Marines Killed in VBIED Blast Identified
The three Marines killed in the VBIED blast on Monday have been identified. We already reported about SSgt Christopher Slutman, 43, a FDNY and Kentland Firefighter. The other two were identified as Cpl Robert Hendricks, 25, and Sgt Benjamin Hines, 31.
All three men were attached to the 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserve. The blast from the VBIED killed three Marines, wounded three other US military service members, five Afghan civilians, and one Afghan contractor. The incident is still under investigation. It occurred near Bagram Air Base.
SSgt Christopher Slutman
Both Slutman and Sgt Hines were based at a unit in Harrisburg, PA. Slutman was an Infantry Rifleman. His military awards included
two Iraq Campaign Medals, a Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and four certificates of commendation. As a firefighter, he was honored for rescuing an unconscious woman from a burning building in 2014.
Being the oldest in the unit, one of his friends said they called him the “old man” – but he never let it bother him. And his fellow Marines said he was a “very caring person.” He is survived by his wife and three children.
Sgt Benjamin Hines
Sgt Benjamin Hines was a “jokester” who was always ready to “reenact a scene from a movie” or cracking jokes. His fellow Marines viewed him as the “glue” that held the men together. His positive attitude and outlook also reflected his deep love of the Marine Corps.
“He was all around a great guy with an upbeat attitude who loved the Corps through and through.He never treated you like a subordinate. You were always an equal and friend.” Sam Belli, who served in Hines’ squad
His awards included a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, an Afghanistan Campaign Medal, two Iraq Campaign Medals and a Meritorious Mast — a form of Marine Corps recognition for noteworthy performance, according to Stripes.
Cpl Robert Hendricks
Cpl Robert Hendricks was only 25 and it was his first deployment to Afghanistan. Hendricks’ brother also serves in the Marine Corps infantry. Cpl Hendricks was an infantry machine gunner who joined the Marines in 2012.
“He never caused me one problem. I am the proudest dad on earth.” Erik Hendricks, Robert’s father.
Robert’s younger brother Joseph, who also enlisted in the Marine Corps, will accompany his brother’s body home. While some parents can hold bitterness against the branch of service for what happens to their children, the Hendricks have no such inclination.
“I am and always will be proud to call my sons United States Marines .” Felicia Arculeo, Robert’s mother to the New York Post