(CNSNews.com) – U.S. Army Specialist John M. Dawson died in Afghanistan on April 8, 2015, representing the first service member to die in Afghanistan since the combat mission there officially ended, according to the Department of Defense (DOD).
Dawson was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel when he died in Jalalabad, Afghanistan of wounds suffered from small arms fire while he was on an escort mission.
President Barack Obama announced the end of the combat mission in Afghanistan, known as Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), on Dec. 28, 2014. Operation Freedom’s Sentinel is the follow-on mission that continued in 2015.
“For more than 13 years, ever since nearly 3,000 innocent lives were taken from us on 9/11, our nation has been at war in Afghanistan,” said Obama on Dec. 28, 2014. “Now, thanks to the extraordinary sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, our combat mission in Afghanistan is ending, and the longest war in American history is coming to a responsible conclusion.”
“At the invitation of the Afghan government, and to preserve the gains we have made together, the United States — along with our allies and partners — will maintain a limited military presence in Afghanistan to train, advise and assist Afghan forces and to conduct counterterrorism operations against the remnants of al Qaeda,” Obama added.
That same day, then-Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced that the continuing limited military presence in Afghanistan that President Obama was referring to would be called Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Keep reading