Sergeant Gene Arden Vance was a newlywed preparing for his honeymoon when his National Guard unit was called up for duty after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
He cancelled the honeymoon and went with his 19th Special Forces Unit to Afghanistan, where he was killed yesterday.
‘‘For the first time in his military career, he would have preferred not to go,’’ said Bruce Summers, owner of Whitetail Cycle & Fitness, a shop in Morgantown, West Virginia, where Vance worked.
‘‘He had just got married, he was entering a new life,’’ Summers said today.
‘‘He had to put his life on hold.’’
There were no other reports of coalition casualties in the fire-fight, which started when suspected al-Qaida or Taliban forces attacked US forces, said Captain Steven O’Connor, a US military spokesman at Bagram air base.
Vance, a 38-year-old who spoke Farsi, had been stationed in the Middle East for the past five months, said Major Mike Cadle, a National Guard spokesman.