Special Forces soldier killed in Afghan blast identified
At least one of the four soldiers killed in Monday’s roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan was assigned to a Special Forces unit from Colorado, the soldier’s family said Wednesday.
Chad Gonsalves, 31, was killed in a mountainous area near Deh Rawod when a powerful blast struck the up-armored Humvee in which he was traveling. No rank was immediately available for Gonsalves, whose parents live in Turlock, Calif.
According to Sacramento-based KXTV news, Gonsalves’ parents, Larry and Marsha Gonsalves, remembered their son as a “brave military man who believed in his mission.” Chad Gonsalves left behind three small children, including 6-month-old twins, KXTV reported.
A memorial was scheduled for next week in Fort Bragg, N.C., his parents said. A funeral will be held in Turlock a week later.
After the blast, which hit a joint U.S.-Afghan patrol, insurgents attacked the joint forces with small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades, U.S. military officials said. Air support was called in, though no information was available about the result of the airstrikes.
The attack occurred in the restive south of Afghanistan, which was the heartland of Taliban rule.
A reputed Taliban spokesman later claimed responsibility for the attack, saying NATO forces would face similar threats.
There are currently 18,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, with about 3,000 scheduled to withdraw soon. They will be replaced in part by additional British troops, the first contingent of which arrived in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday.