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'Friendly fire' may have killed Camp Pendleton Marine in Afghanistan

October 25, 2011 |  7:27 pm

A Marine from Camp Pendleton who died in combat Oct. 6 in Afghanistan may have been killed by "friendly fire."

The father of Lance Cpl. Benjamin Schmidt told the San Antonio Express-News that a Marine and an embedded reporter, in separate conversations, told him that his son was apparently killed by fire from a tank that had mistaken Schmidt and other members of his platoon for Taliban fighters during a firefight.

"I've been kicked in the gut again," said Dr. David Schmidt, team physician for the San Antonio Spurs basketball team.

Schmidt, 24, part of the 2nd Battalion, 4th Regiment, was the only Marine reported killed. The Marine Corps has made no official announcement about the cause of death, only that it is under investigation.


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Photo: Lt. Col. William Vivian, commanding officer of the Two-Four, at a memorial service in Afghanistan for Lance Cpl. Benjamin Schmidt. Credit: Marine Corps