Green Beret from Zelienople killed in Afghanistan
A Green Beret killed in Afghanistan was passionate about pursuing his dreams, his father told the Tribune-Review on Friday.
Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Allen Gloyer, 34, of Zelienople and Capt. Andrew D. Byers, 30, of Rolesville, N.C., were killed Thursday while fighting enemy forces in Kunduz, Afghanistan, according to the Defense Department.
They were assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) out of Fort Carson, Colo.
“He was passionate about what he wanted, and he wanted Special Forces,” Richard Gloyer of Seven Fields said of his son.
A 2000 Seneca Valley High School graduate, Sgt. Gloyer earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology and elementary education from Thiel College in Greenville. He enlisted in the Army in 2005.
Sgt. Gloyer and Capt. Byers were killed in a battle that also killed 30 civilians, the Pentagon confirmed. Their unit is training and supporting Afghan troops as they seek to retake Kunduz, a provincial capital seized by Taliban militants in early October.
The command overseeing American forces in Afghanistan said the two Fort Carson soldiers died and four other U.S. troops were wounded. The names of the wounded soldiers were not released. Since 2001, 2,242 U.S. service members have died in Afghanistan as part of the war on terrorism, according to the Defense Department.
“Today’s loss is heartbreaking, and we offer our deepest condolences to the families and friends of our service members who lost their lives today,” Gen. John Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, said in a statement Thursday.
Sgt. Gloyer was on his third deployment to Afghanistan, according to the Army.
“He knew the risk and yet he was willing to serve,” Richard Gloyer said in a phone interview with the Trib. “He served with his Army brothers, and they lived for each other.”
Sgt. Gloyer’s numerous awards include a Bronze Star with Valor, a second Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, two Meritorious Service Medals and two Army Commendation Medals, according to the Army.
In addition to three tours in Afghanistan, he also deployed to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2015.
The family is traveling to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware and making arrangements for his funeral, Richard Gloyer said.
“He was one of the best,” he said.
The Colorado Springs Gazette contributed. Brian Bowling is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-325-4301 or [email protected].