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This story was updated August 17.Two soldiers killed Sunday by a roadside bomb in eastern Afghanistan were maintenance personnel with the 172nd Infantry Brigade in Germany, the Department of Defense and the brigade reported.

Sgt. Matthew Harmon, 29, of Bagley, Minn., and Spc. Joseph Andrew VanDreumel, 32, of Grand Rapids, Mich., were attempting to recover a destroyed Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle in Paktika province when struck by the secondary explosion, according to the release and the brigade website.

Both men worked in the maintenance section of A Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, based in Grafenwöhr. The brigade deployed from Schweinfurt and Grafenwöhr to Afghanistan last month.

In a post on the website, A Company’s commanding officer, Cpt. Mark Gerasimas, recalled both men as tireless workers.

“Even when solicited for honest feedback, I never once heard either of these Soldiers complain about a tasking or workload,” he wrote. “They, like so many of our fine maintenance personnel, continuously gave of themselves without asking for anything in return.”

VanDreumel was on his first deployment since joining the Army in 2010, according to the brigade. He was posthumously promoted to corporal. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Harmon, a Bradley Fighting Vehicle system maintainer, was deployed twice previously to Iraq before his latest deployment to Afghanistan. He is survived by his wife and three children, the brigade reported.

A memorial ceremony is scheduled for both men on Aug. 24, 10 a.m., at the Grafenwöhr theater.


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