Showing posts with label terrorists attack. Show all posts
Showing posts with label terrorists attack. Show all posts

Friday, January 3, 2020

Survivors of Sabana Seca Navy Base attack honored at memorial

'It's something we all needed': Navy veteran, others attacked by terrorists honored at ceremony

The Times and Democrat
By Gene Zaleski
January 2, 2019
Each of the service members did eventually receive a Purple Heart for the ordeal, but never have been memorialized until now. Allen was one of two women injured in the attack."This is our big recognition now," she said.

Orangeburg resident and retired U.S. Navy veteran Cottie Boyd Allen's life changed in the blink of an eye 40 years ago.

She was aboard a bus carrying 17 Navy communications technicians to work on a transmitting tower about a mile away from the Sabana Seca Navy base where she was stationed.

Gunmen intercepted the bus and opened fire in a terrorist attack against the unarmed soldiers.

"We were attacked," Allen recalled. "I was wounded four times."

"One bullet went through my face and landed in my temple area; one landed in my buttocks and in my thighs," Allen said. Shrapnel from the bullets is still within her body.

Allen, a native of New Jersey, lost consciousness and was listed in critical condition after the attack. She was transported to Roosevelt Roads Navy Base, which at that time served as a U.S. Navy base in the town of Ceiba, Puerto Rico.
read it here

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Five Years After Bombs, Boston Strong and Inspirational Survivors

AP FILE - In this Nov. 26, 2017 file photo, Carlos Arredondo, center, gives a thumbs-up before participating in a Salute to Service military appreciation campaign before an NFL football game between the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins in Foxborough, Mass. Arredondo helped save the life of marathon spectator Jeff Bauman after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. He now volunteers with the Red Cross, and his family foundation works to prevent military-related suicides. He is preparing to run in his first Boston Marathon on April 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)
THEN: Millions know him as the man in the cowboy hat who helped save the life of marathon spectator Jeff Bauman, the double amputee played by Jake Gyllenhaal in the 2017 movie "Stronger." Arredondo had become an anti-war activist and suicide prevention advocate after one son was fatally shot by a sniper in Iraq and another killed himself, and he was at the finish line handing out American flags when the bombs went off. Instantly, Arredondo became a symbol of courage.

NOW: Arredondo continues to do whatever he can to help others. He volunteers with the Red Cross, and his Arredondo Family Foundation works to prevent military-related suicides and hand out Thanksgiving turkeys to veterans and their families. He's now preparing to run his first Boston Marathon.

In his own words: "What many people don't realize is that first responders also go through some of the same trauma as survivors. I've been dealing with some issues, but that doesn't slow me down. It's been an amazing journey." 
read other inspirational stories of survivors here

Monday, December 26, 2016

Brussels Airport Caused Loss, Recovery Followed

Air Force family recovers after loss
By Senior Airman Chip Pons
Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs
December 26, 2016
As his prior-enlisted medic training kicked in, Martinez, who had suffered the brunt of the blast, desperately searched for his family amidst the bodies and gore. When he found his wife and saw the stillness of her body, he knew instantly he had lost his soul mate, his best friend and everything went dark.
From left, Gail Martinez and her husband Air Force Lt. Col. Melchizedek “Kato” Martinez during a family vacation to Venice, Italy, before she was killed in a bombing at the Brussels Airport on March 22
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — Nine months ago, Air Force Lt. Col. Melchizedek “Kato” Martinez, a career tactical communications officer, was welcomed home from another combat deployment, a constant in the Martinez family. His wife, Gail, and their four children, planned a family retreat to their second home, the one place that, no matter what was going on within their family, would center them – Disney World.

With bags packed, the family of six made its way to the Brussels Airport in Zaventem, Belgium, en route the happiest place on earth, and anxiously waited in line to check in for the flight to Florida.

That’s when the first bomb detonated.
read more here

Sunday, June 19, 2016

When Will Fort Hood Families Receive Justice?

Lawyer for 2009 Fort Hood shooting victims seeks resumption of long-delayed civil case
Army Times
Kevin Lilley
June 18, 2016

Nearly seven years after an Army major’s shooting rampage left 13 dead and dozens wounded at Fort Hood, Texas, lawyers for about 130 of the victims and family members have asked a federal judge to lift a stay in their civil case against the service and other defendants.

