NEW PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – The Department of Defense says a 21-year-old Marine from western Maine has been killed in Afghanistan.

Officials say Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard of New Portland died Friday while supporting combat operations in Afghanistan’s Helmand province. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, based out of Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay.

Thousands of U.S. Marines are trying to secure parts of the Taliban stronghold in their largest-ever operation in Afghanistan.

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