'True American hero' from Washington killed in action in Afghanistan

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Washington National Guard Staff Sgt. Matthew McClintock, 30, of Tacoma, was killed in action in Afghanistan Tuesday, officials announced Wednesday.

McClintock, a Green Beret, was on his third combat tour when he was killed Jan. 5 in the Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan, Gov. Jay Inslee and the Washington National Guard said.

“The death of any service member is tragic,” Inslee said. “The death of one of our own is especially difficult to grasp. My thoughts and prayers are with Staff Sergeant McClintock’s friends and family, including his wife and infant son. He is a true American hero who stood up to protect his state and nation. Trudi and I are deeply grateful for his service.”

McClintock joined the Washington National Guard in 2014 after several years as an active duty soldier. He deployed with the Washington National Guard’s A Co. 1/19th Special Forces Group in July, 2015.

“Staff Sergeant McClintock was one of the best of the best,” Washington National Guard Maj. Gen. Bret Daugherty said. “He was a Green Beret who sacrificed time away from his loved ones to train for and carry out these dangerous missions. This is a tough loss for our organization, and a harsh reminder that ensuring freedom is not free. We stand with Staff Sergeant McClintock’s family, and will provide ongoing support during the grieving and healing process.”

A memorial service is pending.