While many of those killed or injured received Purple Heart Medals (and the financial benefits that accompany those awards) in 2015, Reed Rubinstein, one of the lawyers on the case, said the Army and other defendants – including the FBI – have yet to pay in full the debt owed to the victims.

“Nothing, nothing is going to happen on this case, if the government has its way, until well into 2017,” said Rubinstein, who first filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in November 2012. “Long after the people involved are gone, and presumably … long after everybody will have forgotten about Fort Hood.”

The complaint cites multiple reports on the killings, including a Senate report that outlines Hasan’s statements in support of extremism in the years before the shooting. Lawyers for the victims also point to a 2013 letter from three members of Congress to then-Army Secretary John McHugh, saying the hands-off approach to Hasan despite his statements that seemed to link him to extreme Muslim ideology, and the promotions he received after making them, amounted to “preferential treatment” given because of his Muslim faith.
That treatment, Rubinstein said, ultimately resulted in the Army failing to stop Hasan’s actions.
“It seems like it’s happening over and over again,” Rubinstein said, alluding to the more recent shootings in San Bernardino and Orlando. “These shooters are being identified. It’s not like they’re missed or weren’t discovered. They’re discovered, and somebody makes the determination to let it drop.”

read more here

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Comfort Dogs Arrive With ‘Unconditional Love’ in Orlando

In a Shaken Orlando, Comfort Dogs Arrive With ‘Unconditional Love’ 
New York Times 
JUNE 16, 2016

Melissa Soto with Susie, a comfort dog, on Tuesday near a memorial
site for the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla.
Credit John Taggart/European Pressphoto Agency
On the Monday following the Orlando massacre, 12 golden retrievers arrived in the Florida city.

They had come to offer comfort to some of the victims of the attack, the families of those killed and the emergency medical workers, as well as anyone else in the city in need of some canine affection after the deadliest shooting in American history.

The animals are part of the K-9 Comfort Dogs team, a program run by the Lutheran Church Charities, based in Northbrook, Ill. Founded in 2008, the team has comforted victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting.

Tim Hetzner, the president of the charity, said that the dogs in Orlando were helping to provide a feeling of safety, allowing those in distress to relax their guard and express their vulnerability during a difficult time.

“We’ve had a lot of people here that start petting the dog, and they break out crying,” he said.

The dogs and their 20 handlers have visited hospitals and churches, and attended vigils and memorial services.

On Wednesday, they visited some of the hospitalized victims and met with the staff of Pulse, the gay nightclub where the shooting occurred.
read more here

Need Help in Orlando After Pulse?

This is from Mayor Buddy Dyer
I am so proud of our community and how we have come together to support each other during this difficult time. We have shown the world the strength of our city and how we are better together and will not be divided. 

As our community continues to recover from the Pulse tragedy, we have opened a Family Assistance Center to serve as a critical connection between victims and the important services they need as part of their recovery. 

Over the past two days since we opened the center at Camping World Stadium, 94 families and 256 individuals have visited to receive help. But we know there are still more victims in need of help and we want them to know we are here for them. 

The Family Assistance Center isn’t just for those who lost loved ones or were injured, it is for anyone affected by the tragedy. If you, your friends or family members have been affected by the shooting, please encourage them to seek help. 

We have made access to these services as easy as possible. Hours of operations and resources available at the Family Assistance Center are listed on our website 

Thank you for continuing to stand together as one Orlando. 
Buddy Dyer 

Friday, June 17, 2016

OneOrlando Fund Reaches $7 Million

$7 million donated to OneOrlando Fund, mayor says
Updated: Jun 17, 2016

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced Friday that the OneOrlando Fund had received more than $7 million in donations.

“We're showing the world that we are Orlando United. I'm so proud of the people standing behind me,” said Dyer.

The fund was set up to help people directly affected by the Pulse nightclub shooting, he said.

