The remains of an American soldier who was killed in Afghanistan earlier this week were transported home to the United States, arriving at Dover Air Force Base on Christmas morning.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Goble, 33, of Washington Township, New Jersey, died Monday after sustaining injuries from a roadside bomb on Sunday in the northern province of Kunduz.
He enlisted in the Army on July 7, 2004, and became a Green Beret in February 2007. He was on his third deployment to Afghanistan as a weapons sergeant to Company C, 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne).
“Sgt. 1st Class Goble was more than just a member of the 7th Special Forces Group, he was a brother to us, and a beloved family member to the Northwest Florida community,” said Col. John W. Sannes, 7th SFG (A) commander.
“We will honor our brother’s sacrifice and provide the best possible care to his family. We ask that you keep his Family and teammates in your thoughts and prayers.”
Goble leaves behind a young daughter named Zoey and his long-time partner, Jennifer Albuquerque, according to family friend Lisa Barker, who started a GoFundMe page for them. She wrote:
We lost a true American hero yesterday. Anyone that crossed paths with Mike, was truly blessed. I have never met a soldier that was more passionate and patriotic than Mike Goble. He loved this country endlessly, and paid the ultimate sacrifice for it, fighting for our freedom. He leaves behind a beautiful daughter, Zoey, and his beautiful partner Jen, who has stood by his side all these years. Times are going to be very hard over the next few months.
Albuquerque wrote on her own page and posted a video of Goble and their daughter ice skating: “He was a great daddy to Zoey, and they always had fun together. He was always there when she needed him.❤️”
Friends also posted messages in remembrance of Goble.
A friend wrote:
Mike was a true American Hero and my brother. He is truly the definition of what a patriot is and paid the ultimate price yesterday right before the holidays. My heart is so saddened as he leaves behind a very young family. I love you Mike and we all know you died protecting what you loved. De Oppresso Liber.
Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL), a fellow Green Beret, wrote on Facebook, “As we celebrate the holidays please pray for the Goble family who just received that dreaded knock from a casualty assistance officer… and for the many Gold Star families who sacrificed their loved ones so that we can be with home safely with ours. #NeverForget”:
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) also recognized Goble’s sacrifice.
“The cost of freedom weighs heavily on our nation tonight. Sgt. 1st Class Michael James Goble gave his last full measure of devotion to our nation Monday night serving our country in Afghanistan. At a time reserved for remembering when darkness was conquered by light, Sgt. 1st Class Goble proved freedom is worth defending in the face of evil. Northwest Florida and the nation mourns the loss of one of our greatest sons. I pray for peace on his family during this time,” he posted on Facebook:
Multiple U.S. officials, including National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien and Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, attended the dignified transfer of Goble’s remains at Dover on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.