charette recently deployed here from her home base at Camp Lejeune, N.C., to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Stephen D'Alessio (RELEASED)

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