Thursday, May 12, 2011

Marine Sgt. Kevin B. Balduf

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Sgt. Kevin B. Balduf, 27, of Nashville, Tenn.

Sgt Balduf was assigned to 8th Communications Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died May 12, 2011 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, while supporting combat operations.

Sgt. Kevin Balduf enlisted just after graduating from David Lipscomb High School in 2002 where he played on the school's football team. He got in trouble with his coaches his senior year cause he lost so much weight training to be a Marine.

Sgt Balduf joined the Marine Corps June 10, 2002, and was promoted to the rank of sergeant in March 2008.

Sgt Balduf had previously been deployed to Iraq. This was his second deployment to Afghanistan, having deployed in January.

He wasn’t outside the wire and I think that’s what really hits home and really hurts,” said wife, Amy, who felt safe enough about her husband working at Camp Leatherneck.

When she found out he was going to an Afghan training camp nearby, they both had mixed feelings. “But at the same time you cant say no,” she said, so he went. “He sent me an email that said I don’t trust them, I don’t trust them for anything, not for anything at all.”

“He said he'd call tomorrow,” she remembered, “and he never said I'll call tomorrow, he said I'll try and call tomorrow, and then tomorrow came."

The phone call she got, was the one to notify her that her husband had been killed.

“His life was not in the hands of other Marines,” she said.

Sgt. Balduf, a radio equipment operator, had been helping Afghan police trainees with communication systems. At the new base, he ate, worked and slept only with Afghan military and law enforcement trainees.

Sgt Balduf's twin brother Kyle, said his younger brother by one minute wanted to be a Marine practically his whole life.

"Kevin wanted me to be in the Marine Corps with him and I knew it wasn't my thing. He did, but I didn't want to be a part of it. I think about that," Kyle Balduf said.

Despite not joining the Marine's with his brother, Kyle said he knew his brother's fellow Marines looked after his Kevin when he couldn't.

"He had brothers in the Marine Corps who would guard him in my absence and that was neat. It's been neat to hear from them over the past few days and recognize their names and remember him talking about them," Kyle said.

Kyle said that he last spoke with his brother via email just days before he was killed. In the email, he got to tell his younger brother that he loved him for what would be the final time.

"He let me know what things were going on there and he said, ‘I love you too,'" Balduf said, adding, "If he hadn't taken the time to do that, I wouldn't have had those precious last words with my brother."

His awards are

Bronze Star Medal with combat “V” device
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal
Combat Action Ribbon
Navy Unit Commendation
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation
Good Conduct Medal
National Defense Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Iraq Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Sea Service Deployment Ribbon

Marine Sgt. Kevin B. Balduf was killed in action on 5/12/11.

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