Chastain Military News


Chastain Military News Archives

Major General Ron Chastain led a major contingent of troops in Iraq. Captain David Chasteen served in Iraq, but now raises serious questions about the war through an organization he helped found--Operation Truth. Read here about Chastains and the military.

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General Ronald Chastain
Of Returning 39th Brigade
Remembers 33 Who Died in Iraq

09-07-07 Sergeant First Class Daniel Chastain and Heather Get Married by Phone (WALB-TV - Albany, GA) A Mitchell County couple tied the knot over a cell phone. Sergeant First Class Daniel Chastain and his new wife Heather exchanged vows via a cell phone this week. He is currently serving his second tour in Iraq. Several of Heather's family members were with her at the Mitchell County courthouse for the unusual ceremony. Full Story Back to Top
08-29-07 K.C. Chastain Survives Enemy AK-47 Round to the Head (Corpus Christi Caller Times - Corpus Christi, TX) An insurgent's AK-47 round now is in K.C. Chastain's pocket, a better place than his head. The Portland resident was working construction alongside Marines July 29 in Ramadi, Al Anbar Province, Iraq, when he was shot...Early X-rays showed nearby doctors there was a bullet in his head, but a scan later showed his skull wasn't fractured, the round had skirted the bone to his right ear. Chastain is recuperating at a forward operating base. Full Story Back to Top
07-29-07 Sergeant Wayne Chastain Takes on New Duties in National Guard (Ontario Argus Observer - Ontario, OR) Almost two years after returning from an 18-month combat tour in Iraq, Ontario Guardsmen are heading back into the desert south of Boise for a two-week annual training stint on M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks...The 2007 annual training session will also present new challenges to Charlie Company’s First Sergeant, Wayne Chastain. Chastain, a Baker City Police Department officer, steps into the position formerly held by Ontario resident Les Sissel, who recently retired from the Guard. Chastain, who stepped into the top-enlisted man slot of the Charlie Company last winter, said he takes his job seriously. The top sergeant in the company holds down a key position, one Chastain said he is ready to fill. “If I screw up, someone could go without food or something they need,” he said. Chastain conceded the training pace at annual training will be intense. “We’ll hit the ground running. But you prepare by doing your best to have a plan,” he said. Full Story Back to Top
07-06-07 Tom Chasteen Returns from Iraq a Second Time (TCPalm - Jupiter, FL) Surrounded by motorcycle-riding veterans and families waiting for their returning soldiers, the Chasteen family stood at the front of the line at the Jacksonville International Airport on June 12...Chasteen said goodbye to his wife, Kathy, their 16-year-old son Jordan and Ainsley when he was deployed to Baghdad last spring for the second time during the Iraq war. A 14-year member of the Air National Guard, Tom Chasteen served overseas at the Baghdad Air Force Base, working with a civil engineering unit building facilities to house coalition forces. They had been hit by mortar rounds more than once, but Chasteen viewed it as "just the normal stuff that goes on over there."..."I just lived my life day to day," Tom Chasteen said. In Iraq, going through the holidays without his family was difficult. But "Every day was another day closer to home," he said. Back home now, Tom Chasteen is working as a heavy equipment operator for the city of Vero Beach. Mowing his own lawn never felt so good, he said, but not half as wonderful as spending time with his wife and kids. Full Story Back to Top
06-06-07 Lance Cpl. Joshua Chastain Deployed to Iraq for Second Time (Cleveland Daily Banner - Cleveland, TN) Lance Cpl. Joshua Chastain is treating his second deployment to Iraq as a continuation of his job in the U.S. Marine Corps. His biggest anticipation is “coming home from work.” Chastain, 20, a Cleveland High School graduate, enlisted in the Marines in July 2004...The Cleveland Marine is the son of Kimberly Monroe of Cleveland. His stepdad, Dewayne Monroe, and dad, Kelly Chastain, also live in Cleveland. A sister, Amber, and husband Curtis Pettaway are also Cleveland residents...Talking with the Banner from Camp Fallujah in Iraq Friday, the young Marine said he returned to Iraq in January for his second tour of service after completing his first tour last May. Full Story Back to Top
05-16-07 Staff Sgt. Jacob Shasteen Explains Extraction Specialty (NewsBlaze - Folsom, CA) "We are trained in heavy collapse extraction," said Staff Sgt. Jacob Shasteen, a squad leader with the 444th. "We can do the extraction stuff (civilians) can't do. "The purpose of the CERFP, he said, is to supplement civilian responders and agencies when they require assistance. Trained in confined-space extraction, they can climb into the rubble of a collapsed building to rescue survivors and transfer them to medical support teams or decontamination teams as necessary. Because of the dangerous nature of their job, chemical companies assigned to CERFP teams receive additional hazardous material equipment and training..."Whenever there's a collapsed building we go in and clear victims off the pile," Shasteen said. "We get to go in and save lives. That's what we're around for." The Illinois CERFP employs tactics and equipment similar to civilian fire and rescue units, Shasteen explained. They are trained to climb into collapsed buildings and carefully shore-or reinforce-them to prevent further damage from a secondary collapse. Full Story Back to Top
