Marine Assigned To Dangerous Duty Killed In Afghanistan

By Maureen Mespell
By Jeff Neumeyer

December 23, 2010 Updated Dec 23, 2010 at 6:53 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Making the ultimate sacrifice for country and for your fellow servicemen.

22-year old Lance Corporal Billy Crouse, a Marine who attended Northrop High School for part of his teen years, died Tuesday in Afghanistan, along with his bomb-sniffing dog, doing a job that is considered one of the war effort's most dangerous.

Officials say Improvised Explosive Devices, or IED's, are now responsible for 60 percent of the fatalities in the Afghan War.

It was Crouse's job to search them out, so they aren't a threat to other soldiers.

On Tuesday, he was on patrol with his dog "Cane" when an IED detonated, killing both.

National Geographic crews documented the dangerous mission of bomb searching units in a special report they prepared.

The job entails finding the bombs, and getting rid of them, so other personnel can move with less anxiety and danger.

It’s nerve-wracking work, because in some cases team members are stepping in each other's footprints to avoid setting off an explosion.

Crouse’s death is a huge loss for his family.

Storm Chaffee/7-Year Old Nephew: " We only had a couple of times when he visited our house, and because he died we don't have another chance to get him to come back to our house and meet us."

Jennifer Chaffee/Crouse's Sister: " We will pray for each other, we will lift each other up and we will continue to pray for those men and women who are still there and their family members, who are waiting for them to come home."

Funeral arrangements for Crouse are pending.

Five soldiers from Northeast Indiana have died in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2010.

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