Huntington Soldier Among Latest Casualties in Afghanistan Conflict

By Scott Sarvay
By Jeff Neumeyer

August 31, 2010 Updated Aug 31, 2010 at 5:57 PM EDT

HUNTINGTON, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- The horrors of war hit home in Huntington County.

An Army soldier who started his first tour of duty in Afghanistan just three weeks ago, has lost his life.

Officials with the Army have not released names of victims from a deadly roadside bomb blast on Monday, but friends and family have told Indiana's NewsCenter that 26-year old Chad Clements was one of five U.S. troops to die in that explosion.

Family says Clements enlisted in February 2009 and arrived in Afghanistan August 9th.

Published reports say a bomb detonated near a Humvee on a main road on the outskirts of Kandahar, in the military's ongoing campaign to secure the city the Taliban used as a headquarters during their years in power.

The report indicates attackers targeted the Humvee because it wasn't as heavily armored as other vehicles in the convoy.

Curt Hackney said Clements was a student in several of his mechanics classes.

Curt Hackney/Huntington North Teacher: " Just one of those kids you thought does things right. He just always seemed to be happy with what he was doing. He was a very nice young man, very polite young man.

Reporter: " And probably excited to eventually serve his country?

Hackney: " Yes, I'm sure of that."

Tom Smith/Huntington County Veteran: " Anybody that goes in the service and fights and even has to die for our country is a hero in my mind."

Clements body is set to be returned to the States Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning.

We're told close family is flying to Dover Delaware to arrange for the body to be transported home for funeral services.

Clements' sister on Facebook said, "It's going to be a hard trip."

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