What to Know
A veteran FDNYer and married father of three has died in Afghanistan, according to reports cited in a statement from the FDNY union
There was no immediate official confirmation he was one of the three Americans killed in Monday’s roadside bombing near the main U.S. base
The FDNY union identified the firefighter as Christopher Slutman, a 15-year FDNY veteran in the Bronx and a Marine
A veteran New York City firefighter and married father of three has died in Afghanistan, according to reports cited in a statement from the FDNY union and a Facebook post from a volunteer department in Maryland where he worked.
There was no official U.S. confirmation he was one of the three Americans killed in Monday’s roadside bombing near the main American base, an attack for which the Taliban has claimed responsibility. The names of those service members were being withheld until their families could be notified, in accordance with U.S. Department of Defense policy. More details are expected later Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the FDNY-Uniformed Firefighters Association said it was mourning the loss of Christopher Slutman, a 15-year FDNY veteran in the Bronx.
“Christopher was a distinguished firefighter who had a profound impact on both of his firehouses, Ladder Companies 27 and 17,” FDNY-UFA Firefighters Association President Gerard Fitzgerald said in a statement. “Together, all firefighters grieve the loss of our brother, Christopher, who dedicated his life to protecting the people of this city, and our nation.”
Slutman was honored with the Fire Chiefs Association Memorial Medal after saving a woman from a fire in July 2013. He and a colleage, Lt. Gregory Macagnone, had to crawl on the floor, past the flames, to reach the unconscious woman in a back bedroom. Slutman and Macagnone dragged the woman out of the apartment and into a public hallway, handing her over to EMS on a sixth-floor elevator so that she could be taken to a hospital, her life saved.
Mayor de Blasio said he was the one who presented Slutman the medal. Touching on the FDNY loss before an unrelated event, he called that moment “an example of the measure of this man. An American hero. A New York hero. We mourn his loss today.”
The mayor said his heart went out to Slutman’s wife and children and ordered flags across the city lowered to half-staff in his honor. Firefighters at his company in the Bronx were earlier seen lowering the flag outside their enginehouse Tuesday.
Slutman was appointed to the FDNY on Sept. 14, 2003. A Marine for eight years, he remained a sergeant in the Marine Reserves and also was a member of the Emerald Society. Slutman lived in Yonkers with his wife and daughters at the time of the 2013 blaze; his most recent residence wasn’t immediately clear.
The Kentland Volunteer Fire Department in Maryland said Slutman was a one-time member of its department, serving the citizens of Landover and Prince George’s County “valiantly.”
“During his 19-year career he rose through the ranks to become a Wagon Driver, Captain, but most of all – he was a fireman,” the Facebook post said. “Through this trying time, we will remember Chris for the father, husband, brother, son, and friend that he was, the moral character he displayed daily, and the courage and conviction to serve his fellow Americans, both at home and abroad.”
Monday’s U.S. fatalities bring to seven the number of U.S. soldiers killed so far this year in Afghanistan, underscoring the difficulties in bringing peace to the war-wrecked country even as Washington has stepped up efforts to find a way to end the 17-year war, America’s longest.
There are about 14,000 U.S. forces in Afghanistan, supporting embattled Afghan forces as they struggle on two fronts — facing a resurgent Taliban who now hold sway over almost half the country and also the Islamic State affiliate, which has sought to expand its footprint in Afghanistan even as its self-proclaimed “caliphate” has crumbled in Syria and Iraq.
Last year, 13 U.S. service members were killed in Afghanistan.
“We feel and mourn the loss of these Americans with their families and loved ones. They volunteered to protect their country. We will continue our mission,” said Gen. Scott Miller, Commanding General of Resolute Support and United States Forces – Afghanistan.
Source : Nbcnewyork