West Chester Marine Dies In Afghanistaniban
CINCINNATI -- A U.S. Marine from Butler County was killed in Afghanistan over the weekend.
J.P. Huling, of West Chester, was killed while on foot patrol in Anwar Province and was ambushed by what appeared to be an Afghan military policeman, according to his mother, Debbie Huling.
Huling's death was originally reported by the International Security Assistance Force, which characterized it as the result of gunshot wounds inflicted by someone wearing an Afghan National Army uniform.
Huling suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and was flown by a helicopter to a hospital, where he died of his injuries.
The victim had recently graduated from explosive ordnance disposal school, and had re-enlisted in the Marine Corps two years ago. His mother found out about his death when Marines came to her door.
"I looked up and I thought, the first thought that came to my head was, 'Is there a parade in the area?,'" Debbie Huling said.
Huling said her son wasn't supposed to be in Afghanistan yet. He was due to deploy on a tour in October, but was sent early due to losses in his unit.
During a March visit, she said he told her he was "scared to death something was about to happen."
"You pray every waking moment he'll be safe, but every time you hear something on the news you worry," Debbie Huling said. "When I dropped him off at the airport, he said, 'I'll come home, Mom.' I didn't think that would be the last hug."