Six Military Men Killed Overseas in the Last Week

By: Meagan O'Halloran Email
By: Meagan O'Halloran Email

Just within the last week, six local military men have lost their lives overseas. The devastation of planning memorial after memorial is hitting hard in the local community.

Those with the local chapters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion Hall members say they know the pain of losing one of their own all too well.

"It's the number one conversation, because these gentlemen lived through this. They understand more than the average civilian--the civilians worry about it but it's on our minds all the time, all the time" said Frankie Robinson of American Legion Post 235 in Fort Walton Beach.

The flag flies at half-staff at the V-F-W Post 11367 to remember the six fallen heroes we've lost in the last week.

"It happens, but so many in one week, that's hard to take" said VFW Post 11367 Post Commander Ronald Engbert.

On February 18th, four Hurlburt airmen, Captain Ryan Hall, Captain Nicholas Whitlock, First Lieutenant Justin Wilkens and Senior Airman Julian Scholten, were killed when their U-28 aircraft crashed near Camp Lemonnier, near the horn of Africa, on the way back from a reconaissance mission.

Five days later, Niceville native Army Sgt. Joshua Born was killed when he was shot by an Afghan soldier during a riot over the American military's burning of the Koran.

The violence in Kabul also claimed the life of another local.

On Saturday Lt. Col. John Darin Loftis, a member of the Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, was killed with another officer while inside their office at the Afghan Interior Ministry.
Some officials were calling Loftis' death a murder and said he and a Major were shot in the back of the head, execution style inside one of Kabul's most heavily guarded buildings.

The first of those memorials for the four fallen airmen will be held Tuesday at Hurlburt Field at 10am.

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