The outpouring of support from our City partners has already begun:
  • Walt Disney Company $1,000,000
  • In addition, eligible donations from Disney employees will be matched dollar for dollar by Disney. Employee Matching Gifts: A Program of The Walt Disney Company Foundation
  • Darden Restaurants $500,000
  • The Orlando Magic $100,000
  • JetBlue $100,000
  • Mears $50,000
  • Comcast NBCUniversal $1,000,000
  • Tishman Hotel Corporation $25,000
To contribute to the OneOrlando Fund, please visit

Thursday, June 16, 2016

President Obama Feels Pulse of Orlando

I have never been more proud of this city. To see the way people have stepped up to help strangers for no other reason than love, to see businesses set aside profit because of heartache, folks show up standing in line to donate blood and hold a candle to light the darkness, that shows the pulse of this city is beating strong enough to prove that hate will not defeat love.
President Obama meeting with victims’ families, survivors in Orlando
WESH 2 News
UPDATED 3:45 PM EDT Jun 16, 2016

After leaving the Amway Center, President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden stopped at the memorial resurrected outside the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center.

Orlando Mayor Buddy dyer shows President Obama a black "Orlando Pride" t shirt with a rainbow heart. AP IMAGE
3:30 p.m.

President Obama’s motorcade left the Amway Center shortly after 3:30 p.m. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden spent a little over two hours meeting with survivors and family members of the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting.

2:30 p.m.
Hundreds of people have gathered outside the Amway Center as President Barack Obama meets with survivors and family members of the victims inside.

1:30 p.m.
President Obama's motorcade arrived at the Amway Center just before 1:30 p.m. He will be meeting with the families of victims and survivors.

Survivors of the mass shooting were brought to the Amway Center Thursday morning.

After meeting with the families and survivors. President Obama and Vice President Biden will be meeting with local law enforcement officials to thank them for their work in response to Sunday's mass shooting.
read more here

Monday, June 13, 2016

Names of Lives Lost in Orlando Released

Remember these names and not the name of the one who caused their deaths.

Do not stand at my grave and weep I am not there; I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow. I am the diamond glints on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning's hush I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft star that shines at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry; I am not there; I did not die.

Victims’ Names

Updated June 13, 2016 2:40 p.m.
During this difficult time, we offer heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families. Our City is working tirelessly to get as much information out to the families so they can begin the grieving process. Please keep the following individuals in your thoughts and prayers. #PrayforOrlando
The below list of individuals includes victims who have lost their lives during the early morning incident, and next of kin have been contacted. As we continue to reach out to the families of victims, we will continue to update this post.
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old
Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old
Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old
Kimberly Morris, 37 years old
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old
Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old
Amanda Alvear, 25 years old
Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old
Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old
Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old
Cory James Connell, 21 years old
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old
Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old
Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old
Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old
Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old
Yilmary Rodriguez Sulivan, 24 years old
Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old
Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old
Frank Hernandez, 27 years old
Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old
Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz 24 years old

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Orlando, Strong Love Showed Up in the City Beautifully

If you want to know what hate does, it did it this morning in Orlando. If you want to know what love does, it began in the seconds after the first shot was fired and continued as more and more people showed up out of love.

We are heart broken but with that pain the healing already began and I just witnessed it at the AMC Theater in Altamonte Springs FL. The Red Cross was there and so were hundreds of people. I only lasted about an hour and a half when I had to give up. It was 95 degrees and my row was in the sun. 

There were not just the people standing there waiting to do what they could to help, but an Army of volunteers handing out water bottles, drinks, snacks, ice drenched paper towels and even fans from a radio station.

We talked about how love showed up by the hundreds after one person decided to kill out of hate. That was beautiful.

It was beautiful in face of that mass murderer still taking lives while strangers stopped to help the wounded. It was love that had one after another do whatever they could to help get a terrified person to safety. It was yet again love as the first responders showed up not knowing what they were heading into but ready to take on anyone trying to kill as many as possible.

While a few haters may rejoice and claim they had something to do with it, fear lost this morning. Love won this day and will continue to show up in response to others who will never know what true love feels like.  
Orlando massacre: Deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history
Police confirm 50 dead, 53 others taken to hospitals

WESH 2 News
Jun 12, 2016

ORLANDO, Fla. —Fifty people are dead and at least 50 others were taken to area hospitals after a mass shooting at a downtown Orlando nightclub early Sunday morning, officials have confirmed.

