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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 July, 2003, 15:27 GMT 16:27 UK
Profile: Toby Studabaker
Toby Studabaker
Toby Studabaker in Afghanistan

The image of Toby Studabaker broadcast across the world showed a stocky, shaven-headed US marine talking into his mobile phone.

It showed the 31-year-old on a tour of duty in Afghanistan in December 2001 - an experience he called "one of the best" he had ever had.

Mr Studabaker had joined the marines in May 2000, before being voluntarily discharged after suffering from a bad shoulder.

He was awarded the Sea Service Medal and National Defence Ribbon for his service.

Mr Studabaker grew up in Constantine, Michigan.

His family described him as a happy boy who enjoyed martial arts and American football.

Assault weapons

From 1993 to 1994, he studied at Rosedale Bible College, and evangelical junior university in Ohio, where Studabaker told fellow students he felt able to serve God better and "draw closer to Him".

He married in the mid-1990s, but his wife died of cancer last year. The couple did not have any children.

After joining the Marines, Studabaker trained in North Carolina with the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, an anti-terrorism unit, where he learnt to use shoulder-launched multi-purpose assault weapons and other high tech systems.

Following the September 11 attacks, he was posted to Afghanistan, where he helped guard Taleban and al-Qaeda suspects at Kandahar International Airport.

On the school alumni website he described Afghanistan as "one of the best experiences I have had ... defending and getting the people responsible for the deaths of thousands".




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