Panhandle sailor dies in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Defense Department revealed Thursday that a Navy man from the Texas Panhandle has died of non-hostile causes in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon statement issued Thursday states that that 21-year-old Aviation Ordnance Airman Darren Ethan Tate of Canyon died Wednesday at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.

The statement did not give the cause of death. However, Navy spokesman Paul Taylor tells The Associated Press that Tate died of pneumonia.

The Navy says Tate had enlisted in August 2006 and was assigned to the USS Iwo Jima, a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship. Taylor says Tate became ill while deployed ashore to augment the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan.