A Green Beret was killed on Friday during an attack in Afghanistan by the Taliban.
First Sgt. Peter Andrew McKenna had just returned to Afghanistan after a trip home to Bristol, Rhode Island, where he was honored at the historic Fourth of July parade by his community, according to the Daily Mail. Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, along with Rep. Raymond Gallison, met McKenna at the parade and presented him with a flag that flew over the United States Capitol.
According to the Army Times, McKenna was a 17-year Army Veteran who had also served in Iraq and had received the Bronze Star with V device for heroism in combat operations. He was also the recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal.
The 7th Special Forces Group, to which he was assigned, said the Green Beret was killed on Friday in Kabul during an attack on a NATO facility after he was struck by enemy small arms fire.
Sen. Jack Reed announced McKenna’s death on Saturday on Twitter. He also shared a photo from the historic parade as he presented McKenna with the flag.
I join all RIers in mourning the loss of Sgt. Andrew McKenna, a truly great citizen, soldier, person & patriot. pic.twitter.com/xkB9Vz8Owk
— Senator Jack Reed (@SenJackReed) August 9, 2015
“I join all Rhode Islanders in mourning the loss of Andrew McKenna. I’ve had the privilege of meeting Andrew and his family. Sgt. McKenna was an extraordinary young man with a big heart and a dedicated, distinguished soldier,” Reed said in a statement, according to the Bristol-Warren Patch.
“We are forever indebted to Sgt. McKenna for his service and sacrifice. America has lost a true patriot and I offer my deepest condolences to his family, friends, and fellow soldiers. Andrew’s life was cut short, but his service will not be forgotten.”
Gov. Gina Raimondo ordered all flags to be lowered to half-staff beginning Tuesday through his funeral services.
“All Rhode Islanders are grateful for his service, and our prayers are with his family and loved ones,” she said.
McKenna, 35, was a graduate of Mt. Hope High School, and had served numerous tours in Afghanistan. He earned a bachelor’s degree in strategic studies from Norwich University in 2014. He is survived by his parents, Peter and Carol McKenna, of Bristol.
[Photo via Twitter / Sen. Jack Reed]