LOGAN, Utah (AP) — A Utah Marine based in California has died while serving in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.The Department of Defense late Monday announced the death of 22-year-old Lance Cpl. Norberto Mendez-Hernandez of Logan, Utah.Mendez-Hernandez died Sunday while conducting combat operations in the Helmand province in southwest Afghanistan.He was an infantryman assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, based in Camp Pendleton, Calif.Mendez-Hernandez leaves behind a wife, a two year old son and nine month old toddler. His wife is currently in Maryland retrieving his body. Mendez-Hernandez enlisted in the Marine Corps in April 2010. This was his first combat deployment.His service awards include the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Select Marine Corps Reserve Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and Nato-ISAF Medal.There is no word yet when Hernandez’s funeral will take place.
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