05/12/11 — Injured airman identified

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Injured airman identified

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on May 12, 2011 1:10 PM

The 4th Fighter Wing Security Forces airman who was injured earlier this week in Afghanistan has been identified by the Air Force.

Staff Sgt. Ben Seekell is currently being treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for injuries sustained when he and his military working dog, Charlie, came into contact with an anti-personell mine in Afghanistan.

The airman, who began a six-month tour in March as part of a four-man team, was performing a patrol outside the Bagram Airfield wire when the incident occurred.

Since the blast, Seekell has undergone numerous surgeries and has been awarded the Purple Heart.

Charlie, officials said, is healing at Bagram and is not expected to require any major surgery.

The airman's squadron commander, Maj. Jim Alves, pledged moments ago to stand behind his comrade.

"Staff Sgt. Seekell is a warrior and an airman to his core," he said. "We are committed to supporting this injured defender, his wife, Megan, and their entire family in any way we can throughout his recovery."

For additional details -- including commentary from 4th Commander Col. Patrick Doherty, see Friday's News-Argus.