05-14-07 Bob Chastain Recognized for His WWII Ordeal (Baylor University - Waco, TX) Powell told the story of Baylor alumnus and Waco resident Bob Chastain, who served on board the destroyer USS Johnston during World War II. The Johnston, part of the American light carrier group, miraculously held off a large contingent of Japanese warships at the battle off Samar, the Philippines, but was sunk in the process. Chastain spent three days in the water, without a life jacket, praying for rescue. Chastain's memories are cited in The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, one of Powell's favorite books. Chastain wrote: "I, along with all the other crew members, thought we would not survive against these odds and to this day it is very difficult to understand how anyone could make it...I was not too optimistic about our chances of being rescued on this third day. But I knew that I would never give up even though it appeared hopeless." Full Story Back to Top
03-05-07 Maj. Gen. Ronald S. Chastain Will Not Attend Assumption of Command (Arkansas Leader - Jacksonville, AR) Maj. Gen. William D. Wofford assumes command of the 10,200-member strong Arkansas National Guard at a 1 p.m. ceremony today at Camp Robinson...The assumption of command ceremony differs somewhat from a change-of-command ceremony in that Maj. Gen. Ronald S. Chastain, the state’s outgoing adjutant general, will not be present to hand off command and exchange the colors...Newly elected Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe appointed Wofford to the post in January. Chastain took command of the Arkansas National Guard last July after he was appointed to the position by former Gov. Mike Huckabee. The adjutant general is a state political appointee. Whoever fills the position serves at the pleasure of the governor. Full Story Back to Top
02-06-07 Maj. Gen. Ronald S. Chastain Visits Iraq ( - Springfield, VA) The adjutant general of Arkansas visited some of his deployed troops in Iraq last week...Maj. Gen. Ronald S. Chastain and Command Sgt. Maj. Deborah Collins, Chastain’s senior enlisted adviser traveled to Camp Striker, Iraq, to see 875th Engineer Battalion at work. He returned from the weeklong trip Saturday...Chastain also visited soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 131st Engineer Company and 142nd Fires Brigade. Full Story Back to Top
01-27-07 Albert Chastain Recalls Death of Astronaut Grissom (Times-Mail (subscription) - Bedford, IN) “His death was quite a shock,” said Albert Chastain. “Most people heard about it on the radio or on television, and we were all very saddened by it. “It was a very depressing situation to have to go through, but the community all pulled together to help one another and the Grissom family deal with the loss.” Chastain was among the 10-12 people chosen by the Mitchell chamber of commerce to represent the city at Grissom’s burial in Arlington National Cemetery. Many of those people, too, have died. However, a few remain to remember the journey...“It was very touching to see how that service was handled,” said Chastain, who owns a funeral home. “It was a very honorable tribute to him.”...“People are very excited about having an astronaut be from Mitchell,” Chastain said. “It was quite an honor for our community." Full Story Back to Top
01-26-07 Governor's Replacement Appoints Major General Chastain's Replacement (Arkansas Business Online, AR) Gov. Mike Beebe on Friday named Major Gen. Bill Wofford as the new Adjutant General for the Arkansas National Guard...Major Gen. Ron Chastain was Adjutant General under the former Gov. Mike Huckabee’s administration. Chastain is now being considered for an assignment at an Army Major Command headquarters, the governor's office said. Full Story Back to Top
01-26-07 New Administration Replaces Major General Ron Chastain as Adjutant General (Arkansas Times, AR) Governor Mike Beebe today named Major General Bill Wofford as the new Adjutant General for the Arkansas National Guard...Governor Beebe also thanked Major General Ron Chastain for his service as Adjutant General under the previous administration. Chastain is currently being considered for an assignment at an Army Major Command headquarters. Full Story Back to Top
01-19-07 Major General Ron Chastain Leaving Top Spot at Arkansas National Guard (KAIT - Jonesboro, AR) The top officer of the Arkansas National Guard, Major General Ron Chastain, is being replaced. A spokesman for Governor Beebe says Chastain is to be replaced by a Beebe appointee. The 56-year-old Chastain, who served in the Iraq war, has held his post only since July 15, when Major General Don Morrow retired upon reaching the Pentagon's age limit of 64. Full Story Back to Top
11-10-06 Ralph Chasteen Recalls WW II (Anderson Independent Mail (subscription) - Anderson, SC) Mr. Chasteen, now 82, joined the U.S. Army in April 1943 when he was 18 years old. He was sent to Foggia, Italy several months later. He served as a flight engineer on a bomber plane, staying in the cockpit of the plane with the pilot and co-pilot. The young Mr. Chasteen spent most of his time perched in the top turret of the plane firing on enemy targets. "I had two 50-caliber machine guns in the top of the plane," he said. "We had guns out of each wing, one from the bottom and one from the back. We bombed oil refineries, bridges and railroad yards to disrupt transportation so they couldn’t get anything in or out." Full Story Back to Top
