KABUL, Afghanistan (WPRI) — As Rhode Islanders prepare to say goodbye to a fallen soldier, the men and woman who served beside him paid their respects overseas.
First Sgt. Peter Andrew McKenna, of Bristol, was killed August 7th in Kabul, Afghanistan during an attack at Camp Integrity.
Over the weekend, servicemen and women in Afghanistan held a memorial for McKenna – saying goodbye to their fallen comrade.
“I hope they will find some comfort in knowing that Drew was never alone. In time, I hope that Drew’s parents and Rebecca may find comfort in the thought that Drew died in the service of his country,” said Brig. Gen. Sean Swindell, Commander of the Special Ops Joint Task Force. “And our gratitude as a Nation is deep and lasting.”
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For the first time, an account was given of how the 35-year-old Green Beret directed a quick reaction force that day. According to Brig. Gen. Swindell, McKenna confronted terror head-on as it tried to penetrate the base.
“Throughout this entire engagement, First Sgt. McKenna led from the front and inspired others with his heroic actions,” said Brig. Gen. Swindell. “The gallant actions of First Sgt. McKenna rallied personnel to ultimately seize control of the breached gates and deny any further entry to our compound.”
The general turned silent then, remembering a man who was once under his command – a man who believed in the mission so deeply and dutifully.
“When this fast and most cruel of wars is over, and we establish a more generous world than this, perhaps we can all take some comfort in the thought that he is one of those men who made this world possible,” Gen. Swindell said.
Sgt. McKenna will be laid to rest Monday following a funeral mass at 11 a.m. at St. Mary of the Bay Church on Main Street in Warren.