Local News

Four more Camp Lejeune Marines killed in Afghanistan

Posted February 23, 2010 7:33 p.m. EST
Updated February 23, 2010 7:59 p.m. EST

— 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.

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.