3 soldiers killed in Afghan attack were from Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Three U.S. soldiers killed in a suicide attack this week in Afghanistan were from Ohio, as were several others seriously wounded in the bombing, the Ohio National Guard said Thursday.

The soldiers killed in the attack Wednesday in Maimanah, the capital of Faryab province, were from the Guard’s 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, according to the Ohio Adjutant General’s Department.

The brigade is based in Columbus but includes soldiers from across Ohio, the Guard said.

Among the victims was Sgt. 1st Class Shawn Hannon, 44, who also worked as chief legal counsel for the Ohio Department of Veterans Services.

“Shawn felt it was a privilege to serve his country and did so honorably for almost 20 years. He was proud to be a soldier and all who loved him knew it,” his family said in a statement released to media. Survivors include wife and their 9-month-old son.

Hannon joined the state veterans agency last year after working for a Columbus law firm.

“He was one of the most well respected guys I ever met,” said Steve Palmer, a lawyer who worked with Hannon. “If somebody in the world needed help, he’d be there. He believed in what he was doing over there.”

The attack, by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle, killed at least 13 people Wednesday at a park in a relatively peaceful area of northern Afghanistan. It was part of an increase in violence at the start of the spring fighting season.

The Ohio infantry brigade has six battalions, with four based in Ohio and two in Michigan. It sent 3,600 soldiers to Afghanistan last summer for what was scheduled to be a year-long deployment.

It was the largest mobilization for the 37th since the Korean War, according to the Ohio National Guard. The soldiers were sent to help with counter-insurgency operations and work with Afghan security forces.

In 2005, Lima Company, a Columbus-based Marine reserve unit, lost 22 Marines and a Navy Corpsman in Iraq, including nine in one bombing. Fifteen of the 23 were from Ohio.

The names of the other dead soldiers had not been released; the Guard said it was still notifying family members.

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