Lauderdale County's Fallen Heroes

Fallen Heroes:  Operation Iraqi Freedom


This page is dedicated to the memory of Lauderdale County's soldiers, sailors and airmen of Operation Iraqi Freedom who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom and the American way of life.  Once a soldier myself. and member of a burial squad serving heroes of another war, I cannot now enter a cemetery without hearing the haunting tones of Taps being played by a lone bugler from a place just over the horizon.  It is a solemn and fitting salute.  May God bless them.


Sargent 1st Class Clarence D. McSwain

Age: 31 years
Died: June 8, 2006 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
SFC McSwain was assigned to: U.S. Army, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.

Clarence D. McSwain

Official Report: SFC McSwain died in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his convoy vehicle during combat operations. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky

According to the Associated Press  SFC McSwain's sister said that he "believed hw was protecting his family and his country by serving in the Middle East. This was his fifth overseas deployment in his 12 year military career."


SPecialist Robert A. McNail

Age: 30 years
Died: June 8, 2006 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
SPC McNail was assigned to: Army National Guard's 150th Combat Engineer Battalion, 155th Brigade Combat Team, Quitman, Miss.

Robert A. McNail

Official Report: SPC. Robert A. McNail, 30, of Meridian, Miss., died Feb. 11 in Iskandariyah, Iraq, when his HMMV-W struck another military vehicle.

In an interview with Holbrook Mohr of the AP, Robert's father, Marvin McNail, said I'm very proud of my son. He did what he thought had to be done. I'll miss him but I'm a career military person and I'm proud that both my sons saw fit to serve their country.



Sargent Robert S. Pugh

Age:  25 years
Died:  March 2, 2005
Assigned To:  Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 155th Infantry, McComb, Mississippi.

Robert S. Pugh

Official Report:  Pugh died 2 March 2005 in Iskandariyah, Iraq, when an improvised explosive

Silver Star

 device detonated near his military vehicle.

SGT Pugh was a platoon medic for A Company/1-155 Infantry. SGT Pugh's platoon was conducting a combat patrol in a hostile area.  While providing security for a group of engineer soldiers, an Improvised Explosive Device detonated seriously wounding SGT Pugh and SFC Ellis Martin.  Although in extreme pain, SGT Pugh directed treatment instructions to the members of his platoon for both he and SFC Martin.  He remained calm and continued to give instructions

 until the medical evacuation helicopter arrived.  Unfortunately, SGT Pugh passed away on route to the hospital.  However, his heroic actions saved the life of SFC Martin.  SGT Pugh is a true hero who was more concerned for the treatment of his fellow comrade than himself. For his actions, SGT Pugh was awarded the Silver Star posthumously.


Afghanistan:  Operation Enduring Freedom

Although five Mississippians have died in the war for Afghanistan freedom, none are from Lauderdale County.

We, nevertheless, honor these fallen Mississippians:

They are:

Katrina Grady of Greenville, Mississippi, U.S. Navy
Taurean Harris, of Liberty, Mississippi, U.S. Army
Donnie Levens, of Long Beach, Mississippi, U.S. Marine Corps
Vincent Parker of Preston, Mississippi, U.S. Navy
Christopher Robinson, of Brandon, Mississippi, U.S. Army.