The Marine who died in Afghanistan on Friday has been identified as Staff Sgt. Jonathan D. Davis, a Navajo from Kayenta, Ariz.

Davis, 34, died Feb. 22 while conducting operations in Helmand province, according to a Department of Defense news release. He was assigned to Headquarters Battalion, 32nd Georgian Liaison Team, Regimental Combat Team 71st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Davis was killed in a bomb attack while working as the liaison for the Georgian military, which has been partnered with the Marines in Helmand province for several years.

According to the Navajo Square, an online community site for the Navajo Nation, Davis is the 14th Navajo to be killed while serving in Afghanistan.

“We don’t like to hear these things, but we are always proud of our young people going over there and protecting our country. It’s a way of life in our culture,” Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly told Stars and Stripes.

“It’s who we are and that will never change, that’s Navajo,” he said.

Davis joined the Marines in 1997 and was the recipient of a Purple Heart, among other medals. He had combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Davis’ death was the first International Security Assistance Force death since Jan. 23, and the ninth coalition casualty since the beginning of the year.

At the request of his family, Davis’ funeral will be lead by the Navajo Hopi Honor Riders, a group of motorcyclists who ride in honor of fallen soldiers. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now