Entries in Deployment (5)


Soldiers More Apt to Get into Car Accidents at Home After Deployments

Creatas/Thinkstock(SAN ANTONIO, Texas) -- Overseas duty appears to affect the driving behavior of returning military personnel, making these motorists more careless on the roads, according to a survey by a major insurer of the armed forces and their families.

The USAA survey reveals that war veterans have gotten into 13 percent more accidents at which they’re at fault during their first six months back home compared to the six months prior to their deployment.

By and large, U.S. Army and Marine members who learned to drive aggressively in Iraq and Afghanistan to avoid roadside bombs known as improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were more prone to drive similarly once they returned to the states, experiencing higher accidents rates of 23 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively.

In contrast, the traffic accident rates of Navy members only rose three percent while accidents went up two percent for Air Force vets.

USAA also discovered that higher accident rates were directly related to a higher number of deployments.  Service members with three or more overseas tours were involved in 36 percent more accidents.  That number shrunk to 27 percent for two deployments and fell to 12 percent when a soldier was deployed only once.

Meanwhile, soldiers 22-years-old or younger were more prone to get into car accidents than those 29 or older.  Also, the higher the rank of the soldier, the lower the incidence of mishaps on the road.

USAA made its findings based on 158,000 members covering 171,000 deployments from February 2007 until February 2010.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Marines to Return from Longest at Sea Deployment in 40 Years

Creatas/Thinkstock(CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C.) -- A Marine unit is returning Saturday to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina after the longest at sea Marine deployment in 40 years.  

"Approximately 270 Marines and Sailors with Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, and 30 Marines and Sailors with Combat Logistics Battalion 22 are scheduled to return and see their family and friends," a military statement said.

Another 960 Marines and Sailors from the same Marine Air Ground Task Force will return to Camp Lejeune on Sunday.

The 2,300 Marines and Sailors of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard the USS Bataan and two other ships were forced to deploy three months early in late March of last year to support operations in Libya and were under the impression they would be at sea for the usual six to seven months.  Instead, the deployment turned into one of the longest deployments on record for a Marine Corps unit -- ending after more than 10 months at sea. While deployed the unit also participated in training in Djibouti as well as bilateral training with Spanish and Romanian Marines.

The remaining sailors will continue to their home port of Norfolk, Va.  They are expected to arrive Tuesday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Army Ranger, Jessica Lynch Rescuer Dies on 14th Deployment

John Foxx/Thinkstock(KANDAHAR, Afghanistan) -- An Army Ranger who was on his 14th deployment to a combat zone -- and was part of the team that rescued Private Jessica Lynch from her Iraqi captors in 2003 -- has been killed in Afghanistan.

Sgt. First Class Kristoffer B. Domeij, 29, was killed Saturday when the assault force he was with triggered a hidden roadside bomb in Afghanistan's Kandahar Province.

Domeij was part of the force that invaded Iraq and toppled Saddam Hussein. Within weeks of his arrival in Iraq he and his unit took part in one of the best-known moments of the war: the rescue of the wounded Lynch from an Iraqi hospital where she was being held captive.

The daring rescue in an Iraqi-held section of Baghdad thrilled the country.

Domeij went on to serve four deployments in Iraq and another nine stints in Afghanistan. During that time he was awarded two Bronze Stars. His third Bronze Star, earned during his final tour in Afghanistan, will be awarded posthumously, according to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.

Also killed in Saturday's blast were First Lieutenant Ashley White, 24, a Cultural Support Team member, and fellow Ranger Private First Class Christopher A. Horns, 20, who was on his first combat deployment.

His battalion commander, Lt. Col. David Hodne, described Domeij as "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."

Domeij, who grew up in San Diego, Calif. and Colorado Springs, Colo., and lived in Lacey, Wash., was married and had two young daughters.

Rangers are some of the Army's most elite special operations forces and have seen almost continual combat in Afghanistan since October 2001 when they were part of the original airborne assault into the country.

Rangers serve three- to four-month tours of duty that are significantly shorter than the year-long deployments served by soldiers in conventional units. But during those short deployments they see a constant churn of intense combat missions. On average, a Ranger battalion will conduct between 400 to 500 missions during a combat deployment.

Tracy Bailey, a spokesperson for the 75th Ranger Regiment, says Domeij had a combined total of 48 months deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Higher-ranking enlisted Rangers, like Domeij, typically have between nine and 12 deployments if they were with the 75th Ranger Regiment prior to or shortly after Sept. 11, 2001. Domeij had enlisted in the Army in July 2001 and joined the 2nd battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment in April 2002.

With his 14 deployments, Domeij becomes the Ranger with the most deployments to date killed in action. Just a year ago this month, fellow Ranger SFC Lance Vogeler was killed in Afghanistan during his 12th deployment, becoming at that time the Ranger with the most deployments killed in action.

Domeij had the distinction of being one of the first Rangers to be qualified as a Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC), a position usually reserved for Air Force airmen who serve with ground combat units and call in airstrikes from fighters or bombers flying overhead.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Marine Sgt. Ken Pompili Meets His Daughter for the First Time

Comstock/Thinkstock(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- Last December, Marine Sgt. Ken Pompili was eagerly awaiting the birth of his daughter, Rylie, watching his wife's every move, every labor pain and every push from an armored vehicle 7,000 miles away in Afghanistan.

Pompili was witnessing the birth through a Skype connection, surrounded by his Marine unit from Lima Company.

"She sounds like she's in a lot of pain," he said, watching. "I don't like hearing her upset or in pain. It's hard for me to be here and not be able to be there for her and comfort her when I need to be."

Thursday, Pompili and the 178 other Marines in Lima Company were able to be there for their loved ones, finally returning home to Columbus, Ohio.

Pompili met his little girl for the first time, holding the tiny hand of a little lady dressed in a shirt reading, "Get out of my way I'm here to pick up my daddy!"

For the Marines of Lima Company, homecomings come with a deep appreciation. Their unit was the hardest hit in the Iraq War. In 2005, they lost 23 men, and more than 40 were wounded.

In Afghanistan they were deployed to Helmand Province -- a Taliban stronghold -- leaving their families behind.

Their stories of hope and loss offer a picture of the war one rarely sees.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


'Birther' Dismissed from Army for Refusing Deployment, Sentenced to Six Months in Prison

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(MEADE, Md.) -- Lt. Col. Terry Lakin, a doctor who refused deployment to Afghanistan because he questioned whether President Obama was born in the United States, was dismissed from the Army Thursday and sentenced to six months in military prison for refusing to obey orders.

Lakin, who could've been imprisoned for up to three years, was sentenced by a military jury at the end of his three-day court-martial hearing in Fort Meade, Md.

The 18-year Army veteran is among so-called "birthers," who continue to question whether Obama was born in the United States and thereby eligible for the presidency.

Lakin pleaded guilty for failing to obey orders. Lakin was set to deploy from Fort Campbell, Ky., in April, for his second tour of duty, but he never showed up.

During the trial, the Colorado native acknowledged that he should have followed orders despite his concerns about Obama's citizenship. Arguing for a lenient sentence, Lakin's lawyer called the case unique and argued that Lakin made one bad decision but was also given bad advice by his previous attorney.

Prosecutors came down hard on Lakin, saying that he knew what he was doing and he had "invited and earned" the sentence.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio 

ABC News Radio