An insurgent suicide bomber killed Staff Sgt. Orion N. Sparks, 29, in Afghanistan last week according to the Department of Defense.
Sgt. Sparks was born in Tacoma and raised for most of his life in Gig Harbor, according to The News Tribune. He wanted to return to Gig Harbor after serving his third deployment, his mother told the newspaper.
Sgt. Sparks and Sgt. Jonathon A. Gollnitz, 28, were killed when an insurgent wearing a suicide vest detonated the device near their patrol on Sept. 26 in Afghanistan’s Logar Province, said a Department of Defense release. Both were assigned to the 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team based in Schweinfurt, Germany.