Army Spc. Kenneth Clifford Alvarez, 23, of Santa Maria, California was killed August 23 in Haft Asiab, Afghanistan. Alvarez and Army Pvt. Jonathon Michael Dean Hostetter, 20, of Humphreys, Missouri, both lost their lives when the enemy attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device, according to the Department of Defense.
Both soldiers were assigned to 2nd Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.
Casper Yi wrote this tribute to Alvarez on Facebook:
"He was my gunner for most of the deployment and one of the platoon ‘clowns.’ One of the best individuals I came across. He rarely complained and always found a way to make people laugh. You made the ultimate sacrifice for your country and you will never be forgotten. You left an indelible impression on us all.
“I will miss your sense of humor, that ridiculous comb-over, and your personality. Words cannot express the sorrow we feel from your loss. You would have done anything for your teammates, no matter the situation. I thank you for looking after me and taking care of your brethren."
The Santa Maria Times reports Alvarez is survived by his wife and child.