The 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment out of Vilseck, Germany, lost two more soldiers in Afghanistan last week, Defense Department officials announced Friday.

Since deploying to southern Afghanistan this summer, the unit has lost at least 11 soldiers, including two that were non-combat-related deaths, according to Army casualties reported by DOD.

Killed on Wednesday in Balkh province were Sgt. James A. Ayube II, 25, of Salem, Mass., and Spc. Kelly J. Mixon, 23, of Yulee, Fla. The soldiers, assigned to the 3rd Squadron, died from wounds sustained when an insurgent attacked their unit with a bomb, according to a DOD news release.

The Boston Herald reported Saturday, after interviewing Ayube’s widow, Lauren Elizabeth Ayube, that Ayube was killed by a suicide bomber.

Ayube was a Company H combat medic who had six months left on his tour, according to the Herald.

Lauren Ayube told the Herald that she and her husband Skyped every morning and night. “I talked to him the morning he died. I was falling asleep, but we talked for 15 minutes. He said ‘I love you, babe.’ And the last time I saw his face he was smiling.”

Mixon, also assigned to Company H, was married right before he was deployed, according to the Florida Times-Union. He was remembered by family and friends in Yulee for his love of music — he was a drumline member at Fernandina Beach High School — and cooking.

No information was available Saturday on memorial service plans for Ayube and Mixon at Vilseck.

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Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

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