11-01-06 Major General Ron Chastain Addresses Soldiers Shipping to Iraq (GX - Nashville, TN) "I take some bit of comfort knowing this is the second trip to Iraq for about half of you," said MG Ron Chastain, the adjutant general of Arkansas. "You know what to expect when you get over there, so help your fellow Soldiers that don't have the benefit of that experience."...MG Chastain encouraged spouses and family members to stay connected. "Maintain contact and communication frequently to minimize rumors," said the General. MG Chastain said that rumors and bad information can kill an organization faster than anything else. "Keep in contact with each other and with your Soldier. And when you need help, let your family support group or the command group assist you however they can." MG Chastain added that a year away from home seems like a long time, but looking back on his own recent tour in Iraq with the 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, the General said "keep busy and stay focused on your mission and the time will pass rapidly." Full Story Back to Top
8-30-06 Col. Taylor Chasteen Describes Improvements to Army Web Site (Army Public Affairs - Washington, DC) “We received a lot of feedback from our customer base stating that the old AKO homepage was overwhelming and had too much information,” said Col. Taylor Chasteen, project director, AKO. “We thought that better organization and a more elegant design would facilitate the user experience.” Users now see a new design; easier navigation tools like scrolling tabs, drop-down menus and picture icons; important news items on the top of the page and a change in how information is organized. Full Story Back to Top
8-8-06 Major General Ron Chastain Says New Agreement Will Help Returning Veterans (Today's THV - Little Rock, AR) The new charter agreement was signed between the Arkansas National Guard and several veterans groups specific to Arkansas. It makes health benefits more accessible to those just coming back from war or any deployment...With the recent deployment of the 39th Infantry, 300 soldiers came back wounded. But the adjutant general says many more came back with scars you can not see. MAJ GEN Ron Chastain says, "Now that we're back here, lots of scars are unseen and problems are developing. Soldiers are re-fighting those battles in their minds even though we've been gone from that zone for sometime."...Chastain says, "We wanted to pull everyone together and work in a common direction to make sure we put the right resource toward the soldier’s problem." Full Story Back to Top
7-16-06 Ceremony Marks Transfer of Leadership to Maj. Gen. Ron Chastain (Arkansas Democrat Gazette) Maj. Gen. Don C. Morrow wore his Army uniform for the last time Saturday, the day he turned over command of the Arkansas Military Department and the state National Guard to the soldier who led the state’s 39 th Infantry Brigade to war — Maj. Gen. Ron Chastain. Morrow blinked back tears at his morning retirement ceremony, as he thanked his family for supporting his 43-year military career...with Gov. Mike Huckabee by his side, Morrow reviewed his troops for the last time, walking past the ranks in step with a drum cadence. Then, in front of the troops and more than 250 guests, Morrow took the flag of the Arkansas National Guard and handed it to Huckabee in a military ritual symbolizing his relinquishment of command. Huckabee handed the flag directly to Chastain, completing the transfer of military authority to the state’s new adjutant general...Chastain, like Morrow, is former commander of the state’s largest National Guard unit, the 39 th Infantry Brigade. He commanded more than 3, 000 Arkansas soldiers and another 1, 500 from 10 other states as part of the 1 st Cavalry Division in Baghdad from 2004 to 2005. Chastain received his second star in October 2005 and was named Wartime Chief of Staff, U. S. Forces Korea. He resigned that position and retired from his civilian job at the U. S. Department of Agriculture last month to take the helm of the Arkansas Military Department. Full Story Back to Top
6-15-06 Colonel Taylor Chasteen Increases User Value of Army Knowledge Online (Military Information Technology - Rockville, MD) Army users are embracing AKO services in record numbers. On March 17, a new login record was set with 754,943 logins in one day. This figure represented use by 325,112 separate account holders in a 24-hour period. Recent upgrades to the portal—including improved navigation and a SIPRNet upgrade—have increased its value to users. Colonel Taylor Chasteen, project director for AKO, is focused on delivery of portal services to Army personnel in the field. “Relevant to the warfighter,” Chasteen said, “AKO collects, processes, manages and disseminates vast amounts of data. The synthesis of data into knowledge allows commanders the ability to effectively lead during dynamic operations in any environment, at any location—on land, in the air or at sea. Commanders, planners, logisticians and other authorized users can transmit data over AKO securely to collaborate on formatted information regardless of location.” Full Story Back to Top
