The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Sgt. Charles C. Strong, 28, of Suffolk, Virginia, died Sept. 15, in Herat province, Afghanistan while conducting combat operations.
According to a statement from the International Security Assistance Force, an individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform shot Strong. Afghan officials and the ISAF are reviewing the incident.
Strong was assigned to 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Jonathon Cornwell lives just three houses down from the home Sgt. Strong grew up in Suffolk. He says he didn't personally know the fallen Marine but knew his father well.
"I was told that he was only two weeks from coming, and he's having to come like this," Cornwell said. "It's just a different homecoming, it's tragic."
Cornwell is a fellow Marine as well. He served in Afghanistan in 2004. He says the news of Sgt. Strong's death is a stark reminder that as we live our lives every day, there are still men and women giving the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
"It makes you think," he said. "For me, I've been out for 10 years and moving on with my life and there are people in the military everyday dying while serving our country. "
A GoFundMe account has been set up for donations to his family. According to the fund's page, Strong leaves behind his wife, Taylor, and their unborn baby girl.