Servicemember Killed in Afghanistan; Casualties Identified
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2006 A U.S. servicemember was killed today when enemy forces northwest of Methar Lam in Afghanistan's Lagham province opened fire on a U.S. patrol, Combined Forces Command Afghanistan officials announced.
The patrol quickly pursued the enemy, returning fire and requesting close-air support, officials said. The enemy fled the area.
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our fellow servicemembers," said Brig. Gen. Jack Sterling Jr., Combined Joint Task Force 76 deputy commanding general. "He was here serving his country and trying to make Afghanistan a safer place for all. His sacrifice will never be forgotten."
The servicemember's name is being withheld pending notification of family.
Meanwhile, the Defense Department has identified seven servicemembers who died recently while supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom:
- Three soldiers -- 1st Lt. Garrison C. Avery, 23, of Lincoln, Neb.; Spc. Marlon A. Bustamante, 25, of Corona, N.Y.; and Pfc. Caesar S. Viglienzone, 21, of Santa Rosa, Calif. -- died Feb. 1 in Baghdad when a roadside bomb detonated near their Humvee. All three were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.
- Army Spc. Walter B. Howard II, 35, of Rochester, Mich., died Feb. 2 in Balad of injuries suffered earlier that day in Ashraf, when a roadside bomb detonated near his M-1 Abrams tank. Howard was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.
- Army Spc. Jesse M. Zamora, 22, of Las Cruces, N.M., died Feb. 3 in Bayji when a roadside bomb detonated near his Humvee. Zamora was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.
- Army Sgt. 1st Class Lance S. Cornett, 33, of London, Ky., died Feb. 3 near Ramadi of injuries suffered earlier that day while engaging enemy forces. Cornett was assigned to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N.C.
- Army 1st Lt. Simon T. Cox, Jr., 30, of Texas, died Feb. 2 in Taji when a roadside bomb detonated near his Bradley fighting vehicle. Cox was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 66th Armored Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
(Compiled from Combined Forces Command Afghanistan and Defense Department news releases.)