Local Marine killed in action in Afghanistan
MARION, SC (WMBF) – A family in Marion is mourning the loss of a 29-year-old Marine after he was killed during combat in Afghanistan Sunday.
Second Lt. James Stenger with the United States Marine Corps said Gunnery Sgt. Ralph E. Pate, Jr. of Marion was an explosive ordnance disposal technician assigned to Second EOD Company, Eighth Engineer Support Battalion, Second Marine Logistics Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force in Camp Lejeune, NC.
He joined the Marines in 1998 and was promoted to his current rank in 2009, according to Stenger.
During his time with the Marines, Pate was deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008, and was also deployed in 2009 and 2011 for Operation Enduring Freedom.
Stenger said Pate's personal decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Combat Action Ribbon with Gold Star in lieu of second award, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with three gold stars in lieu of fourth award.
Circumstances surrounding Pate's death were not immediately made available.
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