Thursday, December 16, 2010
SAN DIEGO The Pentagon released the name Thursday of a 28-year-old Camp Pendleton-based Marine killed in combat in Afghanistan.
Staff Sgt. Justin E. Schmalstieg of Pittsburgh, Pa., died in Helmand Province on Wednesday, according to the Department of Defense.
Schmalstieg was assigned to the 1st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force.
"He gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country, and for that he will be remembered as a true hero,'' Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said.
There have been more than 1,300 U.S. deaths in Afghanistan related to the 9-year-old war launched following the 9/11 terror attacks, according to the Pentagon.
Since June, Camp Pendleton has suffered almost weekly losses, often with multiple casualties in a single week. A half-dozen Marines stationed at the USMC base near Oceanside have lost their lives so far this month.