Remains of York County Marine and two others killed in Afghanistan return to U.S.
A U.S. Marine Corps carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains of Staff Sgt. Christopher A. Slutman, Thursday, April 11, 2019, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
(Dover, Del.) — The remains of three Marines midstate killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan have arrived at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.
Two of the men had ties to York County.
31-year-old Sergeant Benjamin Hines was a 2006 graduate of Dallastown High School and the parents of 43-year old Staff Sergeant Christopher K-A Slutman of Newark, Delaware, live in Lower Windsor Township. Slutman was also a 15-year veteran of the New York Fire Department.
25-year-old Corporal Robert Hendriks of Locust Valley, New York, also died when a bomb struck their vehicle near Bagram Air Base north of Kabul.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
The three were assigned to 25th Marine Regiment, a Massachusetts-based Marine Reserve unit.
An aunt of Hendriks, Lorraine Caliendo, told Newsday that his brother Joseph, also a Marine, will be escorting Hendricks’ remains back home.
These images provided by the U.S. Marine Corps show, from left, Sgt. Benjamin S. Hines, 31, of York, Pa., Staff Sgt. Christopher K.A. Slutman, 43, of Newark, Del., and Cpl. Robert A. Hendriks, 25, of Locust Valley, N.Y. (U.S Marine Corps via AP)
The fatalities brought to seven the number of U.S. troops killed this year in Afghanistan, underscoring the difficulties in bringing peace to the war-wrecked country even as Washington has stepped up efforts to find a way to end the 17-year conflict.
Relatives of the deceased Marines were invited to witness what the military calls a dignified transfer in which the cases containing the remains are transferred to a vehicle from the aircraft that ferried them to the United States. Media access to the transfer event is allowed if agreed by the family of the fallen service member, under a policy initiated in March 2009.