REEDSPORT, Ore. (AP) -- The Defense Department says a Southern Oregon soldier has died in Afghanistan.

He is identified in a Pentagon statement as 37-year-old Army Capt. James D. Nehl, who died of small arms fire on patrol Friday in Ghazni Province.

He was from Gardiner in Douglas County and was based at Fort Riley, Kan. He was the eighth Douglas County resident killed in Afghanistan or Iraq since 2005. The Oregon Military Department lists 136 from Oregon or with strong ties to the state.

The Roseburg News-Review quotes Reedsport Mayor Keith Tymchuk, a teacher at Reedsport High where Nehl graduated in 1993. Tymchuk says he was a good student who was interested in the military.

He was a very nice young man, serious, studious and wanted to do the right thing, Tymchuck said.

Ghazni Province is in southeastern Afghanistan, along a 300-mile highway linking Afghanistan's two largest cities.

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