Saturday, September 25, 2010

Honoring fallen military and keeping facts straight

I first saw this on facebook and then found it replicated all over the web, where it has been re-posted thousands of times in the last few days. I agree with the sentiment, but found the facts less than 100% accurate.

Lindsay Lohan, 24, is all over the news because she's a celebrity drug addict. While Justin Allen, 23, Brett Linley, 29, Matthew Weikert, 29, Justus Bartett, 27, Dave Santos, 21, Chase Stanley, 21, Jesse Reed, 26, Matthew Johnson, 21, Zachary Fisher, 24, Brandon King, 23, Christopher Goeke, 23, and Sheldon Tate, 27 are all Marines that gave their lives this week, no media mention. Honor THEM by reposting.

I rarely re-post something like that, but I felt this was compelling so I checked it out in more detail. It turns out that all 12 were killed serving in Afghanistan between July 10 and 16, not this week, all were Americans except Brett Linley, of Birmingham UK, who served in the 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment,The Royal Logistic Corps. Nine of the 12 served in the US Army, not the Marines. Extensive searching found no record of Justus Bartett, but I was able to find an obituary for 27 year old Marine Staff Sgt. Justus S. Bartelt , of Polo, Ill, and I concluded that his name was likely transcribed incorrectly at some point.

Here are more details on each individual with references. God Bless them and their families for their courageous self sacrifice.

Justin B. Allen, 23
Sgt. Justin B. Allen, 23, of Coal Grove, Ohio, died July 18, 2010 in Zhari, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when he was shot by insurgents while conducting combat operations. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.

refs: Warriors' watch Riders Forums database

Brett Linley, 29

Staff Sergeant Brett George Linley of Birmingham, from 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment,The Royal Logistic Corps, serving with the Counter-IED Task Force, died in Afghanistan Saturday 17 July 2010.

Staff Sergeant Linley was 29 and from Birmingham. He and his team were working to clear Improvised Explosive Devices from a vital route in the Nahr-e Saraj District of Helmand Province when he was killed by an explosion.

Sources BBC: July 22, 2010

JACKSONVILLE - Staff Sergeant Matthew W. Weikert, 29, of Jacksonville was mortally wounded on Saturday, July 17, 2010, while serving with the U.S. Army near Orgun, Afghanistan.

He joined the U.S. Marine Corps in August of 2001 serving three tours in Iraq over four years. He later joined the U.S. Army serving with the 101st Airborne completing a tour in Iraq and was currently deployed in Afghanistan. As a military team leader, Matt was adamant that his personal mission was to properly prepare the soldiers under his command and keep them safe from harm.

Justus Bartett, 27 >> extensive searching produced no results for Justus Barett; however, there was a Marine Staff Sgt. Justus S. Bartelt, who Died July 16, 2010 serving in Afganistan

Marine Staff Sgt. Justus S. Bartelt 27, of Polo, Ill.; assigned to 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died July 16 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

The Associated Press

Justus Bartelt was born on the Fourth of July and decided roughly a dozen years later that he would to serve the country whose independence that day celebrates.

“He was a best friend to those who knew him as a friend,” she said. “He was a true and loyal family member and he was a true and loyal marine.”

Bartelt joined the Marines after graduating from Polo Community High School in Polo, Ill., in 2001.

When he was deployed in February, he instructed his mother not to worry.

The 27-year-old died July 16 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province during his third tour of duty. He was assigned to Camp Lejeune.

Dave Santos, 21

Marine Cpl. Dave M. Santos died July 16, 2010 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom

21, of Rota, Marianas Islands of the Pacific; assigned to 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died July 16 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Ref Military times database

Army Spc. Chase Stanley died July 14, 2010 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom

21, of Napa, Calif.; assigned to the 27th Engineer Battalion (Combat Airborne), 20th Engineer Brigade (Combat), Fort Bragg, N.C.; died July 14 in Zabul province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his military vehicle with an improvised explosive device.
Army Specialists, Stanley, Reed, Johnson, and Fisher were killed in the same IED attack on July 14.
ref: Military times database

Army Spc. Jesse D. Reed died July 14, 2010 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom

26, of Orefield, Pa.; assigned to the 27th Engineer Battalion (Combat Airborne), 20th Engineer Brigade (Combat), Fort Bragg, N.C.; died July 14 in Zabul province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his military vehicle with an improvised explosive device.
ref: military times database

Army Spc. Matthew J. Johnson died July 14, 2010 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom

21, of Maplewood, Minn.; assigned to the 27th Engineer Battalion (Combat Airborne), 20th Engineer Brigade (Combat), Fort Bragg, N.C.; died July 14 in Zabul province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his military vehicle with an improvised explosive device.
ref: military times database

Army Sgt. Zachary M. Fisher died July 14, 2010 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom

24, of Ballwin, Mo.; assigned to the 27th Engineer Battalion (Combat Airborne), 20th Engineer Brigade (Combat), Fort Bragg, N.C.; died July 14 in Zabul province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his military vehicle with an improvised explosive device.
ref: military times database

Army Pvt. Brandon M. King died July 14, 2010 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom

23, of Tallahassee, Fla.; assigned to 1st Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.; died July 14 at Combat Outpost Nolen, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with small-arms fire.
ref: military times database

Army 1st Lt. Christopher S. Goeke died July 13, 2010 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom

23, of Apple Valley, Minn.; assigned to 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died July 13 in Kandahar City, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire.
ref: military times database

Army Staff Sgt. Sheldon L. Tate died July 13, 2010 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom

27, of Hinesville, Ga.; assigned to the 782nd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died July 13 in Kandahar City, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire.
ref: military times database


updated : Sept 27, closing the loop. Further searching seems to confirm my conclusion that the name of Justus Bartelt was misspelled somewhere along the way. Here is a very similar comment posted July 26 on a TMZ website. This version has 10 of the 12 names, with the correct spelling of Bertelt's name, and no reference to which branch of service they served.

