A 20-year-old solider from Massachusetts assigned to a Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker team has been killed by an improvised bomb in Afghanistan.
Pfc. Michael R. Demarsico II of North Adams, Mass., died Thursday, the Army reported. Demarsico was killed near Panjwa’I.
He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, the Defense Department said.
He entered the Army in February 2011, trained at Fort Benning, Ga, and was assigned to Lewis-McChord in July last year. His unit deployed to Afghanistan in December. It was his first overseas assignment.
“Michael was tragically killed doing what he loved,” his aunt, Laurie Douglas, told The Berkshire Eagle of Pittsfield, Mass., Friday. “He was a hero who was deployed in Afghanistan and now is deployed in heaven.”
North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright said the soldier’s death hit the city of 13,000 hard.
“It’s a tragic day in the city,” he said.
Demarsico was a 2010 graduate of Drury High School. His awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon, NATO Medal and Combat Infantryman Badge, the Army said.
Family members and friends said Demarsico had wanted to serve in the Army since he was a grade-schooler.
“On behalf of the entire Joint Base Lewis-McChord military and civilian community, we extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Pfc. Demarsico,” the Defense Department said in a statement.