The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier supporting Operation Freedom's Sentinel.
Sgt. 1st Class Dustin B. Ard, 31, from Hyde Park, Utah, died Aug. 29, 2019, as a result of wounds sustained while engaged in combat operations in Zabul Province, Afghanistan. The incident is under investigation.
Ard, 31, left behind a young daughter and a pregnant wife, according to a local newspaper.
“We received news that we lost our son Dustin" in Afghanistan, said his father, Bruce Ard, according to a Facebook post Friday by Idaho State Rep. Rod Furniss. "My heart has a hole so big I can hardly stand it. He was the finest young man I have ever known. Not because he was my son but because of the person he is. A great son, brother, father and husband. He loved his country and was the kind of person we should all be. Son, I love you and know we will see each other again. I will miss you every day I live without you. Love Dad.”
Ard was assigned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina and attended Special Forces Assessment and Selection and graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course in 2015. He was then assigned to 2nd Battalion, 1st SFG (A) at Joint Base Lewis–McChord, Washington, as a Special Forces communications sergeant.