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Two more soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team have joined the ranks of the fallen in Afghanistan.

The deaths of Maj. Thomas G. Bostick, Jr., 37, of Llano, Texas, and Staff Sgt. William R. Fritsche, 23, of Martinsville, Ind., were confirmed by the Department of Defense on Tuesday. Both were members of the 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment based in Schweinfurt, Germany.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday at the chapel on Ledward Barracks for the two soldiers, who were killed Friday when their foot patrol came under small arms fire, according to a release from the Southern European Task Force (Airborne).

They are the 10th and 11th soldiers from the Vicenza, Italy-based 173rd to die in Afghanistan in the three months the unit has been deployed there.

Bostick served in the Army for 19 years, entering as an enlisted soldier. He was posthumously promoted.

His father, Tom Bostick, Sr., told the Midland (Texas) Reporter-Telegram that his son joined the military to get financial help for education. “Once he got into the military, he loved it,” the former Marine was quoted as saying. “He got his education and everything in the military.”

According the report, the younger Bostick is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and two daughters, Jessica, 18, and Ashlie, 13. His brother Bobby, serving in the Army in Iraq, was reportedly headed home to join the family in mourning.

Fritsche joined the Army at the age of 17 under the delayed entry program, according to a report in the Indianapolis Star. “Ryan worked hard at whatever he did,” his former high school principal, Don Alkire, said in the report.

Fritsche’s father, William, died in May after a long illness, according to the report. His mother, Volitta, is a detective at the Morgan County Sheriffs Department. He is survived by his wife, Brandi.

According to a separate report by the Reporter-Telegram, another soldier from Texas was injured in the attack. It quoted the father of John Faulkenberry, 24, as saying his son was receiving treatment at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and was on the way to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Maryland. His rank was not reported.

Migrated
Kent has filled numerous roles at Stars and Stripes including: copy editor, news editor, desk editor, reporter/photographer, web editor and overseas sports editor. Based at Aviano Air Base, Italy, he’s been TDY to countries such as Afghanistan Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia. Born in California, he’s a 1988 graduate of Humboldt State University and has been a journalist for almost 38 years.
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