Legislation:   End U.S. Presence In Afghanistan & Give GWOT Vets $2,500 Bonus

Sens. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, and Tom Udall, D-New Mexico, introduced the bipartisan American Forces Going Home After Noble (AFGHAN) Service Act to “honor the volunteers who bravely serve our nation by providing bonuses to those who have deployed in support of the Global War on Terrorism, and redirect the savings from ending nation-building in Afghanistan to America’s needs at home,” according to an announcement.

If passed, the AFGHAN Service Act would also permanently end America’s involvement in Afghanistan and overturn the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force, said the lawmakers, who serve on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

I believe that in addition to any bonus there should be resources to expedite the benefits those who have served have earned instead of waiting for them to be approved that can often be a long process too.

The question to everyone and please let us know what you think is:  Do you think we can end our military presence and involvement in Afghanistan? 



By Debbie Gregory.

Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families and friends of these 15 U.S. servicemembers who died during their military service in Afghanistan in 2018. It is our honor to recognize them.

• January 1, 2018 – Army Special Forces Sgt. 1st Class Mihail Golin, 34, and a Green Beret who had been assigned to the Fort Carson, Colorado based B Company, 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group. His awards include two Purple Hearts, three Army Commendation Medals and three Army Achievement Medals.

• April 30, 2018 – Army Spec. Gabriel D. Conde, 22 who was an airborne-qualified infantryman with the 25th Infantry Division’s 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. Conde received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star with valor awarded posthumously.

• July 7, 2018 – Army Cpl. Joseph Maciel, 20 was assigned to the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade. His decorations include the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.

• July 12, 2018 – Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Andrew Celiz, 32 was assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and a Meritorious Service Medal.

• August 8, 2018 – Army Staff Sgt. Reymund Rarogal Transfiguracion, 36 was with 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne).He was posthumously promoted to sergeant first class and awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Meritorious Service Medal.

• September 3, 2018 – Army Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy Bolyard, 42 was a senior noncommissioned officer in 3rd Squadron, 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade. Bolyard was shot by an Afghan police officer in Logar province. He later died of his wounds. Bobyard received six Bronze Star medals, including two with valor, during a 24-year career and seven deployments.

• September 4, 2018 – Army Staff Sgt. Diobanjo S. Sanagustin, 32 – The was assigned to 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. Sanagustin died from a noncombat injury. His awards include two Army Commendation Medals, seven Army Achievement Medals, two Iraq Campaign Medals with campaign star and the Expert Infantryman’s Badge.

• October 4, 2018 – Army National Guard Spc. James A. Slape, 23 was assigned to the 430th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 60th Troop Command, North Carolina Army National Guard, based in Washington, N.C. He was posthumously promoted to sergeant.

• November 3, 2018 – National Guard Major Brent Taylor, 39 and a former mayor of North Ogden was with the Utah National Guard. Taylor served twice in Iraq as a convoy security commander and then as an adviser to the Iraqi intelligence agency. He had previously deployed to Afghanistan as a combat advisor to the Afghan Border Police.

• November 24, 2018 – Army Sgt. Leandro A.S. Jasso, 25 was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. He earned the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and the Ranger tab.

• November 27, 2018 – An IED claimed the lives of three servicemembers, with a fourth servicemember later dying of his wounds:

1. Army Sgt. 1st Class Eric Michael Emond, 39, was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces group (Airborne). He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart and Meritorious Service Medal.

2. Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin, 25, who assigned to the 26th Special Tactics Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal with Valor, Air Force Commendation Medal and Air Force Combat Action Medal.

3. Army Capt. Andrew Patrick Ross, 29, was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, N.C. His honors and decorations include two Bronze Star Medals, a Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

4. On December 2, 2018- Army Sgt. Jason Mitchell McClary, 24, succumbed to the injuries he received in the November 27th IED attack that had previously claimed three of his brothers-in-arms. McClary was assigned to 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. His awards and decorations include two Purple Heart medals, three Army Commendation Medals, including one with valor and one for combat.

• December 13, 2018 – Army Pfc. Joshua Mikeasky, 19 was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team and the 10th Mountain Division. He had been awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with a Campaign Star, the NATO Medal and the Army Service Ribbon. Mikeasky died in a non-combat related incident.

May all of these fallen heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice rest in peace.