Honoring Fallen Soldiers
2 January 1981 - 29 October 2005
Army Staff Sgt.
Travis W. Nixon
Army Staff Sgt. Travis W. Nixon 24, of Saint John, Washington Staff Sgt. Travis W. Nixon died after he was evacuated to Forward Operating Base Salerno following the Saturday attack. He was a squad leader in B Company, 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment in the 82nd. Nixon was on a joint Afghan-U.S. patrol north of Lwara near the Pakistan border with eastern Afghanistan. During an engagement with enemy fire, Sgt. Nixon returned fire from the prone position and was fatally wounded. Born 2 January 1981. Died at the age of 24 on October 29, 2005. Born in Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana. Resided in Saint John, Washington. Final resting place in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.
I never knew Staff Sergeant Travis Nixon who was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division. I got to know his platoon leader, however. As Deputy Chief of Base of Bagram Airbase for the CIA in Afghanistan, I was called up one morning from a colleague serving in Iraq who told me his son was a platoon and was escorting the body of one of his soldiers back to the U.S. for burial. My colleague wanted to speak to his son before he departed and asked me to track down his son. I was surprised by the request as his son was one person of the 14,500 people located on the base at the time. It took 4 hours to do it, but I succeeded. I remembered the Command General Staff briefing a few days before of a soldier who was shot through the shoulder and bled to death. At the time of the briefing, I thought it was rather odd to die from a shoulder wound.
The platoon leader would later explain that Sgt. Nixon (who died 29 October 2005) was in the prone position lying flat on the ground when enemy fire using an AK-47. The round pierced through the left top of Travis' shoulder--where soldiers had no armor protection--and proceeded to splice through his body taking out both lungs, his heart, liver and stopped in the right side of his pelvic. Sgt. Nixon died within minutes and never knew the extent of his injuries. When the platoon leader returned from his solemn duties in relation to the burial, I asked him to fly the American flag on the exact same spot where Sgt. Nixon had died so I could send it to his family. I asked him not to take any unnecessary risks or place his soldiers in harm's way for such a request. He did so and I have had the flag in my possession all these years. I was overseas for so long in the combat zone that I did not have time to carry out my efforts. Upon my return in January 2009, I would learn of my fate and be left chronically homeless for 5 years. It has been over 16 years, since Sgt. Travis' death and I hope to pass the flag over to his family this year. A conversation with one member of Sgt. Travis' band of brothers about two years revealed that about half the team had died in combat or died at home--implying by suicide.
Navy S.E.A.L. Petty Ofc. First Class
Joshua Thomas Harris
Navy S.E.A.L. Petty Ofc. First Class Joshua Thomas Harris 36, of Lexington, North Carolina Petty Officer First Class Joshua Thomas Harris died during a rehearsal in preparation for a combat mission in XXXXX, Afghanistan. Joshua with 4 other members of S.E.A.L. Team 10 were forward deployed and assigned to a 19-man CIA Base XXXXXX in XXXXX Province which was the northeastern most base for U.S. and Allied forces. Joshua drown after being swept away by turbulent waters while conducting a treacherous night-time river crossing. Joshua was on the lead to be the first across with only a thin twine of rope around his waist. He was swept down river and the rope broke. Joshua had a B.A. degree in Studio Art and a Masters Degree in Architecture. Joshua studied in Prague, France and New York. After his death, the family discovered 100 of his paintings in a barn loft where he slipped off to paint. His artwork has been on display at several shows on the East Coast including the Lincoln Center in New York City. His family has since established the Joshua T. Harris Foundation devoted to protecting and enhancing the mental, physical and educational well-being of U.S. Navy SEALs and their families. Joshua died at the age of 36 on August 31, 2008. Born in Chaple Hill, North Carolina. Resided in Virginia Beach where he was assigned to the Naval Special Warfare Development Group. Final resting place in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, USA.
Golf Classic – Joshua T Harris (https://jthmemorialgolf.com/)
Navy S.E.A.L Petty Officer First Class Joshua Harris was assigned to our CIA base in the northeastern part of Afghanistan. I found him to be a very quiet individual. Through research I discovered that his sister is a Hollywood celebrity and that he himself was an artist. We were a 19-man team--including the embedded Navy S.E.A.L.s. In preparation of a Counterterrorism Operation that I was personally involved in as a target consultant, Petty Officer Harris and his team decided to conduct mission rehearsals in preparation to the operation. Harris unfortunately, as the lead member, drown in the process of a river crossing. A thin line of rope was tied around his waist and upon losing his footing in the turbulent river crossing the rope snapped under the stress. His body was recovered 2 days later by an Afghani who brought the body to the base at risk to himself being killed by enemy forces. I had a flag flown over our CIA base in honor of the fallen. As previously noted, I have held onto these two flags all these years and I seek to provide them to the families.
Paid for by the Mark Napier for Congress 2022 Committee.
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