CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — An Okinawa-based Marine was killed in a firefight Tuesday in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, the Department of Defense reported Wednesday.
He was identified as Sgt. Joseph A. Bovia, 24, of Kenner, La., assigned to the 3rd Combat Assault Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
Bovia was one of six Americans killed in action Tuesday and among 56 U.S. troops who died in August, most of them in the past two weeks as the Taliban stepped up attacks in their southern and eastern strongholds, according to the DOD.
The DOD did not release further information on the six deaths.
“Sergeant Bovia was an outstanding Marine, the epitome of what we expect from our noncommissioned officers, and a fine man,” Lt. Col. Kirk D. Mullins, commander of Combat Assault Battalion here said Thursday.
Marine Corps Base Japan public affairs had no information Thursday afternoon regarding a memorial service on Okinawa.
Bovia’s parents told New Orleans television station WWL that their son also served two combat tours in Iraq.
His father, Herbert Bovia, a 30-year veteran of the New Orleans Police Department, said his son had been offered a stateside post as a demolitions instructor but volunteered instead for a third combat tour.
“He couldn’t wait to go,” his father told a WWL reporter. “He was bored being in the Far East, and it’s just what he wanted to do. It’s what he lived for.”
Bovia, a combat engineer, began active duty in the Marine Corps in July 2004, according to Marine officials. He began his tour on Okinawa in June 2008 and was promoted to his current rank of sergeant July 1, 2008.