The Defense Department today announced that a seventh Washington-based service member was killed in Afghanistan in May, the most in a single month since July 2010.
Staff Sgt. Alexander Povilaitis, 47, was killed Thursday in Kandahar Province when an improvised explosive device struck his vehicle.
He served with Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s 14th Engineer Battalion of the 555th Engineer Brigade. Soldiers in that battalion tend to drive heavy and well-protected vehicles that are used to clear roads of buried bombs.
Povilaitis served in the Army from 1984 to 1987 as a radio operator. He rejoined the service as a reservist in March 2008, and returned to active-duty in September of that year.
This was his first deployment to Afghanistan. He served in Iraq from November 2009 to July 2010. He joined his unit at Lewis-McChord in June 2011. That battalion deployed in July 2011.
Povilaitis was a decorated soldier from Dawsonville, Ga. who had received a Bronze Star medal.
Five other Lewis-McChord soldiers were killed in Afghanistan in May, as well as one Bremerton-based Navy K-9 handler.