The remains of U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Goble, who was killed in Afghanistan on Monday, have been returned to the United States, arriving at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Christmas Day.
Goble, 33, was from Washington Township, New Jersey, and was completing his final tour of duty when he was killed in Afghanistan’s Kunduz Province during a roadside bombing, Fox News reported.
The Army Special Forces soldier was scheduled to return home in less than a month, according to the report.
Goble, who had deployed to Afghanistan twice and made multiple overseas deployments to South Korea and Central and South America, entered the Army as a Special Forces candidate in 2004, ABC News reported.
He became a Green Beret in February 2007 and was a Bronze Star recipient assigned to 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
“Sgt. 1st Class Goble was more than just a member of the 7th Special Forces Group, he was a brother to us, and a beloved family member to the Northwest Florida community,” Col. John W. Sannes, 7th SFG (A) commander, told ABC News. “We will honor our brother’s sacrifice and provide the best possible care to his family. We ask that you keep his Family and teammates in your thoughts and prayers.”
“Today I found out Westwood and Washington Township lost another son, brother, father while fighting for the US military in Afghanistan,” Schepisi wrote.
“While most of us are sitting down to Christmas dinner trying not to argue about trivial things with relatives we haven’t seen in a while, SFC. Michael Goble’s family will be meeting his body on the tarmac as he returns 3 weeks early from his fourth and final tour of duty.”
“Michael was a 2004 Westwood High School graduate who grew up in Township. A member of special ops, this was his fourth and last tour of duty in Afghanistan,” Schepisi continued. “Please say a prayer for him and his family during this incredibly sad time and thank him for making the ultimate sacrifice for us all.”
A GoFundMe campaign was set up to benefit Goble’s young daughter and her mother, Jennifer Albuquerque, and it raised more than $110,000 toward its $150,000 goal in three days.
“I have never met a soldier that was more passionate and patriotic than Mike Goble,” campaign organizer Lisa Barker wrote. “He loved this country endlessly, and paid the ultimate sacrifice for it, fighting for our freedom.”