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Twenty-nine Palms Marine killed in Helmand Province

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Late this afternoon, the Department of Defense announced the death of a Marine based out of Twenty-nine Palms, Calif.

Sgt. Thomas Z. Spitzer, 23, who listed his home town of record as New Braunfels, Texas, died June 25, 2014, while conducting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force. There was no information regarding other U.S. troops who might have been injured in this incident.

Sgt. Spitzer’s death follows the deaths of three Marine combat engineers from Camp Lejeune, N.C., who died last week by an improvised explosive device, also in Helmand Province.

Killed June 20, 2014, was Staff Sgt. David H. Stewart, 34, of Stafford, Va. He was assigned to 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N. C.

Also killed in the fight was 19 year-old, Lance Cpl. Brandon J. Garabrant of Peterborough, N.H. He, too, was assigned to 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

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.

The U.K. publication Daily Mail indicated a military working dog lost his life in the IED blast. There was some misinformation last week that four sailors had died in this IED explosion. That information was incorrect.

Helmand Province has been a deadly region for both Soldiers and Marines since the war in Afghanistan began in 2001.

The family of Sgt. Spitzer has not released information regarding funeral services for their Marine.

Additional information on Sgt. Thomas Spitzer is available to media sources by contacting the 1st Marine Division public affairs office at 760-763-9378 or after hours at 760-468-9895, Pacific Time.

To date, Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan has claimed the lives of 2,194 U.S. troops.



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