Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Westbrook became the fifth U.S. soldier to die as a result of an ambush last month in Afghanistan. Despite assurances that air support was only five minutes away, the team had to wait over an hour, and despite repeated calls for artillery support (and assurances that the enemy wasn’t near the village), commanders withheld artillery support – thanks to new emasculated rules of engagement.
The 41-year-old native of Colorado Springs, Colo. was on his last tour before his retirement. Westbrook’s brother died in Iraq in 2007 while serving in the National Guard.
In addition to the five U.S. deaths, nine Afghans died and 20 U.S. and Afghan soldiers were wounded.
The names of the other fallen Americans:
Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class James R. Layton, 22, Riverbank, Calif.
Marine 1st Lt. Michael E. Johnson, 25, Virginia Beach, Va.
Gunnery Sgt. Aaron M. Kenefick, 30, Roswell, Ga.
Gunnery Sgt. Edwin W. Johnson, Jr., 31, Columbus, Ga.