06 Jun 2005:
IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 6, 2005
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Spc. Carrie L. French, 19, of Caldwell, Idaho, died June 5 in Kirkuk, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device hit the front of her convoy vehicle and detonated. French was assigned to the Army National Guard's 145th Support Battalion, Boise, Idaho.
Spec. Carrie French's Death Shows Danger Of Iraq Duty
By Scott Logan
BOISE - The American flag flew at half staff in front of Caldwell High School Tuesday, in honor of 19-year-old Specialist Carrie French, killed by a road side bomb Sunday in Kirkuk, Iraq.
French is the first Idaho woman serving in the National Guard to be killed in action.
The Army says the Caldwell woman died when an improvised explosive device blew up in front of her convoy. She was assigned to the Army National Guard's 145th Support Battalion, attached to the 116th Brigade Combat Team, based in Boise, now deployed to Iraq.
But as a senior at Caldwell High School in 2004, French was a cheerleader in a more carefree time.
And even before she graduated from Caldwell High School, Carrie French had expressed an interest in joining the Idaho National Guard. Sgt. First Class Damon Moysard recruited her for the guard.
"She was a wonderful young lady," Moysard told Local 2 News. "She was a good friend, fun loving, outgoing."
And Moysard says he was shocked to hear she had been killed. "It's the same as for any family or friend," he said. "You go into denial immediately."
About 20 percent of the combat support units in Iraq are comprised of women, who are banned from actual combat outfits.
But the war in Iraq has blurred the distinction between front lines and rear areas.
The Army has been looking for a way to honor support troops now in harms way.
There is the Combat Infantryman's Badge but that's specifically for infantry or special forces.
Col. Randy Dillon earned his with U.S. Special Forces in Vietnam. "It's pretty coveted, there are not a lot given out. A few of our people are starting to get them in Iraq."
But soon the Army will issue the Combat Action Badge, a combat award for those not in the infantry ranks -- including women -- who have been exposed to enemy fire.
When he encouraged her to join the guard, Sgt. Moysard obviously never expected Carrie French would become Idaho's first woman citizen soldier to be killed in combat, but he says the risk comes with the job.
"That's an understanding for a soldier," he said. "There's always the possibility that it could happen."
The National Guard says Carrie French's body could be home by early next week.
She was the 36th female soldier to die in the Iraq war and the sixth from the Army National Guard. All but one of the 36 have died since President Bush declared the end of major combat operations in May 2003.
Site with information on Carrie: HERE.
06 May 2005
First off, I wand to thank all of you who are supporting our troops over seas. It means more than many of you will ever know. I am from 145th SPT BN out of Idaho. I live in the Boise area.
Our living conditions are really not that bad. We do have electricity and cooking abilities (microwave and a hot plate).
I have noticed that many of the NCOs don't get many packages so I will be giving them mainly to them.
Items that we could use are things such as stationary, tuperwear containers, food is always good (preferably not to much junk food!)
A big thing that has been happening with the packages that we've been getting is that people have been mixing food in with soaps and hygiene products. It is causing to food to taste like soap even if the food is in a plastic bag. If at all possible, sending them in separate boxes should solve the problem.
Things to eat like Cup of noodles or ramen noodles are always going fast in the PX. Flavored oatmeals are a big thing for breakfast. Drinks that come in individual servings are great.
Things to pass the time like DVDs,CDs, board games or books. I know a lot of people need phone cards to call home and they are constantly out of them at the PX. Females are always needing female products.
Just the fact that you all are willing to take the time and effort to do this for us means a lot.I'm sure that anything you send, someone will find use for. Thank you so much for all you are doing!