PLAINWELL, Mich. (WOOD) - A soldier from Plainwell died Sunday, five weeks after his unit was hit with an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.
Sgt. Mark Schoonhoven, 38, died Jan. 20 at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in Texas, according to a Department of Defense release.
He was wounded Dec. 15, 2012, after his unit was attacked by enemy forces with an IED in Kabul, Afghanistan.
He leaves behind six children.
Schoonhoven served as a motor transport operator with the 32nd Transportation Company, 43rd Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division out of Fort Carson, Colo. starting in February 2011.
He joined the Army in January 2006 and was only about a month into his third tour of duty in Afghanistan at the time of the attack, according to a Fort Carson Garrison spokesperson. His first tour was from January 2007 to March 2008 and his second tour was from April 2009 to June 2010. He arrived in Afghanistan for the final time in November 2012.
Schoonhoven was twice awarded with the Army Commendation Medal and the Army Good Conduct Medal.
The Army Commendation Medal is awarded to service people who distinguish themselves by "heroism, meritorious achievement or meritorious service," according to the US Army. "The act justifying the award may entail aerial flight, and it may be made for made for noncombatant-related acts of heroism."
He earned the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon and the Combat Action Badge, which is awarded to members of units stationed close to offensive combat operations and who have personally and actively engaged the enemy.
He also earned a Parachutist Badge, meaning he completed the Airborne School of the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Ga.
He also received the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one Campaign Star, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon and the NATO Medal.
Schoonhoven is the first solider from Michigan to die in 2013. 15 Michigan servicemen were killed in 2012. Eight had ties to West Michigan.
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