Lindsey Lohan who? I cant believe the news coverage being given to a spoiled 20-something yr old. Here are a few 20 yr-olds worth knowing about: Justin Allen 23, Brett Linley 29, Matt Weikert 29, Justus Bartelt 27, Dave Santos 21, Chase Stanley 21, Jesse Reed 26, Matthew King 23, Christopher Goeke 23, & Sheldon Tate 27. These 20-somethings gave their lives for you this week. Repost if you support the Military


Mike said...

I am actually in the process of writing my own blog post researching the names of these, investigating whether or not the folks who died were genuinely Marines and whether it was actually "this week" and can also not find any entries for Justus Bartett. I appreciate your lead, though, on a possible correction on the spelling! =)

Chuck Anastasia said...

Mike, Thanks for your comment. I felt that the inaccuracies in the original did not "honor" their sacrifice and was disrespectful to their families.


HMester said...

Thanks for researching this. I posted it this past summer & when it came around again got wondering about it's authenticity.

Anonymous said...

I did not find the inaccuracies offensive, I felt the overall message needed to be heard. Deepest condolences to all who have lost someone in these wars, I admire you.

Junk Exchange said...

thank you for researching this .. i started research and found your blog .. thank you ..

Chuck Anastasia said...

Anonymous commented> I did not find the inaccuracies offensive.

I wouldn't have chosen use the word "offensive" to describe the original FB post; however, as I noted previously, I think the inaccuracies do not honor those fallen, or respect their families. How would you feel if your husband, son, father, or brother sacrificed his life and was memorialized online by a viral message containing inaccuracies, half truths, or relegated his name to a typographical error? I'm against mindlessly re-posting something seen on the internet without first validating its accuracy.

akageorge said...

I, too, was in the process of looking up info on this viral (for the second time) when I came across your posting. Thank you for setting the record straight. Now I can refer folks here when that item appears again ... and it will!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for doing the legwork. We need to honor the people who died but we need to do it by not sending any more people to war!

Anonymous said...

Some people would say that those details aren't important. But I would imagine that the parents of the deceased would argue that the details of their lost loved ones is important.

I don't think the parents would like having the name of their child used Incorrectly and Inaccurately, by random people on the Internet who never knew their child, who are trying to make some kind of point about some Hollywood bimbo. I don't think reposting inaccurate information is a good way to "honor" the dead.

Linking two entirely unrelated things, especially when it comes to "supporting the troops" is something people tend to do a lot. But in my most humble opinion, it's actually disrespectful to their parents, family, friends, and the people they served with to deny them the dignity of getting the facts straight. It's ironic in a way. The post attempts to honor the "fallen", but one could argue that it actually insults them by saying "They died for their country, but they aren't important enough to bother getting the dates correct, or the branch they served in. They died so I can post a message about my dislike for Lindsay Lohan."

Is that honor? Hardly. If you hate the Hollywood bimbo, just say you hate the bimbo. Don't drag 'the troops' into it. Somehow I don't think the mothers and fathers of those mentioned in the post feels "honored" by having their son's name used Inaccurately and in connection with some dumb Hollywood bimbo.

Anonymous said...

I actually was about to post this because my friend in the service posted it. I also wondered about the dates and started doing some research and the first one I came to died in July and was also in the Army. Thank you so much for doing this research! I know to those in the military it is a big difference. They were also all honored by their local media too. So they were honored by their communities. It is sad that these things nationally don't attract more attention. Nightly News (I think it was) used to run a crawl of the names, but I don't think they do anymore.

Tammy said...

Thank you for posting this! I was researching it myself when I came across your blog in my own research! Thank you for setting the record straight. From a military mom, I have to say it DOES make a difference to have the facts!God bless you!

Laurie said...

I just saw this on a friend's FB and went to research b/f posting myself. TY for researching this. God bless all of the men and women who serve in the US Armed Forces, and my deepest condolences to any families who have lost a loved one.

KevinMB said...

Thank you for researching the Lindsey Lohan connection, but I think the theme is valid regardless of when they died. SHE gets press for being .... a bad girl and the HEROES get nothing!

Anonymous said...

I just saw this of FB and googled it to see if it was the least bit accurate or not. Your blog came up in that search.

My husband is a Marine who has served two tours in Iraq and is volunteering to go for a third deployment to Afghanistan. To families and service men/women, the details tend to be important. Not having the correct dates or branches of service is something that is important to us.

I agree that the sentiment is there. I'm glad to see that so many people in this world want to honor those who server our country. I think it's great that they are trying to draw attention, but I do think it's important to be sure things that you are passing along and reposting are accurate.

My husband would want to be honored correctly.

Anonymous said...

I, too, google'd these names after seeing the post of facebook just so I wouldn't be posting something inaccurate. Thanks for taking the time to put this post together so I can now link directly to your blog :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information! Lesson learned - Facebook posts, even those of trusted friends, are just as (un)reliable as viral emails!

I agree that respect for the memories of these young men is in the details.

Anonymous said...

I found the original post to be relative and poingant, not offensive in the least. What I found offensive was this blog's trivialization of the message behind the post. I would think the families of the fallen and the troops themselves would be honored. These men died for us and our country. How dare you say we as citizens "did not know these men". Semper Fi!

Leah said...

I found the original post to be relative and poingant, not offensive in the least. What I found offensive was this blog's trivialization of the message behind the post....

In regards to that. I dont find it offensive at all how he researched it. I too was going to repost it but it seemed very unamerican of us not to have had any sort of memorial for them at all. I do not remember flags dropping or anything around here. my brother/sister/ and 3 best friends are over there right now. and I'd be the first to tell you id be quite ticked off if i later came down the road and saw their name passed around in some viral spam message that doesnt even hold the facts of their horrible death.

