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Cavalry Soldier Becomes First Joint Endeavor Fatality

By Master Sgt. Stephen Barrett, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 1996 – An Army noncommissioned officer died in an explosion Feb. 3 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, becoming the first U.S. service fatality of Operation Joint Endeavor.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Donald A. Dugan of Belle Center, Ohio, died while patrolling near Gradacac, 25 miles north of the U.S. headquarters at Tuzla. Military authorities are investigating the cause of death.

In condolences to family and friends, President Clinton said, "He gave his life in the noblest of causes -- the search for peace," he said. Clinton said the United States will continue to take every precaution to protect service members as the work for peace.

"I have been clear since before this operation began that our mission to secure peace in Bosnia would entail some risks," he said. "All Americans should know that we have provided our troops with the best training, the best equipment to confront the challenges they face in Bosnia."

Dugan, 38, joined the Army in 1978. He served as platoon sergeant with A Troop, 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry, 1st Armored Division. In Bosnia, Dugan was the senior NCO of the Gradacac checkpoint.

The soldier's widow, Miriam, and two of his four children live in Buedingen, Germany. Two children from a previous marriage live in Ohio. U.S. Army Personnel Command officials said the family has not set a funeral date, but burial will be in Kenton, Ohio.

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Click photo for screen-resolution imageSoldiers carry the casket of Army Sgt. 1st Class Donald A. Dugan through a NATO honor cordon and onto an Air Force C-130 in Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Dugan, a platoon sergeant with 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, was the first U.S. military fatality of Operation Joint Endeavor. He died Feb. 3 in Gradacac, 25 miles north of Tuzla. Senior Airman Jeffrey Allen  
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