Q: Several months ago there was an article about a soldier in Afghanistan who pushed a child out of the way so it would not be run over by a truck, but the soldier lost his life in doing so. Has the family received any recognition, medal or award for this heroic deed?
—M.L. Evans, Atlanta
A: Dennis Weichel Jr., a member of the Rhode Island National Guard, was posthumously promoted to sergeant, received a Bronze Star and a NATO Service Medal Afghanistan Campaign Ribbon RI Star after he was killed for pushing an Afghan boy out of the way of an armored vehicle in Laghman Province on March 22. Weichel, 29, who was killed by the vehicle, had a fiancée, a son and two daughters, The Associated Press reported. Weichel was buried with full military honors at the state Veterans Cemetery in Exeter, R.I., on March 31.
Q: I never hear mention of foreign aid in budget cuts. What is the annual contribution to foreign aid and what countries have the highest amounts?
—Eldridge Holland, Atlanta
A: The U.S. pledged approximately $53 billion to other countries in 2010, breaking down to $38 billion in economic assistance and $15 billion in military assistance, according to “U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants,” which is known as the “Greenbook” (gbk.eads.usaidallnet.gov). Afghanistan received the most ($11.4 billion), followed by Pakistan ($2.9 billion), Israel ($2.8 billion), Iraq ($2.1 billion) and Egypt ($1.7 billion).
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A DeKalb County woman said a fire in her home awakened her just in time Wednesday afternoon. She was able to get her grandmother, 3-year-old son and herself out safely before flames engulfed the upstairs of the family’s Stone Mountain home.