COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Americans shouldn't forget that "we are a nation at war," said the brother of one of three Ohio soldiers killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan.
One of the victims, Capt. Nicholas Rozanski, of Dublin, "loved being in the National Guard," his brother, Alex Rozanski, told WBNS-TV on Friday. "He loved being a soldier. He loved being a leader of soldiers."
Rozanski was among three members of the same Columbus-based National Guard unit killed in the Wednesday attack in Maimanah, the capital of Faryab province, the Defense Department said. Also killed were Sgt. 1st Class Shawn Hannon of Grove City and Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Rieck of Columbus. Four others were wounded.
Americans going on with their day-to-day lives shouldn't forget the troops, Alex Rozanski said.
"We are a nation at war, and men are dying on a regular basis over there," he said. "And people need to remember that."
The attack, by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle, killed at least 13 people Wednesday at a park in a relatively peaceful area of northern Afghanistan. It was part of an increase in violence at the start of the spring fighting season.
The Taliban has claimed responsibility. The bomber's target was unclear.
The men killed were from the Guard's 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, according to the Ohio Adjutant General's Department. Wounded were 1st Lt. Christopher Rosebrock of Hicksville; Spc. Austin Weigle of Bryan; Cpl. Everett Haworth of Olmsted Township in Cuyahoga County; and Pvt. 1st Class Jacob Williams of Somerville.
Everett R. Haworth, the father of Everett Halworth, said his son has a broken leg and shrapnel wounds to his shoulder from the explosion. He said the injuries are not life-threatening and he's expected to recover. He said his son will be taken to the U.S. for surgery.
"He's in good spirits," Everett R. Halworth said. "The prognosis is good. But the healing process will be long."
His son has a wife and 6-month-old daughter, he said.
Rozanski's wife, Jennifer, told The Columbus Dispatch that a family military history compelled him to join the Guard in 2003. He had deployed to Kosovo in 2004 and to Iraq in 2008.
"He did what he needed to do and what he signed up to do," she told WCMH-TV. "I want him to be remembered as a hero and that he was a great leader in the National Guard and he cared about his soldiers," she said.
A father of two girls, he worked for the Defense Logistics Agency at Defense Supply Center Columbus.
Hannon's family said he felt it was a privilege to serve his country and was proud to be a soldier, a job he did for nearly 20 years while also working as a lawyer.
Hannon, chief legal counsel for the Ohio Department of Veterans Affairs, joined the state agency last year after working for a Columbus law firm. Survivors include his wife and their 9-month-old son.
Hannon was a graduate of Capital University law school in Columbus and had been a lawyer for six years.
Rieck, the father of a 15-year-old son, had served in the Army and was in Iraq for longer than a year before heading to Afghanistan. He worked full time in the Guard's Family Readiness office.
Friend Nicole Kraft, an Ohio State University journalism professor, said Rieck was "one of those people who really believed in what he was doing."
"He was all about being an American and doing his part," she told The Dispatch. "He really felt it was a role for which he was — perhaps it's too strong a word — destined."