Sacramento State alumnus killed in Afghanistan

Joe Fleming

Sacramento State alumnus Benjamin Palmer died while serving in the United States Marine Corps in Afghanistan on May 12 from small arms fire.

Lt. Col. Palmer, 43, was from Modesto and graduated Sac State with a bachelor’s degree in humanities. While stationed in the Helmand province of Afghanistan, Palmer’s duty was to train Afghan security personnel as a part of NATO’s International Security Assistant Force, according to reports from CNN.

It was during a lunch break when an Afghan uniformed policeman opened fire on Palmer killing him and one other ISAF member.

“While this is a serious incident, the actions of this individual do not reflect the overall actions of our Afghan partners,” Marine Corps Maj. Gen. James B. Laster told CNN.

Palmer’s mother, Linda Palmer, remembered her son in an interview with the Modesto Bee.

“He had a strong sense of duty and helping others,” Linda Palmer said. “We are going to miss him like crazy.”

In a message board for the CNN article, one commenter said that religion is the “source of all terrorism” and another questioned whether the Afghan policemen were active in trying to stop the gunman. Commenters also called for a “reform” in they way they recruit Afghan people into the security program.

In a Sacramento Bee message board for their version of the story, username Holyshiite said, “We should leave now or charge them billions for ‘OUR’ service.”