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The Pentagon has confirmed that the four U.S. soldiers killed by a roadside bomb Tuesday in Kandahar were members of a National Guard team training Afghan forces.

The soldiers were identified Friday as: Capt. Brian M. Bunting of the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team; Sgt. Schuyler B. Patch of the 2nd Squadron, 106th Cavalry Regiment, 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team; Sgt. Scott B. Stream of the 2nd Battalion, 130th Infantry Regiment, 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team; and Sgt. Daniel J. Thompson of the 715th Military Police Company.

Bunting and Thompson were in Afghanistan on Individual Ready Reserve assignments, officials said.

According to coalition military officials, insurgents in southern Afghanistan have increasingly turned to roadside bombs, devices used to devastating effect against troops in Iraq. A resurgent Taliban has expanded its fight in Afghanistan, leading the Obama administration to pledge at least 17,000 more U.S. troops this year and to conduct a full review of the war.

The soldiers killed Tuesday are among 47 coalition troops — including 30 Americans — killed in Afghanistan since the beginning of the year.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Stream wrote of the challenges faced in Afghanistan in a letter home to friends on New Year’s.

"We who joined with vague notions of protecting our country see how desperate the peril, how hungry the enemy and how frail the security we have is," Stream, 39, of Mattoon, Ill., wrote. "The more I love you all, the more I feel I must keep fighting for you."

Stream had served in Iraq in 2005 and had been sent on duty to Germany, where he met his wife, the paper reported.

Patch, 25, of Owasso, Okla., had also served in Iraq, as well as a previous tour in Afghanistan in 2006, the Tribune reported. He had enlisted in the Oklahoma National Guard in 2005 and transferred to the Illinois unit.

Patch played golf and was in the band in his high school, friends told media outlets. He was remembered for a great sense of humor.

"When I think about Schuyler I just kind of laugh because that’s what he made you do....," one friend told a local television station.

Thompson, 24, of Madison, Wis., loved cars, playing hockey and riding his motorcycle, according to a story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"I was proud of my baby," Thompson’s mother, Lisa, told the paper. "He never disappointed me. He always smiled. I’m very proud of him."

Thompson had a degree in criminal justice and law enforcement, and planned to become a police officer, friends told Milwaukee paper. He had a fiancée whom he met in college.

There was little biographical information available at press time about Bunting, 29, of Potomac, Md.


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