6-14-06 Montford Point Marine Association Chapter President Anthony Chestang Supports Stem Cell Research ( (press release) - Newtown, PA) "Missouri veterans have risked their lives to protect our country during times of crisis and conflict on countless occasions," said Anthony Chestang, President of the St. Louis chapter of the Montford Point Marine Association. "Therefore, they have earned the 'right' and deserve to have equal access to the best and latest federally-approved medical treatments that are available in our country. The promise that stem cell research holds to cure some of the worst injuries and diseases faced by our fellow service members such as spinal cord injuries, organ damage and Hepatitis C, and to enhance the quality of life for veterans is the reason why Montford Point Marines strongly endorse the Stem Cell Initiative." Full Story Back to Top
6-1-06 Maj. Gen. Ron Chastain is New Head of Arkansas National Guard (Arkansas News - Little Rock, AR) Gov. Mike Huckabee appointed Maj. Gen. Ron Chastain of Conway as the state's new adjutant general, replacing retiring Maj. Gen. Don Morrow...A five-member committee unanimously recommended Chastain for the job. "I think the choice became pretty obvious that perhaps no one is better qualified to take this position ... a person that led our 39th Infantry Brigade to the fields of battle in Iraq, and who led them effectively and successfully and brought them home," Huckabee said at a state Capitol news conference attended by scores of National Guard members. Chastain will lead the 10,000-member Guard as it continues its transition from a part-time militia to one with an active role in the war on terrorism...Chastain and his wife, Pam, have two children. Full Story Back to Top
5-31-06 Arkansas Governor Appoints Major General Ron Chastain to Lead National Guard (Today's THV - Little Rock, AR (Includes photo of Chastain)) Maj. Gen. Ron Chastain, who commanded the Arkansas 39th Infantry Brigade, was named Wednesday morning by Gov. Mike Huckabee to lead the Arkansas National Guard...Chastain, who lives in Conway, was in charge of about 3,000 Arkansas soldiers during the 18-month campaign in Iraq...The 55-year-old Chastain began his military career when he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army Reserve in 1972...Chastain takes over as adjutant general July 15. Full Story Back to Top
4-08-06 39th Infantry Battalion Gen. Ron Chastain Helps Dedicate New Veteran’s Memorial (Today's THV - Little Rock, AR) One at a time, flags were raised to full mast. Each represents one of the five branches of the military. "Americans live in freedom today because of the devotion and sacrifice of veterans," says 39th Infantry Battalion Gen. Ron Chastain. The flags are a centerpiece to the new veteran’s memorial in Maumelle. Placed on the bank of Lake Willastein, the memorial pays tribute to those who have served our county. Full Story Back to Top
3-27-06 Col. Taylor Chasteen Assists Army Effectiveness through Technology (Line 56 News - USA) Army users are embracing AKO services in record numbers. On March 17, 2006, a new login record was set with 754,943 logins in one day. This figure represented use by 325,112 separate account holders in a 24-hour period. Recent upgrades to the portal -- including improved navigation and an upgrade of the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet) -- have increased utility by Soldiers. COL Taylor Chasteen, Project Manager for AKO, is focused on delivery of portal services to Army Soldiers in the field. "Relevant to the warfighter, "Chasteen said, "AKO collects, processes, manages, and disseminates vast amounts of data. The synthesis of data into knowledge allows commanders the ability to effectively lead during dynamic operations in any environment, at any location--on land, in air or at sea. Commanders, planners, logisticians, and other authorized users can transmit data over AKO securely to collaborate on formatted information regardless of location." Full Story Back to Top
3-20-06 Army Knowledge Online Director Col. Gregory Chasteen Praises Blakely for Katrina Work ( - Falls Church, VA) Army staff displaced by the hurricane needed to re-establish contact with family members. Many of them needed financial assistance. Some had to find a place to live. Three hours after the task order arrived, Blakely’s group in Fort Belvoir, Va., opened the Katrina Information Center on the Army’s intranet Web portal, Army Knowledge Online (AKO)...Katrina evacuees who logged on to the Army’s intranet portal could benefit in many ways from Blakely’s contributions, said Col. Gregory Chasteen, AKO’s director. They could gain access to 144 military applications by typing their user names and passwords once. Blakely established a standard, repeatable protocol for Army applications to take advantage of that single sign-on capability, said Chasteen, who is Blakely’s supervisor. Blakely “has a unique combination of personal qualities, being highly intelligent and at the same time commonsensical,” Chasteen said. “These two qualities, plus his work ethic and his military qualities, come together in such a valuable package that, I tell you, I’m going to hate to lose him.” Full Story Back to Top
2-02-06 Chastains Help Honor Lost Astronauts (Times-Mail (subscription) - Bedford, IN) Lawrence County's ties with the space program were well noted Wednesday morning during the fourth annual 10:16 Memorial at Spring Mill State Park. The annual event is to commemorate those astronauts who died in the advancement of the space program, including Mitchell native Virgil "Gus" Grissom...Speakers for the event included Mitchell Mayor Morris "Butch" Chastain..."Taps" was played by Nellie Chastain of Mitchell and Carl Rosborough of Bedford, and honor guards from the American Legion posts 250 and 33 in Mitchell and Bedford, respectively, participated in a 21-gun salute. Full Story Back to Top
