Tyler Owen Griffin, a 19-year-old Marine lance corporal from
, was recently killed in
Voluntown First Selectman Ronald Millovitsch said he spoke to Griffin's stepfather, who confirmed that his stepson had been killed. The stepfather told Millovitsch the only thing keeping Griffin's mother going is that her son was pursuing his dream.
"The son had always wanted to be a Marine, and he got to be a Marine," Millovitsch said.
After the death was confirmed, Millovitsch said, he lowered the four public flags in the town of 2,600 to half-staff. "This town will go out of its way to help any way we can," he said.
• Two Facebook pages have been created to memorialize Griffin. To view them click
ordered U.S. and state flags flown at half-staff until Griffin's burial.
Griffin was killed by an improvised explosive device, according to a report in the
Lindsey Grenier, 20, went to school with Griffin from kindergarten at Voluntown Elementary School to Griswold High School, where Griffin played football.
"Tyler was an all around good person," Grenier said. "He worked hard at everything he did and all he wanted to do was serve his country. He talked endlessly about it."
Millovitsch said the family had gone to Dover Air Force base in
, but was expected back in the state by today. Details about the funeral were not available, but Millovitsch said he was told it would be held in town.
Nine soldiers from
or with state ties have died in Afghanistan since 2001. The others are:
•Air Force Technical Sgt. John Chapman, 36, a native of
, died March 4, 2002. Chapman was assigned to the 24th Special Tactics Squadron.
•Army Sgt. Maj. Phillip R. Albert, 41, of the
, died Nov. 23, 2003. Albert was in the 2nd Battalion of the 87th Infantry Regiment.
•Army Sgt. Benjamin L. Gilman, 28, of
, died Jan. 29, 2004. Gilman was assigned to the 41st Engineer Battalion, 10th Mountain Division.
•Army Lt. Col. Michael J. McMahon, 41, who grew up in
, died Nov. 27, 2004. McMahon was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division.
•Army Maj. Stephen Reich, 34, of
, died June 28, 2005. Reich was a company commander of the 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.
•Staff Sgt. Joseph E. Phaneuf II, 38, of
, died Dec. 15, 2006. Phaneuf was in
National Guard and was assigned to the 1st Battalion of the 102nd Infantry Regiment, which will send 600 troops to Afghanistan in early 2010.
•Army Capt. Benjamin A. Sklaver, 32, of
, died Oct. 2, 2009. Sklaver was assigned to the 422nd Civil Affairs Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division.
•Cpl. Xhacob LaTorre, 20, of