Oct 2, 2003

News & Links

America's Veterans


The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Command Sgt. Maj. James D. Blankenbecler, 40, of Alexandria, Va., was killed on Oct. 1 in Samarra, Iraq. Blankenbecler was in a convoy that was hit by an improvised explosive device and rocket propelled grenades. Blankenbecler died of his injuries.

Blankenbecler was assigned to 1st Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas.

Spc. Dustin K. McGaugh, 20, of Derby, Kan., died on Sept. 30 in Balad, Iraq. McGaugh died from a non-hostile gunshot wound. McGaugh was assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 17th Field Artillery Brigade, Fort Sill, Okla.

These incidents are under investigation.