There has been an outpouring of generosity in the U.S. for the families of two U.S. Army paratroopers who were killed in Afghanistan last week.
As of Saturday night, online campaigns had raised about $75,000 for the families of Spc. Christopher Michael Harris and Sgt. Jonathon Michael Hunter, who were killed in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, the Fayetteville Observer in North Carolina reported.
Both Harris and Hunter had been stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, before being deployed to Afghanistan.
The paratroopers were killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) used against their convoy, Pentagon officials said. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.
A spokesman for the GoFundMe fundraising website confirmed that campaigns had been launched for the Harris and Hunter families, the Observer reported.
A campaign to benefit Harris's wife, Britt, had raised nearly $50,000 as of Saturday night. Mrs. Harris recently learned that she and her husband were expecting their first child. The Harris campaign is at gofundme.com/48091y8.
Meanwhile, two campaigns for Hunter’s family had raised more than $24,000 combined. The campaigns, to benefit Hunter’s wife, Whitney, and his father, Mark Hunter, are at gofundme.com/support-for-sgt-jonathon-hunter and gofundme.com/jonathon-hunter-funeral.
The soldiers were members of the 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, and had been deployed a little more than a month each, the Observer reported.
Harris, 25, was from Jackson Springs, North Carolina, while Hunter, 23, was from Columbus, Indiana. The two soldiers were in Afghanistan as part of the Resolute Support Mission to train and assist Afghan forces.
NATO officials in Afghanistan said four other soldiers were wounded, but their injuries were not considered life-threatening, the Observer reported.
Since the paratroopers were identified last week, social media sites have been filled with messages of support and condolences for the families.
The deaths of Hunter and Harris brought the total number of U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan this year to nine, Fox News reported.