FORT BRAGG, N.C. (The Charlotte Observer) - A soldier stationed at Fort Bragg in Eastern North Carolina has become the latest fatality in the nation’s fight against terrorism in “Operation Freedom’s Sentinel,” according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
Sgt. 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz, 34, was killed in action Sept. 5 “when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Kabul, Afghanistan,” officials said in a news release. “The incident is under investigation.”
His death has been cited by President Donald Trump as the reason secret peace negotiations with the Taliban were canceled on Saturday, multiple media outlets reported. The negotiations were to have been staged at Camp David retreat in Maryland, according to the New York Times.
Barreto Ortiz was from Morovis, Puerto Rico, federal officials said. He is survived by his wife and children of Cameron, N.C., the 82nd Airborne said in a release.
He was assigned to the 82nd Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, which is among the world’s largest U.S. military facilities.
“This loss is felt across the All American Division and we will forever remember our fallen. Remember, Paratroopers never die, they just slip away,” the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg said in a Facebook post.
Barreto Ortiz joined the Army in August, 2010 and graduated in 2017 from Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia. He was assigned to 82nd BSB in January 2018.
His awards and decorations included the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Combat Action Badge, the 82nd Airborne said.