A Marine from Cedar Rapids has died in combat in Afghanistan.
According to the Department of Defense, Lance Cpl. Adam F. Wolff, 25, was one of three Marines who died Friday in Helmand province. He was assigned to 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
According to a news release, Wolff was a combat engineer. He joined the Marines in December 2012 and was promoted to lance corporal on Feb. 1. He deployed to Afghanistan in March.
His awards include the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Allen Roberts with the University of Iowa Veterans Association said Monday that Lance Corporal Wolff's death may serve as a wake-up call to people here at home.
“You think we're drawing down, you think the war's coming to an end, you think people are out of harm's way there, and this puts it into stark reality that that's not the case at all,” said Roberts.
We also spoke with Logan Suhrbier, a Marine who did two 7-month tours in Helmand province, in 2009 and 2010. As someone who swept for IEDs - improvised explosive devices - with a bomb dog, he's familiar with Wolff's position as a combat engineer.
“They would go out and sweep with CMD's, which is a compact metal detector, that looks for pings that could be metal in the ground that could cause harm to someone,” said Suhrbier.
But whether it's enemy troops or hidden bombs, Suhrbier said in that province, danger is never far away.
“Afghanistan as a whole, it's just tough to differentiate between your enemy, and who is just a regular civilian,” Suhrbier explained.
With the recent resurgence of violence in Iraq, Roberts said it's frustrating to hear about more U.S. soldiers dying in a part of the world where so much work has already been done.
“It's kind of weird to see this ISIS come on and take this kind of blitzkrieg strategy there, and a lot of folks are saying what the hell did we do over there, why did all of these people die, nothing's getting done, it's right back into civil war,” Roberts added.
“It definitely brings a community into a really somber state where, we're still in danger, we're still at war,” Suhrbier said.