1-08-06 Captain Mike Chastain Welcomes 612th Engineer Battalion Back Home (The Morning Journal - Lorain, OH) After a year in Baghdad, guarding prisoners and looking for bombs, the returning veterans will enjoy 60 days of freedom before reporting for duty one weekend a month in Ohio. Command Sgt. Major Paul Trickett, 37, said...''Our main job was route clearance and building checkpoints for the Iraqi security forces...we also built detention internment facilities to hold prisoners on their way through the Iraq justice system. We were in Baghdad for about a year, and in that time we found over 300 explosive devices"...The welcoming ceremony was led by Capt. Mike Chastain of the Ohio National Guard. ''This is a great day for the families and the community,'' said Chastain. ''We all hold each other a little tighter and appreciate each other a little more.'' Full Story Back to Top
11-18-05 Luis Sigifredo Castaño Assassinated by Columbian Military (Socialist Worker Online - Chicago, IL) On August 7, the same Battalion Calibio assassinated a community leader, Luis Sigifredo Castaño. As a member of the community remembers him, “We had known him for over 15 years. He was part of CAHUCOPANA, a new campesino human rights organization. Sigifredo was not an insurgent as the military accused." According to a local campesino association, the Peasants Association of the Rio Cimitarra Valley (ACVC), “[Sigifredo] was found dressed in camouflage, even though everyone in the region knew he was a campesino and was disabled.” The Colombian military has used the tactic of killing campesinos, dressing them in camouflage, and denouncing them as leftist insurgents. Full Story Back to Top
11-11-05 Ruth Shasteen Helps Organize Soldier Support Program (Urbana/Champaign News-Gazette - Champaign/Urbana, IL) The signs stretch for blocks up Hamilton and Jackson streets, each one representing a man or woman with parents, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews, classmates and friends in the Sullivan area who are hoping for the soldier's safe return..."You know everybody has been so supportive of families with soldiers over there, but someone without a soldier there can't really understand what emotions there are," said Ruth Shasteen, one of the founders...Mike and Ruth Shasteen's son, Jake, served in the 1544th Transportation Company out of Paris. He spent a year in Baghdad and is now a full-time recruiter in Monmouth. When the soldiers leave the service, they are presented with their sign as a memento. The reaction from the public has been nothing but positive, regardless of people's views on the war in Iraq, Shasteen said. Full Story Back to Top
11-03-05 Mayor Butch Chastain Gets Community Input on Veterans' Memorial (Times-Mail (subscription) - Bedford, IN) Mitchell Mayor Morris “Butch” Chastain said during the unveiling, “That's why we're here. We want to know what you, the community, wants.” Criticisms of the design were heard, just as they should have been. Chastain has done the right thing by planning for and encouraging other opportunities to stay informed on the project's progress and to provide input. Full Story Back to Top
10-1-05 Fletcher Chasteen Attends WWII Reunion (Baytown Sun - Baytown, TX) "We had what was called 'the last supper,'" Chasteen recalled about the night before he and many others stormed the Okinawa beach. He was 18 or 19 at the time. "That was the first time I realized that life was not a picnic." Chasteen was a radioman...He said he had to wade to shore from about a quarter-mile out with his communications equipment...Chasteen became the superintendent of schools and eventually a professor at Southeast Missouri State. Full Story Back to Top
9-25-05 Returning Afghanistan 1st Sgt. Leon Chastain Receives Bronze Star (Louisville Courier-Journal - Louisville, KY) Mabis also surprised 1st Sgt. Leon Chastain with a Bronze Star. A stunned Chastain said after the ceremony, "I received a ribbon, but the soldiers that were under me made this possible. It's not anything I did. It's what they did." Michelle Chastain, his wife, said, "I am so thrilled and so proud of him. And he deserves it. He really respects the guys. He is such a good man and I'm very lucky." Full Story Back to Top
9-4-05 Vicente Castano and 1,200 Colombian Militiamen Disarm (Xinhua - China) The Centaurus Block has always been quite influential in the central and eastern parts of Colombia. Vicente Castano, the leader of the block, is the brother of two other important leaders who are still missing, and together, the three are known as the "Castano Group." Vicente Castano, also known as "the professor" in the organization, often manipulates backstage, and he is believed to be the real powerful leader of the AUC. He is accused of participating in drug trafficking, and wanted by the US judicial departments. The surrender of Vicente Castano marks the further disintegration of paramilitary organizations in Colombia and is also a significant step toward peace talks between the Colombian government and paramilitary organizations. Full Story Back to Top
8-7-05 General Ronald Chastain Turns Over Command of 39th Brigade After Five Years (KATV - Little Rock, AR) With pomp and pageantry, generals, families and soldiers gathered for the event as General Ronald Chastain turned over command of the 39th brigade to Colonel Mike Ross. This was after nearly five years of leading the unit's 3500 soldiers. (Chastain) "I went through a lot with our soldiers and hate to give it up, but its over due and Col. Ross will do a great job." Chastain took the brigade to Iraq where 16 of it's members died in action. Full Story
