A U.S. service member from eastern Idaho was killed in Afghanistan, the third American soldier to die in Afghanistan within the last week.
Idaho Representative Rod Furniss posted a statement from the service member's father on his Facebook page, saying Dustin Ard, the son of former Ammon Mayor Bruce Ard, died during a combat operation. The exact circumstances of his death are still unclear.
“We received news that we lost our son Dustin in Afghanistan," Ard wrote. "My heart has a hole so big, I can hardly stand it. He was the finest young man I have ever known. Not because he was my son, but because if the person he is. A great son, brother, father and husband. He loved his country and was the kind of person we should all be. Son, I love you and know we will see each other again. I will miss you every day I live without you. Love, Dad.”
The New York Times reports Ard was a member of the Army Special Forces, and that he died in Zabul Province, in the country’s southeast, after disembarking a helicopter at the start of a joint mission with Afghan commandos, one department official said.
The current Mayor of Ammon, Sean Coletti, also expressed condolences to the family.
“I am saddened to hear about the sudden loss of former Ammon Mayor Bruce Ard’s son, Dustin Ard, who was serving in Afghanistan,” he wrote. “So tragic to lose one of our American heroes, and especially someone with such close ties. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bruce and his family.”