Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Toll from war touches Hernando County

Army Staff Sgt. Michael W. Schafer, 25, Spring Hill

Schafer died July 25, 2005, while on patrol near Kandahar, Afghanistan. He was shot and killed while on a quick reaction force mission. Others survived because of his actions as squad leader, and he was awarded the Silver Star. Schafer was a 1998 graduate of Springstead High School. He and his wife, Danielle, were married in December 2000. His first job had been as a busboy at Guido's restaurant in Spring Hill, and he also had been a lifeguard at Buccaneer Bay at Weeki Wachee Springs.

Marine Sgt. Lea Robert Mills, 21, Masaryktown

Mills was killed on April 28, 2006, by an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Al Anbar province in Iraq. Mills, who had signed on for a second tour with the Marines shortly before his death, had asked to serve in Iraq. He was deployed with an amphibian assault battalion. He graduated from Hernando High School in 2002. In August 2004, Mills married Keesha Malicoate, his high school sweetheart. After his death, his mother, Dee Mills, started an organization known as Lea's Prayers and Postage Inc., which raises money to pay the postage for care packages that are sent from Hernando County to military personnel overseas.

Army Spc. Cody C. Grater, 20, Spring Hill

Grater, a paratrooper, died in Iraq on July 29, 2007. He was killed when a rocket-propelled grenade struck his Humvee outside Baghdad. He attended Springstead High School. Family members and friends said he loved working on cars, hip-hop music and chasing girls. As a teenager, Grater had been one of the supporters of the effort to build a public skate park, and once Stewy's Skate Park opened, he was a regular there.

Army Spc. Justin Dean Coleman, 21, Hernando Beach

Coleman died on July 24, 2009, along with three other soldiers, as they were searching near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border for prisoner of war Pfc. Bowe R. Bergdahl. Coleman was killed in a firefight with insurgents, suffering a fatal gunshot below the rib cage. He was a 2007 graduate of Nature Coast Technical High School. His family said he joined the military to earn money for college. He was married to Nicole Lynn Jenkins.

Toll from war touches Hernando County 07/27/09 [Last modified: Monday, July 27, 2009 10:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Roosevelt Blvd closed at I-275 after truck hauling crane hits overpass

    News

    ST. PETERSBURG — A truck transporting a construction crane hit the Interstate 275 overpass at Roosevelt Boulevard Tuesday.

  2. One Pasco County student arrested for bringing weapons to school, another for threatening shooting

    Crime

    Two Pasco County students from different schools were arrested Tuesday, one for having weapons on school grounds and the other for threatening a school shooting.

  3. It's official: Hillsborough high schools move to 8:30 a.m. start time, elementary schools to go earlier

    K12

    TAMPA — Hillsborough County high schools school will be in session from 8:30 a.m. to 3:25 p.m. starting in 2018-19, the School Board decided Tuesday in a 6-0 vote.

    The Hillsborough County School Board has decided to end a compressed bus schedule that caused an estimated 12,000 children to get to school late every day. Under the new schedule, high schools will start at 8:30 a.m. instead of 7:30 a.m. Elementary schools will start at 7:40 a.m. and middle schools at 9:25 a.m. [Times files]
  4. NFL players, owners hold 'constructive' talks on issues

    Bucs

    NEW YORK — NFL players and owners met Tuesday to discuss social issues, a session Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross called "constructive" and Colts defensive back Darius Butler termed "positive."

    A coalition of advocacy groups 'take a knee' outside of a hotel where members the quarterly NFL league meetings are being held on Tuesday in New York City.  Owners, players and commissioner Roger Goodell are all expected to attend. The activists spoke of having solidarity with athletes and coaches around the country who have also kneeled in protest of racial injustice, especially in policing.
 [Getty Images]
  5. The topic will be neighborhoods as Kriseman, Baker debate one more time

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker will face off, possibly for the last time before the Nov. 7 election, in a candidate forum on Wednesday hosted by the influential Council of Neighborhood Associations.

    St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, left, and former Mayor Rick Baker during a September forum. The two will will face off, possibly for the last time before the Nov. 7 election, during  a candidate forum at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Sunshine Center, 330 5th St. N. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]