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      McAllen marine killed while serving overseas in Afghanistan

      A McAllen family is in mourning after their only son was killed while serving overseas in Afghanistan.

      U.S. Marines Staff Sgt. Joseph Henry Fankhauser was killed over the weekend.

      Department of Defense officials confirmed that 30-year-old Fankhauser died during Operation Enduring Freedom.

      Fankhauser died while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

      He was assigned to 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

      Fankhauser, who went by the name "Joe," served four tours of duty in Iraq and was serving his second tour in Afghanistan at the time of his death.

      Sources told Action 4 News that Fankhauser received a Purple Heart for his service overseas.

      Funeral arrangements for the fallen Marine are pending.

      Action 4 News has learned that Fankhauser's wife lives in California, his mother lives in Temple and his father lives in McAllen.

      Fankhauser's mother Mary Wyscarver said her son lived most of his childhood in Kingsville and San Marcos but graduated from high school in Mason.

      Family and friends are leaving their condolences, pictures and memories of Fankhauser on a special Facebook memorial page.

      Fankhauser is the 44th Rio Grande Valley servicemember to be killed overseas.

      Press Release

      MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - The United States Marine Corps mourns the loss of one of its own.

      Staff Sgt. Joseph H. Fankhauser, 30, of McAllen, Texas, died April 22, in support of combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He was an explosive ordinance disposal technician assigned to 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group. Fankhauser enlisted in the Marine Corps June 19, 2000. This was his fifth combat deployment. He deployed to Iraq in 2004, 2006 and 2007 and to Afghanistan in 2011.

      His awards include the Purple Heart (second award), Combat Action Ribbon (second award), Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (seventh award), Afghanistan Campaign Medal (second award), Iraq Campaign Medal (third award), Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal (third award), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Navy Unit Commendation (second award), Presidential Unit Citation-Navy, NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan.

      The Marines and sailors of 1st Marine Logistics Group mourn the loss of Staff Sgt. Fankhauser. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family.