The Department of Defense announced Friday the death of six soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. The soldiers, including one from Reno, died Wednesday in Sinsil, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated during combat operations.
Staff Sgt. Sean Gaul, of Reno, died when an improvised explosive device detonated during combat operations. He was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Vilseck, Germany, said the department's press release.
Gaul, who is survived by his wife, a daughter and his parents, was serving his fifth tour in Iraq and Afghanistan when he was killed while on patrol in the Diyala Province.
Gaul completed the U.S. Army's sniper school before deploying a final time. He attended Reed High School, where he was a member of the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps and passed the GED exam in 1997.
His wife, Jessica, said he loved his job and was well aware of the risks when he re-enlisted. She called him a "very good man and loving husband.
"It seemed Sean was a lifer for sure," she said. "He did not waiver from his responsibility. He always trained hard as he led the way by example. He was focused and determined as he sought out more special forces training."
Funeral services are pending.
Following the announcement, Gov. Jim Gibbons said Friday, "Dawn and I wish to extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Staff Sgt. Gaul. Staff Sgt. Gaul was an extraordinary and dedicated soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country while serving his fifth tour of duty in support of the Global War on Terror. It is with profound gratitude that we honor his devotion and his service to our nation."
In honor of Gaul, flags at the Nevada Capitol will be flown at half-staff Monday.
The five others killed with Gaul include: Spc. Todd E. Davis, 22, of Raymore, Mo.; Staff Sgt. Jonathan K. Dozier, 30, of Rutherford, Tenn.; Sgt. Zachary W. McBride, 20, of Bend, Ore.; Sgt. 1st Class Matthew I. Pionk, 30, of Superior, Wis.; Sgt. Christopher A. Sanders, 22, of Roswell, N.M.