Green Beret Master Sgt. Peter McKenna Jr. of Rhode Island was killed Friday in Afghanistan when militants attacked Camp Integrity, marking the second combat death of a U.S. service member in the country this year.
According to USA Today
, the attack also killed eight Afghan contractors and wounded several other U.S. troops and contractors. Four insurgents were killed during the attack, and the NATO camp was soon re-secured.
"He was a soldier's soldier," Sen. Jack Reed, the top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, said of McKenna in a Sunday interview. Reed said he met the "extremely competent" and "wonderful man" at a Fourth of July celebration in Rhode Island.
As part of the 7th Special Forces Group, McKenna specialized in training local forces. As Reed related, he qualified for Special Forces as a communications specialist, and soon rose through the ranks.
A 17-year Army veteran, he had also served in Iraq. He was awarded the Bronze Star with V Device, Meritorious Service Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal.
According to the Daily Mail
, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo said flags across the state would fly at half-staff in McKenna's honor the day he was laid to rest.
Roughly 9,800 U.S. troops are stationed in Afghanistan, down from a peak of about 100,000 in 2010.
A total of 40 Afghan civilians were killed and 300 wounded in a series of attacks on Friday, including a suicide bombing at a police academy and a truck bomb detonation in a residential area. The U.N. declared it the most civilian casualties in a single day in the county since 2009.
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