By Debbie Gregory.
The Department of Defense has identified Staff Sgt. Matthew V. Thompson, a Green Beret from Orange County, CA as the U.S. service member killed last week while advising Afghan forces on patrol in southern Afghanistan.
Additionally, six Afghan soldiers and another American were wounded after their vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb while they were on patrol near the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah.
Staff Sgt. Thompson, 28, was conducting dismounted operations when the improvised explosive device (IED) detonated. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA.
This was his first deployment to Afghanistan, but had previously served in Iraq supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.
“He was an exceptional Green Beret, a cherished teammate, and devoted husband,” Lt. Col. Kevin M. Trujillo, commander of special operations task force in Afghanistan, said in a statement. “His service in Afghanistan and Iraq speak to his level of dedication, courage, and commitment to something greater than himself.”
Thompson enlisted in March 2011 as a special forces candidate and reported to 1st Special Forces Group as a medical sergeant in August 2014.
His extensive list of awards and declarations, according to the U.S. Army, include: the Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (numeral 2), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Basic Parachutist Badge and Special Forces Tab. He received the Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star Medal with V device, and he was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart.
Our thoughts are with Thompson’s family and loved ones during this difficult time. We offer out gratitude for this brave soldier’s service and sacrifice.