ROCHESTER HILLS (WWJ) – A 25-year-old Army soldier from Metro Detroit has been killed and four other Michigan soldiers injured during combat operations in Afghanistan.
The Defense Department said Friday that Spc. Kyle McClain of Rochester Hills died Aug. 1, in Salim Aka, Afghanistan.
Speaking with WWJ Newsradio 950, McClain’s mother Geraldine McClain, said her son was killed by an improvised explosive device, known as an IED. She said McClain — who had been to Afghanistan and then was in Iraq before being called back to Afghanistan — was on foot patrol when the roadside bomb went off.
She said he was her adopted gift from Korea, and he loved to help people.
“Kyle loved music, he was a hunter and fisherman with his father and friends. Kyle had many attributes and he loved to help everybody, he was a great friend for everybody,” Geraldine McClain said. “He went to Ferris State University for two years and decided that his calling was to join the United States Army.”
She said her son was married to his high school sweetheart, Lisa.
McClain was assigned to 1433rd Engineer Company, 507th Engineer Battalion, 177th Military Police Brigade in Kalamazoo.
Michigan National Guard Public Affairs Assistant Jason Boyd said four other soldiers from the state were also injured in the explosion.
Injured were Staff Sgt. Robert Drebenstedt, 29, of Charlevoix, Spec. William Barnett, 24, of Ypsilanti, Spec. Steven Nelson, 26, of Dollar Bay and Pvt. Joshua Colon, 20, of Grand Rapids. Boyd said their conditions are being evaluated for return to, or release from, military duty.
“The injured soldiers were transported from the incident site to military medical facilities at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan for treatment,” Capt. Aaron Jenkins, State Public Affairs Officer, Michigan National Guard, said in a statement.
Ninety members of the 1433rd Engineer Company were deployed in May 2012 to Afghanistan for a one year mobilization.