First Sgt. P. Andrew McKenna was killed by a suicide bomber near the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on Friday evening, according to U.S Senator Jack Reed.
First Sgt. McKenna, a 1998 graduate of Mt. Hope High School and Bristol resident, was a member of the U.S. Special Forces.
“I join all Rhode Islanders in mourning the loss of Andrew McKenna,” Senator Reed said in a statement sent to the media. “I’ve had the privilege of meeting Andrew and his family. Sgt. McKenna was an extraordinary young man with a big heart and a dedicated, distinguished soldier. We are forever indebted to Sgt. McKenna for his service and sacrifice. America has lost a true patriot and I offer my deepest condolences to his family, friends, and fellow soldiers. Andrew’s life was cut short, but his service will not be forgotten.”
McKenna entered the Army July 24, 1998 as an infantryman. Upon completion of the Special Forces Qualification Course in 2002, McKenna was assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group as communications sergeant in May of 2003.
His military awards and decorations include:
the Bronze Star Medal with V device
the Meritorious Service Medal
the Army Commendation Medal
the Army Achievement Medal
the Army Good Conduct Medal
the National Defense Service Medal
the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
the Afghanistan Campaign Medal
the Iraq Campaign Medal
the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
the Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon
the Army Service Ribbon
the Overseas Service Ribbon
the NATO medal
the Combat Infantryman Badge
the Master Free Fall Parachutist Badge
the Master Parachutist Badge
the Air Assault Badge and
the Special Forces Tab.
McKenna earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Strategic Studies from Norwich University in 2015 and is a graduate of the Warrior Leader Course, Advanced Leader Course and Senior Leader Course.
He is survived by his parents Peter and Carol McKenna of Bristol, R.I.
Just last month, Senator Reed honored Sgt. McKenna with a U.S. flag that had flown over the U.S. Capitol for having traveled the furthest distance to attend this year’s Bristol Fourth of July Parade.
I join all RIers in mourning the loss of Sgt. Andrew McKenna, a truly great citizen, soldier, person & patriot. pic.twitter.com/xkB9Vz8Owk
— Senator Jack Reed (@SenJackReed) August 9, 2015
Thank you for your service Sgt. McKenna. Rest in peace.