As America Observes Memorial Day, U.S. Casualties in Afghanistan Top 1,500

May 30, 2011 - 5:10 AM

APTOPIX Afghanistan Medevac

U.S. Army flight medic Sgt. Jaime Adame rushes into the dust out of a medevac helicopter from the U.S. Army's Task Force Lift "Dust Off", Charlie Company 1-214 Aviation Regiment looking for wounded Marines at a landing zone that was under insurgent attack north of Sangin, in the volatile Helmand Province of southern Afghanistan, Sunday, May 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)

(CNSNews.com) -- The Defense Department announced 8 new U.S. casualties in Afghanistan over the Memorial Day weekend, bringing the total number of U.S. casualties in the almost-decade-long war in that country to 1,503.

Twenty-eight U.S. service personnel have died in Afghanistan in May. These heroes hailed from all regions of America, calling 17 states and Puerto Rico their homes.

933 of the 1,503 U.S. casualties over the course of the Afghanistan war have come since President Barack Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009. That equals 62 percent of the total.

Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), also known as homemade bombs, continued to be the number one killer of American forces in Afghanistan in May with 19 of the 28 casualties being caused by IEDs.

On May 26, in one of the worst IED attacks against U.S. forces in more than a year, 6 U.S. soldiers were killed in Kandahar Province, according to a statement released by the Defense Deparment on Saturday, The most recently confirmed U.S. casualty in Afghanistan took place Saturday, when Spc. Adam S. Hamilton, 22, of Kent, Ohio, was killed by an IED in Haji Ruf, Afghanistan. The Defense Department issued a statement about Hamilton's death on Sunday.

The Defense Department also said on Sunday that Pfc. John C. Johnson, 28, of Phoenix, Ariz., had been killed on Friday in Kandahar Province, when his unit came under attack by small arms fire.

The casualty totals for the war come from CNSNews.com’s database of U.S. military fatalities in Afghanistan, which is derived from official Department of Defense (DOD) announcements and news reports.

The database includes American troops who died in and around Afghanistan while supporting military efforts against terrorism under Operation Enduring Freedom. That operation was launched on Oct. 7, 2001 to topple the Taliban regime and pursue al Qaeda after it used Afghanistan as a base for the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the United States.

In addition to those who died in Afghanistan, CNSNews.com’s database includes some Americans who died in Pakistan and others who died in the Arabian Sea while supporting operations in Afghanistan.

President Obama escalated the war in December 2009 when he announced that he was sending 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan, bringing the total number of U.S. forces in that country to about 100,000.

Along with that announcement, Obama said that, ground-conditions permitting, U.S. troops will begin withdrawing from Afghanistan in July 2011, which U.S. Gen. David Petraeus, the top-commander in Afghanistan, indicated in March is on track to occur.

The withdrawal process is expected to carry through to the end of 2014 when Afghan forces are expected to be in the lead, but not independent of U.S. forces.

This is a list of the U.S. forces who died in Afghanistan in May. The list includes the hero's name, age, hometown and date of death as reported by the Defense Department.

--Spc. Adam C. Hamilton, 22, Kent Ohio, May 28, 2011

--Pfc. John C. Johnson, 28, Phoenix. Arizona, May 27, 2011

--1st Lt. John M. Runkle, 27, West Salem, Ohio, May 26, 2011

--Staff Sgt. Edward D. Mills Jr., 29, New Castle, Pa., May 26, 2011

--Staff Sgt. Ergin V. Osman, 35, Jacksonville, N.C, May 26, 2011

--Sgt. Thomas A. Bohall, 25, Bel Aire, Kan., May 26, 2011

--Sgt. Louie A. Ramos Velazquez, 39, Camuy, Puerto Rico, May 26, 2011

--Spc. Adam J. Patton, 21, Port Orchard, Wash., May 26, 2011

--Staff Sgt. Joseph J. Hamski, 28, Ottumwa, Iowa, May 26, 2011

--Tech. Sgt. Kristoffer M. Solesbee, 32, Citrus Heights, Calif., May 26, 2011

--Chief Warrant Officer Christopher R. Thibodeau, 28, Chesterland, Ohio, May 26, 2011

--Staff Sgt. Kristofferson B. Lorenzo, 33, Chula Vista, Calif., May 23, 2011

--Pfc. William S. Blevins, 21, Sardinia, Ohio, May 23, 2011

--Pvt. Andrew M. Krippner, 20, Garland, Texas, May 23, 2011

--Pvt. Thomas C. Allers, 23, Plainwell, Mich., May 23, 2011

--Cpl. Brandon M. Kirton, 25, Centennial, Colo., May 18, 2011

--Staff Sgt. David D. Self, 29, of Pearl, Miss., May 16, 2011

--Spc. Bradley L. Melton, 29, Rolla, Mo., May 16, 2011

--Pvt. Lamarol J. Tucker, 26, Gainesville, Fla.; May 16, 2011

--Pvt. Cheizray Pressley, 21, North Charleston, S.C., May 16, 2011

--Spc. Brian D. Riley Jr., 24, Longwood, Fla., May 15, 2011

--Sgt. Kevin B. Balduf, 27, of Nashville, Tenn., May 12, 2011

--Lt. Col. Benjamin J. Palmer, 43, Modesto, Calif., May 12, 2011

--Sgt. Amaru Aguilar, 26, Miami, Fla., May 13, 2011

--1st Lt. Demetrius M. Frison, 26, Lancaster, Pa., May 10, 2011

--Sgt. Ken K. Hermogino, 30, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., May 9, 2011

--Spc. Riley S. Spaulding, 21, Sheridan, Texas, May 4, 2011

--Sgt. Kevin W. White, 22, Westfield, N.Y., May 2, 2011