Members of the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard and airport workers remote the flag-draped casket containing the remains of one of two unknown sailors who were lost when the USS Monitor, the nation's first ironclad warship, sank Dec. 31, 1862, in a storm off Cape Hatteras, N.C., from a Delta MD-88 aircraft, at Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Va., Thursday, March 7, 2013, during a dignified transfer ceremony. The remains were transported from Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) in Hawaii, where they underwent identification attempts, before Friday�s burial at Arlington National Cemetery. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
FORT STEWART, Ga. —
Three soldiers based at Fort Stewart in southeast Georgia died in a weekend suicide bombing in Afghanistan that also killed a young American diplomat and a Defense Department civilian worker, the Army said Tuesday.
The military identified the slain soldiers as Staff Sgt. Christopher M. Ward, 24, of Oak Ridge, Tenn.; Spc. Wilbel A. Robles-Santa of Juncos, Puerto Rico; and Spc. Delfin M. Santos Jr. of San Jose, Calif. All three served as cavalry scouts in the 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division.
They were among five Americans killed Saturday in a suicide car bombing while delivering textbooks to children in Zabul, Afghanistan. Also slain in the attack was Anne Smedinghoff, a 25-year-old U.S. diplomat from suburban Chicago. The name of the civilian worker who was slain has not been released.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing.
The soldiers were providing a security escort for Smedinghoff as she traveled by convoy to deliver the books to a school, said Ward's grandmother, Nancy Ward.
"It's bad enough to be killed in action," she said. "But when you are trying to do something good, it seems like a double slap in the face."
While Ward has family in Tennessee, his grandmother said he grew up in Arcadia, Fla., and stayed with his grandparents to finish high school at Desoto County High School after his mother moved to Oak Ridge.
Nancy Ward said her grandson knew he wanted to be a soldier during high school, when he was heavily involved in the ROTC program. He joined the Army in November 2005, according to Fort Stewart officials, and was serving his third overseas deployment.
"He had his mind made up that the Army was going to be his future," Ward's grandmother said.
Fort Stewart officials said both Santos and Robles-Santa were serving their second deployments.
A phone number for Santos' family could not immediately be found Tuesday. Robles-Santa's mother, Maribel Santa-Rivera, did not immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press on Tuesday afternoon.
Some tragedies at hospitals might be unavoidable, but a mother and father who lost their 21 month old daughter at Children's Hospital Oakland say it's what happened after their daughter's death that has continued to torment them.
From March 5th - 9th, the 11th Annual San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival is showcasing films by filmmakers from over 17 countries on topics ranging from diving, surfing, sharks, ocean consevation, and more.