Thursday, October 27, 2011

Army Ranger Killed on 14th Deployment

I worked with a guy in a salmon cannery in Valdez, Alaska, in 1985 or so who talked about, sometimes bragged about, doing 12 tours of combat duty in Vietnam. I don't want to turn such a thing into a cliche, but he was probably the scariest person I ever came across. He was a sad, paranoid, violent man.  It actually bothers me right now in my gut just picturing his face. Not fear, but Jesus, this was the saddest individual.

I've talked about the guy a few times in the years since, and just about every time someone would say, "Nobody was allowed to do that many tours! Bullshit!"

An Army Ranger who was on his 14th deployment to a combat zone has been killed in Afghanistan. 
Sgt. First Class Kristoffer B. Domeij, 29, was killed Saturday when the assault force he was with triggered a hidden roadside bomb in Afghanistan's Kandahar Province. 
Domeij served four deployments in Iraq and another nine stints in Afghanistan. During that time he was awarded two Bronze Stars. His third Bronze Star, earned during his final tour in Afghanistan, will be awarded posthumously, according to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
14 tours and he's 29? Did he ever get home? Ai yai yai.

RIP, Kristoffer Domeij. And a good wish from far away to that guy I met in Valdez. I hope he's found some peace.


  1. Interesting post Thom. I read about guys who volunteered, over and over again, to be "tunnel rats" in Vietnam. That meant crawling into often booby-trapped tunnels, barely large enough to fit through, and sometimes engaging the enemy, in total darkness, underground, with either guns or knives. Just thinking about doing that freaks me out and these guys did it over and over again. They were usually small men who somehow had a taste for this kind of work. The book I read about them said that there was this one guy who practically thrived on the level of adrenaline he got from this kind of mission. He loved it. Everyone who knew him seriously wondered what on Earth would fill that void when he went back home...

  2. Yeah, I think we've written about them. WWII also.

    I should also not that the article says this Ranger's tours were four months, where the guy I met in Alaska's Im pretty sure were nine months.