Marine Familes’ Fears Grew with Darkhorse Battalion Losses

A roadside bomb killed Lance Cpl. James Boelk, 24, while he was on a foot patrol, Oct. 15, 2010. The Darkhorse infantry rifleman was on his first combat deployment. Photo Courtesy of the Boelk family.

During their first month in Afghanistan, October 2010, the Marines 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment, known as Darkhorse, lost eight men. National Public Radio is running a seven part series on the unit that so far has the heaviest losses of any Marine unit deployed in Afghanistan in the last 10 years.

Part three of seven

Dave Boelk works for the Navy outside Washington, D.C. Every morning when he gets to work, he has a ritual: He turns on his computer and checks the military’s classified reports from Afghanistan.

On Oct. 15 last year, he noticed one report in particular.

“It was just talking about an IED explosion and how many people were injured. There was one KIA. I remember making the comment to some of my colleagues, like, wow, my son’s unit, somebody died, that really hits close to home,” he recalls.

Boelk went about his day. Five hours went by.

“Then I got a call from our daughter. And she said there were two Marines at our house, and immediately, kind of lost my composure at work, obviously. There was just total silence in the office. Of course, what can they say? I just shut off my computers and picked up my bags, and told them I had to go home,” Boelk says.

You can listen to Tom Bowman’s radio story and read the full web post HERE.


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