A very sad day for our nation...

Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, 23, of Houston, and Pfc. Thomas Tucker, 25, of Madras, Ore., disappeared Friday after an attack on a checkpoint they were manning near Yusifiyah, about 20 miles southwest of Baghdad. The area is located in the so-called Sunni Triangle, a hotbed of insurgency activity.

A third soldier, Spc. David Babineau, 25, of Springfield, Mass., died in the attack.

All three were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment of 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), based at Fort Campbell in Kentucky.

The three brave men have given their lives in Iraq over the last few days. Privates Menchaca and Tucker were beheaded after they were captured in a surprise attack last week. Specialist Babineau was killed immediately in the attack.

I grieve for all of the brave men and women have given their lives in the military service, regardless of their locations.

Having served in the military, I feel such a loss.

But my loss can't come anything close to the incredible tragedy that more than 2500 families have experienced since March 2003. And those numbers don't include the American/coalition civilians, as well as Iraqis who have given their life.

Let us pray.

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