Lieutenant Colonel's Remembered As "Courageous"

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.

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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.


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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.


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  • by Patriot Location: Dynamite on May 23, 2011 at 11:02 PM
    Dammit, another Marine killed by an Afghan police officer or soldier. The question of why will never be asked. Why the hell are we there anyway?? Losing a Marine in combat is bad enough but to be killed by one we are working to help and support?? Two Marines dead!!!! My heat and prayers go out to the families of these brave Americans. You will never be forgotten. You are American heroes. Welcome home Brothers, RIP. Semper Fidelis Patriot Dynamite USMC 1964-1968
  • by Question on May 23, 2011 at 07:25 AM
    Why did a policeman kill these two marines? I have not seen this question addressed anywhere.
  • by a_grateful_American Location: sleeping well on May 20, 2011 at 12:37 PM
    To those of you that say the US and our allies should abandon Pakistan and Afghanistan because of the deaths of these two brave heroes, I say this: I fear you. Lt Col Palmer, Sgt Balduf, and their grieving families represent the best of America. They knew their danger and yet they served. You, however, in your short-sighted ignorance, represent the worst: The willingness to let their sacrifce be for naught and the willingness to let Al Quaeda dominate your life and mine with fear. In fact, I fear people like you more than I fear Al Queada. I know there are Marines, sailors, soldiers, airmen and guardsmen between Al Quaeda and me. I sleep well at night with that knowledge. You, on the other and posses a power greater than any member of Al Quaeda: the right to free speech and the right to vote. To choose to exercise either right either without bothering to understand why we protect Pakistan and Afghanistan makes me tremble. Let me remind you. Pakistan has nukes. Don't ever forget that. If you thought the idea of Sadaam POSSIBLY having nukes was bad, imagine Al Quaeda rampant in a country that DEFINITELY has nukes. It is NO coincidence that Al Quaeda is active in that particular part of the world. Even with that knowledge I still sleep well at night, knowing there are Marines like Palmer and Balduf on the fence line. You, on the other hand, are my worst nightmare...
  • by MarineMom Location: Dover, OH on May 18, 2011 at 08:06 AM
    Deepest sympathies to the families of these HEROES. My son and brother in law are in that same area and I pray every day for all of our men and women in harm's way. It breaks my heart to hear the people we are trying to help cannot be trusted...=(
  • by Anonymous on May 18, 2011 at 05:50 AM
    My heart goes out to the families that lost these two men, and those of you using the comment section of this story to grip about politicians should be ASHAMED of yourselves, this story is about the lose of 2 American lives NOT Obama OR Bush, find another outlet for your political debates about which president your like or don't like or who did what politically...smh
  • by Proudusmcwife on May 17, 2011 at 04:18 PM
    my husband is is out there and served with these guys...Prayers go out to the families and to the rest of the marines still fighting.
    • reply
      by Sara on May 18, 2011 at 06:03 AM in reply to Proudusmcwife
      Please contact me if you see this, my husband is out there as well. There's not many of us considering only 4 or 5 were married. We need to support eachother
    • reply
      by Sara on May 18, 2011 at 06:05 AM in reply to Proudusmcwife
      Please contact me if you see this, my husband is out there as well. There's not many of us considering only 4 or 5 were married. We need to support each other
  • by Thank You on May 17, 2011 at 01:31 PM
    May God bring peace to both of your famlies and thank you for allowing me and my children to rest our heads peacefully every night! You will never be forgotten and always remembered!
  • by Tim Location: Greenville on May 17, 2011 at 01:09 PM
    I think it's time to pull our troops out of that hell-hole and glass that whole country over.....
  • by Formerly O.L.I. Location: ENC on May 17, 2011 at 11:29 AM
    More of the USA's finest, gone. Condolences to those families and the men's friends.
  • by Melissa on May 17, 2011 at 11:23 AM
    Just a corrupt puppet government. Karzai is a lunatic. Supoort out troops and get them out of there. Rest in peace, Marines. Semper Fi.
    • reply
      by Melissa on May 17, 2011 at 11:48 AM in reply to Melissa
      Support...
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