Mass. Native One of Two Green Berets Killed in Afghanistan
FORT BRAGG, N.C. – A Massachusetts native was one of two Army Special Forces Soldiers killed during combat operations in Afghanistan Wednesday.
The U.S. Army Special Operations Command says 31-year-old Master Sgt. Luis F. Deleon-Figueroa, of Chicopee; and 35-year-old Master Sgt. Jose J. Gonzalez, of La Puente, California were killed during combat operations on Wednesday in the Faryab Province of Afghanistan.
Both men were assigned to 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
"It was an honor having them serve within the ranks of 7th SFG (A). They were a part of our family, and will not be forgotten," said Col. John W. Sannes, 7th SFG (A) commander.
"Our priority is to now provide the best possible care to the families of our fallen warriors. We ask that you keep their families and teammates in your thoughts and prayers."
Deleon-Figueroa served more than 13 years in the Army. He completed the Special Forces Qualification Course and was assigned to 1st Battalion, 7th SFG (A), in 2014 as a Special Forces communications sergeant, and then as a Special Forces operations and intelligence sergeant.
He deployed six times during his career, serving as an infantryman in Iraq in 2008, and Afghanistan in 2010. As a Green Beret, he deployed to South America in 2015 and 2018, then to Afghanistan in 2018 and 2019.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal with Valor, Army Commendation Medal (2OLC), Army Achievement Medal (3OLC), Army Good Conduct Medal with four Knot Device, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two Campaign Stars, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with numeral "3", Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon with numeral "3", NATO Medal, Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Military Free Fall Jumpmaster Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge.
Master Sgt. Luis F. Deleon-Figueroa was posthumously promoted to Master Sergeant. His posthumous awards include the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart Medal.
Gonzalez, a native of La Puente, Ca. and was assigned to 1st Bn., 7th SFG (A), in 2014.
Master Sgt. Jose J. Gonzalez was posthumously promoted to Master Sergeant.
At the request of the Gonzalez family, no photo or additional information will be released about Master Sgt. Gonzalez at this time.