Oregon soldier among 5 killed in Afghanistan

PORTLAND — The family of a Bend soldier killed by a roadside bomb last weekend said he recently had re-enlisted because he didn't want to leave his unit.

Spc. Brandon Joseph Prescott died Saturday along with four other Fort Bliss-based troops when an improvised explosive device struck the vehicle in the Maiwand district of Afghanistan's Kandahar province. An Army statement Monday identified the others as Spc. Kevin Cardoza, of Mercedes, Texas; 1st Lt. Brandon James Landrum, of Lawton, Okla.; Spc. Thomas Paige Murach, of Meridian, Idaho; and Staff Sgt. Francis Gene Phillips IV, of Meridian, N.Y.

All served in the 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, based at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. They were deployed in December for a nine-month assignment, and Prescott served as assistant team leader of his unit.

The 24-year-old was due to return home in September but already had signed up for another three years in the Army, his twin brother Aaron said.

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