Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Army Staff Sgt. Clay A. Craig

Remember Our Heroes

Army Staff Sgt. Clay A. Craig, 22, of Mesquite, Texas

SSgt. Craig was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky; died April 29, 2008 in Baghdad from wounds sustained when he received small-arms fire during combat operations.

101st’s 2nd BCT seeks those responsible for soldiers’ deaths
By Jake Lowary
The (Clarksville, Tenn.) Leaf-Chronicle

Following the 101st Airborne Division’s deadliest month in the current deployment, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team is committed to finding those responsible for the deaths.

On April 29, two 2nd BCT soldiers died during combat operations in Baghdad, Iraq.

Staff Sgt. Clay A. Craig, 22, of Mesquite, Texas, and Staff Sgt. Bryan E. Bolander, 26, of Hemet, Calif., died from small-arms fire and an improvised explosive device, respectively.

The 2nd BCT has taken a proactive approach to finding those responsible, a 2nd BCT spokesman said this week.

“We are aggressively seeking out information and intelligence sources to find those responsible and bring them to justice,” 2nd BCT spokesman Maj. J. Frank Garcia told The Leaf-Chronicle via e-mail from Iraq.

Garcia said the brigade continues to keep the families and friends of the fallen soldiers in their prayers as they search for the responsible parties.

Craig and Bolander’s deaths marked the 10th and 11th for the 101st in April, making it the deadliest month since three 101st brigades deployed to Iraq in September.

Prior to April, January — with eight deaths — had been the division’s deadliest month. No 101st soldiers were killed in March.

A total of 31 soldiers assigned to the 101st have died during the current deployment.

Of those, 11 have come from the 2nd BCT, second only to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, which has lost 17 soldiers.

Since the start of the Iraq war, 237 soldiers from Fort Campbell have died overseas.

Garcia said the location of the 2nd BCT and its focus of combat operations are not to blame for the recent spike in casualties.

“Every assigned unit area comes with its own set of variables,” he wrote. “We do not attribute any specific reasons for our recent losses. These attacks occur randomly.”

Army Staff Sgt. Clay A. Craig was killed in action on 4/29/08.

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