Servicemen killed over seas

February 2, 2010 8:05:44 PM PST
Two special operation forces soldiers at Fort Bragg and a Camp Lejeune Marine have lost their lives in Afghanistan. The military says Captain David Thompson of Oklahoma and Specialist Marc Decoteau of New Hampshire died on Friday.

Fort Bragg officials have not said how the men died.

Lance Corporal Michael Freeman, Jr. of Pennsylvania also lost his life in Afghanistan.

He died Monday during what military authorities called a "hostile incident" while conducting combat operations in Helmand province in the southern part of the country.

Freeman was a machine gunner assigned to 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, N.C., authorities said. The 2008 graduate of Chambersburg Area High School deployed to Afghanistan in October. His awards included a Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal.

His wife, Stephanie, 18, told The Herald Mail of Hagerstown, Md., that the couple married in October and were planning a June 12 ceremony for family and friends.

"He just wanted to come home and be with us," she told the paper, adding that he was conflicted because he also wanted to serve his country.

Her grandmother, Lenora Short, said Freeman was expected to return from his deployment in April.

"He was a sweetheart," she said. "He was very polite and mannerly."

Freeman was an outdoorsman who enjoyed target shooting, fishing and visiting Caledonia State Park, and coming from a military family developed a commitment to the Marines at an early age, his wife said. She said she suspects he would want to be remembered as "a crazy, goofy Marine."

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