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Children of war dead to receive honor

Associated Press / September 18, 2009

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WASHINGTON - About 50 children of US service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan will be given a medal from the nation’s top military official at a Capitol Hill ceremony honoring the slain and their families. About 3,000 family members are expected to attend the Sept. 26 tribute sponsored by the White House Commission on Remembrance.

The Joint Chiefs chairman, Admiral Mike Mullen, will award medals to children of soldiers, sailors, pilots, and Marines who have died in the two wars.

At least 4,344 members of the US military have died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003. At least 757 have been killed in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan, according to the Defense Department.

“This tribute is intended to show families that their fellow Americans care about their loss,’’ said Carmella LaSpada, commission director.

Speakers will include General Ann Dunwoody, the first US woman to serve as a four-star general.