Khalid Hanifi is a singer-songwriter who brings an unusual perspective to the songs and lyrics that he writes.
He's based in Ann Arbor, but as the son of an Afghan man who came from Kabul to the United States in 1956, Khalid has a foot in both worlds, and that informs his writing, from songs to his blog on the Huffington Post.
This afternoon, Zachary Shanafelt's body will arrive at the Gerald R. Ford airport in Grand Rapids.
Shanafelt's family says they will meet the plane, and there will be a procession to the Pederson Funeral Home in Rockford where a visitation will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. prior to tomorrow's funeral service.
Shanafelt leaves behind his wife, and 13-month old son, according to his obituary.
His son Daniel was truly the “apple of his father’s eye,” and his wife Marina was the “love of his life.” For him to have had that, we are all very humbly grateful.
Shanafelt became the 65th Michigander to die as a result of the war in Afghanistan, according to iCasuaties.org.
The average age of those killed thus far is 26.
160 Michiganders died while serving in the Iraq War with an average age of 27.
ADDISON, Mich. (AP) - A Michigan memorial service is Saturday for a U.S. Army nurse who died suddenly in Afghanistan during a computer video chat with his wife.
The service for 43-year-old Capt. Bruce Kevin Clark is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Addison Middle School, about 70 miles southwest of Detroit. He grew up in Michigan.
Clark was assigned to a medical center in El Paso, Texas, and then deployed to Afghanistan in March. His wife, Susan Orellana-Clark, was in Texas chatting with him via Skype on April 30 when he collapsed. The death is under investigation.
A funeral is scheduled for Tuesday in western New York.
Clark's wife is from Spencerport, N.Y. He and his family lived there for six years before he joined the Army in 2006.
A young Army soldier from Boyne City died in Afghanistan last month (November 21) - just two months into his deployment. U.S. Army Pvt. 2nd Class Jack Lee Diener was 20 when he was killed by small arms fire in Kandahar province. Diener graduated from Boyne City High School in 2009. Flags in Michigan are flying at half staff today in his honor. In Boyne City, flags were lowered the day the town heard of his death on November 22. From the November 22 PetoskyNews.com:
Earlier today I posted the stories of two young veterans who had served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Multiple tours overseas is common in today's military. Re-enlistments helped keep these wars supplied with soldiers over the last ten years.
The problem, as Bernard Rostker of the Rand Corporation put it, "the more you go the more you’re exposed, the more likely you will eventually have some adverse psychological reactions."
Rostker is a former Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, and a former senior policy advisor on recruitment for the Secretary of Defense.
He said the propensity to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is cumulative. And with soldiers serving multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, they're more at risk than a soldier serving a single tour.
PTSD can show up much later in life.
"This is going to be a huge concern for the military," said Rostker.
"Rand did a study, it was a random telephone interview of large numbers of vets using screening techniques for PTSD, and came to the conclusion that there was a huge number of unreported cases. It was controversial with the Department of Defense who looked at the number of people being treated versus those identified with PTSD and noticed lots were going untreated," said Rostker.
A Marine from Genesee County has been reported killed during combat operations in Afghanistan.
The military says Friday that 28-year-old staff Sgt. Nicholas Sprovtsoff of Davison and 27-year-old Sgt. Christopher Diaz of Albuquerque died Wednesday in Helmand Province.
Sprovtsoff was assigned to the 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command at Camp Pendleton, California. Diaz was assigned to Headquarters Battalion, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, California.
About a thousand Michigan Army and Air National Guardsmen will spend the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend back home, after spending the past year in Iraq and Kuwait. Two battalions of guardsmen have been arriving in cities and towns across Michigan during the past few days.
Captain Aaron Jenkins is a Michigan National Guard spokesman. He says moving the troops from the Middle East to Michigan is complicated by the need to bring their equipment back with the troops.
The military says a 34-year-old Navy SEAL from Michigan was one of 30 American military personnel killed when their Chinook helicopter was shot down by insurgents in Afghanistan.
The Defense Department released Heath Robinson's name Thursday, listing his hometown as Detroit.
The special warfare operator chief petty officer and others aboard the helicopter died Saturday in Wardak Province while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. He is the only Michigan resident listed among the fatalities.
Of those killed 17 were SEALs and five were Navy special operations troops supporting them. Three Air Force airmen, a five-member Army air crew, seven Afghan commandos and an Afghan interpreter also were killed.
The crash, about 60 miles southwest of Kabul, was the deadliest single loss for U.S. forces in the nearly 10-year Afghan war.
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) - The U.S. military says a 28-year-old Army sergeant from Battle Creek has been killed in an enemy attack in Afghanistan.
The Defense Department said Thursday that Staff Sgt. Joshua Throckmorton died Tuesday in Afghanistan's Paktia province. The military says Throckmorton died of injuries suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
Also killed in the attack were 24-year-old Spc. Jordan Schumann of Port St. Lucie, Fla., and 22-year-old Spc. Preston Suter of Sandy, Utah.
They were part of the 709th Military Police Battalion in Hohenfels, Germany.