Casualties Rise for Pendleton Unit in Afghanistan

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Emrick/Ksdk.com - Braggs/Facebook
    Jordan Emrick and Randy Braggs, both stationed at Camp Pendleton, were killed last Friday and Saturday while in combat in Afghanistan.

    Three more Marines with Camp Pendleton's 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment have been killed during combat operations in Afghanistan.

    Lance Cpl. Randy R. Braggs of Sierra Vista, Ariz. died Saturday, according to a Department of Defense press release.  This was the 21-year-old's first combat deployment.

    Just a few days earlier, two other members of  the 3/5,   Lance Cpl. Matthew J. Broehm of  Flagstaff, Ariz and  Lance Cpl. Brandon W. Pearson of Arvada, Colo. were killed when someone started shooting at them as they provided security at an outpost in Helmand Province.

    Witnesses say a member of the Afghan National Army (ANA) pulled the trigger in Thursday's attack, NATO and Afghan Security Forces are investigating. 

    The loss of  Lance Cpl. Braggs,  Lance Cpl. Broehm and  Lance Cpl. Pearson is the latest blow for members of  the 3/5. The unit has suffered heavy casualties since arriving in the volatile Sangin District late this fall. Thirteen members of the 3/5 have been killed since October 8th.

    The list of casualties includes:

    25 year old  squad leader Sgt Ian Tawney of Dallas, OR, killed  when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) went off. 

    IED blasts also killed Lance Cpl. James D. Boelk, 24, of Oceanside, CA, Lance Cpl. Joseph Rodewald, 21, Albany, OR ,  Pfc. Victor Dew, 20,  Granite Bay, CA ,  Lance Cpl. Phillip D. Vinnedge, 19, Saint Charles, MO, and  Cpl. Justin Cain, a 22-year-old machine gunner from Wisconsin.

    Lance Cpl. Irvin Ceniceros, 21, of Clarksville, AK, Lance Cpl. Joseph Lopez, 26, from Rosamond, CA,  Lance Cpl. Alec Catherwood, 19, of Byron, IL,  and Lance Cpl. John T. Sparks, 23, of Chicago, IL, were also killed.

    Another Camp Pendleton unit is also  mourning the loss of one of it's members, 26-year-old Staff Sergeant  Jordan B. Emrick, an explosives technician assigned to 1st Marine Logistics group's 1st Explosive Ordnance Disposal company was killed on Friday.  Emrick  was working with the 7th Engineering Support Battalion.   This was his second combat deployment. He served a tour in Iraq in 2008.