A Marine from Greenfield, Minn., has been killed in combat in Afghanistan, the Department of Defense announced Thursday.
Lance Cpl. Robert Greniger, 21, was killed July 12, while his unit was engaged in combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, based in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Greenfield is a town of about 2,500 people, 30 miles west of the Twin Cities.
His mother Teresa tells the Associated Press that her son was "very proud" to be a Marine, and switched units so he could serve in Afghanistan.
According to Robert Greniger's Facebook page, the Marine was last in Minnesota on leave over the holidays.
"Two weeks just isn't enough before Afghanistan," Greniger said in one post.
Other Facebook messages show Greniger was in training for several weeks during the winter in California and North Carolina.
Greniger posted a final message to his page July 7, just five days before he was killed. It said he was returning to "my little place I call home in Afghanistan." Family and friends followed up with Facebook messages urging him to stay safe.
Greniger is the 91st soldier with strong Minnesota ties to be killed in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He was the second Marine from Minnesota killed in in the last two weeks in Afghanistan. Sgt. Chad Frokjer, 27, of Maplewood, was killed on June 30.
Frokjer was also killed while his unit was on a combat operation in Helmand province. He was convoy commander of a mobile assault team for the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Division.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)