Friends and family members watch the casket of Staff Sgt. Vernon Martin being loaded into a hearse outside St. John's Baptist Church after his funeral service on October 19, 2009 in Savannah, Georgia. Martin, 25, of Savannah was one of eight U.S. soldiers killed Oct. 3 during a fierce battle at Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan.(Photo by Stephen Morton/Getty Images)

Staff Sgt. Vernon Martin died Oct. 3. (Stephen Morton/Getty Images)

By Mark Memmott

Eight more American service personnel were killed in Afghanistan yesterday, the U.S. military says. According to the Associated Press, that brings the number of such deaths this month to 55 -- making October the deadliest month for U.S. forces since they entered Afghanistan eight years ago. Previously, the worst month had been this past August, when 51 U.S. service personnel were killed in Afghanistan.

On Morning Edition, NPR's Bruce Auster kicked off the first in a series of reports about efforts to defeat the toughest weapon being used against U.S. forces in Afghanistan -- improvised explosive devices:

categories: Afghanistan

10:44 - October 27, 2009