ABINGTON, Mass. (AP) -- A U.S. Marine from Abington has died in Afghanistan, the Marine’s family and a U.S. congressman say.
Sgt. Daniel Vasselian, 27, served three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, who confirmed Vasselian’s death.
The 2004 graduate of Abington High School was the second Marine from Massachusetts to lose his life in Afghanistan in the past two weeks. Lance Cpl. Matthew Rodriguez, 19, of Fairhaven, was killed in combat operations Dec. 11.
No official details were released about Vasselian’s death, but his family said he was killed in an ambush Monday, the same day that Rodriguez was buried at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne after a funeral.
"By all accounts Sgt. Vasselian was a favorite son of the Town of Abington," Lynch said in a statement.
"He is an American hero -- no doubt about that," the congressman said, adding that the news would be devastating to the small, tight-knit community about 20 miles south of Boston.
Family members remembered Vasselian as a caring person with a great sense of humor.
"He was so fun. He was hilarious. He was amazing. He just would do anything for anyone," his sister, Jeannine Vasselian, told the Enterprise of Brockton.
Mark Vasselian told WCVB-TV that he was proud of his son.
"I do know he volunteered for this mission after just coming back from a three-day mission because he didn’t want to see anybody in his platoon get hurt and this is where it ended up," the elder Vasselian said.
Vasselian was married to Erin Doyle, who also grew up in Abington, the family said.