US Army Sgt. 2nd Class Brandon Lee Williams, 27, of El Paso, Texas, was killed Wednesday in an ambush in Niger, his parents said in a statement.
“We are grateful to all of the brave service members and friends who were there for us during this difficult time,” his father, Thomas Williams, said.
“We thank you for all of your sacrifice and support during this time.
I also thank the American people for their compassion and support.”
Williams, a US Army veteran of two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was assigned to Fort Hood, Texas.
The incident occurred around 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday when Williams and his fellow soldiers were ambushed by the militants, according to Army Capt. Michael Tully, a Pentagon spokesman.
The ambush occurred as Williams and other soldiers were preparing to leave the base.
Tully said Williams was “moved” by the attack, and that he died as a result of his wounds.
The Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, which includes Fort Hood and other bases, has said that it is investigating the ambush and is cooperating with Niger’s National Guard, the Associated Press reported.
Williams was an Iraq war veteran and sergeant who deployed to Afghanistan in 2013.
He was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, 1/1 Cavalry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Battalion, 2d Infantry Division.
In 2014, he was awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Medal of Honor for his actions during a firefight in Afghanistan.
Williams’ mother, Tania, said in the statement, “Brandon was an American hero.
His death is a devastating loss.
I ask for your prayers and condolences for Brandon’s family.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.