Cpl. Travis M. Woods
September 9, 2007
21, of Redding, Calif.; assigned to 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion, Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; died Sept. 9 from wounds sustained while conducting combat operations in northern Helmand province, Afghanistan.
Camp Pendleton corporal is first fatality for local commando unit
By: MARK WALKER - Staff Writer | Thursday, September 13, 2007
CAMP PENDLETON -- A Marine from Northern California has become the first member of Camp Pendleton's recently formed Special Operations to perish in combat.
The Defense Department on Wednesday announced that Cpl. Travis M. Woods of the Redding area died during fighting in the southern Afghanistan province of Helmand.
The specific circumstances surrounding Woods' death were not disclosed by the military. It was the second overseas assignment for the 21-year-old graduate of Foothill High School after having served a previous tour in Iraq before joining the Special Operations forces, the Marine Corps said.
The Pendleton Special Ops contingent of about 120 troops has been in Afghanistan the last several months, having sailed to the Middle East along with base's 2,200-member 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit in April.
The expeditionary unit has been in Iraq's Anbar province since June and is due to ship out in the next few weeks.
The group to which Woods was assigned split off from the expeditionary unit and went to Afghanistan, where it replaced a similar unit from North Carolina, military officials have said. The unit's work in Afghanistan is its first overseas assignment.
Most of the U.S. service personnel in Afghanistan are Army troops, with a much smaller contingent of Marines now serving in the Middle Eastern nation.
The Special Operations command formed last year after the Marine Corps announced in late 2005 that it was creating its own commando group with battalions based at Pendleton and Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
A story published this week in the Redding Record Searchlight newspaper quoted Woods' mother, Stacey Woods, as having been told by her son last week last week that the unit had "a little more work to do" but that he would be home soon.
"He was an incredible young man who had a lot of family and friends who loved him," she told the newspaper.
Woods was a communications specialist whose job title was field wireman. He is survived by his parents and a younger brother and sister.
His personal awards included the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the Iraq Campaign Medal.