Washington soldier among 3 killed by IED in Afghanistan

Washington soldier among 3 killed by IED in Afghanistan
Army Sgt. 1st Class Eric Michael Emond (Courtesy: Department of Defense)

A soldier from Washington state has been identified as one of three servicemen who was killed in Afghanistan on Tuesday.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Eric Michael Emond, 39, of Brush Prairie was riding in a vehicle that was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Andar, Afghanistan, the Department of Defense said in a news release.

Emond died from injuries sustained in the blast along with Army Capt. Patrick Ross, 29, of Virginia and Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan Elchin, 25, of Pennsylvania.

The servicemen were supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel when they were hit.

The soldiers were assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The airman was assigned to the 26th Special Tactics Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico.

Emond had more than 21 years of military service, having served in the Marine Corps and the Army. This was his seventh overseas tour. Emond earned the Bronze Star Medal (3rd award), Purple Heart (2nd award) and much more. The Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart was awarded posthumously.

He’s survived by his wife and three children.

Gov. Inslee released a statement Wednesday afternoon regarding the death of the Army sergeant. “Trudi and I join all Washingtonians in mourning the loss of Sgt. 1st Class Eric M. Emond. We send our deep condolences to his family and friends, and thank him for his military service and his ultimate sacrifice for our country.”

Emond is the second soldier from Washington who was killed in Afghanistan in the past week.

On Saturday, Sgt. Leandro A. S. Jasso, 25, of Leavenworth was killed while fighting enemy forces in Afghanistan’s Khash Rod District.

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