Military News

JBLM Green Beret killed in bomb attack in Afghanistan

Staff Sgt. Matthew V. Thompson
Staff Sgt. Matthew V. Thompson U.S. Department of Defense

A Green Beret assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord was killed Tuesday in a roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan, the U.S. Department of Defense reported.

Staff Sgt. Matthew V. Thompson was 28 and a native of Irvine, California. He previously had deployed to Iraq.

“He was an exceptional Green Beret, a cherished teammate and devoted husband,” said Lt. Col. Kevin M. Trujillo, commander of Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan. “His service in Afghanistan and Iraq speak to his level of dedication, courage and commitment to something greater than himself.

“The Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan will honor his memory and sacrifice, and his passing is a tremendous loss to all who were blessed to know him.”

Thompson was on patrol in Helmand Province with U.S. and Afghan soldiers when an improvised explosive device detonated near them.

Thompson died and a U.S. service member and as many as six Afghan soldiers were wounded, according to the Department of Defense.

He was assigned to Company A, 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) at JBLM.

This was his first deployment to Afghanistan. He previously deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

Thompson enlisted in the Army in March 2011 as a Special Forces candidate. He reported to 1st Special Forces Group as a Special Forces medical sergeant in August 2014.

Among his other awards and medals, Thompson was posthumously awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star with V device and Purple Heart.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a statement released Tuesday, expressed regret at the loss of Thompson.

“This tragic event in Helmand Province reminds us that Afghanistan remains a dangerous place, and there is difficult work ahead even as Afghan forces continue to make progress in securing their own country,” Carter said.

Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644, @TNTAdam