I do however respect a constant message going around saying remember our troops. and all and all this could have been going around since this summer when it happened and its just still appearing, you never know

Kate said...

Thank you for helping my in my research, I've reposted this correctly... Lindsay Lohan, 24, is all over the news because she's a celebrity drug addict. While Justin Allen 23, Matthew Weikert 29, Justus Bartet 27, Dave Santos 21, Chase Stanley 21, Jesse Reed 26, Matthew Johnson 21, Zachary Fisher 24, Brandon King 23, Christopher Goeke 23 and SheldonTate 27 are all Soldiers and Marines who gave their lives between 10-16 week July 2010. Honor THEM by reposting this.

Vikki said...

Thanks so much for doing that research.

You clearly put alot of work and thinking into it.

I wanted (some of) the facts straight, but was NOT prepared to invest in so many sources of information.

It's a great reminder of the standards of veracity we should exercise in our everyday lives. Because each of these man had lives and names. And somehow, that matters.

Molica said...

I greatly appreciate this blog article. As the wife of a soldier, I can assure you that the small things are often what matter the most to these men and women. These are the men and women who spend 4-12 weeks (depending on the department they enlist with) being trained and grilled over small things like the creases in their pants or the alignment of the medals on their blouse. It is through many of these small things that these men and women take great care and pride. And I personally believe that the attention to detail is something that makes our soldiers stand apart. How can we accurately honor them without also honoring their way of life? Not all soldiers are Marines, and to classify them all as such is usually an insult to both Army personnel and Marines. (anyone close to the military culture knows about that friendly feud! lol) Sure, it's the thought that counts - but how much are you really thinking about them if you cannot honor them with their own, correct title ??

pennyspen said...

Thank you for the research. I was just googling one of the names to see if there was news coverage somewhere... and found your blog. Since I found this in the beginning of my search, I don't know what is out there, but realize that although the Lindsey Lohan thing wasn't totally true, it is sad that she really does get more/better coverage.

Anonymous said...

I, too, rarely re-post stuff like this and, after seeing it several times on Facebook, was starting to research it when I found your blog (like so many others).
I find it heartening that there are others who had the same urge to check out the facts before mindlessly posting. This is how the WWW is supposed to work!

Sgt. Ted said...

Clearly the 'no media mention' is a flat out lie...

Sgt. Ted said...

Clearly the 'no media mention' is a flat out lie...

theDoctor said...

Thank you for checking the facts. I am one of those "ignorant" people that re-posted today without checking the facts. Primarily because I am at work and did have the time to put in the legwork.

I do not apologize for posting this on my FB page (even with the inaccuracies) for the simple reason that I believe it is something that needs more attention brought to it.

Michael Jackson and Anna Nicole Smith received month long coverage when they died. The media devoted nearly twice as much time to Tiger Woods' infidelity. And now Lindsay Lohan is back in the news again.

Every now and then, I think it is important to remind those we associate with that there is a war going on.

Anonymous said...

Looks like you spelled Bartelt's name wrong in your update. You spell it "Bertelt", where the common misspelling is "Bartett" and you say the correct spelling is "Bartelt".

Chuck Anastasia said...

Thanks for all of your supportive comments. I especially appreciate the input from the military moms and wives, Tammy, Molica, and Anonymous, who confirmed my assumption that families are sensitive to the details.

I'm also perfectly OK with Kate's approach to post corrections that eliminate the inaccuracies.

I am humbled by 3 of the comments.

1)Vikki wrote> It's a great reminder of the standards of veracity we should exercise in our everyday lives.

2) Anonymous wrote> I find it heartening that there are others who had the same urge to check out the facts before mindlessly posting. This is how the WWW is supposed to work!

3) Another Anonymous commenter with a keen eye pointed out that I had a typo in Justus Bartelt's name within my Sept 27 Update, which I've now corrected. I am grateful for this correction. (This is the way the WWW is supposed to work. You point out my error, and I fix it)

I'm disappointed to see that the inaccurate post is propagating on Facebook at the rate of over 30 re-posts per minute. (based on analysis of

I'm extremely satisfied to see the first result of Google search with the entire text of the original FB post is David Emery's Urban Legends Blog which points back here. I want to extend a a hat tip to David for his vote of confidence in my research.

Anonymous said...

I posted it, and am damn proud. I too was doiing research for my blog and stumbled across your research. I gave you a trackback, so hope you get some hits from it. Would I post again, Hell yea! There may be some innaccuracies, but those are minor when you consider the impact of keeping these men in our memories. TMZ should not be considered the media. The Lamestreammedia will not make mention, and will continue to ram Lindsey Lohan down our throats. Its important to remember our men and women of the military, and I am quite certain they would rather you mix up a date than to let them become lost in obscurity. Keep up the good research, and for those of you that posted as I did, do not be discouraged. Its good to get the facts right, but do not forget the message or our Heros in an effort to save your own face.

pennyspen said...

I just decided to post the Marines' information in a way that was proactive instead of adding Lindsey Lohan's name to it and I didn't ask for anyone to repost, but just stated, HONOR THEM and listed their names from the facebook post. I went further to let people know how you found the actually accounts of acknowledgement by reposting what you have here and crediting you for the work. I don't know if anyone will repost that, but at least it is there.

Thanks again, Penny Bradford

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I am so disgusted at the ignorant postings of people. Research it before you just repost! I was JUST writing a blog about this too.

fred said...

Just a quick comment from a "Brit" Accuracy is essential in any form of remembrance. This article shows the kind of society we have become on both sides of the Atlantic when the bad behaviour of a "film star" is of far more interest to most people than the deaths of service personnel who are killed protecting us. Even worse is the total lack of reporting of those who are maimed and crippled and then more or less left on the "scrapheap." As I understand it the American Government try and treat them as heroes.When will the British Government give them the support they deserve.

Anonymous said...

