Long Islander, FDNY Firefighter Among 3 Marines Killed In Afghanistan Bombing

April 10, 2019 - 9:08 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Two New Yorkers were among the three Marines killed in the roadside bombing of an American convoy in Afghanistan on Monday.

Cpl. Robert A. Hendriks, 25, joined the Marines right after graduating Locust Valley High School in 2012. His mother Felicia, who has another son in the military, says Robert loved what he did and he was always willing to die for his country.

The principal at Locust Valley High School told WCBS 880's Marla Diamond said it's a huge loss for the community, especially the many ROTC students following in Hendriks' footsteps.

Meanwhile, firefighters in the Bronx hung black and purple bunting for 43-year-old Marine Christopher Slutman, who was a decorated FDNY firefighter.

Captain Steven Moore at Ladder 27 said Slutman was the type of person who wanted to go above and beyond.

"He was brave, conscientious, dependable and always rose to the occasion," Moore said.

Slutman earned a Fire Chiefs Association Memorial Medal in 2014 for crawling through flames to rescue an unconscious woman inside an apartment fire in the South Bronx.

"The decorated 15-year-veteran of the department is truly one of New York City’s Bravest – running into danger to protect and defend others, both in New York City and in combat overseas," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. 

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro called Slutman a hero who "bravely wore two uniforms and committed his life to public service both as a New York City firefighter and as a member of the United States Marine Corps."

Slutman is the fourth FDNY member to die while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan since U.S. military action started in 2003.

Slutman leaves behind a wife and three young daughters. The Sept. 11 charity Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation will announce later Wednesday that they will help the family by paying off the mortgage on their Yonkers home.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed flags on state government buildings to be flown at half-staff in honor of the fallen Marines.

"Their deaths are a tragic reminder of the bravery and sacrifice of our service members, who put their lives in harm's way to protect our values and way of life," Cuomo said.

The third Marine killed in Monday's blast has been identified as 31-year-old Sgt. Benjamin Hines from York, Pennsylvania.

The three were assigned to the 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division of the Marine Corps Reserve, based in Fort Devens, Massachusetts.

A military contractor who was believed to have been killed in Monday's attack was later found to have survived.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.