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Military deaths

November 22, 2009

The Defense Department last week identified the following American military personnel killed in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait:

Christopher J. Coffland, 43, of Baltimore; specialist, Army Reserve. Coffland was killed Nov. 13 when a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle in the Sayed Abud region of central Afghanistan's Wardak province, west of Kabul. He was assigned to the 323rd Military Intelligence Battalion at Ft. Meade, Md.

Shawn P. Hefner, 22, of Hico, Texas; lance corporal, Marine Corps. Hefner was killed Nov. 13 when he stepped on a buried explosive in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province, on the Pakistani border. He was assigned to the 2nd Amphibious Assault Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Joseph M. Lewis, 26, of Terrell, Texas; specialist, Army. Lewis was killed Tuesday when a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle in Kandahar, Afghanistan, southwest of Kabul. He was assigned to the 8th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division at Ft. Lewis, Wash.

Stephen L. Murphy, 36, of Jaffery, N.H.; staff sergeant, Marine Corps. Murphy died Nov. 9 of noncombat-related injuries in Iraq's Anbar province, west of Baghdad. He was assigned to the 2nd Intelligence Battalion, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Brian M. Patton, 37, of Freeport, Ill.; petty officer second class, Navy Reserve. Patton was killed Thursday in a noncombat-related motor vehicle accident near Camp Virginia in Kuwait. The military police officer was an individual augmentee assigned to the Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom Law and Order Detachment.

Benjamin W. Sherman, 21, of Plymouth, Mass.; sergeant, Army. Sherman was killed Nov. 4 when he jumped into a river to rescue another paratrooper trying to retrieve airdropped supplies in the Bala Murghab district of western Afghanistan's Badghis province, northwest of Kabul. Military divers recovered Sherman's body Nov. 10, but still have not found that of Army Sgt. Brandon T. Islip, 23, of Richmond, Va., who apparently also was swept away in the current. Sherman was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division at Ft. Bragg, N.C.

Ryan L. Zorn, 35, of Upton, Wyo.; staff sergeant, Army. Zorn was killed Monday when his armored vehicle overturned in Tall Afar, Iraq, northwest of Baghdad. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division at Ft. Riley, Kan.

Sources: Department of Defense, Associated Press and Times staff reports

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