Local News

Four more Camp Lejeune Marines killed in Afghanistan

Posted February 23, 2010

— Four more Camp Lejeune Marines have been killed in operations in Afghanistan, the U.S. Department of Defense announced Tuesday, bringing the number who have died in the past 10 days to 11.

Lance Cpl. Matthias N. Hanson, 20, of Buffalo, Ky., and Lance Cpl. Eric L. Ward, 19, of Redmond, Wash., and Lance Cpl. Adam D. Peak, of Florence, Ky., died Sunday. Staff Sgt. Christopher W. Eckard, 30, of Hickory, died Saturday.

Marine Corps symbol at Camp Lejeune 11 Camp Lejeune Marines killed in 10 days

Each was killed while supporting combat operations in Helmland province, the defense department said in news releases.

The number of Marines killed is nothing new for Jacksonville or Camp Lejeune. From the bombing of a barracks in Beirut in 1983 to heavy losses early in the Iraq war, the military community has seen many of its neighbors go off to fight and then pay the ultimate sacrifice.

"Any time you hear of a fallen Marine, it has an impact on you," Camp Lejeune spokesman 1st Lt. Evan Pettyjohn said Tuesday. "It is part of the job, but it's something you hope never to learn of and when you have several casualties, I know it's on all our minds."

Each of the Marines was part of the II Marine Expeditionary Force.

Hanson was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. Ward was part of the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. Eckard was assigned to 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group. Peak was with the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force.

No other details about their cause of death were released.

Since Feb. 13, seven other Camp Lejeune Marines have been killed in combat operations: Sgt. Jeremy McQueary, 27, of Columbus, Ind.; Pfc. Kyle Coutu, 20, of Rhode Island; Pfc. Eric Currier, 21, of New Hampshire; Lance Cpl. Kielin T. Dunn, 19, of Virginia; Pfc. Jason H. Estopinal, 21, of Dallas; Lance Cpl. Larry Johnson, 19; Cpl. Jacob H. Turbett, 21, of Canton, Mich.


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  • deton8tor Feb 25, 2010

    Every loss is a tragedy. However we can thank our superior technology and training for keeping our war losses to a minimum. Compared to other wars we have been very successful in minimizing the number of casualties. In previous wars it was not unusual to to sustain hundreds if not thousands of casualties in a single day. We have the best trained and equipped troops in the world but the nature of war is that there will always be casualties.

  • ssi Feb 24, 2010


    A "manufactured" enemy, "that had nothing to do with 9/11",
    "that never were or will be a threat to this country", and "has nothing whatsoever to do with defending this Nation?!" Where have you been?

    A little historical fact, not "manufactured":

    Usama bin Laden/al Qaeda was based in Afghanistan. The 9/11 plot was hatched and directed by UBL (self-admittedly) from there. The Taliban were hiding/protecting UBL. 9/11 WAS an attack on US soil. There have been, and will be in the future, attempted attacks on US soil. Radical Islam has a stated goal of a world-wide caliphate, i.e., a totally Muslim world. I could go on.

    You willing to live under that? Do you have any idea what these people want to do to you and your family?

    NO ONE, especially the military, wants to see young men and women die. They, including JeninNC's husband, are voluntarily there to defend their/our nation against these killers.

    Do you actually believe that if we bring all of our troops home that

  • twinkiemb Feb 24, 2010

    JeninNC- thank you to you and your husband. I have friends and family that are fighting in this war and pray they come home safely but could never imagine how the spouses of these men and women feel.

  • tatermommy52 Feb 24, 2010

    These brave United States Marines were killed in battle defending our freedom that we enjoy today. They and their family deserve everything that a grateful country can provide them with.

  • JeninNC Feb 24, 2010

    FIRST OFF TO THE FAMILIES OF THOSE FALLEN AND THE REMAINING MARINES IN THE UNIT MY PRAYERS AND HEART GO OUT TO YOU. Secondly, I am a Marine wife, yes my husband has been overseas 2 going on 3 times. Yes some lost were from his unit he will be returning to. This ticks me off to the extreme when I read, on a story posted to announce deaths of marines, comments denouncing the war and calling it "pointless". Unless you have access to classified information, you do not know what we are doing over there, why we are doing what we are doing and with whom are we working/fighting with. You only know what is reported through the news. However, there are recruiting offices in every city and please if you would like to find out what they go through or think you know, ENLIST then see what your answer is. SEMPER FI. God Bless our Troops!!! Sorry, but I know a spouse who's husband was hurt recently and just am passionate about what our husband's do.

  • kbmems Feb 24, 2010

    How many more have to die?

  • Hans Feb 24, 2010

    "These young men just paid the ultimate price for your freedom, for your right to make stupid comments "

    Yeah, God forbid we criticize yet another pointless war, fighting an enemy that we manufactured by invasion, that had nothing to do with 9/11, that never were or will be a threat to this country (unless, of course, we significantly kill enough of their women and children to motivate them enough to attempt an attack on US soil), that we cannot afford economically, and has nothing whatsoever to do with defending this Nation. How dare we not want to see our young sons and daughters killed and maimed and ruined so some elites somewhere can prosper from the death and destruction. How dare we!

  • twinkiemb Feb 24, 2010

    These young men just paid the ultimate price for your freedom, for your right to make stupid comments These mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters- men and women deserve and have earned the respect from each and everyone of us sitting here doing nothing for our counrty but growing old in it. You ask one soilder who has returned what they are fighting for and they will tell you with great pride. They know and will not forget, nor should we forget. I pray for their families and friends, their fellow soilders the strength to heal, that God will help ease their suffering. Thank you to all the men and women who have served, are serving and will serve, the true heros of this great nation

  • Hans Feb 24, 2010

    "Does anybody even REALLY know why we're there?"

    The last PR campaign justification I heard is that we are there for women's rights.

  • jackieflash42 Feb 24, 2010

    I'm getting so sick and tired of reading about our soldiers getting killed overseas on what appears to be a daily basis. All of them so young with their whole lives in front of them and this is what happens. And for what??? Does anybody even REALLY know why we're there? I'm not trying to make this a Republican or Democrat thing...I just want our young men and women home!..and I don't mean in a casket rolling off a C-130 either!!!