Philippines: A Re-return


America fought and lost in the Philippines, then Gen. Douglas MacArthur returned victoriously 60 years ago. It may have gone unnoticed that American soldiers are once again dying there as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, the war on terror more commonly called the war in Afghanistan. Among the latest is Army Staff Sgt. Joseph F. Curreri, 27, a Special Forces soldier from Fort Lewis who was helping battle Islamic militants in the island nation. The Pentagon says Curreri, who had been captain of his swimming team at USC, ironically drowned in a lake in the southern Philippines. Details were sparse, but he joins Army Sgt. Thomas Allison, 22, of Roy in Pierce County, and Air Force Staff Sgt. Juan M. Ridout, 36, Oak Harbor, who both died in action there since 2001. As well, Army Staff Sgt. Robert K. McGee, 38, a Fort Lewis Green Beret from Tennessee, died in Manila from non-combat-related injuries. With Curreri?s death, along with two more locals killed in Iraq last month - Marine Lance Cpl. Jeremy W. Burris, 22, of Tacoma, and Army Spc. Vincent G. Kamka, 23, of Everett - the toll of soldiers with state connections killed in Southwest Asia and the Pacific has now topped 250.

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