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2 Camp Lejuene Marines Killed in Afghanistan

Two Marines based at Camp Lejeune died during combat in Afghanistan on Tuesday, the military announced Friday.

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CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — Two Marines based at Camp Lejeune died during combat in Afghanistan on Tuesday, the military announced Friday.

First Sgt. Luke J. Mercardante, 35, and Cpl. Kyle W. Wilks, 24, were killed while conducting combat operations in the Kandahar province.

Both were assigned to the Combat Logistics Battalion 24, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, II Marine Expeditionary Force.

Mercardante, of Athens, Ga., joined the Marine Corps on April, 22, 1992, and was trained as a military police officer. He was promoted to first sergeant in October 2006 and joined Combat Logistics Battalion on April 15, 2007.

Wilks, of Rogers, Ark., joined the Corps on Sept. 7, 2004 and also trained as a military police officer. He earned a promotion to corporal on May 1, 2007, and joined the Combat Logistics Battalion on April 10, 2005.

Mercardante's decorations include five Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, five Good Conduct Medals, Iraq Campaign Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, two National Defense Service Medals, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, two Drill Instructor Ribbons, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

Wilks' decorations include the Good Conduct Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

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