JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – An Auburn soldier was among two servicemen killed Friday in Afghanistan when a rocket struck their base.
The Defense Department identified them Monday as 23-year-old Sgt. Jabraun S. Knox and 28-year-old Sgt. Michael J. Knapp of Overland Park, Kan.
They were assigned to the 1st Battalion (Air Assault), 377th Field Artillery Regiment, 17th Fires Brigade.
Afghan officials said they were killed by enemy rocket fire that also killed three civilians. Four others were wounded when the rocket struck the base in Nari district of Kunar province. The area is a haven for insurgents fighting along the poorly marked border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Matt Beerbower of Auburn, Knox's father-in-law, told The Auburn Star that the rocket struck an area where extra shells were stored. He recently returned to Afghanistan after a 15-day leave. The Star reports Knox arrived home April 19 to surprise his wife, Courtney, and their infant son, Braylon, in Auburn.
Knox had been stationed in Afghanistan since November and had previously been deployed in Iraq. Knapp previously served in Kosovo and two deployments in Iraq. Their unit deployed to Afghanistan in October. Their regiment provides supporting fire for outlying posts and infantry movements.