A soldier from Springfield is among four troops who died in an attack in Afghanistan on Sunday. The Department of Defense released the soldiers' names on Tuesday morning.
Sgt. Joseph M. Peters, 24, died in an attack in Zhari District, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device. Three other soldiers were killed in the attack.
Peters was the first Special Agent with the Army's Criminal Investigations Division to be killed in service in either Iraq or Afghanistan, according to Christopher Grey, chief public affairs officer at the Army CID Headquarters in Quantico, Va.
Grey said Peters was with the team in Afghanistan because of his specialized training in areas such as evidence collection.
Peters was assigned to the 5th Military Police Battalion in Vicenza, Italy. He had graduated from Republic High School in Republic, Mo., in 2007 and completed basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, then moved on to training as a Human Intelligence Collector at Fort Huachuca, Ariz. as part of the 210th Military Intelligence Company.
Peters was then assigned to the 14th Military Intelligence Batallion, then reclassified as an Army Criminal Investigations Special Agent and was assigned to Vicenza.
The assignment to Afghanistan was Peters' third in a combat zone. He had previously served in two deployments to Iraq.
Peters was awarded the Combat Action Badge, Bronze Star and Purple Heart after his death.
Previous decorations and awards include the Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal 2nd Award, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with Arrow Device, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon and the Driver’s Badge.
Peters is survived by a wife and 20-month-old son. The Today Show reports that the families of those killed in the attack will not receive a $100,000 benefit that helps pay for funeral costs and living expenses before life insurance benefits kick in.
The three others killed, according to the Dept. of Defense, were:
- 1st Lt. Jennifer M. Moreno, 25, of San Diego, Calif., assigned to Madigan Army Medical Center, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
- Sgt. Patrick C. Hawkins, 25, of Carlisle, Pa., assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga.
- Pfc. Cody J. Patterson, 24, of Philomath, Ore., assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, at Fort Benning, Ga.
(Information from a DoD news release and Army CID news release were used in this report.)