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Iowa soldier killed in Afghanistan


This news story was published on April 15, 2011.
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The Iowa National Guard regrets to announce the death of Spc. Brent M. Maher (“MAY er”), 31, of Honey Creek, Iowa. Maher was killed during a mounted patrol, Monday, April 11, when the “Cougar” Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle in which he was the
gunner, was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device in Paktya Province, Afghanistan at approximately 1 p.m., local Afghanistan time.|The Iowa National Guard regrets to announce the death of Spc. Brent M. Maher (“MAY er”), 31, of Honey Creek, Iowa. Maher was killed during a mounted patrol, Monday, April 11, when the “Cougar” Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle in which he was the
gunner, was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device in Paktya Province, Afghanistan at approximately 1 p.m., local Afghanistan time. Wounded in the attack were Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas Jedlicka, 31, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, Spc. Justin Christiansen, 24, of Nebraska City, Neb., and Spc. Dustin Morrison, 20, of New Market, Iowa. All four Soldiers were assigned to the Iowa Army National Guard’s Company B, 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry, 2ndBrigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Shenandoah, Iowa.

Maher was born Dec. 3, 1979 in Hamburg, Iowa and graduated from Farragut (Iowa) High School in 1998. He also attended Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Neb. Prior to his mobilization, he was employed by the Woodhouse Auto Family in Omaha, Neb. An 11-year military veteran, Maher enlisted in the U.S. Navy in June 1998, serving until October 2005. He then joined the Iowa National Guard in May 2007 and was assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry, in Denison. He transferred to Company B, 1-168th Infantry, Shenandoah, in January 2008, where he was assigned as an Infantryman. He will be posthumously promoted to sergeant.

Maher was part of the approximately 2,800 members of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division deployed to Afghanistan. Company B is comprised of approximately Iowa Army National Guard Soldiers from Company B in Shenandoah, Detachment 1 of Company B at Camp Dodge, and Detachment 2 of Company B, from Corning.

These Iowa Soldiers reported to their mobilization station at Camp Shelby, Miss. in July 2010 for additional training and preparation before departing for the Afghanistan theater of operations. The unit arrived in Afghanistan in November 2010, where the Soldiers provide full-spectrum operations in a combat theater, including lethal and non-lethal capabilities, support to Afghan National Army and Police units, and assistance to humanitarian relief initiatives.

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