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First Marine from Camp Pendleton killed in Afghanistan offensive

July 15, 2009 |  2:44 pm


Marine Sgt. Michael W. Heede Jr. has become the first Marine from Camp Pendleton killed in Afghanistan during the current offensive to oust the Taliban from key areas of Helmand Province.

Heede, 22, of Delta, Pa., was killed Monday during combat operations, the Marine Corps announced today. He was a combat engineer with the 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division based at Camp Pendleton.

Heede enlisted in 2005 and served in Iraq from November 2006 to April 2007. Among his citations was the Combat Action Ribbon, awarded only to Marines who have come under enemy fire.

About 4,000 Marines have surged into Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan to provide protection for the local population and to confront the Taliban.

The Marines also announced the death of Staff Sgt. David S. Spicer, 33, of Zanesfield, Ohio, also in Helmand Province during combat. Spicer was assigned to 8th Engineer Support Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Heede and Spicer were killed by a roadside bomb attack.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: The casket of Sgt. Michael W. Heede Jr. arrives at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. Credit: Associated Press.