WHITINSVILLE (CBS) – A Massachusetts man was killed by enemy fire Wednesday while serving with the Army in Afghanistan.

The Department of Defense announced on Thursday that Spc. John Dawson, of Whitinsville, was killed in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, as a part of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Dawson died from injuries he suffered during a small arms attack as he was a member of an escort mission.

He was a combat medic for the 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team in the 101st Airborne Division air assault unit.

Dawson joined the Army in 2012 and earned several medals and other honors. He also attended Blackstone Valley Vocational.

The 22-year-old was raised in the small town with his parents and younger sister. Flags throughout the community were at half-staff on Thursday.

“To actually have it land in our neighborhood, it’s a punch in the gut,” said Steven Falconer.

After hearing Dawson was killed in Afghanistan, Falconer tied a yellow ribbon and roses to a post outside his home.

“You immediately think of those people left behind, and (I) just wanted to do something small,” he said.

The family asked to be left alone. Thursday night, news was just starting to spread about Dawson’s death.

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