The lead story in today’s New York Times was a very interesting profile called “As Chattanooga Death Toll Rises, Mourning Deaths on Home Soil.” It should come as no surprise that The Times does an outstanding job of giving you a back story of those who were murdered by Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24-year-old Kuwaiti-born gunman who opened fire on a military recruiting station on Thursday, then raced to a second military site where he killed four United States Marines and then was killed by authorities on the scene.
Here is a preview of The Times story:
Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan was in the Marine Corps for 18 years, survived truck bombs and a rain of mortars during one of the biggest assaults of the Iraq war, earned a Combat Action Ribbon and two Purple Hearts, and was expecting to retire soon. Instead he was ambushed on home soil, in a suburban Chattanooga, Tenn., office park.
Lance Cpl. Squire Wells had been in the Marines just over a year and was only dreaming of battle. The exuberant recruit loved Civil War re-enactments and was so excited about his military service that he wore his dress uniform for his hometown Fourth of July parade. But his first time facing fire was also his last.
They were two of the four Marines killed — all members of one artillery company with six combat deployments among them — when a gunman opened fire on a Navy and Marine Corps reserve center in Chattanooga on Thursday. With the deaths of the four came this grim statistic: More Marines were killed in Chattanooga than in all of Afghanistan this year.
On Saturday, the Navy released a statement saying a sailor injured in the shooting had also died. The Navy said the petty officer would be identified once his family was informed.
One by one, portraits of the four Marines emerged, as the Pentagon identified them, and friends and family spoke of the tough group of service members, most of whom had spent months in hostile countries.
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