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The Mountaineer Online



Four division Soldiers killed in Afghanistan


Four 10th Mountain Division (LI) Soldiers supporting Operation Enduring Freedom were killed in three separate incidents last week in Afghanistan.

A Fort Drum Soldier was killed June 13 when his patrol came under enemy fire near Musa Qulah.

Sgt. Roger P. Peña Jr., 29, was a health care specialist assigned to B Company, 10th Sustainment Brigade Troops Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade.

A native of San Antonio, Texas, Peña entered the Army in March 2004 and completed basic combat training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. He further trained at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, to be a combat medic.

Peña was assigned to 10th Mountain Division in November 2004. He deployed with his unit in February.
His awards and decorations include the Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
He is survived by his wife and two children.

A second Fort Drum Soldier was killed June 13 when his unit came under fire from enemy forces near Konegal.

Sgt. Russell M. Durgin, 23, was an infantryman assigned to C Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.
Originally from Henniker, N.H., Durgin enlisted in the Army in February 2002 and trained at Fort Benning, Ga., to be an infantryman.

After completing basic and advanced training, he was assigned to 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment at Camp Greaves, South Korea. In August 2003, he was reassigned to 1-32 Infantry and served with his unit in Iraq from September 2003 to September 2004.

Durgin's military education includes the sniper course.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal and Combat Infantryman Badge.

He is survived by his parents and his brother, Sean.

Two division Soldiers were killed Friday in the Pech River Valley when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle.
First Lt. Forrest P. Ewens, 25, and Sgt. Ian T. Sanchez, 26, were both members of 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

Ewens was an infantry officer assigned to C Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment.
Originally from Washington state, Ewens received his commission as a second lieutenant in the Army in May 2004 after graduating from Gonzaga University.
Ewens was assigned to 10th Mountain Division in September 2005.

His military education includes the Basic Airborne Course, Ranger School, Combat Lifesaver Course and Basic Military Mountaineering Course.

His awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Expert Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge and the Ranger Tab.

He is survived by his wife, 1st Lt. Megan R. Ewens, also assigned to 3rd Brigade Combat Team; his mother, Carol, and stepfather, Michael Ewens.

Sanchez was a combat engineer assigned to A Company, 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion.
A native of Staten Island, Sanchez entered the Army in March 2002 and trained to be a combat engineer.

In July 2002, he was assigned to 2nd Engineer Battalion at Camp Castle, South Korea. In November 2003 he was reassigned to 1st Engineer Battalion, Fort Riley, Kan.
Sanchez was assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of 10th Mountain Division in March 2005.

His military education includes the Combat Lifesaver Course and the Warrior Leader Course.
His awards and decorations include the Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon and the Army Service Ribbon.

He is survived by his wife and two children.






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