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Two Marines based at Camp Lejeune killed in Afghanistan

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CAMP LEJEUNE (AP) -- Two Marines based at Camp Lejeune have died while fighting in Afghanistan. The II Marine Expeditionary Force identified the men Friday as 35-year-old first Sgt. Luke J. Mercardante of Athens, Ga., and 24-year-old Cpl. Kyle W. Wilks of Rogers, Ark. Both men died Tuesday during combat operations in Kandahar Province. Details weren't released. Mercardante joined the Marine Corps in 1992. He was trained as a military policeman and joined Combat Logistics Battalion 24 last April. His decorations include five Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals. Wilks also trained as a military policeman after joining the Marines in 2004. He joined the Combat Logistics Battalion 24 in April 2005. His decorations include the Good Conduct Medal. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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