@Fred: actaully I think the British govt do a pretty good job of memorializing the fallen in conflicts. Here is the piece for SSgt Linley (if the url does not post please go to www dot mod fot uk and search for "Brett George Linley")

Anonymous said...

You obviously did quite a bit of research on this topic. However, the post I read didn't claim they were ALL said they were soldiers and Marines. Soldiers is usually associated with Army. Regardless of their branch of service, the important thing to remember is they are all members of our military and are much more important than Lindsay Lohan. Our current society is ignorant as to who the real heroes in this country really are.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if this was started in July because L. Lohan was in the new in July also, see this LA times article:

So it could of been accurate for that time frame.

Christine R. said...

As an Army wife, I'm disheartened by this viral message that preys on the heartstrings of those who are easily influenced while attempting to capitalize on the names of the fallen.

To me, the use of these soldiers' names in this matter is exploiting their deaths, not honoring the sacrifice that they have made. I understand the underlying message in the post, but it could have been worded differently without mentioning any specific soldiers. Afterall, isn't this really about the common sacrifice of ALL soldiers - be it their lives, their health, or their families?

What is more important in this situation is not that the media has given other subjects priority, but that we as Americans have to be reminded that a war is going on and that soldiers are dying everyday. The general public seems to just "forget" about the war until a news story is shown about a death is the only way they remember what is going on.

Understandably so, people who are not exposed to the military on a daily basis or thorugh family have gone on with their lives. Now so many years after 9/11, we have become comfortable once again.

The best way to combat this is not to pressure the media to give "deserved attention" to the sacrifices of the military, but to be proactive in our own appreciation for them. Send packages, volunteer on airport welcome committees, attend freedom rides for soldiers' funerals. There are any number of ways to show your appreciation for the military - big or small. Afterall, if you don't actually do anything, are you really better than the media you're complaining about?

Anonymous said...

Thank you SGT. Romo. Semper-FI

Anonymous said...

Well done, Chuck. Much appreciated. -SSGT A. Wesely USMC Ret

Anonymous said...

It's a tragedy when young people die, especially for the benefit of so many others who never notice their sacrifice.

Roger Helbig said...

Anonymous, you seem to indicate that you are a Marine with your "Semper Fi" sign off. No true Marine would dishonor the Corps by claiming that a British soldier and a number of Army soldiers, including West Point grad and a Ranger, were Marines or misspell a fellow Marine's name. A true Marine would rise to a much higher standard. I suspect you are anonymous because you are a pretend Marine. Want to dispute that, write me -

Anonymous said...

Thank you for researching this info. I received the email today stating they were all KIA this past week. I recalled when Sheldon Tate died this past summer. So I started researching and WHEW thank goodness after the first four I came upon your blog. This is my second email regarding "Darkhorse" 3rd Battalion 5th Marines" no names listed in the first email. Why can't people stop, read and check it out before forwarding these emails. Thanks again for the information.

Anonymous said...

So now it is going around as an email, "if you want to honor them," send a link to this blog instead of the email:

Subject: EVERYONES Prayers are Needed

Body: We are asking everyone to say a prayer for "Darkhorse" 3rd Battalion 5th Marines and their families. They are fighting it out in Afghanistan & they have lost 9 marines in 4 days. IT WOULD BE NICE TO SEE the message spread if more could pass it on. Semper Fi, God Bless America and God Bless the United States Marine Corps... Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever. But: Nothing in the media about these guys because no one seems to care: Justin Allen, 23, Brett Linley, 29, Matthew Weikert, 29, Justus Bartett, 27, Dave Santos, 21, Chase Stanley, 21, Jesse Reed, 26, Matthew Johnson, 21, Zachary Fisher, 24, Brandon King, 23, Christopher Goeke, 23, Sheldon Tate, 27, All are Marines that gave their lives for YOU this week. Honor THEM by forwarding this.

FYI, I served two tours in in Iraq and lost 4 close friends. Having the facts straight means everything to these families. I chastised those who sent me that email specifically because of this line "Honor THEM by forwarding this"

This email, unlike the original report, was intentionally misleading and designed to promote spam based on the laziness of most of us. I know some say "I don't have time to research everything" and that is fine, just DON'T POST/FORWARD IT!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am always suspicious of any email that asks one to "forward it on" and I don't do so out of principle. There is usually something not right contained in it. Chain letters and now chain email..

Anonymous said...

Mr Anastasia

I received the email that is the subject of your blog today. Receiving a personal attack on a celebrity I don’t know personally, a bit of Military history, a value judgement on the news media, a religious request for prayer, and a reminder of the tragedy and sacrifice of some brave young men, all mixed together with factual inaccuracies in a piece of “spam”, had me a bit confused at first. Like you and others here I attempted to retrieve a little background on the names mentioned out of respect for their sacrifice.

When I came across your blog looking for "Justus Bartett" I was impressed with your dilligence and the fact that you shared your results. I just wanted to say thank you.

Jay said...

The story is true. The names are wrong. The names are:
• Sgt. Ian Tawney, 25. The squad leader was killed Saturday by an improvised explosive device while on a foot patrol, Marine officials said. He enlisted on March 14, 2005, and had deployed to Iraq in 2007.

• Lance Cpl. James Boelk, 24. The infantry rifleman was killed by an IED while on a foot patrol last Friday, officials said. He was on his first combat deployment.

• Lance Cpl. Joseph Lopez, 26. The infantry rifleman was killed by an IED while on a foot patrol last Thursday, officials said. He was on his first combat deployment.

• Lance Cpl. Alec Catherwood, 19. The infantry rifleman was shot to death while on a foot patrol last Thursday, officials said. He was on his first combat deployment.

• Lance Cpl. Irvin Ceniceros, 21. The machine gunner was shot to death while on a foot patrol last Thursday, officials said. He was on his first combat deployment.

• Cpl. Justin Cain, 22. The machine gunner was on his first combat deployment.

