- Associated Press - Monday, August 17, 2015

WARREN, R.I. (AP) - An Army Green Beret killed in Afghanistan weeks after being honored at a July Fourth parade in his hometown was laid to rest on Monday.

Hundreds of people gathered for a funeral Mass for 1st Sgt. Peter Andrew McKenna Jr., of Bristol, at St. Mary of the Bay Church in nearby Warren.

Local officials and fellow Special Forces soldiers joined McKenna’s family and friends at the morning service, and hundreds of people lined the sidewalk waving flags as his body was driven 3 miles to St. Mary’s Cemetery in Bristol. McKenna, 35, was buried near his younger brother, Patrick McKenna, who died at age 21 in a motorcycle crash a decade ago.

McKenna, known as Andrew, died Aug. 7 in Kabul during an enemy attack on a NATO facility. He also had served in Iraq and been awarded the Bronze Star for combat heroism several times during his 17-year Army career.

Gov. Gina Raimondo ordered state flags to half-staff until after his services.

On Sunday, hundreds of people lined up outside the church for McKenna’s wake, many holding flags or signs in his honor.

Karen Wolff-Millard, a friend from Bristol, told the Providence Journal his loss is “devastating,” especially for people who know his parents have lost two sons.

She said there has been a “pall over the town.” She said people get used to seeing large flag displays in the town, which claims the nation’s oldest continuous July 4 parade.

“But the other day,” she said, after McKenna’s body was returned, “they were just so overwhelming. You can feel the heartbreak.”

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