MATHIS, TX–For the second time in a couple of weeks, a Coastal Bend Marine has died in the Afghanistan War.
The latest casualty in the war is Lance Corporal Jose L. Maldonado, 21, of Mathis, Tx.
The Department of Defense released this information this morning saying Maldonado died on December 17th while conducting combat operations in the Helmland province in Afghanistan.
Maldonado was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, based out of Camp Pendleton, Calif. This was his first tour of duty in the war zone in Afghanistan.
We did some research and found out Maldonado was a star football and baseball player at Mathis High School.
There is no reaction yet from his family and it may take more than a week for his body to be brought back to the Coastal Bend for burial.
PFC Colton Rusk, 20, of Orange Grove, who was in the U.S. Marine Corps, died on December 5th in a firefight in the Afghanistan War.
Today, a funeral service was held for him and he was buried at a cemetery in Orange Grove.
Rusk was a star football player at Orange Grove High School and graduated in 2009.
His death has shocked the small community in Jim Wells County. Many in Orange Grove said Rusk was a brave and courageous young man who knew about the dangers of fighting in the war.
–Manuel De La Rosa, South Texas Tribune, firstname.lastname@example.org
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