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Marina High alumnus killed in Afghanistan

Special Forces medic dies in roadside blast in Helmand Province near Pakistani border in July. He was 28.

December 22, 2010|From Latimes.com
  • Staff Sgt. Kyle R. Warren, 28, was killed on July 29, when an improvised explosive device hit his military vehicle according to the Department of Defense. Warren was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, N.C.
Staff Sgt. Kyle R. Warren, 28, was killed on July 29, when… (ASSOCIATED PRESS )

EDITOR'S NOTE: The L.A. Times recently published this profile about Marina High School graduate Kyle R. Warren, who died serving in Afghanistan this summer.

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Kyle R. Warren was hard to miss, whether tearing down a rugby field or running toward a firefight through muddy poppy fields in Afghanistan.

Though an intimidating bear of a man at nearly 6 feet 3 and 240 pounds, Warren was a fun-loving, warmhearted guy who made friends effortlessly with his disarming, sometimes goofball charm, friends and family said.

After graduating from Marina High School in Huntington Beach — going to college off and on, and playing lots of rugby — Warren appeared to find his groove in life when he enlisted in the Army.

He joined the elite Special Forces as a medic, with plans to become a firefighter-paramedic or physician's assistant when he left the service, and married his longtime New Hampshire sweetheart just a year ago.

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"He really seemed to be on his way," said his father, Del Warren of Long Beach. "He had just turned into a fine young man."

On July 29, the 28-year-old staff sergeant was one of two Special Forces soldiers killed by a roadside bomb outside Tsagay in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province, on the Pakistani border. Also killed was Capt. Jason E. Holbrook, 28, of Burnet, Texas.

Warren and other members of his Special Forces unit had just finished meeting with town elders when they were attacked by small-arms fire, according to his father, who received a redacted Army report on the circumstances surrounding his son's death. Warren and Holbrook were on an all-terrain-vehicle during the firefight when they were hit by the explosive, his father said.

Officials at the U.S. Army Special Forces Command said Warren and Holbrook were killed during a combat reconnaissance patrol. Warren, who grew up in Torrance and Huntington Beach, was his team's medical sergeant. Both men were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Ft. Bragg, N.C.

Warren had just arrived for his second deployment in the area, having earlier served in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"He was always top notch, and he took his job as a medic very seriously," said friend Jay Daniel of Jeffersonton, Va., a Special Forces veteran who trained with Warren and served with him during his first deployment. "Kyle helped save lives, and he was always the first to volunteer if we had a mission."

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