Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Connor Alan McQuagge

Perm, Russia - Utah

May 26, 2016

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
19 Navy GMSN

USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49), forward deployed in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations

 Died of a non-combat related injury while underway in the Red Sea. The incident is under investigation.

In Memory of
GMSN Connor Alan McQuagge
August 21, 1996 - May 26, 2016

Connor Alan McQuagge was born in Perm, Russia, August 21, 1996 and was adopted into the excited, waiting, and loving home of Troy Alan McQuagge and his wife Sandra. Gunner's Mate Seaman Connor Alan McQuagge was serving on the USS Harpers Ferry, deployed to the Red Sea as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S. military effort to eliminate ISIS, at the time of his passing. 
Connor is survived by his mother, Sandra Jean Dominy and her husband Steven Dominy, his father, Troy McQuagge and his fiancée Randi Stokes, one brother, Wesley Alan McQuagge and his paternal grandmother, Maris McQuagge.
Private burial will be at DFW National Veterans Cemetery in Dallas with full Military Honors. 
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations in Connor's name to Sky's The Limit, a program to support youth in crisis, at-risk teens and their families. The mission of this program is to provide youth in crisis a way to achieve their maximum potential. Donations can be sent via mail to Sky's the Limit Fund, 510A Valley Way, Milpitas, CA 95035. Please be sure to include Connor's name and the "Designated Program" of Wingate Wilderness with your check. Donations can also be made on line at: https://www.skysthelimitfund.org/make-donation
In the "Tribute Type" choose "In Memory of", in "Tribute Information" enter "Connor Alan McQuagge" and in the "Designated Program" enter "Wingate Wilderness."
From U.S. News usnews.com 05/31/16

2 Americans Wounded Fighting ISIS
The Pentagon insists the injured service members weren’t in combat.
By Paul D. Shinkman | Senior National Security Writer May 31, 2016, at 2:04 p.m.

The Pentagon on Tuesday revealed two U.S. service members had been wounded over the weekend during operations against the Islamic State group, one in Iraq and one in Syria, but insisted the injuries did not occur in the course of combat.

Both were struck by what the military calls "indirect fire" – usually rockets or mortars launched by enemy forces that happened to strike an opposing target, in this case the two service members. Their injuries illuminate the intense dangers facing the roughly 4,000 U.S. trainers, advisers and support staff in Iraq, as well as the couple hundred special operations commandos operating in both Iraq and Syria, all while top American leaders insist these forces do not have a direct combat mission.

"We don't talk in detail about our wounded because we don't want to telegraph battle damage assessments to our enemy," Defense spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters. "In both cases, I want to point out, these were people operating behind the forward line of troops. They were not on the front lines, they were not engaged in active combat."

When pressed on how these injuries do not represent combat casualties, Davis said, "They're not out 'trigger-pulling' offensively."

One service member was injured in northern Iraq in the vicinity of Irbil, and the other was in western Syria north of Raqqa. Neither has returned to duty, Davis said, declining to offer any further information about them, including whether they had been evacuated out of the combat zones for medical treatment.

He also refused to give their service branches or what they were doing when they were injured, though most of the forces the U.S. has announced are in those locations are special operations forces who are building and supporting local troops.

The military is generally discreet about injuries in combat, both for the reasons Davis referenced and to protect the privacy of the service members, officials say. The Defense Department maintains a list of the total deaths and injuries from its latest wars but rarely volunteers specifics about injuries. It usually posts statements each time it confirms a death related to a combat operation, such as the latest one identifying Navy Gunner's Mate Seaman Connor Alan McQuagge, a 19-year-old from Utah, who died on Thursday from non-combat injuries aboard the USS Harpers Ferry operating in the Red Sea.

The most recent combat death for the conflicts against the Islamic State group was Navy SEAL Charlie Keating IV, who died earlier in May when the Kurdish forces his unit was training came under attack by an Islamic State group ambush.

Three U.S. troops have been killed in the war against the Islamic State group, while 15 have been injured.

In Memorial Day remarks at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday, President Barack Obama emphasized the Americans killed in Iraq since the campaign against the Islamic State group began in 2014 were combat deaths.

He has been criticized for his rhetoric surrounding the growing American presence in Iraq and Syria since originally pledging it would not include U.S. "boots on the ground," a term he has since revised to mean that the U.S. would not lead a ground combat mission on the same scale as the last Iraq War, which ended in 2011.

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