Spec ops Marine killed in Afghanistan

Staff report

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. — A special operations staff noncommissioned officer has died in Afghanistan, Marine officials said Monday.

Staff Sgt. Edgar A. Heredia, 28, of Houston died Thursday of wounds he sustained in combat in Farah province, according to a statement from Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command. He was assigned to 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion based at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Heredia joined the Corps on July 20, 1998, and was trained as a reconnaissance man, according to the statement. He was promoted to staff sergeant Jan. 1, 2007. His list of decorations includes the Purple Heart medal.

The death marks the continuation of a violent trend in Afghanistan. At least 45 international troops were killed in Afghanistan in June, the second consecutive month that U.S. and NATO military deaths in Afghanistan outpaced casualties in Iraq, according to the Associated Press.