This young man’s death says a lot about how much has been asked of the nation’s men and women in uniform and their families since Sept. 11, 2001:
Sgt. 1st Class Kristoffer B. Domeij, 29, was killed on Saturday in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, by an improvised explosive device, according to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
“He was on his 14th combat deployment to Afghanistan in support of the War on Terror,” the statement adds.
Also killed in the incident: 1st Lt. Ashley White, 24, and Pvt. 1st Class Christopher A. Horns, 20. Horns was on his first deployment, according to Special Operations Command.
As CBS News says, “while Domeij may have rotated to the conflict zones 14 times in the last 10 years, it does not necessarily mean he was actively fighting for a vast majority of the last decade. It does, however, mean that there are probably few other soldiers who have seen more combat for the U.S. military in recent years.” Mother Jones adds that Domeij’s deployments probably lasted a little more than 3 months each time — meaning he likely spent about 4 years in the war zone.
In Domeij’s hometown back in California, the local Pomerado News writes that he’s being remembered by Rancho Bernardo High School principal Paul Robinson as being a “fun-loving young man, a real fine football player who also played roller hockey. … He was just a good kid.”
Domeij enlisted in the Army in July 2001, right out of high school. According to Special Operations:
“His awards and decorations include the Ranger Tab, Combat Action Badge, Expert Infantry Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, the Pathfinder Badge and the U.S. Army Expert Rifle Marksmanship Qualification Badge.
“He has also been awarded the Bronze Star Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Joint Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal with three loops, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two campaign stars, Iraq Campaign Medal with three campaign stars, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with numeral three, Army Service Ribbon, and the Overseas Ribbon with numeral four.
“He will be posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, and the Meritorious Service Medal.”
Domeij is survived by “his wife, Sarah and daughters Mikajsa and Aaliyah of Lacey, Wash.; his mother Scoti Domeij of Colorado Springs, Colo., and his brother Kyle Domeij of San Diego, Calif.,” Special Operations says.