A 25-year-old soldier from Turlock died in Afghanistan while serving as a combat medic with the California National Guard.
Benjamin C. Pleitez died on July 27 in Mazar-e Sharif in Afghanistan, the Department of Defense announced Monday.
Pleitez was assigned to the 1072nd Transportation Company with the 746th Combat Support Battalion, 224th Sustainment Brigade in Van Nuys, Calif.
Pleitez was deployed to Afghanistan in March of this year, said 1st Lt. William Martin, public affairs officer for the California National Guard. It is believed to have been his first deployment.
Details about his death have not been released. An autopsy has been scheduled, Martin said.
Pleitez and his family moved to Turlock in 1999. He attended Modesto Adventist Academy in Ceres and Denair High School. He graduated through an independent study program and went on to earn his emergency medical technician certification.
Pleitez is survived by his parents, Salvador and Diana, and two siblings. Funeral arrangements are pending.
Three other men from Turlock have died while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Capt. Raymond Dwayne Hill II, 39, was killed in action on Oct. 29, 2005, from a roadside bomb that exploded near his Humvee while on patrol in Baghdad. He left behind a wife, two daughters, his father and several brothers. Sgt. 1st Class Chad Gonsalves served with the Green Berets and was killed in action in Afghanistan on Feb. 13, 2006, by a roadside bomb. Gonsalves, 31, left behind a wife, three children and his parents. Army Ranger Dale Brehm, 23, was killed in Iraq on March 18, 2006, when his unit came under fire. Brehm left behind a wife and his parents.