On Wednesday, in Kandahar, Afghanistan, a Taliban suicide bomber crashed his car into a NATO convoy, killing two U.S. soldiers. Thursday evening, the Department of Defense publicly identified them in an official statement.
They are Sergeant Jonathon Hunter, 23, and Specialist Christopher Harris, 25. Both soldiers were members of the 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. To make this story even more tragic, both had been recently married.
RIP Sgt. Jonathon Michael Hunter, 23, of Columbus, Indiana. Killed in Kandahar Aug 2. pic.twitter.com/8Y6JOOjc6u— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) August 4, 2017
Jonathon Hunter shares the same hometown as Vice President Mike Pence -- Columbus, Indiana. This was Hunter's first deployment but, his father said he knew what to expect.
"He had been there 32 days. I'm former military, me and his uncle both, so we know the dangers," His father told the press. "I'm just proud of him. He was a great soldier. He made [sergeant] in little over three years, which is pretty rare."
Hunter became the 208th Indiana soldier and the second soldier from his Columbus, Indiana high school to be killed in Afghanistan.
RIP Spc. Christopher Michael Harris, 25, of Jackson Springs, North Carolina. Killed in Kandahar August 2. pic.twitter.com/68AsOWnwQQ— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) August 4, 2017
Christopher Harris of Jackson Springs, North Carolina had just found out he and his wife were expecting a baby. His wife, Britt Harris, told CBS North Carolina, "He was so happy to hear I was pregnant and I want our child to grow up knowing what an incredible force his/her father carried throughout his life."
An fundraiser for Britt on the crowdfunding website GoFundMe has already raised over $35,000.
Colonel Toby Magsig, Hunter and Harris's commander, said both men "will always be a part of the legacy of the Devil Brigade and their memory lives on in the hearts and minds of their fellow Paratroopers."
Hunter and Harris are the 8th and 9th soldiers to be killed in Afghanistan this year.
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