Four soldiers killed in Afghan attack were based at Vicenza
Four servicemembers killed by a roadside bomb Sunday in Afghanistan were based at Caserma Ederle in Vicenza, Italy, the military said Tuesday.
The four soldiers have been identified as:
Spc. Blake W. Hall, 20, from East Prairie, Mo.1st Lt. Joshua M. Hyland, 31, of Missoula, Mont.Sgt. Michael R. Lehmiller, 23, of Anderson, S.C.Pvt. Christopher L. Palmer, 22, of Sacramento, Calif.A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday at the Caserma Ederle base chapel for the four soldiers, all members of Company B, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment.
“We mourn the tragic loss of our fallen soldiers and will continue to remember them, their families and loved ones in our thoughts and prayers,” Maj. Gen. Jason Kamiya, Combined Joint Task Force-76 commander, was quoted as saying in a U.S. Army news release following the attacks.
According to Army reports, the men were killed when the armored vehicle in which they were riding was destroyed by a bomb near Baylough.
The bomb was tied to the bottom of a small bridge and exploded as the last of three Humvees was slowly crossing it, said Bashir Ahmad Khan, the government chief in Zabul province’s Daychopan district.
“It was an enormous remote-controlled bomb. The American vehicle was tossed into the air and off the bridge. It’s totally destroyed, as is the bridge,” he said.
The troops were part of a major offensive against militants who have vowed to subvert legislative elections on Sept. 18.
“Attacks such as this strengthen, not weaken, the resolve of the U.S./Coalition, Afghan National Security Forces, and the Afghan people,” Kamiya was quoted as saying in the news release.
Eleven soldiers from the Southern European Task Force (Airborne) have been killed since the Vicenza-based unit took command of Combined Joint Task Force-76 in Afghanistan on March 15.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.