ATLANTA (AP) – A Georgia soldier who was based in Colorado has died of combat injuries in Afghanistan, military officials said.

The U.S. Department of Defense said in a statement Sunday that 28-year-old Staff Sgt. Joshua J. Bowden died Aug. 31.

Bowden, who was from the west Georgia town of Villa Rica, died of injuries after enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire while on dismounted patrol in Ghazni, Afghanistan, authorities said.

He was assigned to the 242nd Ordnance Battalion (EOD), 71st Ordnance Group (EOD), at Fort Carson, Colo.

Bowden joined the Army in late 2005 and was on his second deployment, The Gazette of Colorado Springs reported. He previously deployed to Afghanistan from 2008-2009.

Friends remembered him as a talented athlete.

Bowden’s former karate instructor, Samantha Hostettler, recalled Bowden as a smart student who earned his black belt at a young age who was protective of his sister.

“You know boys – sometimes they’re not openly loving with their family,” Hostettler, owner of Champion Karate and Fitness in Douglasville, Ga., told the Colorado newspaper. “But he just loved his sister. He took care of her.”

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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