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UPDATE: Milpitas Marine Awarded Purple Heart, Was Killed Disarming Bomb

Marine Staff Sgt. Stephen J. Dunning, 31, of Milpitas, has received a posthumous Purple Heart. Dunning is a graduate of Milpitas HIgh School.

Marine Staff Sgt. Stephen J. Dunning, 31, of Milpitas, was killed Thursday in Afghanistan.

The U.S. Department of Defense said Dunning was an explosive ordinance disposal technician, and was killed while attempting to disarm an explosive device in the Helmand province when he was killed.

Dunning has been awarded a posthumous Purple Heart.

During his career, he also collected many other service awards, including the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, Good Conduct Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, and the NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan. He also received two letters of appreciation and a certificate of commendation, individual award.

Dunning joined the Marine Corps on April 19, 1999. At the time of his death, he was assigned to the 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, which is normally based in Okinawa, Japan, where he had been serving since June of 2009. His unit was recently sent to Afghanistan to support Operation Enduring Freedom.

Dunning was a graduate of Milpitas High School.

Patch will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.

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