Former Owensville resident Army Spc. Joseph Bauer was killed in Afghanistan Saturday, July 24, according to a Department of Defense press release.
The 27-year-old was performing his duties of securing military routes and clearing the routes of hazards when the vehicle he was traveling in was struck by an improvised explosive device in Qalat, Afghanistan. Three other soldiers were killed in the same blast.
Also killed were Staff Sgt. Conrad A. Mora, 24, of San Diego, Calif., Sgt. Daniel Lim, 23, of Cypress, Calif., and Pfc. Andrew L. Hand, 25, of Enterprise, Ala.
A press release from Lewis-McChord also reported that Bauer earned an Associate Degree from the University of Cincinnati.
During his service he earned the Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, and Combat Action Badge.
The news of Bauer's death has rocked the Owensville community where he grew up. Several floats in the Clermont County Fair Parade expressed condolences for the family. Many of his family members attended St. Louis Catholic Church in Owensville. Head pastor Reverend Jerry Hilland said his parish is grief stricken.
"It affects our whole community," Hilland said. "A soldier's death is not just a personal tragedy, it affects everybody."
The Owensville community also suffered a similar tragedy when St. Louis member Lance Corporal Nicholas Erdy was killed by an IED in Iraq in 2005. The Marine was memorialized this spring when a stretch of U.S. 50 east of Owensville was renamed in his honor.
Bauer was a private person and the Clermont Communications Office announced that his will requested that no photos of Bauer be released.