Claim: Prayers are requested for the Darkhorse Marine battalion fighting in Afghanistan.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, November 2010]
Origins: Even more than indicated in the Facebook-circulated prayer request reproduced above, the
Lance Cpl. Randy R. Braggs, 21, of Sierra Vista, Ariz., died
Braggs was the 13th member of 3/5 killed since the battalion moved into the Sangin area of northeastern Helmand province in October, including four felled in a single bomb attack on their mine-resistant all terrain vehicle.
Two other Marines were fatally shot at a patrol base last week in Sangin, the Marines said. Initial reports indicate they were attacked by a rogue Afghan soldier who then fled, according to U.S. and NATO officials in Afghanistan. An investigation into the incident is continuing.
As noted in an Associated Press account, the area of Afghanistan in which the 3/5 operated is regarded as a particularly key (and violent) area of that country:
U.S. commanders say success is critical in Sangin district — where British forces suffered nearly
The district also serves as a key crossroads to funnel drugs, weapons and fighters throughout Helmand and into neighboring Kandahar province, the spiritual heartland of the Taliban and the most important battleground for coalition forces. The
Another Associated Press report from November 2010 described the difficulty (and heavy casualties) the Marines were encountering during operations in that region of Afghanistan:
"As a new unit coming in, you are at a distinct disadvantage because the Taliban have been fighting here for years, have established fighting positions and have laid the ground with a ton of IEDs," said
Many of the younger Marines also have had to cope for the first time with seeing their best friends die or suffer grievous wounds. Fifteen Marines have been killed and about
- Sgt. Jason G. Amores, 29, of Lehigh Acres, Florida, died 20 January 2011
- Cpl. Tevan L. Nguyen, 21, of Hutto, Texas, died 28 December 2010.
- Lance Cpl. Kenneth A. Corzine, 23, of Bethalto, Illinois, died 24 December 2010.
- Lance Cpl. Jose L. Maldonado, 21, of Mathis, Texas, died 17 December 2010.
- Sgt. Jason D. Peto, 31, of Vancouver, Washington, died 7 December 2010.
- Cpl. Derek A. Wyatt, 25, of Akron, Ohio, died 6 December 2010.
- Pfc. Colton W. Rusk, 20, of Orange Grove, Texas, died 6 December 2010.
- Sgt. Matthew T. Abbate, 26, of Honolulu, Hawaii, died 2 December 2010.
- 1st Lt. William J. Donnelly IV, 27, of Picayune, Mississippi, died 25 November 2010.
- Lance Cpl. James B. Stack, 20, of Arlington Heights, Ill, died 10 November 2010.
- 2nd Lt. Robert M. Kelly, 29, of Tallahassee, Florida, died 9 November 2010.
- Lance Cpl. Randy R. Braggs, 21, of Sierra Vista, Arizona, died 6 November 2010.
- Lance Cpl. Brandon W. Pearson, 21, of Arvada, Colorado, died 4 November 2010.
- Lance Cpl. Matthew J. Broehm, 22, of Flagstaff, Arizona, died 4 November 2010.
- Sgt. Ian M. Tawney, 25, of Dallas, Oregon, died 16 October 2010.
- Lance Cpl. James D. Boelk, 24, of Oceanside, California, died 15 October 2010.
- Lance Cpl. Joseph C. Lopez, 26, of Rosamond, California, died 14 October 2010.
- Lance Cpl. Alec E. Catherwood, 19, of Byron, Illinois, died 14 October 2010.
- Lance Cpl. Irvin M. Ceniceros, 21, of Clarksville, Arkansas, died 14 October 2010.
- Pfc. Victor A. Dew, 20, of Granite Bay, California, died 13 October 2010.
- Lance Cpl. Joseph E. Rodewald, 21, of Albany, Oregon, died 13 October 2010.
- Lance Cpl. Phillip D. Vinnedge, 19, of Saint Charles, Mo, died 13 October 2010.
- Cpl. Justin J. Cain, 22, of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, died 13 October 2010.
- Lance Cpl. John T. Sparks, 23, of Chicago, Illinois, died 8 October 2010.
Dark Horse Battalion was rotated back to the U.S. in April 2011. Its place in Afghanistan was taken by the
Last updated: 26 April 2015
Abbot, Sebastian. "US Takes on Violent Afghan Valley That Bled Brits." The Seattle Times. 9 November 2010. Kovach, Gretel C. "Sangin Losses Mount for Camp Pendleton Battalion." San Diego Union-Tribune. 8 November 2010. Associated Press. "Marines Learn Lessons from Tragedy In Afghanistan." NPR. 12 November 2010. Los Angeles Times. "Marines From the Dark Horse Battalion Return Home to Camp Pendleton ." 11 April 2011. San Diego Union-Tribune. "Pendleton's 3/5 Battalion Loses Another Marine." 29 December 2010.