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'The Military Was His Calling': US Soldier Killed in Afghanistan Just Weeks Before End of Deployment 


The Department of Defense announced Tuesday the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Freedom's Sentinel.

Spc. Gabriel D. Conde, 22, of Loveland, Colorado, was killed in action April 30 as a result of enemy small arms fire in Tagab District, Afghanistan.

The incident is under investigation.

Conde was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, US Army Alaska, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

According to a report in Colorado's Reporter-Herald newspaper, Conde, who ran track when he attended Berthoud High, enlisted out of Loveland in August 2015.

He deployed into Afghanistan in September 2017.

The newspaper spoke with Lt. Col. Martyn Crighton, a spokesman for Army Alaska Public Affairs. He said Tuesday that Conde's nine-month deployment was nearly over and that his division will redeploy to Alaska within the coming weeks.

The paper also spoke with Conde's cross country coach, Kristi Leonard, who said Conde "felt like being in the military was his calling."

"He was wonderful," Leonard said of Conde, who ran track starting in middle school and eventually was persuaded by Leonard to run cross country.

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