NC-based Marine from Marion, SC, killed in combat

MARION, S.C. (AP) — A North Carolina-based Marine from South Carolina has been killed in combat in Afghanistan.

The Marines say 29-year-old Gunnery Sgt. Ralph E. Pate Jr. of Marion, S.C., died Sunday while conducting combat operations in Helmand province.

Pate was an explosive ordinance disposal technician assigned to the 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force based at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Pate joined the Marines in 1998 and had been deployed four times to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan.

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