Soldier from Dalton killed in AfghanistanAP , Associated Press
May. 17, 2013 6:31 PM ET
DALTON, Mass. (AP) — The grief-stricken father of a Massachusetts soldier killed by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan described his son Friday as a man proud of his military service.
Officials at Fort Bliss, Texas, said 24-year-old Army Spc. Mitchell Kirk Daehling was among four soldiers killed in the Tuesday attack.
Daehling's father, Kirk, remembered his son as someone who "just loved life ... He always had a smile ... He was proud to serve his country."
Daehling spoke to The Associated Press shortly after returning from Dover Air Force Base, Del., where he received his son's remains along with his wife and his son's widow, whom he married last June.
U.S. Rep. Richard Neal said in a statement that Mitchell Daehling "was a brave young man who represented the best of America."
Mitchell Daehling was a 2006 graduate of Wahconah Regional High School and attended Daniel Webster College in Nashua, N.H., where he first majored in the aviation program before changing to homeland security. He joined the military in 2010.
Wahconah Regional High School paid tribute to Daehling, saying on its website that his "strength and determination" served as a model to all students and his "bravery and service to our country was beyond measure."
Daehling is survived by his wife, of Westford, Mass., and two siblings.
Funeral arrangements are pending.