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Camp Pendleton-Based Marine Killed In Afghanistan

Gov. Jerry Brown and wife Anne Gust Brown today offered condolences to the family of a Camp Pendleton-based Marine killed in combat in Afghanistan this month.

Lance Cpl. Benjamin Whetstone Schmidt, 24, of San Antonio, Texas, died Oct. 6 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

"On behalf of all Californians, (we) honor Lance Cpl. Benjamin W. Schmidt, who bravely gave his life in service to our state and nation,'' the Browns wrote, extending their "deepest condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.''

In memory of the fallen Marine, the governor ordered all flags be flown at half-staff over the state Capitol today.

Schmidt was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton.

He was the son of Dr. David Schmidt, an orthopedic surgeon and team doctor for the San Antonio Spurs basketball team. His mother -- marriage and family therapist Becky Whetstone -- is a former columnist for the San Antonio Express-News.

Schmidt left Texas Christian University to enlist in the Marine Corps in 2008.

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