• Lance Cpl. Phillip Vinnedge, 19. The anti-tank assaultman was on his first deployment.

• Lance Cpl. Joseph Rodewald, 21. The machine gunner was on his first combat deployment.

• Pfc. Victor Dew, 20. The anti-tank assaultman was on his first deployment.

Phillip said...

I just spent the last hour I didn't have to check the facts on a similar version of the post I received that said they were all Marines. Then I found your'd already vetted the information and found it incorrect as well. Thanks to you and others out there that take the time to honor the fallen with the truth of their passing in the age of Forward and Cut and Paste pseudo journalism.
Thank you!
Semper Fi,
Cpl. Phillip Terry
USMC VN Vet 68'-70'

fortcannon said...

Anastasia, Risatti here. Thank you.
Every now and then when I start to lose faith in bloggers somebody like you comes along.

Marines appreciate factual information when anyone speaks of the Corps. I am confident that this article about these 12 good men did not originate with a Marine. A Marine would never distort the truth about a fallen comrade knowingly.

Your assessment and presentation was outstanding. You keep shooting straight and speaking the truth there will not be any limit to your success.

Semper Fi
Fort Cannon

Tracy Della Vecchia said...

This is circulating again in emails; this time stating the men were all with Third Battalion 5th Marines currently serving in Afghanistan, that all 9 died this week (though it lists 12 names), and they were all Navajo.

While we all appreciate keeping our fallen heroes in our memory, and their family in our prayers, I find it unfair to continue to pass this on with false information for the memory of these men, and our of respect for their families.

I find this comment from you heartless Vikki:
"Because each of these man had lives and names. And somehow, that matters."

It matters a whole lot, not just "somehow" that they had lives and names. The people gave their lives for their country and your response to it is that their lives and names SOMEHOW mattered?

Until you've walked in these shoes, every word you use needs to be chosen carefully and with the utmost respect.

I pray for folks to have an understanding; I pray for the wars to be over so the men and women can come home to their families, and yes, I pray for peace. But in the meanwhile, our military men and women prepare and train for defense of our freedoms and then step up to the plate when our commanding officer sends them to a foreign country to fight a war on our behalf. I can't imagine anything more honorable.

God Bless our military and their families who sacrifice so much. God the Gold Star Families who have lost their loved ones.

Semper Fidelis,

Sergio said...

Get Out of CUBA, Iraq, Aghanistan, Pakstan and Colombia. Don't blindly support your overseas killer government.

Leprakawn said...


Do the following mean anything to you?

09.11; USS Cole ('00); June 25, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia ('96); Feb. 26, New York City ('93); April 12, Madrid, Spain ('85); Sept. 20, east Beirut, Lebanon ('84).

Those attacks (and more) were against us... so we are doing a little payback in return.

Carrie said...

Thank you so much for researching this post. I was in the middle of my own research project on this before I came across your blog. Being a professional journalist, I don't like to forward posts on unless I can verify them, and I felt that this one, although it has a message I believe in 110%, could have some errors. It did. I too felt that it dishonors the families of these people to publish erroneous information about their loved ones. So thank you again.

Sara said...

Dave Santos, 21

"Marine Cpl. Dave M. Santos died July 16, 2010 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom

21, of Rota, Marianas Islands of the Pacific; assigned to 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died July 16 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Army Specialists, Stanley, Reed, Johnson, and Fisher were killed in the same IED attack on July 14."

Cpl Santos was not killed in an IED attack. According to the military times website, he was stabbed by a fellow Marine.

But thank you for blogging to clear up the other inaccuracies in the reported email/fb chain.

Chuck Anastasia said...

Thanks Sara, I've posted a correction.

Anonymous said...

Thanks you for researching and correcting the factual discrepancies for these brave soldiers and also for bringing to light that even though their hearts were in the right place by honoring those who have fallen for us fact that is it was not THIS week but almost a year ago. I found your comment as I too do not just forward everything that comes along as often it is incorrect and possibly damaging to those people or organizations that may be mentioned there-in.... thank you for being a responsible interent user! God bless the family and friends who have lost loved ones to this and all other wars fought in the past and present in the name of what is right and in the name of freedom..... K... :)

Sf said...

Thanks Chuck for doing the legwork on this one, I had just started researching the veracity of an email I received like it was NEW news , and found your blog. I have sent your results off to the stream of people that forwarded the *item* on to me, maybe next time they'll look for some basis in fact before forwarding but somehow I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. I received this email today and did my own research finding the dates being the primary discrepancy. I see no offense in the post, however, I too, do not like having a false timeline included when prompting a show of respect for true heroes of our time, rather than celebrities unworthy of their status.

Stoney B said...

I'm a Marine from the 1960's and very active in veteran efforts, as well as USMC-related history.

This story is frequently forwarded to me by well-meaning folks. I, too, researched the names and drew the same conclusions: well intended but woefully inaccurate. I agree the message needs to be placed before the General Public but also that veracity is imperative to PROPERLY honor our fallen brothers and sisters.

Two points of clarification on the "real" Marines listed: Cpl Dave M. SANTOS was allegedly stabbed to death by a fellow marine, not related to the WOT. Both he and SSGT Justus BARTELT are members of 2nd Bn 6th Marines (regiment), not 3/5 'Darkhorse'

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time to research these men who gave their lives. I have received email after email regarding these troops. I have looked up a few to know their stories and know who they were. I am a military brat (dad was a Marine for 21 years) and all 3 of my brothers have served in the armed forces. My love and prayers to these families. Semper Fi! <3

Kenny said...

I read through most of the comments on here, and I want to say thank you also for doing the research into this matter and posting the full information here.

I reposted the comment that is still making it's rounds on FB, but I also changed from "this week" to the correct dates. I had not read through your blog far enough to catch the misspelling of the name, so that is still incorrect in my post, but I added a comment to it directing people to your blog for more information. I also asked that if people repost it, that they add the link to your blog. So, that others have a chance to remember the fallen with honor and respect.

