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Oakley soldier dies in Afghanistan


TOPEKA — A 33-year-old soldier from Oakley died this week during operations in Afghanistan.

Sgt. 1st Class Trenton L. Rhea, originally from Oakley and a resident of Liberty, Mo., died Tuesday while deployed to Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. The Department of Defense said Rhea was attempting to cross a body of water during combat operations when he drowned.

Gov. Sam Brownback issued the following statement today on Rhea's death, a former resident of Oakley.

“On behalf of the citizens of Kansas, Lt. Governor (Jeff) Colyer and I offer our condolences to Sgt. 1st Class Rhea’s family and friends for their loss,” Brownback said. “Sgt. 1st Class Rhea will always be remembered for his service by the American people. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this dark time.”

Rhea, 33, was a member of the 603rd Military Policy Company, 530th Military Police Battalion, 300th Military Police Brigade, 200th Military Police Command, U.S. Army Reserve, Saint Joseph, Mo.