THERE IS understandably a lot of conversation and reflection going on right now about America’s departure from Afghanistan after 20 years of war and the quick return of Taliban rule. The tragic loss of another 13 U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan on Aug. 26 is a sad reminder for all of us that we can never forget the soldiers who grew up with us in New Hampshire and took their last breaths in Afghanistan.


Specialist Nicholas P. Bernier, 21, of East Kingston, killed 6/25/2011 by small-arms fire in Kherwar.

Specialist Marc P. Decoteau, 19, of Waterville Valley, killed 1/29/2010 supporting combat operations in FOB Nunez.

Cpl. Scott G. Dimond, 39, of Franklin, killed 10/13/2008 when his vehicle struck an IED and his patrol was engaged in a small arms firefight in Kandahar.

Major Gen. Harold J. Greene, 55, of Nashua, killed 8/5/2014 when his unit was attacked by small arms fire at Camp Qargha, Kabul.

Specialist Adam M. Kuligowski, 21, of Derry, died 4/6/2009 in Bagram, Afghanistan.

Sgt. John A. Lyons, 26, of Peterborough killed 10/26/2011 by enemy small-arms fire in Ghazni province.

PFC Buddy W. McLain, 24, of Berlin, killed in action 11/29/2010 when insurgents attacked his unit in Pachir Wa Agam.

Maj. Brian M. Mescall, 33, an Exeter High School graduate; killed 1/9/2009 by an IED that detonated near his vehicle in Jaldak.

Specialist Justin R. Pellerin, 21, of Concord, killed 8/20/2009 when an IED detonated near his vehicle in FOB Shank.

Sgt. Zachary D. Tellier, 31, of Bedford, killed 9/29/2007, when insurgents attacked his unit at Firebase Wilderness.

CWO1 Christopher R. Thibodeau, 28, of Marlborough, killed 5/26/2011 when his helicopter crashed during combat operations in Paktika province.

Master Sgt. Jared N. Van Aalst, 34, of Laconia, killed 8/4/2010 while his unit was conducting combat operations in the Kunduz province.

Ranger Sgt. Andrew C. Nicol, 23, of Kensington, killed 8/8/2010 when insurgents attacked his unit with an IED in Kandahar.

Green Beret Specialist Ryan J. Savard, 29, of Jefferson, killed 10/13/2012, by small arms fire during combat operations in Khanabad district.

Green Beret Staff Sgt. Kyle R. Warren, 28, of Manchester, killed 7/29/2010 when insurgents attacked his military vehicle with an IED in Tsagay.


PFC Matthew L. Bertolino, 20, of Hampstead, killed in a vehicle rollover 2/9/2006 on combat patrol near Jalalabad.

Cpl. Philip E. Charte, 22, of Goffstown, killed 9/7/2010, while conducting combat operations in Helmand province.

PFC Eric D. Currier, 21, of Londonderry, killed 2/17/2010, supporting combat operations in Helmand province.

Lance Cpl. Brandon Garabrant, 19, of Peterborough, killed during a hostile incident on 6/20/2014 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province.

Lance Cpl. Michael E. Geary, 20, of Derry, killed 12/8/2010 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province.

Cpl. Michael Ouellette, 28, of Manchester, killed 3/22/2009 while supporting combat operations at Camp Bastion.

Cpl. Jonathan D. Porto, 26, of Plaistow, killed 3/14/2010, supporting combat operations in Helmand province.

Sgt. Michael C. Roy, 25, born in Candia, killed 7/8/2009, supporting combat operations in Khash.

Cpt. Kyle R. Van De Giesen, 29, a Saint Anselm alumni; killed 10/26/2009 by a collision between a UH-1 and an AH-1 helicopter in Helmand province at FOB Dwyer.


SEAL Senior Chief Petty Officer Daniel R. Healy, 36, of Exeter, NH; killed 6/28/2005, when an MH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed while ferrying personnel to a battle against militants in eastern Afghanistan.

Air Force

Air Force Captain Ryan S. Phaneuf, 30, of Hudson; killed 1/27/2020 when the plane he was flying crashed in Afghanistan.

Our freedom is not free. Just ask these 26 New Hampshire Gold Star families whose sons sacrificed their lives in Afghanistan for us. I will never forget. Our Swim With A Mission family and supporters will never forget. We all can never forget.

Philip Taub of Bedford is an attorney at Nixon Peabody and co-founder along with his wife, Julie, of Swim With A Mission (, a charity that supports veterans.

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