Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Chapman and Staff Sgt. Matthew V. Thompson serve as sad bookends in the annals of Joint Base Lewis-McChord and its role in the Global War on Terrorism.
Chapman was the first U.S. serviceman killed in Afghanistan by enemy fire, gunned down Jan. 4, 2002, in Afghanistan.
Thompson was the most recent U.S. serviceman killed in that far-flung nation, the victim of a roadside bomb Aug. 23.
The Green Berets are among the 317 JBLM troops who have died since the war on terror began after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, according to base records. That includes deaths in Afghanistan (116) and Iraq (201).
The Pierce County base has been one of the busiest in the nation since the 9/11 attacks, deploying troops across the globe, and it saw its troop strengths grow as a result.
In 2001, nearly 25,000 active-duty soldiers and Air Force personnel were assigned to Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base.
That number swelled to nearly 46,000, including active-duty and reservists, by 2013, Army records show. The military began including reservists as part of troop strength numbers in 2010 when Lewis and McChord merged into a single entity.
A post-Iraq War draw down across the Army has seen those numbers decrease to about 40,000 active-duty personnel and reservists at JBLM today.