DUNSTABLE (CBS) — Thirty-two year old Staff Sergeant Alexander Dalida of Dunstable was killed in a training exercise at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Dalida is one of the eight soldiers involved in the incident that Army authorities say involved explosives.
The town is in shock and is mourning the death of one of their own.
Neighbor Vinnie Falco remembers Dalida when he was growing up.
“Alex was another typical, young American boy growing up in a small town here in New England. His family, very loving and enjoyable family. We’ve lived in this block in peace,” Falco said. “I remember him playing in my front yard with my children.”
Falco says he’s also proud that one of his family members was serving his country.
“He was a great young man and as we saw him grow and mature, he clearly had his heart and mind set on serving in the military and serving for America and our protections and our freedoms,” Falco said.
Major General Kurt Sonntag, the Commander of the U.S. Army’s John F. Kennedy Special Warfare School, says this accident is a reminder that being a soldier is dangerous.
“The special operations community is a close-knit family. Staff Sgt. Dalida’s death is a reminder that a Soldier’s job is inherently dangerous,” Sonntag said.
Dunstable Police Chief James Bow says the news is still a shock to the town.
“It’s truly a tragedy and, you know, we respect everybody that serves our country. I think they know what they’re getting into, but any loss of a life for our country is truly tragic,” Bow said.
He says the town’s leaders are working on a response to the news.
“I have already reached out to our town leadership, the Selectmen and the Town Administrator and we will do anything we can for the family,” Bow said. “I have spoken to the family and they’re requested their privacy.”
Ft. Bragg Special Forces Training Group Commander, Colonel Michael Kornburger says the Army’s current priority is taking care of Dalida’s family.
“Our primary focus right now is to care for his loved ones. We will honor Staff Sgt. Dalida and help his family in their time of need,” Kornburger said.
The other seven soldiers were injured and the Army is currently investigating the incident.
Dalida was going through the Special Forces Qualification Course at Ft. Bragg and was training to become a Special Forces Combat Engineer.
He joined the Army in 2006 and has served at Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina and at Fort Eustis in Virginia.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Ben Parker reports