Lt. Sean R. Jacobs, 23, of Redding, Calif., and Sgt. John E. Hansen, 41, of Austin, Texas, died Thursday from injuries suffered after the explosion of an improvised explosive device in Kandahar province. A third solder was wounded in the blast, a family member said.
Both soldiers were assigned to the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division and had deployed with the unit in April.
So far this year, 21 soldiers assigned to Lewis-McChord have died in Afghanistan.
Army records say Jacobs began his military service in May 2010 after graduating from West Point. He trained as an artillery officer before reporting to Lewis-McChord in February 2011. This was his first combat deployment.
Jacobs’ father, Robert, told The Redding Record Searchlight that the three soldiers were returning from a mission when Hansen got out of a military vehicle that was overheating while sweeping for mines and stepped on an IED.
Jacobs’ grandfather, Peter, said the youngest Jacobs was an “all-American boy.” The eldest Jacobs was a naval officer during World War II and administered the oath of office to his grandson during his West Point graduation.
“He was a winner all the way and he had a great future,” he told the newspaper.
Hansen, an artillery data systems specialist, joined the Air Force in October 1999 before transferring to the Army seven years later. Hansen completed assignments in New Mexico, Colorado and North Carolina before reporting to Lewis-McChord in December 2011. This was his second combat deployment; he deployed to Iraq from December 2007 to February 2009.
No further information about Hansen was available Monday.christian.hill@ thenewstribune.com 253-274-7390 @TNTchill