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U.S. soldiers killed in Jordan drone attack

From left: Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, Spc. Kennedy Ladon Sanders and Spc. Breonna Alexsondria Moffett. | Source: Fair use photo

The three American soldiers killed in a drone attack in Jordan last weekend have been identified as Georgia residents who were all Black, including two women, placing a focus on the outsize role that African Americans play in serving the United States.

Condolences have been steadily streaming in on social media to mourn the lives of Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, 46, from Carrollton; Spc. Kennedy Ladon Sanders, 24, from Waycross; and Spc. Breonna Alexsondria Moffett, 23, from Savannah. At least 34 other people were injured in the early morning attack on Sunday.

 

The three service members were killed in their housing units at an American military outpost in a country that is strategically located in a region beset by military conflict, including Iran, which is believed to be the source of the fatal drone attack.

The U.S. Department of Defense said the slain soldiers were working to support Operation Inherent Resolve, a combined task force that participates in targeted operations to defeat the ISIS militant group. They had been assigned to the 718th Engineer Company, 926th Engineer Battalion, 926th Engineer Brigade, in Fort Moore, Georgia.

The New York Times reported that Rivers, Sanders and Moffett were among “a team of soldiers trained to deploy at short notice to build roads, landing fields and protective earthen berms for U.S. forces.”

More from the Times:

The three who were killed on Sunday are part of an often overlooked part of the military that delivers supplies, maintains buildings, builds roads and does other routine work while shouldering the risk of operating in hostile territory.

Sergeant Rivers was trained as an electrician, had served in the Army Reserve for more than a decade and had been deployed to Iraq in 2018 during the fight against Islamic State militants, according to Army records.

Specialist Sanders and Specialist Moffett both enlisted in the Army Reserve in 2019 and were trained to operate heavy equipment, such as road graders. Tower 22 was Specialist Moffett’s first deployment. Specialist Sanders had been deployed once before, in 2021, to an American outpost in Djibouti.

President Joe Biden has vowed to “respond” to the drone attack at a time when polling shows he’s been hemorrhaging support from Black Americans during a crucial election year.

The race of the soldiers matters since research published by the Brookings Institute in 2020 found that Black Americans like Rivers, Sanders and Moffett are much more likely to serve the U.S. both militarily and in a civilian capacity than Americans from any other background.

More from Brookings:

Compared to the civilian labor force, Black men are significantly over-represented in military service, while Black women are similarly over-represented in civilian service. Among whites, women are significantly under-represented in military service, while men are significantly under-represented in civilian service. The overrepresentation of black men and women in the military can be seen as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the military has served as an important means of economic mobility for many black men. On the other hand, the dominance of Black Americans in military service– and therefore among these most likely to be put in harm’s way on behalf of the nation – is striking, especially in light of broader current conversations about race, justice and equity.

Data shows that Black people are among those vehemently opposing the Israeli-led violence against Palestinians in Gaza, which is located near Jordan where the three soldiers were killed.

Most recently, a group of Black faith leaders, including more than 200 in Georgia — where Rivers, Sanders and Moffett were from — have called for a ceasefire in Gaza and demanded Biden’s administration to stop sending aid to Israel.

“We’ve talked about it — it’s going to be very hard to persuade our people to go back to the polls and vote for Biden,” the Rev. Timothy McDonald, the senior pastor of First Iconium Baptist Church in Atlanta, told the New York Times.

This is America.

SEE ALSO:

Personal Stories From An Afro-Palestinian Amid Israel-Gaza Conflict

Why Black Americans Should Stand In Solidarity With Palestinians: Activist And Scholar Explains

The post All 3 US Soldiers Killed In Jordan Drone Attack Were Black People From Georgia appeared first on NewsOne.

All 3 US Soldiers Killed In Jordan Drone Attack Were Black People From Georgia  was originally published on newsone.com