The massacre is now the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Police said Omar Mateen, 29, was armed with an AR-15 rifle and a handgun when he stormed into the Pulse nightclub off Orange Avenue and Kaley Street about 2 a.m. In a video provided to WESH 2 News, more than 20 shots can be heard.

Officials said more than 300 people were inside the club at the time. "Everyone get out of Pulse and keep running," the club posted on its official Facebook page at 2:09 a.m.
read more here

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Disgraceful Neglect of Fort Hood Survivors

Neglecting Fort Hood Survivors Is a National Disgrace
Kathy Platoni
April 19, 2016

Too many survivors don't have access to the benefits they need

Nearly seven years after the national tragedy of the Fort Hood massacre, little has changed. Despite the unveiling of the magnificent memorial in Killeen, Texas, on March 11 to pay tribute to the wounded and the fallen, this catastrophic event and its victims have been largely forgotten. Thirteen innocents lost their lives and more than 30 were wounded that day, gunned down by a self-proclaimed radical jihadist who advocated for the burnings and beheadings of his fellow soldiers.

Some of the wounded have been obtaining medical treatment on their own dime, desperately trying to restore themselves to health and to find their way back to any degree of normalcy. And then there are the psychological wounds, which often remain unspoken and are often unlikely to ever heal. Joshua Berry, a survivor of the massacre, suffered from post-traumatic stress and committed suicide in 2013. The Army should have done more to help him and others like him.

Kathy Platoni is a retired Colonel in the U.S. Army and a survivor of the Fort Hood massacre.

read more here 

Army's largest base reeling from four apparent suicides in one weekend 2010

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Marine Killed Others Wounded in Iraq Rocket Attack

US servicemember killed by enemy fire in Iraq
Stars and Stripes
Published: March 19, 2016

A U.S. Marine was killed Saturday and several others were wounded in a rocket attack on a base in northern Iraq, U.S. officials said.

"Earlier today a U.S. Marine providing force protection fire support at a recently established coalition fire base near Makhmour in northern Iraq was killed after coming under ISIL rocket fire," Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a statement. He used an acronym for the Islamic State group. Several other Marines were wounded and being treated, he said. Further information would not be released until after notification of next of kin.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the servicemembers involved, their families and their coalition teammates who will continue the fight against ISIL with resolve and determination," Cook said.

The Makhmour base is outside Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, which was captured by the Islamic State group in 2014.
read more here

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Canadian Soldiers Stabbed at Recruitment Center

Police allege soldier stabbing suspect said 'Allah told me to come and kill people'

Posted Mar 15, 2016

Ali was charged with a total of nine counts, according to court documents: three attempted murder, two aggravated assault, three assault with a weapon and possession of a dangerous weapon.
Ayanle Hassan Ali arrives in a police car at a Toronto court house on Tuesday, March 15, 2016. A man who allegedly said Allah instructed him to kill was charged Tuesday with stabbing and wounding two uniformed soldiers at a north Toronto military recruitment centre a day earlier. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
TORONTO – A man who allegedly said Allah instructed him to kill was charged Tuesday with stabbing and wounding two uniformed soldiers at a north Toronto military recruitment centre a day earlier.

While investigators were probing possible terror links, the city’s police chief said there didn’t appear to be any connection to terrorist groups, although it seemed the man had deliberately targeted military personnel.

“To date, there is nothing to indicate the accused is working with anyone or in concert with any organization,” Chief Mark Saunders said. “It will take some time to have a complete picture.”

The incident occurred mid-afternoon Monday, when a man walked into the government building that houses a Canadian Armed Forces recruitment centre on the ground floor.
read more here

Saturday, March 12, 2016

November 5, 2009 Fort Hood Memorial Opened

Hundreds honor those lost, wounded in Nov. 5 shooting as memorial is dedicated
Killeen Daily Herald
Jacob Brooks
March 11, 2016
"Those killed on Nov. 5, 2009, honored self service above all else. Together we all honor their sacrifice.” Governor Greg Abbott
Sheryll Pearson, mother of fallen soldier PFC. Michael Pearson,
shows his bronze to Maj. Theresa Long during Friday's Fort Hood
Memorial dedication Gabe Wolf Herald Ft Hood Memorial
Soldiers who were shot in one of the bloodiest mass shootings in American history, as well as family members of the fallen, were reunited today, more than six years after the 2009 Fort Hood shooting that left 13 people dead and 31 wounded.

