Afghan fighting kills 3d Mainer in last month

Associated Press / December 1, 2010

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AUGUSTA, Maine — For the third time in November, a Mainer has died while on duty in Afghanistan, officials said yesterday.

US Army Private Buddy McLain, 24, of Mexico was killed by enemy fire Monday, the governor’s office said. McLain was a scout with the 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.

McLain’s wife and son live in Peru, and his parents live in Mexico, said David Farmer, spokesman for Governor John Baldacci.

“Private McLain died serving his country,’’ Baldacci said in a statement. “He has earned the lasting gratitude of his state and nation. We will honor him for the hero that he is. During this tragic time, we all should keep his family and friends in our prayers.’’

One of three brothers, McLain graduated from Mountain Valley High School in Rumford, school officials said.

When McLain entered high school, he did not like to read, said Bob Fulton, a special education teacher at Mountain Valley. By the time he graduated in 2006, McLain was a good student who was proud of his reading abilities and liked to read out loud in class, Fulton said.

After McLain joined the Army, he would visit the high school in uniform, carry himself with confidence, and look people in the eye, Fulton said.

Two other Mainers died in Afghanistan this month. Another soldier from the 101st, Specialist Andrew Hutchins, 20, died Nov. 8 in Khost Province. US Marine First Lieutenant James R. Zimmerman, was killed Nov. 2 in Helmand Province.