Friday, July 23, 2010

Navy Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Jarod Newlove

Remember Our Heroes

Navy Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Jarod Newlove, 25, of Renton, Wash.

Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Newlove was assigned to Commander, Navy Reserve Force Command, Norfolk, Va.; died July 23, 2010 in Logar province, Afghanistan, when he was captured and believed to have been killed by the Taliban. Coalition forces recovered his body July 28 after an extensive search. Also kidnapped and believed to have been killed by the Taliban was Hull Maintenance Technician 2nd Class Justin McNeley.

The body of the second of two U.S. sailors who went missing after driving into an ambush has been found, Pentagon officials said Thursday, but the circumstances that led the men to drive into one of Afghanistan's most dangerous regions remained unclear.

Gen. Mustafa Mohseni, police chief for Logar, said that villagers in Baraki Barak, the district next to where the sailors were ambushed, told authorities where to find Newlove's body in the village of Yousef Khil, about six miles southwest of the provincial capital of Puli Alam.

It is unclear how or when Newlove was killed. Mohseni said it appeared that Newlove had been shot, but it remains unclear whether he died during the ambush or survived and was held afterward, as the Taliban claimed.

Mohseni said it was possible that Newlove was killed because the search for the sailor closed off Taliban escape routes.

"The security forces had blocked all the ways to take him out," Mohseni said. "They were searching very intensively, so the Taliban might have killed him because they did not have any other options."

U.S. Navy service members drove away from Camp Julien on the outskirts of Kabul and ended up in an apparent Taliban ambush in Logar province.

The two men, Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin McNeley, 30, of Wheat Ridge, Colo., and Petty Officer 3rd Class Jarod Newlove, 25, from the Seattle area, worked at NATO's counterinsurgency academy, where troops learn best practices in how to fight the Afghan war, NATO officials said.

U.S. troops had recovered McNeley's body Sunday morning, but they hoped that Newlove might be alive and could be found in the Charkh district of Logar, where he was believed to have been captured. But Wednesday evening, Newlove's body was found in Charkh in a village called Yousef, said Din Mohammad Darwish, a spokesman for the Logar governor.

Darwish said Newlove had been shot three times and might have been wounded in an initial attack Friday evening as the sailors drove their armored SUV through the area. NATO officials said that Newlove's body was found in the water and that he appeared to have been beaten to death.

Darwish said that early in the search the Taliban had been demanding the release of four insurgent commanders in return for Newlove but that no prisoner exchange was made.

It remains unclear how the two U.S. sailors drove into Logar province, a dangerous area south of Kabul where the Taliban controls swaths of territory. Some NATO officials said the men might have taken a wrong turn intending to head back to Kabul and found themselves on the road to Logar.

Questions from father of dead WA Sailor ---

SEATTLE -- Joseph Newlove is living a nightmare.

"The three officers were there. I walked through that door, and I couldn't even get anything to come out of my mouth," he said.

There's a reason the sight of the officers chilled Newlove to the bone. His son, Petty Officer 3rd Class Jarod Newlove, is on active duty for the U.S. military in Afghanistan

The officers had come to inform Joseph Newlove that his 25-year-old son is one of two sailors who went missing last week. The Taliban has already claimed responsibility for killing the other missing sailor, who has been confirmed dead by military officials.

The uncertainty filled Joseph Newlove with fear.

"I wanted to know where he was and if he was alive," he said.

Not knowing where is son is or whether he's alive, every day is now a struggle for Joseph Newlove. His mind races with questions.

"Is he hurt? Is he somewhere, hiding? If they have him, what are they doing to him?" he said.

The Department of Defense says Jarod Newlove and another sailor, Justin McNeley of Colorado, went missing last Friday in the eastern province of Logar. The agency says the Taliban killed McNeley and held Newlove captive.

Joseph Newlove says he understands his son chose to fight for his country, but knowing that hasn't been much comfort in the last few days, which have seemed like eternity.

The struggling father has tried to keep his days simple to keep sane. He watches the news, searches for answers and tries to make sense of what has happened so far.

"I just want him home," he said. "Keep him safe and let him come home."

The Taliban have said the captured sailor is in a "safe place" where he will not be found.

In a statement, the NATO-led command said the body was recovered Sunday after an extensive search and that the coalition "holds the captors accountable for the safety and proper treatment of our missing service member."

Jarod Newlove is originally from Renton, but has also lived in West Seattle with his wife and children. Navy officials have asked the media not to elaborate on his personal life.

"The Newlove family and the Navy request that the media and public please, please not reveal any additional personal information related to this matter or the family itself," said Navy spokesman Sean Hughes.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Newlove’s military records show that he’s been an active-duty seaman for five years; the records list him as a “culinary specialist.”

Newlove did spend time at sea, based out of San Diego aboard the USS New Orleans. He was one of the original crew members, along with friend and former ship mate Nick Nault. They met while on shore as their new ship was being finished."We were actually in the barracks together. He wasn't my roommate, but we were in the same barracks, and all started hanging out," said Nault.

His remains arrived Tuesday morning at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

Navy Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Jarod Newlove was killed in action on 7/23/10.

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