Staff Sgt. Stephen Dunning, 31, an explosive ordnance disposal technician, died on Oct. 27 while conducting combat operations in Helmand Province.
Dunning was assigned to the 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force based out of Okinawa, Japan. His unit was sent to Afghanistan to support Operation Enduring Freedom.
Dunning, a 1998 graduate of Milpitas High School, was featured in a July 2010 Vanity Fair photo essay about the War in Afghanistan that juxtaposed images of locals and soldiers in the town of Marja, a Taliban stronghold.
In the photo, he displayed part of a system -- comprised of an Xbox controller, a pair of sunglasses fitted with a video display and a bomb-disposal robot -- that allows Marines to remotely disarm or explode improvised explosive devices.
Dunning joined the Marine Corps in April 1999.