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2nd US soldier dies in Afghanistan this week; 1st soldier on 13th deployment is identified

U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Tim Bolyard, senior enlisted advisor, 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, stationed at Fort Stewart, Ga., and Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, Commander of United States Army Europe, shake hands after LTG Hodges was presented with a token of appreciation after the squadron colors were cased, Sep. 9, 2016, at Coleman Barracks in Mannheim, Germany, signifying the completion of a six month deployment in support of Atlantic Resolve. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Micah VanDyke, 24th Press Camp Headquarters/Released)
September 05, 2018

Another U.S. service member has died in eastern Afghanistan, marking the second death this week.

Just a day following the death of a U.S. service member from an apparent insider attack, a second service member has died this week, the NATO Resolute Support operation reported on Tuesday.

Following the 24-hour next of kin notification period, the name of the soldier was released. A Department of Defense release identified the soldier as Staff Sgt. Diobanjo S. Sanagustin, 32, from National City, Calif.

Sanagustin was based out of Fort Carson, Colo., and served on the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.

Sanagustin reportedly died as a result of a non-combat incident that took place in eastern Afghanistan.

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The incident is still under investigation.

This is the seventh U.S. service member to be killed in Afghanistan during 2018.

The death comes just one day after a U.S. service member died in an apparent insider attack that also took place in eastern Afghanistan.

On Tuesday night, a Department of Defense release identified the soldier as Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy A. Bolyard, 42, from Thornton, W.V. His name was released to media upon approval of the family after they were notified.

Bolyard was said to be supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, according to a Newsweek report. He was a member of the 1st Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment, which is a unit within the 3rd Squadron, 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade out of Fort Benning, Ga.

He was the highest-ranking enlisted soldier on the unit, and was currently on his 13th overseas deployment. Eight of those deployments are said to be combat deployments, Newsweek reported.

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Bolyard was awarded the Bronze Star on six occasions for his combat service, two of which were awarded with valor, denoting heroism displayed in a combat incident. The Bronze Star is the fourth highest military award in the U.S.

He was also part of a new adviser brigade of the U.S. Army deployed to Afghanistan in February. The brigade is said to be carrying out new strategies deployed by the Trump Administration in the war efforts.

More than 2,400 U.S. service members have been killed throughout the 17 years of war efforts in Afghanistan.

Military leaders are ready for the war to end. Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr., who just departed over the weekend as the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said in his parting speech, “It is time for this war in Afghanistan to end,” the New York Times reported Sunday.

He called on the Taliban and other local militants to “stop killing your fellow Afghans.”

“Whose voices are important,” he asked. “The outsiders who are encouraging you to fight, or the voices of your own people who are encouraging you to peace?”

Nicholson, who served the longest tenure of a U.S. commander, called for peace negotiations, while noting the U.S. would continue to fight the Taliban as long as they choose to continue the violence.