A U.S. Marine with ties to Maine has been killed in Afghanistan.

U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe identified the man as Marine Corps Sgt. Kevin Brian Balduf, 27, of Nashville, Tenn.

Snowe said Balduf has ties to the town of Richmond but could not elaborate.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins said Balduf’s wife is from Richmond but may have been living elsewhere when her husband was killed. Her name was unavailable.

Maj. Gen. John W. Libby of the Maine National Guard said Balduf’s wife contacted his agency on Sunday to request chaplain support services.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones of Sgt. Balduf, who tragically gave his life defending our nation with limitless courage,” Snowe said in a statement.

“Indeed, his heroic service to the values we hold most dear, in the most demanding of environments and at such prolonged personal risk and peril, makes words difficult to find. I offer my heartfelt sympathies … on behalf of us all.”

Collins issued a statement saying, “I am saddened to learn of the death of Sgt. Kevin Balduf. Our nation will be forever grateful for his selfless sacrifice and brave service. … My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and fellow Marines.”

On its website, the Department of Defense said that Balduf was killed during combat operations Thursday while serving in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Balduf was serving in Afghanistan as a member of the 8th Communication Battalion Marine Headquarters Group, which is based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C.

The Department of Defense said Balduf and Lt. Col. Benjamin J. Palmer, 43, of Modesto, Calif., were killed in the operation.

“This incident is currently under investigation,” the DOD said.

 

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at: [email protected]