Military News

Warner Robins soldier dies in rocket attack in Afghanistan

A U.S. Army combat medic from Warner Robins died after insurgents attacked in Afghanistan, the U.S. Department of Defense announced Saturday.

Spc. Mark J. Downer, 23, died Friday of his wounds in Kandahar province. He had been injured when his unit was attacked with a rocket-propelled grenade.

He is survived by a child, his mother and his father, according to an official with the Fort Drum, N.Y.-based 10th Mountain Division. Downer served in the division’s 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

Downer joined the Army in December 2009 and was trained in Fort Sill, Okla., and Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He came to Fort Drum in June 2010 and deployed with his unit in March to support Operation Enduring Freedom.

His awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal and the Combat Medic Badge.

The attack on Downer was separate from the crash of a helicopter Friday night that killed 30 U.S. troops. It was also separate from an attack in Wardak Province on Wednesday that killed two other Fort Drum soldiers.

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