KABUL, Afghanistan (NEWS CENTER) -- A man from Maine was among 12 people killed Saturday, when a suicide car bomber attacked a convoy of NATO armored vehicles traveling through a neighborhood in Afghanistan's capital.
Former Knox County Sheriff Deputy and Dexter resident Corey Dodge was one of three American civilian contractors killed. He is survived by his wife, Kelli Dodge, and four children.
Kelli says her husband took her breath away. He was a father, soldier and decorated police officer who loved helping those in need.
"He was loved by everybody," Kelli said. "Corey wanted to serve to help people. He also loved his family."
Dodge started his career as a police officer in Dexter and Rockland before working as a Knox County Sheriff's Deputy. He was named Deputy of the Year in 2002.
His mother, Letha Dodge, said the family is proud of him and he died doing what he loved, serving his country.
Corey had several tours in Afghanistan -- he was just home in July with his family. Now, the Dodge's will carry Corey in their hearts, knowing he died a hero.
He along with the two other Americans worked for DynCorp International, a private military contractor based in McClean, Virginia. In a statement, the company said it extended "its thoughts and prayers to all involved and to their families and loved ones" and declined to comment further.
The U.S. Army awarded the company contracts to provide advisory, training and mentoring services to the Afghanistan Ministry of Interior and the Afghanistan Ministry of Defense in January.
In a statement the U.S. embassy condemned Saturday's bombing, saying that "our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families who suffered as a result of this attack."
"Instead of seizing an opportunity to embrace peace, insurgents have again chosen violence in an attempt to remain relevant," said Brig. Gen. Wilson Shoffner, the U.S.-led coalition's Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications. "Regardless of the target of their attacks, insurgents continue to inflict a heavy toll on innocent Afghan civilians."
A many as 66 people were wounded in the attack, said Wahidullah Mayar, a Health Ministry spokesman
"A lot of dead bodies and wounded victims were there after the explosion happened in the area," Mohammad Hussain, who was wounded in the attack, told the AP. "There were a lot of casualties."
At least one armored vehicle in the convoy was destroyed. The powerful explosion came during evening rush hour and as schools were letting out in the eastern part Kabul. The car bomb caused extensive damage to nearby buildings and cars.
On Aug. 7, a Taliban attack on a NATO military base near Kabul's international airport killed an American soldier and eight Afghan contractors. A Taliban-claimed suicide car bombing targeting a NATO convoy on June 30 on the main highway to the Kabul airport wounded two U.S. soldiers and at least 24 others while killing two Afghan civilians.
The Associated Press and USA TODAY contributed to this report.