NYC firefighter among 3 U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan
Christopher Slutman, a 15-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department, worked in the Bronx and was also a volunteer firefighter in Maryland.
A man brings flowers to a firehouse in memory of firefighter Christopher Slutman in the Bronx, New York, on April 9, 2019. Slutman was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on April 8.Seth Wenig / AP
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One of three American service members killed in a roadside car bomb attack on a convoy outside of Afghanistan's Bagram Airfield on Monday was a New York City firefighter, officials said Tuesday.
Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Christopher Slutman, a 15-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department, worked for Ladder Companies 27 and 17 in the Bronx, according to the Uniformed Firefighters Association.
He was also a 19-year volunteer with the Kentland Fire Department serving Landover and Prince George’s County, Maryland, according to Chief Oleg Pelekhaty.
One of the other Marines killed was identified as Benjamin Hines, his father confirmed to NBC News on Tuesday.
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The 31-year-old sergeant was from York, Pennsylvania, according to information provided by the Department of Defense on Tuesday night.
Cpl. Robert A. Hendriks, 25, of Locust Valley, New York, was also killed, federal officials said. The three Marines were supporting Operation Resolute Support.
Hendriks' mother, Felicia, told NBC News that her son always wanted to be a Marine and enlisted directly after his 2012 high school graduation.
She said has another son who is also a Marine.
“I just want his name out there and where he was from. He loved what he did. And we are so proud of him and his brother," Felicia Hendricks said. "And he always was willing to die for his country. He was actually set to come home in about a month and that’s just the tragic part is that he was supposed to come home. He loved the service, he loved his country, and he was loved by everyone who knew him.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff Tuesday for Slutman. The mayor said in a statement that he had presented Slutman with the Fire Chief’s Association Memorial Medal in 2014 after the firefighter had saved an unconscious woman from a burning South Bronx apartment.
"This unquestionably is an example of the measure of this man. Christopher Slutman is an American hero, a New York hero, and we mourn his loss today," De Blasio said.
“Firefighter Slutman bravely wore two uniforms and committed his life to public service both as a New York City Firefighter and as a member of the United States Marine Corps,” FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro said. “The hearts and prayers of the entire Department are with his loved ones and with the families of his fellow service members who lost their lives in service to our nation.”
Christopher Slutman was an American hero. I had the honor of meeting him in 2014 after he made a life-saving rescue in the South Bronx. His courage and commitment to his city and country will never be forgotten. Please keep his wife, children and the FDNY in your hearts today. pic.twitter.com/bRRGYujZCj
A ceremony honoring him was planned for Tuesday night at the Engine 46, Ladder 27 fire station.
He is the fourth FDNY member to die while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003, according to the department. Seventy-three FDNY personnel are currently serving on extended military orders and another 1,425 are military reservists or veterans.