Anonymous said...

My son died in Iraq in 2006, therefore I don't repost anything like this without research. I had come to the same conclusion that you had. For those that think it's not offensive for people to misuse the information for some kind of political agenda, you're wrong. I appreciate the fact that there are those out there attempting to correct these things. And I feel sorry for the families that have had their loved ones names so misused!
Mother of
CPL Alexander J. Kolasa U.S. Army

tyler said...

I'm all for the cause but if even some of the information is wrong while your trying to make a point, its like making the death of a military soldier a debate or a joke, its not right. get all the right information, it's their lives they lost, don't make what they did for you a misguided lie. they did it for you, so tell the truth.

Alia said...

Hi, I missed this post the first time around and was doing my own research when I saw it with Linsay Lohan's name substituted by Amy Winehouse. I got stuck on the misspelled name and ran across your blog. Thanks. In a way, I'm glad that the post is still going around, though I wish the correct version would be enough to keep it alive. God Bless the soldiers and their families.

Anonymous said...

I thank you for helping to try to keep this accurate - the sacrifices and losses are truly heroic, and worthy of being honored CORRECTLY. Condolences to the families that find your blog as a result of this being spread around.

Anonymous said...

As the mother of a Fallen Soldier (Sgt Mark Maida KIA 5/26/05), I appreciated the goal of remembering the fallen soldiers rather than just Amy Whinehouse. I had been embarrassed once before by reposting a similar item on my facebook profile. This time I was half way through checking the facts myself when I found your site. Thank you for doing this and bringing to my attention that these deaths were in 2010! I'm not offended by the posting, but appreciate accuracy and not embarrassing myself!Thank you for remembering the fallen troops. Our biggest fear is that our loved ones will be forgotten.

Kelly said...

Thank you for this! I came across your post because 4 of those listed (Stanley, Fisher, Reed, and Johnson) were all in my husbands unit, so it always bugs me when I see them listed as "Marines killed last month." I started trying to look up the other names and found your post. I agree with you so much. I appreciate the sentiment, but feel like to truly honor these heroes, we should keep our facts straight.

Anonymous said...

I reposted this and then decided to check the facts. I came across this blog and would like to say Thank You for verifying the details. I have deleted my repost, but would like to Honor those who have sacrificed much to serve this Nation. THANK YOU! Two words that are so easy to say but are not heard often enough. Thank you to those that gave their lives defending freedom. Thank you to the family and friends who have sacrificed more than most people can understand.

Cecilia said...

Thank you. You blog is excellent. You honor these fallen men by sharing the truth. It is hard to believe people are just changing the celebrity name and passing this on a year later. Thank you, again.

Angela said...

Thank you for the correct information on these soldiers. As a mother, my heart breaks for all those who gave their lives.

Crystal Jeffers said...

Just saw this posted by my uncle who is a new Marine Dad. As the wife of a Marine I know how important it is to honor the dead but to do so with extreme accuracy. I appreciate your blog on this so that I could correct him without having to do all the research myself. I did fact check but at least I already knew where to find the info.

I always try hard to inform people when they have the facts wrong because it is no honor if the facts are wrong.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting more information about these men. While reviewing every link and all the information about all of these men who gave their lives for our freedom, I found another omission. Please add to your list, Army Staff Sgt. Christopher T. Stout, 34, who was killed along with Goeke and Tate. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Having seen this posted several times by people bemoaning the publicity and outpouring of grief from some quarters the death of Amy Winehouse got I wondered about the truth behind it. Particularly as here in the UK each serviceman killed is publicised and named in the press and on the news. I actually became quite irritated at the way it was just copied and posted with not a huge amount of real thought given to whether or not it was true.
I'm so pleased I came across your blog when I searched the names and have now posted a link on my Facebook page to here so hopefully those who posted it will see and read the comments here from the families and serving men and women as to how important it is that the details are correct if anyone wants to post support for them.

Anonymous said...

I went to School with Justice Bartelt of Polo Illinois, the “He was a best friend to those who knew him as a friend" quote is soooo true.

Anonymous said...

This thing is still going around. I just got it from my mom, but they've added Charlie Sheen's antics and Kim Kardashian's wedding to the list of stupid celebrity stuff. I was going to do some research and found you - so glad I did!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all the information you discovered on these service men. I also recieved the email from a friend today and wanted to know more about these brave men. Thank you to all our military and their families.

Walter Fox said...

The most disturbing inference was that these people were not mentioned in the press. THIS IS JUST NOT TRUE. All of them were of course, especially in their home town press. I know both Matthew Weikert of Jacksonville, IL and Zachary Fisher of Ballwin, MO were mentioned in the St. Louis are media when they died.

Bernadette said...

Thanks for keeping the facts straight. I remember posting it then because it came from my sister in law whose husband was in Afghanistan at that time. I too am wary of re-posting on FB if I'm not sure about the facts. I agree with most of the comments that inaccuracies about these people are very disrespectful. Some people just want to sound pious and self righteous on FB and this is one repost that makes them look that.

Bernadette said...

Another thing, back then it was big news. It was on CNN because it was one of the deadliest days in the war in Afghanistan.

Susan said...

Just received the email yesterday, Feb 24, 2012. I also wanted to check the accuracy before sending on to friends. I appreciate the intent of the email but sending inaccurate or blatantly false emails is getting out of hand. The names of these young men were being used to honor soldiers. Conceivably they could also be used to dishonor soldiers. Thank you all for contributing to truth.

Anonymous said...

God bless you for posting this!
BTW, the name Justus "Bartett" is still in your post above....

LN in Florida said...

Glad "Bartett" is still in the text because that's how I found your blog ... after gathering data on 10 other service members listed in what is now an email that doesn't reference a celebrity but does bemoan the lack of media attention.

