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Soldier from Taylor County dies in Afghanistan

Two Fort Campbell-based soldiers have been killed in a combat operation in Afghanistan.

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) — Two Fort Campbell-based soldiers have been killed in a combat operation in Afghanistan.

The Department of Defense announced Saturday that 24-year-old Staff Sgt. Scott R. Studenmund of Pasadena, California, and 28-year-old Staff Sgt. Jason A. McDonald of Butler, Georgia, were among five soldiers killed June 9 in Gaza Village, Afghanistan.

Studenmund and McDonald were assigned to Company B, the 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Campbell, located on the Kentucky-Tennessee state lines.

The department says the incident remains under investigation.

McDonald's body is at Dover Air Force base Mortuary in Diver, Delaware. He is scheduled to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. According to officials the family has not informed them of a date for his funeral service.
Staff Sgt. McDonald is survived by his wife and two children, his mother, and his father and stepmother.

McDonald's military awards and decorations include: the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medals (with 3 knots), the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal (with 2 Campaign Stars), the Iraq Campaign Medal (with 2 Campaign Stars), the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal, the Special Forces Tab, the Ranger Tab, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Parachutists Badge, and the Marksmanship Qualification Badge Expert-Carbine.

McDonald enlisted as an infantryman in the U.S. Army in 2004. Upon completion of his initial training, he was assigned to Company C, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga. His next assignment was with Company A, 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colo., as a grenadier.

McDonald volunteered for the Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course, and graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course in 2010. After earning his Special Forces tab, he initially reported to Company C, 1st Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group. He was then assigned to 1st Bn., 5th SFG (A) as a Weapons Sergeant. He served on one deployment to Afghanistan and two to Iraq.

His military education includes: Combat Life Savers Course, Infantry Leaders Mortars Course, Advanced Leaders Course, Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape Course, Special Forces Qualification Course, Warrior Leaders Course, Ranger Course, and U.S. Army Airborne School.

Earlier this month, the department reported the death of another Fort Campbell soldier.

Twenty-year-old Pfc. Matthew H. Walker, of Hillsboro, Missouri, died June 5 in Paktika province, Afghanistan, of wounds he received when his unit was attacked by enemy fire.

 

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