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Four Oklahomans killed in action during past year

Four Oklahomans have died during fighting in Afghanistan in the last year.
BY BRYAN DEAN bdean@opubco.com Published: May 27, 2013
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As Oklahomans celebrate Memorial Day, the state will mourn an Army officer from Lawton, a Navy man from Shawnee, a soldier from Claremore and an Army squad leader from Edmond, all of whom lost their lives in the past year during fighting in Afghanistan.

After two years of double-digit casualties from the state related to a massive National Guard deployment to Afghanistan, Oklahoma's death toll went down, but that doesn't make things any easier for friends and family of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Navy Seaman Eric D. Warren, 23, of Shawnee, died when an improvised explosive device detonated while he served as a combat corpsman with a U.S. Marine unit. Navy sailors provide medical care for the Marines.

Army Pfc. Jon R. Townsend, 19, of Claremore, was killed in an insider attack. He and three other soldiers were killed when an Afghan police officer fired on them while they responded to a checkpoint.

Army Staff Sgt. Rex L. Schad, 26, of Edmond, also died in an insider attack. Schad, another soldier and two Afghan police officers were killed when another Afghan policeman picked up a machine gun and fired on them.

Army First Lt. Brandon J. Landrum, 26, of Lawton, was one of five soldiers killed in a roadside bomb attack.

The soldiers, stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, were more than halfway through a nine-month deployment and were on patrol when their vehicle was attacked.

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