US soldier who was killed on Monday in Afghanistan was finally identified by the Pentagon on Wednesday.
Hansen Bradee Kirkpatrick
19-year old Pfc. Hansen Bradee Kirkpatrick from Wasilla, Alaska was named by the Pentagon as a fallen soldier who died supporting Operation Freedom Sentinel.
The Defense Department said that the young man died from wounds he received during an “indirect fire attack” in the Helmand Province in Afghanistan. This means he was injured during an attack that involved shells launched from a mortar.
A spokesman for the US forces in Afghanistan, Captain Bill Selvin, told press that Kirkpatrick was inside a building when the Taliban mortar round struck the roof and exploded.
Two Taliban militants were killed by US soldiers who returned fire after the mortar attack. Several militants were also injured, as well as two US soldiers. The soldiers are being treated at a coalition medical facility.
“PFC Hansen Kirkpatrick served honorably as a mortar-man in 1-36 Infantry, the Spartans,” Maj. James C. Bithorn, executive officer of the Striker Brigade Combat Team, said. “He was a caring, disciplined, and intelligent young Soldier who daily lived the Spartan motto of ‘Deeds Not Words.'”
The Pentagon are investigating the incident and have notified Kirkpatrick’s family.
“At a time when we remember the patriots who founded our nation in freedom, we are saddened by the loss of one of our comrades who was here protecting our freedom at home,” General John Nicholson, Commander of the U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, said. “We will keep his family in our thoughts and prayers as we reflect on the sacrifice he and others have made to secure our freedoms and help make Afghanistan a better place.”
According to the Department of Defense, 40 Americans have been killed in Operation Freedom Sentinel as of July 3 2017. Pentagon intends to announce that they’ll be sending in several thousand more troops to push back Taliban, a similar effort against ISIS.
At the end of the Obama’s administration, almost 1,500 US troops were pulled out from Afghanistan, however this addition, US officials say between 3,000 to 5,000 troops will be sent out there.