Special Forces soldier from Tucson killed in Jordan attack
A Tucson soldier was among the members of a U.S. Army Special Forces team who were killed Friday in an attack on a convoy in Jordan. Staff Sgt. Kevin J. McEnroe, 30, was one of three Airborne soldiers killed as they entered a military base in Jafr.
The three, assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Campbell, Ky., were deployed in Jordan on a training mission as part of the United States military action against the Islamic State.
Also killed were Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Lewellen, 27, of Lawrence, Kan., and Staff Sgt. James F. Moriarty, 27, of Kerrville, Texas.
McEnroe had served in the military for more than more than eight years. The Operation Inherent Resolve deployment was his third overseas tour.
McEnroe's decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon.
From the Army Times:
While it’s not immediately clear what prompted the shooting, Jordanian military officials have said the shots were fired as a car carrying the Americans tried to enter the al-Jafr base near the southern Jordanian town of Mann. A Jordanian officer also was wounded.
The U.S. soldiers were in Jordan on a training mission, officials said. The U.S. military typically maintains about 2,000 U.S. forces on the ground in Jordan to support training with the Jordanian military and operations against the Islamic State in neighboring Iraq and Syria.
Attempts to reach McEnroe’s family and acquaintances were unsuccessful, but his father, Brian McEnroe, said in a Facebook post that he was “as proud of his service as he was to serve.”
“Words will never suffice to express the loss that will be felt by his mom and dad, his brothers, his grandmother, his beloved Kimberly and all his friends and brothers-in-arms,” Brian McEnroe’s post said. “I will honor his memory for the remainder of my life. We will miss your handsome smile and your kind heart.”
Gov. Doug Ducey ordered flags flown at half-staff Monday “to honor the bravery and service of Staff Sgt. Kevin McEnroe, who died in Jordan this weekend,” the governor said in a tweet early Monday.
Other lawmakers followed suit, praising the soldiers who were “tragically killed while supporting critical counter-terrorism operations in the Middle East,” in the words of Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona.
“These brave men will be remembered for their selfless sacrifice and dedication to the freedom and security of a grateful nation,” McCain said in a statement from his office.
U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, R-Tucson, said in a statement released Sunday that her heart went out to McEnroe’s loved ones.
“He put his life on the line for a higher purpose and sacrificed so that others would be kept safe,” McSally’s statement said. “Such a tragic loss is felt by our entire community, and he will be remembered and honored for his brave and selfless service.”
Cronkite News reporter Aida Chavez contributed to this report.