The Green Beret killed Friday in Afghanistan was a Rhode Island native who was being remembered Sunday as a “true patriot.”
Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) offered condolences to the family and friends of Master Sgt. Peter Andrew McKenna who died when the Taliban attacked the U.S. military’s Special Forces base near Kabul International Airport. Two other American soldiers were wounded.
“I join all Rhode Islanders in mourning the loss of Sgt. McKenna, a truly great citizen, soldier, person and patriot,” Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) said on Twitter late Saturday.
The Defense Department said Sunday McKenna had been assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
He died of "wounds when he was attacked by enemy small arms fire," the department said.
McKenna was part of a team of U.S. Special Forces based in Kabul. In 1998, he graduated from Mt. Hope High School in his hometown of Bristol.
Reed also released a statement in which he said that he had been privileged to meet the soldier and his family just recently.
“Sgt. McKenna was an extraordinary young man with a big heart and a dedicated, distinguished soldier,” he said. “We are forever indebted to Sgt. McKenna for his service and sacrifice.”
The senator added that McKenna’s service to his country will not be forgotten.
Governor Gina Raimondo announced the state flag would be lowered on Tuesday in honor of McKenna, WPRI-TV reported. The flag will stay at half staff until he is laid to rest.
Raimondo said McKenna served the country "with distinction" and that all Rhode Islanders were grateful for his service.
“We have lost a patriot and a hero,” she said.
McKenna had just returned to Afghanistan after a trip home, Bristol-Warren Patch reported.
On the Fourth of July he attended the nation’s longest running Independence Day parade in his hometown. Reed and other elected officials honored McKenna for traveling the furthest to attend the parade.
He was given a flag a flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol. Reed posted on Twitter a photo of him giving the flag to McKenna at the parade.
McKenna had served numerous tours in Afghanistan, the news outlet said.
The Taliban attack on the Green Beret’s Camp Integrity headquarters hours was part of a deadly wave of violence Friday that included the bombings of a police academy and a residential neighborhood. Dozens were killed.
"A coalition facility (Camp Integrity) was attacked at 10:15pm, 7 Aug.," Army Col. Brian Tribus, a spokesman for U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan, said in a statement to Fox News. "One Resolute Support service member, eight Resolute Support contracted Afghan civilians, and four insurgent attackers were killed."
He said several other Resolute Support service members and contracted civilians were wounded or injured in the attack.
"All Resolute Support personnel have been accounted for and the camp has been secured," Tribus said.