US soldier killed in Afghanistan remembered as ‘beloved hero’

(WASHINGTON) — A U.S. service member was killed in Afghanistan on Saturday.

The announcement was made in a statement by NATO’s Operation Resolute Support, but offered no further details about how the service member was killed.

“In accordance with U.S. Department of Defense policy, the name of the service member killed in action is being withheld until 24 hours after notification of next of kin is complete,” officials said in a statement.

On Sunday morning, the U.S. Army identified the service member as a decorated Green Beret.

Sgt. Maj. James G. “Ryan” Sartor, 40, was from Teague, Texas. He joined the Army in June 2001 and was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division, the Army said in a statement.

He had been deployed to Iraq several times in recent years; he was deployed to Afghanistan, too, in 2017 and this year.

“We’re incredibly saddened to learn of Sgt. Maj. James “Ryan” Sartor’s passing in Afghanistan. Ryan was a beloved warrior who epitomized the quiet professional,” said commander of 10th SFG (A), Col. Brian R. Rauen. “He led his Soldiers from the front and his presence will be terribly missed.”

He earned several awards and decorations, and will be posthumously awarded with a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star medal, the Army said.

Sartor’s death was the first by a service member in Afghanistan this month.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it used an improvised explosive device, or IED, to target a U.S. vehicle in the Sayedabad District, a city in the Wardak Province.

The most recent service member death in Afghanistan was on June 30, which came during a non-combat incident. He was identified as 31-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Elliott Robbins of Ogden, Utah.

Two U.S. service member were killed on June 26 when attacked by the Taliban under small arms fire in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan, the Pentagon said. They were identified as Master Sgt. Micheal B. Riley, 32, from Heilbronn, Germany, and Sgt. James G. Johnston, 24, from Trumansburg, New York.

The death on Saturday was the 10th U.S. service member to die under hostile fire and the 12th overall this year.

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