Casualty of War

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A Highlands Ranch special forces soldier is dead after enemy forces attacked his unit while he was serving in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon says Staff Sergeant Christopher M.-Falkel died Monday in an attack of small arms fire.

His unit was conducting combat operations at the time.

The 22-year-old was a weapons sergeant assigned to the First Battalion, Third Special Forces Group, based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He was deployed in June.

Falkel was born in Massachusetts and joined the Army in October 2001.

Defense officials say he began special forces training in 2002, and graduated a year later after completing courses in Arabic language and survival, evasion, resistance and escape.

Falkel has received numerous military honors including the Bronze Star Medal with Valor device and the Purple Heart.