Dozens of families who lost sons, daughters, spouses and other loved ones were in Killeen today for the official dedication of the “November 5, 2009 Fort Hood Memorial,” an outdoor memorial that honors those who were killed and wounded in the shooting.

The $400,000 memorial — which was paid for through donations and in-kind services — includes a gazebo, 13 statues symbolizing those killed and a flag pole in the center.

Former Army Capt. Dorothy Carskadon, who was shot four times by Nidal Hasan in the shooting, said she got into town Thursday night, and had already visited the memorial twice.
read more here

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Chicago Marine 7 Marathons for Chattanooga Slain Servicemembers

ABC News Chicago
By Ravi Baichwal
Wednesday, February 03, 2016

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A U.S. Marine from Chicago is back home after a whirlwind global tour with an athletic twist that might take a moment or two to sink in.

Daniel Cartica added more than 180 miles to his trip in one of the hardest ways you could imagine: seven marathons in seven days on seven continents.

Starting Saturday, January 23, day one was at Union Pass, Antarctica. From the icy course there, he hop-scotched the world to six other continents, finally finishing his amazing feat in Australia last Friday - and Cartica won the World Marathon Challenge in record time.

His trip around the world started at its bottom, Antarctica, then it was on to the Americas, over to Europe, down to Africa, across to the Middle East, then Down Under. Leading the pack in Antarctica was Cartica, a Marine who teaches at Northwestern University.

"I am always a guy who is trying to get out of his comfort zone," Cartica said.

That meant paying $23,000 for the chance to join a club more exclusive than Mount Everest climbers or the astronaut corps. After finishing, it was back into the group's Russian transport, where what little rest was to be gotten before the next marathon - in Punta Arenas, Chile.

"I wanted to do something for those family members of the servicemen that were killed," he said.

They were the five men who died in Chattanooga, Tenn., last July when they were ambushed by an armed gunman motivated, according to the FBI, by "foreign terrorist organization propaganda."
read more here

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Philadelphia Police Officer Survived Isis Inspired Assassin

Philadelphia police release chilling images of alleged ISIS-inspired attack on officer
Business Insider
Colin Campbell
Jan 8th 2016

On Friday, the Philadelphia Police Department released dramatic still images of an alleged assassination attempt against one of its officers the night before.
Police Commissioner Richard Ross said the attacker claimed to have been inspired by the Islamic State terror group, also known as ISIS. Ross said the targeted officer was shot three times and that it was something of a miracle that he survived such a direct attack.

"I don't know how this officer survived," Ross said.

The alleged attacker was identified as Edward Archer.
read more here

Monday, December 21, 2015

Six US Service Members Killed in Afghanistan

6 American troops killed in Afghan suicide attack, officials say
Stars and Stripes
By Heath Druzin
Published: December 21, 2015

KABUL, Afghanistan — Six U.S. troops were killed Monday when a suicide bomber on a motorcycle plowed into a foot patrol near a major U.S. air base in Afghanistan, local officials and media reported.

Two U.S. servicemembers and one Afghan were wounded, The Associated Press and NBC news reported.

The NATO-led coalition would not confirm the identities of those killed, but Abdul Shukor Qudoosi, governor of the district where the base is located, said all six were American. The Washington Post and the Reuters news agency each quoted a U.S. official as confirming they were U.S. servicemembers.

It was the biggest single loss of life due to hostile fire suffered by the U.S. military since the end of the NATO combat mission last year. Six U.S. airmen and five civilian contractors were killed in October when a C-130 crashed in Jalalabad, but U.S. officials said hostile fire was not believed involved.

