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.