27 fallen soldiers honored in Providence’s Garden of Heroes

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The death of local soldier serves as a tragic reminder of all the service men and woman who have died since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

First Sgt. P. Andrew McKenna, of Bristol, is now among more than five dozen service members from Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts who have lost their lives in wars.

Since 9/11, 28 Rhode Islanders have been killed in wars.

Eyewitness News took a trip to the Garden of Heroes at the State House in Providence on Friday – to learn a little more about the 27 men and woman whose names are etched in stone there.

Michael Paranzino was 22 years old when he was killed. In 2010, he was on patrol in Kandahar, Afghanistan when an improvised explosive device killed him. He served one year in Iraq and six months in Afghanistan. He is survived by a wife and two children.

Francis Toner the fourth was a 26-year-old sailor from Narragansett. According to the Navy, Toner was killed by an insurgent who was posing as an Afghan Army soldier. Toner was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Kyle Coutu was a 20-year-old man from Pawtucket who was shot and killed in battle in 2010. He was a member of the Infantry Division – he was given the job of kicking down doors in combat.

Dennis Poulin, who had roots in both Pawtucket and Cumberland, was killed in 2011 when a military vehicle he was riding in flipped over. He was a member of the Massachusetts National Guard who left behind a 5-year-old son.

In southeastern Massachusetts, about 40 men and woman have died since 9/11.

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