Two Marines with York County ties killed in Afghanistan
Two Marines with ties to York County were among three men killed in a roadside bombing of an American convoy in Afghanistan on Monday, April 8.
Sgt. Benjamin S. Hines, 31, a York native and Dallastown Area High School graduate, and Staff Sgt. Christopher K.A. Slutman, 43, a Newark, Delaware, resident whose parents live in Lower Windsor Township, died in the Taliban attack.
The U.S. and NATO Resolute Support mission issued a statement Tuesday that three service members were killed in a roadside bomb attack during a convoy near the Bagram Airfield, according to The Associated Press. A contractor initially reported as killed on Monday is alive, according to the revised report.
Cpl. Robert A. Hendricks, 25, of Locust Valley, New York, also died in the attack.
The three men were assigned to the 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division of the Marine Corps Reserve, based in Fort Devens, Massachusetts.
The Marines were part of the Georgia Deployment Program-Resolute Support Mission, a recurring six-month rotation between U.S. Marines and Georgian Armed Forces that contributes to NATO’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.
The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Slutman: Slutman, one of five children, grew up in a military family. His father, Fletchman Slutman Jr., said Wednesday that Christopher Slutman was fascinated by the war memorabilia of his paternal grandfather, a pilot in World War II.
Christopher Slutman was a New York City firefighter, a job he knew he wanted since he was 8, his father said.
Christopher Slutman was influenced to join the Marines after seeing his younger brother join following high school, Fletchman Slutman said.
“Christopher always wanted the best; he was an Eagle Scout and worked hard for it and zoomed right through things …. The Marines made a logical choice,” he said.
Fletchman and Mary Slutman moved to York County in 2005. Christopher Slutman spent his early years outside of Philadelphia and later grew up in Maryland where he graduated from high school.
Christopher Slutman leaves behind his wife, Shannon, and three daughters.
“He was nice to everybody. I don’t know anyone he had a bad argument with. He never had a fight with anyone,” Fletchman Slutman said.
Hines: Hines graduated from Dallastown High in 2006. As a wide receiver and defensive back on the high school football team, Hines always had an upbeat attitude, said his former coach, Kevin Myers.
Myers, who retired in 2017, coached Hines in 2005 — during Myer’s first year leading the team.
“He was the kind of kid you wanted to be around and have in your program. He was a hard worker — anything positive you can think of describes Ben,” Myers said.
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, issued a statement in honor of the three fallen Marines.
“Marine Sgt. Benjamin Hines gave his life while serving our nation in Afghanistan. His loss serves as a painful reminder of the sacrifice service members and their families make to keep the rest of us safe at home. My condolences are with Sgt. Hines's family, friends, and loved ones during this difficult time," Toomey said.
Toomey also extended his sympathies to Slutman's parents, who reside in York County.
As a senior, Hines was part of Dallastown's first year offering the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps program. During the program, Hines was voted and promoted to one of two company commanders for the Marine unit, said Dallastown Superintendent Ronald Dyer.
"Teachers and his football coach consistently say what a terrific young man he was and taken much too soon," Dyer said.
"We are so proud of him and his service to the country," Dyer added.
The Dallastown Area School District posted a tweet mourning the loss of Hines.
"We send our deepest sympathy and condolences to his parents, family, friends and fellow Marines," it said.
— This story is developing. Check back for more information.