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BYU graduate killed in Afghanistan
A former Brigham Young University student was killed Monday alongside three other soldiers in a roadside bomb attack in southern Afghanistan. Cory Jenkins is the first BYU student known to have been killed in the eight-year-old conflict in Afghanistan.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Jenkins family right now," said BYU spokesman Joe Hadfield. "We feel very grateful for his service."
The last Utahn to be killed in Afghanistan was Jeff Ammon, a Naval officer from Orem who died as a result of injuries suffered from a roadside bomb explosion in May 2008. The period in which Ammon was killed was one of the deadliest on record for allied forces at the time, but in the intervening months U.S. losses have mounted even higher.
August has been the deadliest month for the U.S. since the beginning of that war, and the death rate for American soldiers in Afghanistan now rivals some of the worst points in the Iraq conflict.
The day after Jenkins was killed, Utahn Kurt Curtiss was reported dead in a separate Afghanistan attack.
Jenkins joined the Army following his graduation from BYU, where he studied conservation biology, and from the physician assistant program at A.T. Still University, near his home in Mesa, Arizona.
Most recently, Jenkins had lived with his family near Ft. Lewis, Washington, where he was stationed with the 5th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.
The Army captain had recently become the father of a baby girl, and family members told The Arizona Republic that Jenkins got to be with his daughter for about a month before deploying.
Jenkins' father said his son joined the military seeking experience in treating trauma injuries.
" He said, 'You can't get any better experience than in the military,' " Stanley Jenkins told The Republic on Thursday.
Two other Brigham Young University graduates are known to have been killed in the nation's other ongoing war. Nathan White was killed in April 2003 when the F/A-18 Hornet he was piloting was accidentally shot down by a U.S. Patriot missile. Bill Jacobsen was the highest ranking soldier killed in a suicide bombing at an Army mess hall in Mosul, Iraq, that killed 22 people on Dec. 21, 2004.