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Soldier Dies in Noncombat Incident; Earlier Casualties Identified

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 4, 2006 – A soldier from the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team died June 1 in a noncombat-related incident, military officials in Iraq reported, and the Defense Department has identified earlier casualties.

Officials provided no other details on the Stryker Brigade soldier's death. The soldier's name is being withheld pending notification of the next of kin. Meanwhile, the Defense Department has identified several servicemembers who died recently in Iraq:

  • Army Spc. Brock L. Bucklin, 28, of Grand Rapids, Mich., died May 31 in Balad of a noncombat-related cause. Bucklin was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.
  • Army Sgt. Benjamin E. Mejia, 25, of Salem, Mass., died in Marez on May 31 of noncombat-related causes. Mejia was assigned to the 4th Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Fort Wainwright, Alaska.
  • Army Cpl. Alexander J. Kolasa, 22, of White Lake, Mich., died in Baghdad on May 31 of noncombat-related causes. Kolasa was assigned to the 704th Main Support Battalion, 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
  • Army Cpl. Bobby R. West, 23, of Beebe, Ark., died in Baghdad on May 30 of injuries suffered when a roadside bomb detonated during a dismounted patrol. West was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
  • Army Capt. James A. Funkhouser, 35, of Katy, Texas, died in Baghdad on May 29 of injuries suffered when a vehicle-borne bomb detonated near his Humvee during a reconnaissance patrol. Funkhouser was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
  • Marine Cpl. Richard A. Bennett, 25, of Girard, Kan., and Marine Capt. Nathanael J. Doring, 31, of Apple Valley, Minn., died May 30 following a nonhostile helicopter accident near Taqaddum on May 27. Both were assigned to Marine Light/Attack Helicopter Squadron 169, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Defense Department news releases.)

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