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November 17, 2006

The War Comes Home to Fort Leavenworth.

This post will be up top all day. New stuff comes in below.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 1171-06 November 17, 2006

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DoD Identifies Army Casualties


The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died Nov. 14 in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle during combat operations.

Killed were:

Col. Thomas H. Felts Sr., 45, of Sandston, Va. He was assigned to the Command and General Staff College, School of Advanced Military Studies, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

Spc. Justin R. Garcia, 26, of Elmhurst, N.Y. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash.


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FROM THE CAC COMMAND:

Flags on Fort Leavenworth will be flown at half-staff on Friday, 17 November in honor of Colonel Thomas H. Felts, who was killed in Iraq on 14 November. COL Felts was assigned to Fort Leavenworth in the School of Advanced Military Studies. He had been in Iraq since January 2006 and was attached to 1-6 MITT, 2nd BCT, 1st Infantry Division. There will be a Memorial Service Friday, 17 November from 1100 to 1200 hours in the Main Post Chapel. COL Felts' family welcomes the Fort Leavenworth community, a reception will follow.

COLFeltsSMALL.jpg

FROM THE FAMILY OF COL FELTS:

The family of Thomas H. Felts, Colonel, United States Army, would like to express their sincere thanks and gratitude to the many friends and loved ones who have shown so much support to them in their time of loss.

Colonel Felts dedicated his life to the service of God, family and country. He made a huge difference in the lives of all those he touched. He demonstrated that conviction by volunteering for the post in Iraq. He knew the dangers of being in harm's way. Yet, he remained committed to securing the future of our own children by defeating forces of hatred and violence and showing people what is possible if they embrace tolerance and peace. He laid down his life as he lived it, in the name of Love.

Colonel Felts' funeral and burial will be in Virginia. Please refrain from contacting the Fort Leavenworth residence and in lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to Army Emergency Relief in order to help Soldiers and their family members.

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Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance: In Memoriam.

Update: Raven 04's comment deserves to be up here.

I'd like to personally thank the family of COL Felts for their strength and you, Sir, for your guidance and mentoring on this difficult battlefield. Your sacrifice is great, and difficult for all of those whose lives you touched to bear. We shall never forget you, your dedication to this mission, your excellent sense of humor and friendly laughter. I was the driver of the vehicle behind COL Felts' vehicle that night and am the team's Logistics Advisor. We just held a memorial for him here, in Iraq, and miss him dearly. COL Felts mentored us professionally and personally, treating us like his own family since day one, when we started training at Fort Hood back in January. We miss you, Sir, but know that to truly honor you we must redouble our efforts to complete this mission in your vision, 'Git-R-Done', and ensure the safe return home of the rest of the team you so diligently built and sustained.


Comments on The War Comes Home to Fort Leavenworth.
Mitch briefed on November 17, 2006 01:27 PM

Wonderful memorial service and reception. Great, strong family.

Where do we get such men ... and women?

Cassandra briefed on November 17, 2006 04:02 PM

When the boundless spirit
Has no place to roam
The heart will sadly whisper
This world is not my home
When the sweep of wind along the grass
Bows down to destiny
When the last bright star has fallen
Lord, who will comfort me?

Heartless Libertarian briefed on November 17, 2006 11:12 PM

I may be wrong, but is COL Felts now the highest ranking officer killed in action in the GWOT, at least not including any casualties in the Pentagon?

John of Argghhh! briefed on November 18, 2006 08:05 AM

I've found two Colonels, but one of them, a Colonel Westhusing, died of non-combat injuries.

It looks like the first Colonel killed in combat was a California Guardsman:

Army Col. William W. Wood 2005-10-27 44, of Panama City, Fla.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry Regiment, California Army National Guard, Modesto, Calif.; killed Oct. 27 when he was directing security operations in response to the detonation of an improvised explosive device in Baghdad. During this response, a second IED detonated near his position.

Mitch briefed on November 18, 2006 01:39 PM

COL Woods was promoted posthumously. He was a promotable LTC when he was killed.

Not that it matters. I know that we provide different military honors based on rank, but in my mind death has a way of making those distinctions insignificant. Every grave in a national cemetery is equally hallowed ground.

HomefrontSix briefed on November 18, 2006 04:17 PM

Godspeed, sir.

My prayers are with his family and friends.

SangerM briefed on November 18, 2006 10:48 PM

Does anyone know where to find a bio on Col Felts? The name and his face are awfully familiar to me, and he's wearing MI insignia, but I for the life of me, I can't imagine where I know him from. It's really disturbing because I feel like that's a face I know looking out at me from that picture...

Barb briefed on November 18, 2006 11:43 PM

I found a couple of references to things he authored (or co-authored) here:
http://www.stormingmedia.us/authors/Felts_Thomas_H_.html
Also, here is a news item with a little more on his record of service:
http://www.kshb.com/kshb/nw_local_news/article/0,1925,KSHB_9424_5151705,00.html

SangerM briefed on November 19, 2006 10:26 PM

Thanks Barb!!

BB briefed on November 20, 2006 12:17 AM

Tom was initially a member of the 1-327th Infantry, Bastogne Bulldogs, as an Infantryman. Later, he was transferred to the Military Intelligence career field. He was a SAMs graduate and a great father.

Raven 04 briefed on November 20, 2006 01:15 PM

I'd like to personally thank the family of COL Felts for their strength and you, Sir, for your guidance and mentoring on this difficult battlefield. Your sacrifice is great, and difficult for all of those whose lives you touched to bear. We shall never forget you, your dedication to this mission, your excellent sense of humor and friendly laughter. I was the driver of the vehicle behind COL Felts' vehicle that night and am the team's Logistics Advisor. We just held a memorial for him here, in Iraq, and miss him dearly. COL Felts mentored us professionally and personally, treating us like his own family since day one, when we started training at Fort Hood back in January. We miss you, Sir, but know that to truly honor you we must redouble our efforts to complete this mission in your vision, 'Git-R-Done', and ensure the safe return home of the rest of the team you so diligently built and sustained.

janne briefed on November 22, 2006 10:31 PM

Raven 04 ~ You said it so eloquently. Thank you for reminders of Tom, he was an amazing man. We will continue praying until the last one comes home. Git-R-Done!