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California Soldier Among Those Killed In Afghan Violence

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Army Spc. Delfin M. Santos Jr., 24, of San Jose, California was among three soldiers killed in an explosion April 6 while escorting U.S. diplomat Anne Smedinghoff to deliver school books in Afghanistan. Smedinghoff and a Defense Department employee also died in the blast.

Fallen soldiers Santos; Staff Sgt. Christopher M. Ward, 24, of Oak Ridge, Tennessee; and Spc. Wilbel A. Robles-Santa, 25, of Juncos, Puerto Rico were all assigned to the 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armor Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, at Fort Stewart in Georgia.

Santos was the youngest of 17 children, and his family lives in Santa Clara, California. According to the San Jose Mercury News, it was the dying wish of Santos's World War II veteran father that he join the Army. Santos left for boot camp the same day his father passed away in 2006.


Bay Area television station KNTV spoke with two of Santos's sisters - one of whom is also in the Army. I've posted that report up top.