Forwarding isn't honoring anyone, it's being lazy, not even giving the minimum thought to who these people really were (are) to the folks who knew them.

Kudos to everyone who took a few minutes to fact check and BIG BIG thanks for this blog and all the good comments.

Anonymous said...

Just seen the now infamous post on a friends wall today...really got quite annoyed as I knew that this was all bogus - the latest version was stating that all were Royal Marines, which is strange as I'd like to think I'd have heard of them as I am the Casualty Officer for the Royal Marines. I advised my friend to remove it and post something more accurate instead. Good effort on bringing this to the awareness of everyone - not in the know.

Anonymous said...

It's still going around. Got it today at work and immediately Googled it, landing me here. I sent the link to this post as a reply. I wish more people would check for accuracy before sending things on. I agree - I'm all behind the sentiment behind a post such as this, but facts are just as important. ~Kim

Curtis Christy said...

It's now July 29, two years later.
In a way it is good to know that the names--and through your blog a few of the details of their lives--will come to the surface and be "remembered" now and again. But the tricky or ignorant ways in which the names of these men have been memorialized is troubling. The email [which no longer refers to Lindsay Lohan] claims that they were lost "this week" ... as if the situation is the same now as it was two years ago. And it may well be; that's not my point, at all. The problem I see is these kinds of emails seem to raise their heads right alongside rightwing, conservative, and anti-Democrat emails always circulated arond election time. When using our military dead in a quasi-political context to bolster conservative "ideals," those who send these kinds of emails make no effort to determine whethe these soldiers, marines, airmen and sailors would WANT their deaths to be used in that way ... as if (because they died while serving in Afghanistan or Iraq, for example) they gave their consent to become the poster boys for all Republican candidates--whether or not the current candidate on the right is either particularly conservative, a veteran, or in any way like them. I'm a veteran. And I say let these men rest in peace. People with political agandas should not use their names in vain. And if they do, may there be consequences fitting the crime.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to our military, no matter which arm..... but also thanks to those of you who have researched & made sure that the facts are kept straight!! I hate it when someone just re-posts stuff without researching if it's even for real!!

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Tim said...

Unfortunately this is still doing the rounds. Thanks for your research.

"With Regret!

Who should we remember?

Whitney Houston's death, while a sad thing, was the direct result of very unwise life choices.
Same thing with Michael Jackson when he died! It dominated the news.

Jade Goody, no talent, no hope, sad ending.

Charlie Sheen is 45 and his story is all over the news because he is a substance abuser, an adulterer, sexually promiscuous and obnoxious.

Lindsay Lohan is 24 and her story is all over the news because she is a celebrity drug addict and thief.

Amy Winehouse’s story was all over the papers and shoved down our throats as she was a singer and ‘celebrity’ and a substance abuser.

Something as frivolous as Kim Kardashian's stupid wedding (and short-lived marriage) was thrust upon us!.
While the following

Justin Allen 23
Brett Linley 29
Matthew Weikert 29
Justus Bartett 27
Dave Santos 21
Jesse Reed 26
Matthew Johnson 21
Zachary Fisher 24
Brandon King 23
Christopher Goeke 23
and Sheldon Tate 27...

are all British Royal Marines who gave their lives last month for you.

There is no media for them; not even a mention of their names.

Honour THEM by sending this on.

I did! Will you?"

Anonymous said...

Just put the word "Marine" on it and the email will live forever. No matter how easy it is to get the facts straight or how bogus the rumor.

WendyMomLivingw/ADD said...

The e-mail is still going around and it is good because of how it got somebody like me to look up each name and read all about each one. It is good to remember what kind of people gave their lives for the good of our country. It would be nice to update that old e-mail with correct info. I found great detail on
Thank you so much for honoring these lives with your blog.

Thorn said...

I just received this message via email. Thank you Mike for taking the time to look this up, and properly honor the fallen. I began looking it up since it is unwise to blindly foward everything, and stumbled on your blog.

Anonymous said...

Just got this email a few minutes ago. Wanted to double check and came across this blog. Thanks for the efforts. It would be nice if people put dates on these things, but I suppose they are concerned that after awhile the email might not circulate. A greater concern might be that people begin to relegate truly important principles, values and losses to the vague, unreliable realm of "urban myths and legends" and get jaded into tuning out altogether.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, liberals feel it is necessary to hide the killing of American soldiers. They have a burning desire to glorify Obama when he says that we no longer have Americans dying in war.

It's unfortunate that the facts surrounding the death of these soldiers we inaccurately reported, however their deaths have been confirmed and they were participating in armed conflict against American enemies.

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shihtzumom said...

Still being circulated as "this week" deaths with no media coverage in November 2015. Glad I could Google this answer.

Anonymous said...

In an effort to keep documenting when this seems to be coming alive again...7/13/2016 just read this posted on Facebook. This coincides with the 5 Dallas policemen that were gunned down by an armed gunman.

Anonymous said...

Posted again recently and once again as though it was just "this week" and that they were all US Marines which is of course not accurate. Posted timed along with the USMC birthday.

analyst216 said...

I received a copy of your comment on the accuracy of the facebook post referenced to this conversation by a cousin of mine. He sent it to me as a consequence of my sending him a brief version of it that was sent to me by someone I know. Due to time constraints I presumed they wouldn't have sent it to me without verifying its veracity. I apologize for falling into the trap you referred to in your analysis. All too often we are inundated these days with information that isn't fully vetted. But, because it's about something we hold dear or are passionate about we respond quickly. The essence of the post is clear; as a civilization we seem to be more interested in the 15 minute fame whores (male and female) rather than the people that truly make a difference in how we are free to live our lives. As a veteran and former law officer I feel it's our duty to protect each other from those who would do us harm. Our pleasure is in the successful completion of that task, not the medals. For whatever reason, the public has a short attention span. Unfortunately, the media chooses to expose what THEY want us to see/hear, as does our government. And, nowadays we are exposed to 'fake' news. This situation, once again, has given me pause to not forward anything I have had a chance to verify. As always, when I hear of a military loss or law enforcement loss or even a firefighter/ems loss; a part of my heart is broken. If the same amount of energy and resources went into learning how to live together, rather than how to more efficiently limit our existence, imagine what we could truly accomplish as a civilization.

analyst216 said...

sorry for the typos!

