Army Ranger Killed on 14th Combat Deployment


If we are sending our best  into combat 14 times, then we are in worse shape than I thought.


by Ken Smith


I recently read of two Soldiers with Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s Army Ranger battalion who were killed Saturday when insurgents attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device.

Sgt. 1st Class Kristoffer B. Domeij, 29, of San Diego, and Pfc. Christopher A. Horns, 20, of Colorado Springs, Colo., were both mortally wounded in Afghanistan  according to the U.S. Special Operations Command.

They were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.  What blows my mind is that Domeij, pictured to the right, was on his 14th deployment at age 29.

“He was one of those men who was known by all as much for his humor, enthusiasm, and loyal friendship as he was for his unparalleled skill and bravery under fire,” 2nd Battalion commander Lt. Col. David Hodne said. “This was a Ranger you wanted at your side when the chips were down.”  We lost a good one said others.

Domeij joined the 2nd Battalion at Lewis-McChord in April 2002, where he served as a forward observer. He also was one of the first Army-qualified Ranger Joint Terminal Attack Controllers, which is training typically reserved for Air Force members.

“His ability to employ fire support platforms made him a game changer on the battlefield — an operator who in real terms had the value of an entire strike force on the battlefield,” said Col. Mark W. Odom, the regiment’s commander.

Domeij is survived by his wife, Sarah, and daughters Mikajsa and Aaliyah of Lacey; his mother, Scoti Domeij of Colorado Springs, Colo.; and his brother, Kyle Domeij of San Diego.

Pfc.Horns was on his first deployment to Afghanistan.

“Ultimately, Pvt. 1st Class Christopher Horns represents everything which is great about the United States,” Odom said. “He placed his fellow Rangers, the regiment and his nation before everything else in life.”

Pfc. Horns joined the Army in July 2010 and was assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment in March, where he served as an assistant machine gunner and automatic rifleman.

“Courageous and disciplined, he lost his life while pressing the assault in an area known for insurgent activity,” Hodne said. “He earned the universal respect of seniors and peers alike. We will honor his service and remember his sacrifice.”

Horns is survived by his parents, Larry and Tamara Horns, and his sister, Tiffany, of Colorado Springs.

What needs to asked to those at the Pentagon is obvious.   How in god’s name can someone be tasked with 14 combat deployments?   I think it shows our Military is stretched beyond all belief.  If we are sending our best  into combat 14 times, then we are in worse shape than I thought.







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For more than twenty-five years Ken Smith has been a leading advocate for veterans. A combat Vietnam veteran, Ken served during 1971-72 as a paramedic and an infantry squad leader with Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry, in the 196th Light Infantry Brigade, Americal Division. After his discharge, Ken continued his work as a paramedic in New England. On the streets of Boston he encountered growing numbers of homeless Vietnam veterans, and he became determined to both assist them and draw attention to their plight. In 1989, Ken founded the New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans, located in a former VA hospital at 17 Court Street in downtown Boston. One of the first facilities designed for homeless veterans and now a national model, the shelter has served over 35,000 of America’s veterans who, for whatever reason, find themselves living on the streets. In 1992 Ken was awarded Point of Light #142 by President George H. W. Bush, and later that same year received the AMVETS Silver Helmet Award, considered the “Oscar” for American veterans. As one of America’s foremost veterans service organizations, AMVETS (or American Veterans) has a proud history of assisting veterans and sponsoring numerous programs that serve our country and its citizens. Ken was awarded this honor along with Peter Coors, with whom he still maintains a personal friendship. Over the years Ken has appeared on many national media programs including Good Morning America, Prime Time Live, ABC News, CBS News, Larry King Live, CNN, 60 Minutes, and The Geraldo Show. He has been quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, and numerous international newspapers, magazines, and websites. In 1992, Ken had the distinction of addressing both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions as a keynote speaker on the subject of veterans. Ken recently left his last assignment with the Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation, where he was the chief technology architect of the Veteran’s Vocational Technical Institute, Purple Heart Car Donation program, Purple Heart Call Center, Purple Heart Radio, Purple Heart Tech Support, Purple Heart Services, and over thirty new Purple Heart websites. Ken Smith provided the vision and has overseen the implementation of innovative, virtual, work-at-home training programs for veterans with combat disabilities. Ken has designed, upgraded, and supervised the integration and installation of Purple Heart Service Foundations computer and telephony systems, upgrading features from legacy POTS phones to SIP-trunked communications systems including establishing new VPN networks for teams of remote virtual employees. An adventure sports enthusiast, Ken enjoys extreme skiing, competitive sailing, flying, and travel. He has traveled extensively worldwide, delivering his positive message to the veterans of other countries that a paraplegic veteran of the United States suffers the same as a paraplegic veteran of India; that an amputee veteran of Nepal suffers as much as an amputee veteran of France. Ken’s mentor was Harold Russell, the two-time Academy Award winner who starred in the 1946 film Best Years of Our Lives. A World War II veteran, on D-Day, June 6th, 1944, Harold lost both of his hands. This ghastly misfortune did not stop him, and he went on to become the chairman of the President’s Committee for People with Disabilities. For over fifty years he served US presidents from Truman to Clinton. Ken was humbled and grateful when Harold agreed to serve as the best man at Ken’s wedding. Ken has been instrumental in the planning stages for the Veterans Workshop, a new nationwide veterans’ advocacy group building a new “Veterans Hotline, and the development of special programs for those who have lost their sight or their hearing, or who have suffered spinal cord injury, as a result of their military experience. The Veterans Workshop provides a forum where new technology and advancements in the fields of prosthetic and orthotic solutions, many designed by Ken, are shared along with virtual training and employment programs. A 1970 graduate of De La Salle Academy in Newport, Rhode Island, for the past twenty-five years Ken has continued his education with extensive college courses in computer technology and related social service fields. He resides in his native state of Rhode Island with his wife and children.