Three days after local news named Marines killed in combat from their respective communities, the Department of Defense came forward today, June 23, with the official announcement.
All three Marines were killed in the same incident in the deadly Helmand Province area of Afghanistan; a region that has taken the lives of many Marines and Soldiers since the war in Afghanistan began.
Killed June 20, 2014, while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, was Staff Sgt. David H. Stewart, 34, of Stafford, Virginia. He was assigned to 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Also killed in the fight was 19 year-old, Lance Cpl. Brandon J. Garabrant of Peterborough, New Hampshire. He, too, was assigned to 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Lance Cpl. Adam F. Wolff, 25, a fellow combat engineer in the same unit, died alongside his Marine brothers. He was from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
News reports indicate the Marines were killed by an improvised explosive device.
The U.K. publication Daily Mail indicated a military working dog was killed along with his Marines by the same IED.
Marines who are deployed to this region sent messages to loved ones last week that the fighting had become intense. There is every reason to believe the level of engagement in this area will continue as Taliban fighters retaliate against airstrikes from the Pakistani Air Force and step up violence over the Afghan presidential election.
June has been deadly for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. June 2, Army Capt. Jason Jones was killed and Pfc. Matthew Walker lost his life on June 5. Army Spc. Terry Hurne was killed on June 9. Also on June 9, five U.S. Soldiers were killed in a “friendly fire” incident: SSG Scot Studenmund, SSG Jason, McDonald. Cpl. Justin Clouse, Spc. Jason Helton and Private Aaron Toppen.
Additional information on the three Marines killed in Helmand Province, including previous deployments, commendations ,and marital status, is available to media sources by contacting the 2nd Marine Division Public Affairs Office at 910-450-6575 or after hours at 910-372-2736, Eastern Time.