Staff Sgt. Orion N, Sparks, age 29, Tuscon, Arizona. 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team Conn Barracks. One of two soldiers killed when an insurgent wearing a suicide vest detonated the device near their patrol in Pul-E Alam, Afghanistan, on September 26, 2012.
Sgt. 1st Class Riley Gene Stephens, age 39, Tolar, Texas. Company B, 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group. Riley died of wounds sustained from enemy small-arms fire in Wardak province, Afghanistan, on September 28, 2012. This was his fifth deployment with the 3rd Special Forces Group. He is survived by his wife, three children and father.
Last month saw an increase in so-called "green-on-blue" killings, in which Afghans that U.S. troops are tasked with training turn their weapons on their trainers. Each week at war has a certain sameness for those not fighting it, yet every week brings distinct pain and sorrow to the families who learn that their son or daughter, brother or sister, father or mother was killed or wounded. And there is no end in sight until at least 2014, if ever.
It is about time for the American people to support our troops by demanding that they be brought home now.
Author's note: Most of this information was collected from local news sources. If any of it is incorrect, please leave a comment and I will edit and correct it ASAP.