Hundreds of friends, family and fellow service members paid tribute to a fallen marine Monday afternoon.
A funeral service was held at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point for Lt. Col. Benjamin Palmer. He was killed May 12th in Afghanistan by a uniformed Afghan police officer along with Sgt. Kevin Balduf of Camp Lejeune. The two were part of a mentoring team.
Major Michael McFadden remembered Palmer Monday afternoon as courageous, enthusiastic, unselfish, and loyal- a marines' marine.
Palmer was 43 years old. He leaves behind his wife Leafa and four children.
The funeral for a Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, killed May 12th by a uniformed Afghan policeman, will take place this afternoon at Cherry Point.
Lt. Col. Benjamin Palmer was commanding officer of 2nd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, based at MCAS Cherry Point, prior to his deployment to Afghanistan in April.
The 43-year-old Palmer and Sgt. Kevin Balduf of Camp Lejeune were part of a mentoring team that was inside an Afghan national civil police compound in the Helmand province when the shooting began.
Reports indicate that a lieutenant colonel from Cherry Point and a sergeant stationed at Camp Lejeune were killed by a uniformed Afghan police officer last week.
The Pentagon says Lt. Col. Benjamin Palmer was killed "as the result of wounds received from enemy small-arms fire." in the Helmand province last Thursday. Sgt. Kevin Balduf, who was station at Camp Lejeune, was also killed in that same incident. Balduf was assigned to the 8th Communications Battalion
On Friday, the Defense Department said two service members were killed in an Afghan national civil order police compound in Helmand the day before when a uniformed Afghan national civil order policeman began shooting.
A release says the two were part of a mentoring team who were preparing to eat lunch when the shooting began. It says the shooter was seriously injured during the gunfire exchange.
The 43-year-old Palmer was the former commanding officer of 2nd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion, 2nd MAW, based at Cherry Point, prior to his deployment to Afghanistan in April.
The 27-year-old Balduf was a native of Nashville. WSMV, the NBC affiliate, interviewed Balduf's twin brother. Kyle Balduf says his brother wanted to be a Marine since he was 7 or 8 years old. He says in 2004 his brother was awarded the Bronze Star for saving the lives of his fellow Marines in Afghanistan.