Three officers among fallen, including colonel
An Army colonel based in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., was among five U.S. soldiers killed by the powerful blast in Kabul on Tuesday, Pentagon officials have confirmed.
Two lieutenant colonels from Fort Drum, N.Y., and two Germany-based enlisted soldiers also died when a vehicle loaded with explosives hit a NATO convoy near government buildings.
Col. John M. McHugh, 46, of New Jersey, is the second colonel to die in combat in Afghanistan, according to the Pentagon.
He had been in the country for a short time with representatives of the 10th Mountain Division, helping that unit prepare to deploy.
Also identified were Lt. Col. Paul R. Bartz, 43, of Waterloo, Wis., and Lt. Col. Thomas P. Belkofer, 44, of Perrysburg, Ohio, both assigned to headquarters of the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum.
Based in Germany were Staff Sgt. Richard J. Tieman, 28, of Waynesboro, Pa., and Spc. Joshua A. Tomlinson, 24, of Dubberly, La., who were assigned to Special Troops Battalion, V Corps, Heidelberg. Tomlinson was based in Kaiserslautern.
Col. McHugh graduated from West Point in 1986 and was commissioned as an Army aviation officer.
A writer for ESPN The Magazine remembered growing up with him in Caldwell, N.J., in a recent post on his website.
Jeff Bradley said McHugh was a born leader, and had predicted that he would someday become the town mayor because he was "good-natured, friendly and honest. He was one of those guys who never had a day off. Always had a smile."
McHugh was a married father of five who recently became a grandfather, according to Army officials. A service is tentatively scheduled at Fort Leavenworth on May 24.
Bartz and Belkofer were conducting key leader training to prepare for a deployment later in the year, according to an Army press release. Bartz is survived by his wife and son. Belkofer is survived by his wife and two children, the release states.
Both Tieman and Tomlinson were combat drivers for Headquarters Support Group, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command in Kabul.
Tieman, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was scheduled to return this summer, according to Maj. Peggy Kageleiry, a U.S. Army Europe spokeswoman. He is survived by his wife, who is stationed at Fort Riley, Kan. His service is scheduled for next week.
Tomlinson, an air defense artilleryman, was on his first deployment. He was to return to his Kaiserslautern-based 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery when it was over. A service will be held Friday at 10:30 a.m. for Tomlinson at the Vogelweh Chapel.
The Canadian military lost its highest-ranking member to be killed in Afghanistan that day, Col. Geoff Parker, 42, of the Royal Canadian Regiment, according to CBC News.
At least 12 Afghan civilians died in a bus, one of 20 vehicles destroyed in the blast.
Click to view image: 'dbd86fa19e00-untitled.jpg'
Click to view image: 'Col. John M. McHugh'
Click to view image: 'Lt. Col. Paul R. Bartz'
Click to view image: 'Lt. Col. Thomas P. Belkofer'
Click to view image: 'Spc. Joshua A. Tomslinson'
Click to view image: 'Staff Sgt. Richard J. Tieman'
Click to view image: 'Canadian Col. Geoff Parker'
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