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Normal IL US Post Office renamed for fallen 22 year old Army Ranger



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WASHINGTON DC – Last week, a US Post Office in Normal Illinois was renamed to honor a 22 year old Bloomington native that died in 2017 while fighting in Afghanistan.

US Army Sergeant Joshua Rodgers was mortally wounded on April 27, 2017 during a raid on the headquarters of ISIS emir Abdul Hasib. 

Congressman Darin LaHood sponsored the legislation signed into law by President Trump.

“Sergeant Joshua Rodgers is an American hero and we will forever be indebted to him for his selfless service to our country. With President Trump’s signature, Sergeant Rodgers’ patriotism and sacrifice will forever be cemented in the Normal community. While we can never fully repay Josh for his service, this small step will ensure his bravery is never forgotten,” Rep. LaHood said in a statement. 

“Sergeant Joshua Rodgers is a hometown hero and renaming this post office will make sure that his name and the sacrifice he made for us is remembered for generations to come,” said Rep. Rodney Davis. “It’s because of men and women like Sergeant Rodgers who risk their lives in service to our country that we remain free. It is a privilege to be able to honor his life and service with this post office and I look forward to seeing the “Sgt. Josh Rodgers Post Office” in Normal soon.”

The Military Times reported the following about Rodgers' heroic actions soon after the deadly action:

Sgt. Joshua Rodgers, 22, and Sgt. Cameron Thomas, 23, were hit by small-arms fire during a high-stakes raid on the headquarters of Abdul Hasib, whom U.S. officials identified as ISIS Khorasan's emir. The hellish, hours-long firefight occurred in Achin, a restive district along the Pakistan border where in recent weeks American and Afghan forces have dramatically escalated their campaign to crush the terror group.

"This was a dangerous mission. We knew this going in," said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman. "This was the leader of ISIS in Afghanistan. We knew he would be heavily protected."

Comprising approximately 100 Army Rangers and Afghan commandos, the raid force was flown into the Mohmand Valley around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to accounts provided by U.S. officials in the Pentagon and in Kabul. Within minutes, a close-quarters gun battle ensued, with the Americans and Afghans taking heavy fire from multiple compounds and "well-prepared fighting positions," officials said.

A variety of American attack aircraft — including AC-130 gunships, Apache helicopters, F-16 fighters and drones — were called in to defend the team, Davis said. By 3:30 a.m. Thursday, more than three dozen ISIS operatives were dead, including an unspecified number of ISIS-K leaders. It's unclear whether Hasib, the emir, was among them. Officials are working to determine his fate, Davis added.

Rodgers was a team leader with C Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, out of Fort Benning, Georgia. He was on his third deployment to Afghanistan, according to an Army bio. The Normal, Illinois, native enlisted in 2013. Following infantry school, airborne school and Ranger selection, he joined his unit in May 2014.

Thomas was an anti-armor specialist in 3rd Battalion's D Company. He enlisted in early 2012 and also moved straight from basic training to the Ranger Regiment.

"Fighting alongside their Afghan partners, Josh and Cameron proved themselves willing to go into danger and impose a brutal cost on enemies in their path," Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in a written statement released Friday. "They carried out their operation against ISIS-K in Afghanistan before making the ultimate sacrifice to defend our nation and our freedoms. Our nation owes them an irredeemable debt, and we give our deepest condolences to their families."


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