A Joplin soldier is killed protecting his country in Afghanistan. Joplin resident Philip Svitak has been identified as one of the latest American casualties of fighting in Afghanistan. Svitak was among several US casualties involved in Operation Anaconda, one of the fiercest battles of the afghan campaign. Svitak was one of seven Americans who died Monday as two helicopters came under fire. Svitak grew up in Fremont, Nebraska. He was married and has two children who live in Kentucky with his wife. He entered the army in August of 1994 and was assigned to the 160th Special Operation Aviation Regiment as an aircraft repairman. Svitak was also an avid biker and many friends spent the day remembering their fallen friend. Philip Svitak`s mother, Roseann Svitak of Neosho, said today that her son was determined to make a difference. She quoted him as saying "If they send me over there and anything happens to me, Im proud to die for my country." Plans have not yet been released at this time, but Svitak`s remains were taken to a German air base today where he was greeted by a military honor guard.