7-15-05 Castine, Maine Was to Serve as Capital of British New Ireland in Revolution (Knox Village Soup - ME) The control of the Penobscot Bay region was deemed vital by the British. A plan was made not only to occupy Castine, but to take over the entire District of Maine and rename it the Province of New Ireland. That province would have been a loyalist province with the capitol at Castine. A constitution had been drawn up for New Ireland, complete with total rule by the British Parliament, with no elected assembly. This simply underscores the importance of the defense of this Penobscot Bay region. The British valued the possession of Maine for the procurement of masts for the British Navy, and a plan to occupy Maine as the future of New Ireland was underway in earnest in June of 1779. Full Story
7-8-05 Maj. Chad Chasteen Responds to Death of Eight Soldiers in Afghanistan (Wabash Plain Dealer - Wabash, IN) In an emotional service that brought some soldiers to tears, a memorial was held Thursday for an Indiana sergeant and the rest of his elite helicopter crew who were killed when their MH-47 Chinook was shot down in the deadliest single attack on U.S. troops in Afghanistan. ''A loss of one is felt by everybody, but a loss of eight is a shockwave,'' said Maj. Chad Chasteen, a company commander in the slain soldiers' unit, 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. Full Story
6-6-05 Colombian Militia Leader Jose Vicente Castano Wants Extradition Guarantee (Reuters AlertNet - London, England, UK) Protection against extradition is essential to the success of two-year-old disarmament talks with Bogota, Jose Vicente Castano, a leader of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), said in an interview published in this week's "Semana" magazine. "It will be very difficult to demobilize and turn in our arms if the possibility exists of ending up in a U.S. jail," Castano, the brother of former paramilitary chief Carlos Castano, said, in his first-ever comments to the media. Full Story
5-31-05 General Ronald Chastain Remembers the 33 Who Died in Iraq (Arkansas Democrat Gazette - AR) A bell rang 33 times, once for each of the soldiers the 39th lost in Iraq. Of those, 16 were from Arkansas...The brigade arrived in Baghdad in early March 2004. By Memorial Day that year, less than two months into the year-long deployment, nine soldiers had been killed. "Each name comes with a story," said Brig. Gen. Ron Chastain, commander of the 39th Brigade. Chastain said those who die in war are not the only casualties. Their families are casualties of war, as well, having to live with loss. Full Story
5-25-05 Brig. Gen. Ronald Chastain Thanks Arkansas for Supporting Troops (Lonoke Democrat - Lonoke, AR) Praise and accolades were delivered by Gov. Mike Huckabee, Major Gen. Don Morrow, Arkansas National Guard adjutant general; and Brig. Gen. Ronald Chastain, 39th Brigade Combat Team commander...Chastain...thanked the people of the state for the support shown the unit. “I can attest that the success of the deployment is directly related to the support of the families, employers and community,” he stated. “During these trying times, Arkansas has shown its colors, shown its strength and shown what holds us together,” Chastain declared. Full Story
5-23-05 American Legion Post 196 Commander J.D. Chastain Honors Vets at Program (Brownwood Bulletin - Brownwood, TX) In recognizing the active service military personnel, veterans and their families attending, Post Commander J.D. Chastain expressed pride at seeing so many families together at 36th Division Park in Camp Bowie. "Your sacrifices are great, but the cause is even greater," Chastain said. "Forget your football heroes and movie stars, you are the real stars."...Chastain urged those attending the event to make contributions to the American Legion's Legacy Scholarship Fund which assists children of military personnel killed on or after Sept. 11, 2001. Full Story
5-21-05 Army Brig. Gen. Ronald Chastain Speaks on Arkansas Support of Troops ( - USA) Army Brig. Gen. Ronald Chastain, commander of the 39th Infantry Brigade...said he's "not surprised at all" by his state's outpouring of support. His unit, the largest in the Arkansas Guard, includes soldiers from all 75 counties in the state, as well as from 10 other states...Chastain said successful deployments depend not only on military skills but also on support from three important groups: families, employers and the community. "We had them all," he said. "And this is a demonstration of the tremendous support from the communities within the state of Arkansas." Full Story
5-21-05 Tamara Chastain Organizes Rally to Support Troops (Today's Sunbeam - Salem, NJ) Tamara Chastain of Pennsville is one of the co-chairs of the rally, called "Thank a Solider, Support our Troops." She started thinking of having a rally last November. She was frustrated by what she felt was the one-sided, often negative view portrayed in the main-stream media. "All we hear are the bad things," she said in a phone interview Friday...Supplies to be later distributed to troops will be collected. Soldiers need everything from stationary to sun screen, Chastain said. Full Story
5-10-05 Brig. Gen. Ronald Chastain's 39th Brigade Welcomed Home from Iraq (Pine Bluff Commercial - Pine Bluff, AR) Red, white and blue balloons peppered the Pine Bluff Convention Center banquet hall Monday as about 150 people showed their appreciation at a ceremony honoring the 39th Infantry Brigade...The 39th Brigade trained Iraqi national guardsmen and protected voters during the Jan. 30 Iraqi elections, according to Brig. Gen. Ronald S. Chastain, commander of the brigade. "The Army sent us off well-prepared and our soldiers responded very well," Chastain said. Full Story
