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Kokomo Marine Killed During Taliban Attack

Last updated on Tuesday, September 18, 2012

(KOKOMO) - A Kokomo marine was among those killed during a Taliban attack at a military base in Afghanistan

Kent Erdahl, of Fox59 reports, Sergeant Brad Atwell, of Kokomo, died Friday, when Taliban insurgents snuck onto the Bastion base on Friday wearing US Army uniforms and set off several explosions.

Atwell's family said the 27 year old volunteered for his most recent deployment in order to gain combat experience.

Brad Atwell joined the Marines nearly 10 years ago, following in the footsteps of his stepmother Kimberlee Atwell, but nothing could prepare the military family for the knock they got on their door Friday night.

"It is like on the movies. It's your worst fear," Victor Atwel, Brad's fatherl said. "It's your worst nightmare. Everything about you just sinks to the pavement, really not a worse feeling in the world."

Victor Atwell communicated with his son Friday morning shortly after he started his shift working on aviation electronics at Camp Bastion. Sometime after that conversation, Taliban insurgents snuck onto the base and reportedly targeted the area where Brad was working.

"They know that they were very well equipped, very well trained and rehearsed," Victor Atwell said. "They went in to blow things up and that's exactly what they did."

Though their son volunteered for the deployment, the Atwell's say it's hard knowing he only had a few weeks left. He leaves behind a wife of just a year and a baby nephew he only got to meet once.

"We had a lot of plans after this was done," Victor Atwell said. "So the loss is great, but I have to honor, first and foremost, what he wanted."

He says his son wanted to be remembered as a dedicated Marine.

"We do make a difference and we do have a voice, each and every one of us," Kimberlee Atwell said. "It's important for us to stand for what's right because our freedom is important. Brad emulated that."

The Atwell's will travel to Dover Air Force Base Tuesday to await the arrival of Sgt. Brad Atwell's body. Funeral arrangements have not yet been made.

Sgt. Atwell was serving at the same base where Prince Harry is serving as part of a British apache helicopter unit.

When the prince was deployed there in early September, the Taliban said it was their goal to capture or kill the third in line to the British throne.
British officials said Harry was more than a mile away when the insurgents attacked. He was moved to an un-disclosed location when the gunfire started.

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