By Lynn R. Mitchell
A Taliban suicide/homicide bomber detonated a bomb outside an American military base in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Tuesday, killing two Americans and a Polish soldier. The attack took place near the American Embassy during rush hour.
American Paratrooper Major Michael J. Donahue, 41, of Ohio, and Stephen Byus, 39, of Ohio were killed (see Fort Bragg soldier killed in suicide bomber attack):
Donahue was one of two Americans killed when a Taliban attacker detonated his car bomb next to an international military convoy. A Polish soldier was also killed and five troops were wounded.
The explosion occurred off a busy road that runs from the U.S. Embassy to the airport, near the country’s supreme court.
The three military deaths — and a fourth in the country’s east — brought the total number of international troops killed in Afghanistan this year to 59, at least 42 of whom were American.
Byus was from Reynoldsburg, Ohio, and a member of the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime in Columbus, Ohio, working as a supply specialist, and assigned to the Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan while deployed.
Fort Bragg put out the following press release in announcing Major Donahue’s death:
An XVIII Airborne Corps Paratrooper was killed in action in Afghanistan Tuesday.
Maj. Michael J. Donahue, a 41-year-old Paratrooper from Columbus, Ohio, was an operations support officer with C Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, XVIII Airborne Corps.
“The Dragon Family has suffered a great loss today, and we would like to express our deepest condolences to the Donahue Family. Maj. Michael Donahue was an exceptional officer and a huge part of our team and our family,” said Lt. Col. Gabriel Barton, Donahue’s battalion commander. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time. We will never forget him.”
Donahue enlisted in the Army in February 1996 and commissioned through Officer Candidate School in April 2000. Following a series of assignments, he arrived at Fort Bragg, N.C., in July 2012, and was assigned to C Co., HHBn, XVIII Airborne Corps. Donahue served three combat tours of duty.
Donahue’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Purple Heart, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Army Good Conduct Medal sixth award, the National Defense Service Medal second award, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two Campaign Stars, Iraqi Campaign Medal with one Campaign Star, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon fourth award and the NATO ISAF Medal. His qualifications include the Combat Action Badge and the Senior Parachutist Badge.
He is survived by his wife, Sherri and children, Victoria, Seamus and Bailey. The family has asked for the media to respect their privacy as they cope with the tragic loss of their husband, father and son.
Our prayers go to the families with eternal gratitude for their ultimate sacrifices to our nation.