SAN JOSE (CBS/BCN) — A 19-year-old Marine from San Jose was killed during a tour of service in Afghanistan on Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Defense announced Thursday.

Lance Cpl. Arden Joseph A. Buenagua – known more familiarly to friends and family as Arden – died while conducting combat operations in the country’s Helmand province.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

Buenagua belonged to the 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force based out of Camp Pendleton in Southern California.

In the days leading up to his late September deployment, Buenagua used his iPhone to post frequent updates to his Facebook page, including his last post from Sept. 30 announcing his arrival in Afghanistan.

Days before, on Sept. 24, Buenagua wrote of insomnia spurred by excitement for his first tour of duty and trip out of the country, writing, “can’t wait to get a (peek) at the rest of the world!”

Buenagua’s mother, Marivic Ayuson Trinidad, lavished constant support on her son’s page and responded to his last post, praying for his safety and encouraging him to do the same.

“Pray, pray, and pray always,” she wrote on his page on Sept. 30, adding “we’re praying for ur SAFETY.”

According to networks Buenagua listed on his page, he graduated from Piedmont Hills High in 2009 and also attended Independence High School.

Former classmates, like Alex Rivera, remembered Buenagua for his laid-back personality and ambition.

“I met this dude my (sophomore) year in world history,” Rivera posted on his own Facebook page Wednesday night. “He was a chilled laid back kinda guy but really smart with great ambition.”

Casting a somber shadow over the Thanksgiving holiday, others such as Laura Choo publicly expressed their shock and made their fondness for Buenagua known on the Web.

“Arden Joseph Buenagua, it’s still unreal to me & everyone else,” Choo posted on Thursday. “thanks for the memories, love you. Rest In Paradise.”

(© CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)

Comments (9)
  1. Patti says:

    prayers are with his family.

  2. An American says:

    Your son is a hero. May you find God’s comfort and help. Our country is indebted to you and yours.
    An American

  3. Pam says:

    My heart is breaking over your loss and no words will lessen the hurt you and your family feel. Just know that there are so many people grateful for your son’s sacrifice and, in turn yours, for our freedoms. May God bless you and yours in this time of loss.

  4. Jhustin says:

    may he rest in peace. prayers and condolences goes out to his family. Such a horrible tragedy on thanksgiving day.

  5. Teresa says:

    My heart goes out to my coworker V who lost her precious son Arden. We were just talking about him on Tuesday. Words can not express what she is going thru..Young man starting life and gone way to soon..

  6. Patsy says:

    I have yet to find words that can ease even the tiniest bit what you are enduring…please accept the thanks and appreciation from my family. God Bless you all.

  7. Lavern says:

    May the Great Spirit Keep YOU ALL in His Love and Care.

  8. Connie & David Dionisio says:

    His Grandparents and Mom will miss Arden very much, but Arden have been baptized in our church, the Fil-Am Baptist Church by the late Pastor Esmalla..I know for sure that Arden now is among those who accepted Jesus as his Savior and Lord. We are all sadden by his passing away, but gladden by the fact that we know Arden now is in His Presence and what an awesome reward for a brave Marine.

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