A soldier who grew up in Long Beach was killed July 7 in Afghanistan, according to the Department of Defense.
Cpl. Joseph Maciel, 20, most recently lived in South Gate, according to the DOD, but he grew up in Long Beach, Maciel’s father, Jose Leal, told KNX 1070.
Maciel was killed in Afghanistan’s Uruzgan Province where he’d been deployed since February, according to the U.S. Army.
Military officials said Maciel was killed in “an apparent insider attack” that also wounded two other servicemen. The DOD said it’s still investigating the attack.
Maciel was part of the Army’s 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division out of Fort Benning, Georgia, according to the Pentagon.
He was deployed as part of the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, which is embedded with the Afghan military as advisors and trainers in a counterterrorism mission focused on building up the local security forces.
“My son, he was training Afghanistan soldiers and police when [the attack] happened,” Leal told WRBL, a CBS affiliate in Georgia. “That is terrifying to me. These good soldiers are going there to help people and there’s still so much evil.”
Maciel was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Achievement Medal, and Afghanistan Campaign Medal during his service.
“Cpl. Maciel was an excellent Soldier beloved by his teammates and dedicated to our mission. He will be greatly missed by the entire Black Lion family,” Lt. Col. David Conner, Maciel’s battalion commander, said in a statement from the Army. “Our prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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