The attack happened around 1 p.m. when the attacker targeted a joint patrol of coalition troops and Afghan National Police officers in Parwan province near Bagram Air Field, Qudoosi said. He said three foreign troops and three Afghan policemen were also wounded in the attack.
read more here

Paris Attack Hero Waits for PTSD Help He Can Understand

Hero Brit who survived Paris attacks faces months waiting for counselling
Express UK
By Jake Burman
Sun, Dec 20, 2015
His French girlfriend Sara Badel Craeye, 28, said: "In France we started to see the therapists right away, they say you need to talk about soon otherwise there can be issues in the long run."

"Michael needs the support in English, you can't find the words for trauma in your own language, never mind another language."
Mr O'Connor saved his girlfriend Sara by laying on top of her
Michael O'Connor was hailed after he lay on top of his girlfriend to protect her during the massacre at the Bataclan Theatre during the November 13 atrocities.

More than a month after the harrowing attack the former chef, from South Shields, Newcastle, says he feels "completely alone" after returning to the UK in the hope of getting specialist help.

The 30-year-old faces a 6 week wait to speak to a therapist about the horrific trauma he suffered, when he got in touch with the Talking Matters Cognitive Therapy service run by Insight Healthcare in partnership with Northumberland and Tyne and Wear NHS.

But health bosses insists they are following guidelines which recommend a "watchful waiting" period.

The furious victim said: "It is a real indictment of how bad mental health services are.

"The embassy told me I would get the care I needed back at home.

“My GP has been brilliant and so have victim support but it is disappointing I haven't been able to speak to specialist. I feel completely alone."
read more here

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Purple Hearts Approved for Chattanooga Fallen

Purple Hearts to go to victims of Chattanooga terror attack 
Stars and Stripes
Tara Coop and Cory Dickstein
December 16, 2015
Family and friends of the U.S. sailor and four Marines killed July 16 in Chattanooga, Tenn., attend a memorial service in Chattanooga, on Aug. 15, 2015. The Navy on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015, announced it would award Purple Hearts to the slain servicemembers after the FBI called the shooting a terror attack. ADRIAN CADIZ/DEFENSE DEPARTMENT
WASHINGTON — The Navy said Wednesday that four Marines and one sailor murdered in Chattanooga will receive Purple Hearts after the FBI announced earlier in the day that the July attacks were an act of terrorism.

The ambush on July 16 claimed the lives of one sailor, Navy Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Randall Smith, 26, and four Marines: Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, 40, a Purple Heart recipient for wounds received in Iraq; Lance Cpl. Squire K. Wells, 21; Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, 35, and Sgt. Carson Holmquist, 25.

They were attacked by lone gunman Mohammad Abdulazeez, 24, who fired on the Naval Operational Support Center in Chattanooga. Abdulazeez forced his way onto the facility after shooting at a nearby Chattanooga military recruitment center, where he shot Marine Sgt. DeMonte Cheeley in the leg.The shooter then led police on a chase to the operations support center. Abdulazeez entered the facility with an assault rifle and handgun, killing the five men before he was shot and killed by police.

Cheeley also will receive a Purple Heart, the Navy stated in a news release.
read more here

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Chattanooga Families Still Wait For Terrorism Decision

Tenn. attack still not called terrorism; indecision affects benefits to families 
The Washington Post
By Dan Lamothe
Published: December 5, 2015
Military officials have proactively prepared Purple Heart nomination packages for the troops involved, said Maj. Rob Dolan, a Marine Corps spokesman in Quantico, Virginia. But the awards are still in limbo while the investigation remains open.
A memorial stands outside of the Armed Forces Recruiting Center Chattanooga on Aug. 13, 2015.
WASHINGTON — More than five months after attacks on two military facilities in Chattanooga, Tenn., left four Marines and a sailor dead, federal investigators still have not determined whether the attack was terrorism - and it's financially costing the families of those who died, as Purple Heart awards hang in the balance.

The July 16 attack killed Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, 40; Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, 35; Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist; Lance Cpl. Squire D. "Skip" Wells, 21; and Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith, 26. Other service members and a Chattanooga police officer also were wounded by Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, 24, a naturalized U.S. citizen, who was born in Kuwait.

The attack was carried out at the Chattanooga Naval Reserve Center and a recruiting station a few miles away. read more here