Winder paratrooper latest casualty in Afghanistan

A paratrooper from Winder died Saturday in Afghanistan, marking the most recent casualty in Operation Enduring Freedom.

Staff Sgt. Keith F. Rudd, 36, of the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division was found unresponsive in his room in Parvan, Afghanistan. He later died of "wounds sustained while supporting combat operations," according to a press release from the Department of Defense.

His death remains under investigation, officials said.

Rudd's most recent tour -- which began in August -- was his third, following service in Iraq in 2007 and Afghanistan from September 2009 to September 2010. He was most recently a flight medic with Company C, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade out of Fort Bragg, N.C.

His awards and decorations include: three Air Medals, four Army Commendation Medals, six Army Achievement Medals, two Army Good Conduct Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghan Campaign Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Medal, among others.

Rudd is survived by his father, Donald Rudd of Sunnyville, Calif. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

According to a database maintained by the Associated Press, Rudd's death marked the 1,656th American casualty in a decade-long war in Afghanistan. It was the 11th this month.

August marked the bloodiest month of any in the conflict with 71 American deaths, a number swelled by 30 casualties in a single helicopter crash.