US Army Specialist Kurt W. Kern, from Texas, was killed on 27th December 2011 when a bomb detonated while he was on combat operations in Paktia.
24-year-old Spc. Kern was one of three soldiers serving with the Texas-based 89th Military Police Brigade killed in the incident. He had been in Afghanistan for less than one month.
Spc. Kern, a McAllen Memorial graduate, joined the armed forces in September 2009 as a military police officer after studying at the Texas Culinary Academy in Austin.
Spc. Kern's older brother, Keith, told local news reporters that his brother was "proud to be a soldier and really loved his job. Ever since he was little, he wanted to be a soldier. He finally went for it and loved it." His family said later that Spc. Kern had been "so intent on serving his country, that when his original deployment was canceled, he volunteered to deploy with another unit."