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DOD identifies four U.S. soldiers killed in Kunar province

By MARTIN KUZ | STARS AND STRIPES Published: May 26, 2011

FORWARD OPERATING BASE ALTIMUR, Afghanistan — Four soldiers killed this week by an improvised explosive device in Kunar province in northeastern Afghanistan were U.S. servicemembers, the Pentagon announced late Wednesday.

Killed Monday were Staff Sgt. Kristofferson Lorenzo, 33, of Chula Vista, Calif.; Pfc. William S. "Seth" Blevins, 21, of Sardinia, Ohio; Pvt. Thomas Allers, 20, of Plainwell, Mich.; and Pvt. Andrew Krippner, 20, of Garland, Texas.

All were members of Company A, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. The battalion, nicknamed “The Wolfhounds,” deployed in April from Schofield Barracks in Honolulu.

A fifth soldier, Anthony Torres, was seriously wounded in the attack, according to Lt. Col. Daniel Wilson, commander of the 2nd Battalion, who reported the casualties on the unit’s Facebook page. Wilson added that Torres had stabilized and would be moved from Bagram Air Base to a hospital in Germany.

Soldiers posted farewells on a Facebook tribute page created to honor Lorenzo, a husband and father of two who was on his second deployment to Afghanistan.

“So many of the guys looked up to you, always motivated [and] always smiling,” wrote Wyatt Arndt. “You were most definitely the brightest spot in the hellpack. And it will never be the same without you.”

Kunar province borders Pakistan and, like much of eastern Afghanistan, has seen an increase in violence in recent weeks as the Taliban continues its spring offensive.

Spc. Brian Riley Jr., 24, of 2nd Battalion’s 35th Infantry Regiment, was killed May 15 in an incident that remains under investigation. Sgt. Kevin White, 22, a member of the same regiment, was killed May 2 by a roadside bomb.

Three Afghanistan civilians were killed and eight more wounded last week when a Taliban mortar attack on a U.S. combat outpost in Kunar missed its intended target. Also last week, the provincial governor accused NATO forces of killing an Afghan child and wounding four other civilians while responding to insurgent fire.

kuzm@estripes.osd.mil

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