Chubskulit Rose said...

Thank you for doing the research and setting the record straight. My husband is a Navy Veteran and I appreciate everything that our men and women in uniform did and still does for our freedom. NOt many people appreciate what service member do. I feel for those who lost family members who served, I pray that they find peace and I thank all of them for their sacrifices.

Brian C said...

Thanks much for the research... here it is Feb 2017 and this information is still circulating... albeit the message is slightly different. No Lindsay Lohan mention, just accusing the media of being too focused on politics.
The internet, and Facebook more specifically, is an odd creature.

Lndonna brooks said...

So thankful you created this Chuck. Unfortunate the Military Time's database links aren't working. These heroe's stories need to not ever have--a shelf life.

Unknown said...

You don't find it offensive because you never served, therefore couldn't possibly understand why it's offensive, and you're clearly a moron. This is going around all over fb again, that's how I stumbled upon it and it didn't add up, so like I said, you're clearly a moron if you can't understand how this is offensive.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking the time to honor the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice and those who continue to serve.

Murphy's Law said...

Thank you for taking the time to get the facts straight. These soldiers deserve to have the truth out there and this was so much more respectful than a Snopes link that would have never given the honor deserved by these men and women.

Ronda Dickeson said...

Exactly! People spread lies by not researching the validity of what they pass on via social media!

Ronda Dickeson said...

Exactly! People spread lies by not researching the validity of what they pass on via social media!

Anonymous said...

But how do you know that person has never served? Since they posted as anonymous you couldn't possibly know that, moron.

catherine said...

It amazes me how something like this post about 9 Marines just died this week in Afghanistan keeps circulating with no one checking the accuracy, but just posting it on their timelines on FB. In addition to being almost 7 years old, it is riddled with inaccuracies and blasts the media for not covering it. I found it to be disrespectful to the soldiers who died, for the inaccuracies, names spelled wrong and branch of service not correct, disrespectful of the media, who did cover it when it actually happened, and insensitive to the families of the fallen, for reopening the wounds they suffered when they lost their son, father, brother, uncle etc. Imagine how hard it was to open your door to see a military officer, branch appropriate, standing there about to tell you your whole world just turned upside down. Now imagine that the news delivered that day keeps getting put out on FB and other social media as if it just happened. Can you even begin to fathom how difficult dealing with the loss is when it keeps being brung up by total strangers who are patting themselves on the back for doing their good deed for the week by "honoring" these soldiers who just died and that the media didn't mention. And furthermore what about all the other fallen who made the ultimate sacrifice. Most of you posters speak as if these 9 or 12 or however many it is are the only ones deserving of attention? Almost 7000 US soldiers died in Afghanistan and Iraq and only these few should be honored. I personally know 6 Gold Star families, and every year on the anniversary of their deaths June 24 for 2 of the men and June 29 for the other 4 my husband who served under one man and commanded the other 4 and I go to their graves to honor them. Maybe you folks who want to honor the fallen should start by going to your local "National" cemetery where soldiers are buried and visit their graves on Memorial day, which is coming up quick, because that is what Memorial Day is about, honoring those who died in service, not going to the beach or cooking out, and not honoring any service member who is still alive, or who didn't die in service. Start with visiting those who made that ultimate sacrifice and you might just get some proper perspective on what honoring soldiers is really all about.

Amy Smolka said...

Wow, calling someone a moron for giving their condolences and saying they didn't find it offensive, like you obviously do. The world is full of people who are too easily offended and rude-- just like YOU. I'd say you're the moron, and an a-hole to be so rude. Anyone who calls someone names for being polite and assumes people weren't in the military just because they don't get offended...well, they're an idiot. Don't be rude, don't make assumptions and don't be such a jerk.

Keith Johnson said...

The timing of their death is irrelevant. If they died in the line of duty, they are entitled to our everlasting respect. The same can be said for soldiers who fought in Vietnam, WWII, Spanish American, Mexican, or any other war. It's not offensive as the general point is to remember them and if they are brought up again, their sacrifice is no less relevant now as it was seven years ago

catherine said...

The post that continues to circulate was not originally crafted to pay respects to the soldiers, it was put together with an article about Lindsay Lohen and was intended to blast the media for putting her in the news and ignoring the deaths of soldiers. It was a media bashing article not a soldier respecting article. A soldiers death or service is never irrelevant, but how someone uses the news of that death can be disrespectful. Much of the info in the original was inaccurate, names spelled incorrectly and branch of service wrong, which is disrespectful, in a way that only those in the military can understand. The original post said they were all Marines with no home base mentioned, the post I was forwarded has them all from "Darkhorse" 3rd Battalion 5th Marines, neither of which is correct. Honoring the fallen and remembering the sacrifice they and their families made is very important, but mindlessly reposting something and not taking the time to verify something as important as s soldiers death is not honoring or remembering respectfully. Did you know that since this post started making the rounds that over 1600 other soldiers have died in Afghanistan, not one word about them. I find that very disrespectful. Did you know that 2 soldiers were killed on April 26th 2017? That's less than 2 weeks ago, where is the post honoring them? Timing is relevant, especially when a post about the same dozen men is posted over and over and over again and those who also made the ultimate sacrifice aren't given the time of day. Like I said, the original post was not about honoring the fallen but about blasting the media, the irony is that those with good intentions of thinking they were honoring, but didn't check the facts, followed the social media lemmings over the cliff of if it's on FB it must be true.

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