WARWICK, N.Y. - A Marine from Parker, Colorado was killed in Afghanistan by a soldier he was training, according to the brother of another marine killed in the same attack.
Phillip Christian told local media that his brother Staff Sgt. Eric Christian, of Wariwck, NY, and Cpl. David Sonka, of Parker, were training Afghan soldiers when one of them turned on the Americans and shot them during a patrol.
The Pentagon has confirmed that Christian, 32, and Sonka, 23, were killed Saturday during combat operations. They were members of a Marine Corps Special Operations Battalion based at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Sonka’s military working dog, Flex, was also killed.
Marine officials declined to say how Christian and Sonka died, but the International Security Assistance Force said Saturday that two service members were killed when an Afghan Army soldier turned his weapon against them, according to the Marine Corps Times. The incident remains under investigation, Marine officials said.
Sonka was a multi-purpose canine handler. He joined the Corps in August 2008, and moved into the Special Operations Command last year. He attended Military Police School in Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo. Upon graduation he attended the Military Working Dog Handler Basic Course in Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.
Sonka's personal decorations include a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal and a Combat Action Ribbon.