A 22-year-old southwestern Idaho man was among five soldiers killed over the weekend in a roadside bomb blast in Afghanistan.
Specialist Thomas Paige Murach of Meridian died Saturday in Maiwand in southern Afghanistan, not far from the border with Pakistan.
Military officials say Murach was among five soldiers from Fort Bliss in Texas serving in the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division who died in the attack.
Murach died alongside Spc. Kevin Cardoza of Mercedes, Texas; 1st Lieutenant Brandon James Landrum of Lawton, Okla.; Staff Sgt. Francis Gene Phillips the Fourth of Meridian, N.Y.; and Spc. Brandon Joseph Prescott of Bend, Ore.
Murach's family members issued a statement Monday after the announcement, saying they nicknamed him "Spanky" -- a moniker originally meant as a joke but one that he eventually embraced.