5-9-05 WW II Veteran E. W. Chastain Remembers 1943 Dobbins Opening (Access North Georgia - Gainesville, GA) E. W. Chastain, an 81-year-old World War II veteran, remembers when Dobbins Air Reserve Base first opened in his native Cobb County in 1943. He fears the booming county would suffer greatly if the base were closed. "It had a lot to do with the growth we've had here," Chastain said. "From an economic standpoint it's very important." Full Story
3-25-05 Iraq Veteran Jake Shasteen Interacts with Fourth Graders (Journal Gazette and Times-Courier - Charleston) ILSpc. Derrick Jeske of Mattoon, Sgt. Jake Shasteen of Sullivan and Sgt. Shanna Wilson of Robinson talked this week about their experiences while they were stationed in Iraq...Shasteen, Jeske and Wilson thanked the students for the phone cards. "Phone cards are always great," Shasteen said. "It was kind of expensive for us to call home. It is nice to be able to talk to our families."...Shasteen brought along his KEVLAR (helmet) and allowed the students to see how heavy it was. "We had to wear our KEVLARS all the time," Shasteen said. "We also had to wear body armor. When our magazines in our weapons are full, it probably is about 50 pounds of equipment," Shasteen said. "It made it kind of hot during the summertime." Full Story
3-24-05 Community Welcomes Ted Castano Home from Iraq (News 14 Charlotte - Charlotte, NC) A welcome home celebration was held Wednesday night for three Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers who spent more than a year in Iraq. Ted Castano, Maxie Fannin and Bob Frost said they were proud of their service but also glad to be back in Charlotte. “It’s nice,” Castano said. “Nothing beats home.” Full Story
3-12-05 Brig. Gen. Ronald Chastain's 39th Brigade Passes Torch in Iraq (Stars and Stripes - Washington, D.C.) 39th Brigade officials quietly handed authority to the 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division in a low-profile ceremony Wednesday...Brig. Gen. Ronald S. Chastain, the 39th Brigade Combat Team commander, declined to say how many casualties the unit suffered after gaining authority, but lauded the performance and sacrifices made by his soldiers. “When you lose four people from one company in a rocket attack, that’s pretty devastating,” he said. “Our soldiers have been through a lot.” Roadside bombs posed the greatest danger to 39th Brigade soldiers, he added, causing multiple casualties. In one incident, three soldiers were killed by a blast while responding to wounded personnel from another attack. In late January, a huge explosion ripped open the bottom of an M1 tank. The brigade also lost a few Bradley fighting vehicles to the roadside devices...Two Iraqi National Guard battalions and a separate Iraqi Army company received training and equipment from the 39th Brigade, he said, which led to the successful elections Jan. 30. Full Story
3-11-05 Master Sergeant Michall D. Chasteen Retires from Air Force (Kewanee Star Courier - Kewanee, IL) A retirement ceremony for Master Sergeant Michall D. Chasteen was held at Scott Air Force Base, Belleville, Ill., on Jan. 14...Welser said, "For over 21 years, the Air Force has benefited from your expertise. From your first assignment as a fire truck mechanic culminating in your present position as vehicle fleet superintendent, Vehicle Management Flight, 375 Logistics Readiness Squadron, Scott Air Force Base...While on active duty, Chasteen served in Kuwait, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Guam, Panama, Honduras Ecuador, Germany, Texas, South Carolina and Illinois. Full Story
1-14-05 Brig. Gen. Ron Chastain's 39th Combat Brigade Due Home In March (Siftings Herald - Arkadelphia, AR) "The entire 39th Combat Brigade is expected to be back in the United States at that time," said public affairs Spc. Chris Durney. He cautioned, however, that plans are still subject to change... Members of the 39th have served in various jobs while stationed in Iraq, Durney said. Some have served with an engineering company who are working to build a school for Iraqi children. Others provide security forces and training for Iraqi security forces. There are also members of the local company who serve as clerks and other administrative personnel... "The original timeline to redeploy after one year in country has not changed for the 39th," Brig. Gen. Ron Chastain, commander of the 39th Brigade, said. Full Story
1-7-05 Staff Sgt. Chris Chastain Among National Guard Training for Iraq (Atlanta Journal Constitution (subscription) - Atlanta, GA) The soldiers are modern-day cavalry, said Staff Sgt. Chris Chastain, using armored Humvees instead of horses to patrol and escort supply convoys. The unit will train for three to four months at Fort Stewart and Fort Irwin in California before heading overseas, said Chastain, an Acworth sales representative for a mailing company. "We need to make sure we're fit to fight when we get on the plane," he said. Full Story
1-6-05 Confederate Veteran Widow Emma E. Chastang Is 1955 News ( - Mobile, AL) Thurs., Jan. 6, 1955 "Four widows of Confederate veterans are drawing state pensions in Mobile County, according to the Mobile Department of Public Welfare. They are: Mrs. Emma E. Chastang, Citronelle; Mrs. Antoinette Felder, 112 Beverly Ct.; Mrs. Alice M. Sackhoff, 58 S. Ann St., and Mrs. Janie K. Williams, 1106 Government St." Full Story
