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      Valley soldier killed in IED attack

      The McAllen soldier killed in action in Afghanistan died from his injuries after his unit struck an improvised explosive device while on patrol.

      The family of Army Spc. Kurt Kern said they were notified about his death on Tuesday night.

      Family and friends gathered at the fallen soldier TMs home in McAllen on Wednesday.

      Action 4 cameras captured family members embracing and comforting each other.

      In a statement from one of the brothers, the family said Spc. Kern dream since childhood was to serve and defend our country, and he was proud to be a soldier in the United States Army.

      They added that his dedication to the country was evident, His bravery shined bright when after his original deployment was canceled, he volunteered to deploy with another unit.

      The 24-year-old TMs death comes at a time when many families spend their time together celebrating the holidays.

      But military families must often spend these special days apart.

      That was certainly the case for Nicolas Quezada, he is a U.S. Army veteran.

      Quezada was stationed in West Germany during the 1950's, near the start of the cold war with the Soviet Union.

      "The pain begins during the separation, he said. It's very difficult to be far away from each other and more difficult it becomes when you hear about the dangers of losing your life."

      Quezada lives in McAllen, across the street from Spc Kern's family.

      He said they had just moved in a few months ago.

      Even though he does not know them personally, Quezada said hi heart goes out to the Kern family.

      "I wish the family reconciliation with their feelings, believing that he had done a good service to the community," he concluded.

      Spc. Kurt Kern is the ninth service member from the Valley killed in Afghanistan, and the 43rd service member to lose his life during the military operations in the Middle East since 2003.