HMC Matthew J. Bourgeois.

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HMC Matthew J. Bourgeois.

Mensaje por doc_breacher el Lun 21 Feb 2011 - 14:47



A Navy SEAL was killed in southern Afghanistan after stepping on a land mine while conducting a small unit training mission at an abandoned al Qaeda base near the Kandahar airport, defense officials said yesterday.

Chief Petty Officer Matthew J. Bourgeois, 35, of Virginia Beach died at 8:30 a.m. yesterday in Afghanistan (11 p.m. Wednesday EST) as he trained with U.S. Special Operations troops at Tarnac farm, an al Qaeda training base abandoned in November, officials said. A second Navy SEAL, not identified, was injured by the mine. Officials said his wounds are not life-threatening.

Bourgeois is the 31st U.S. serviceman to die in and around Afghanistan since the war on terrorism began Oct. 7. He was the first killed by a land mine. At least three U.S. servicemen have been injured by mines, one near the Kandahar airport and two at Bagram Air Base, 35 miles north of Kabul.

Bourgeois grew up in Tallahassee and graduated from Leon High School there. He served in the Florida National Guard from 1984 to 1987 before enlisting in the Navy. He initially trained as a Hospital Corpsman and began training with Navy SEAL Team 2 in the Norfolk area in December 1989.

His five years with the unit included deployment to the Persian Gulf War. After four months of training at Fort Bragg, N.C., Bourgeois joined Navy SEAL Team 1, also based in the Norfolk area, in May 1995. He joined his current unit, which the Navy declined to identify, in 1999.

Matthew Bourgeois and his wife, Michelle, had a son seven months ago, said the serviceman's grandfather, Tom Bourgeois of Tallahassee. He said his grandson relished the challenge presented by the SEALs, the Navy's elite Special Operations forces.

"He was that kind of guy," Tom Bourgeois said. "He was in number-one condition -- he had to be to be in the SEALs. They kept their boys in top shape."

SEAL is short for Sea, Air, Land teams, which were first created as a Navy counterinsurgency force in 1962.

Bourgeois's father, Tom Bourgeois Jr., declined to comment yesterday when contacted at his home in Portsmouth, Va., where he and his wife moved two years ago to be closer to their son.

Another SEAL based in the Norfolk area, Petty Officer 1st Class Neil C. Roberts, 32, died March 4 after he fell from an MH-47 Chinook helicopter during Operation Anaconda south of Gardez and was apparently captured and executed by al Qaeda fighters. He was the first Navy member to die in combat.




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Re: HMC Matthew J. Bourgeois.

Mensaje por doc_breacher el Lun 21 Feb 2011 - 14:48








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