1-4-05 Brigadier General Chastain Awards Prizes in Fundraiser Race (Hope Star - Hope, AR) All donations supported "The Fallen Heroes Last Wish Foundation", which provides educational scholarships for surviving children of U.S. Service members who have been Killed In Action (KIA) in Iraq...Brigadier General Chastain awarded the prizes...Volunteers and runners also received USAWOA, Tigris Chapter, Taji Trot t-shirts. Full Story
12-29-04 Jim Chastain Investigates AWOL Airman (KOTA - Rapid City, SD) That's about all the Air Force will say. “We have certain steps that we are taking right now. However, during the course of those investigative steps we could come across other steps that need to be taken so I'm not going to speculate at this point how long it is going to take,” said Air Force investigator Jim Chastain. Full Story
12-23-04 Columbia Issues Warning to "Deceased" Leader Carlos Castano (Reuters - USA) Colombia says it might extradite a feared paramilitary warlord to the United States, even though former outlaw comrades and military intelligence officials say he is dead. The government issued a statement Wednesday warning Carlos Castano, who disappeared in April, to rejoin peace talks along with other far-right paramilitaries or face extradition to the United States on cocaine smuggling charges. Full Story
12-19-04 Is Columbia Paramilitary Leader Carlos Castaño Killed or Hiding? (Miami Herald (subscription) - Miami, FL) Eight months after he went missing, rumors still swirl around paramilitary leader Carlos Castaño...Some say he's hiding in Panama or Israel, others say in the United States, and still others say he's dead...Castaño's disappearance ...came two weeks after he abandoned peace talks between the government and the 20,000-strong paramilitary force he created, the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia. Full Story
11-10-04 Cherokee Robert Chastain Represents American Indian Military Tradition (The State - Columbia, SC, USA) Robert Chastain's grandfather used to tell him and his brothers tales about warriors from before the Trail of Tears removal of Southeastern Cherokees through ... Full Story
11-9-04 Brigadier General Ron Chastain Confirms 39th Due to Return Home from Iraq (Hope Star - Hope, AR, USA) Brigade commander Brigadier General Ron Chastain confirmed in an ARNG statement that the timeline for redeployment had not changed. ... Chastain said. ... Full Story
11-1-04 Matt Chastain Says Planning and Training Led to Ship's Successful Evaluation (Navy News Stand (press release) - USA) Master-at-Arms 2nd Class (FMF) Matt Chastain attributed the ship's success to months of planning and training. "We started planning ... Full Story
10-11-04 Captain David Chasteen Speaks at Anti-War Event JHU's Center for Social Concern, AFSC Sponsor "Voices of Dissent" (The Baltimore Chronicle - Baltimore, MD) >>... Five speakers will speak about the devastating results of the war in Iraq: David Chasteen, an Iraq war veteran and spokesperson for Operation Truth, Mary ... Full Story
9-11-04 Iraq Veteran Capt. David Chasteen Co-founds Operation Truth Web Site WAR stories, from those who know (St. Petersburg Times - St. Petersburg, FL) >>... Army Capt. David Chasteen, one of the founders of the new Operation Truth Web site, travels in a convoy to Baghdad in March 2003. ... Full Story
8-24-04 Iraq Veteran Dave Chasteen Serves on Staff and Board of Operation Truth (Newsday - Long Island, NY) >>Dave Chasteen of Muncie, Ind., a self-described conservative Republican, serves as a staff member and on the advisory board. ... Possible Dead Link Full Story
8-11-04 Capt. David Chasteen Co-founds Operation Truth about Iraq (Fort Wayne News Sentinel - Fort Wayne, IN) >>Truth that will be launched later this month. Former Capt. David Chasteen and 1st Lt. Paul Rieckhoff, who is still serving in the ... Full Story
7-22-04 Brig. Gen. Ron Chastain Requests Extension of Soldiers' Tour (Arkansas News - Little Rock, AR) >>Brig. Gen. Ron Chastain, commander of the 39th Brigade Combat Team, requested that the Pentagon extend the soldiers' tour. Full Story
7-5-04 National Guardsman Wayne Chastain Prepares for Possible Deployment (Corvallis Gazette-Times) More than 400 Oregon National Guardsmen shift to Fort Bliss >>Sgt. First Class Wayne Chastain, a platoon sergeant with Alpha Company, Ontario, said his troops are apprehensive about what lies ahead. Full Story
6-21-04 Maj. Tim Chastain Invited to Ride as Co-Grand Marshal In Parade (Bogalusa Daily News) >>Lt. Col. Doug Mouton and Maj. Tim Chastain have been asked to ride as co-Grand Marshals. The Bogalusa parade, which ... Full Story
6-16-04 Brig. General Ron Chastain Presents Purple Hearts New Yorkers Among Purple Heart Honorees >>(BAGHDAD, Iraq) Two New Yorkers were among five soldiers from the 39th Infantry Brigade awarded Purple Hearts on Tuesday. Possible Dead Link Full Story
6-5-04 Fletcher Chasteen Witnessed Historic Moment Aboard 1945 USS Missouri (Southeast Missourian, MO) On the edge of history >>On Sept. 2, 1945, Fletcher Chasteen was a teenager, sitting in a 40 millimeter anti-aircraft gun turret atop the USS Missouri in the middle of Tokyo Bay. Full Story
5-20-04 Maj. Tim Chastain to be Co-Grand Marshal for Bogalusa July 4th Parade (Bogalusa Daily News) >>American Legion Post 24 has sent formal invitations to Lt. Col. Doug Mouton and Maj. Tim Chastain to ride as co-Grand Marshals. And all parish residents who are members of the 205th will be considered honorary Grand Marshals ... Full Story
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