FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — The superintendent of the Fall River school district expressed condolences Thursday morning after learning one of the city’s former students was killed in action this week during U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan.
Sgt. 1st Class Eric M. Emond, 39, was one of three killed on Tuesday when an explosive device detonated during combat operations in the Ghazni province, according to the Department of Defense.
Fall River Superintendent Matthew Malone said Emond grew up in Fall River. He attended Osborn Elementary and Healy Elementary, Henry Lord Middle School and Durfee High School. Malone said Emond left Fall River after tenth grade to move to Arkansas.
“Sgt. Emond had a strong track record of academic success throughout his tenure in the Fall River Public Schools and was a member of the Durfee High School Wrestling Team,” Malone said.
Malone said he knew Emond personally from Emond’s work in the veterans’ community, including the co-founding of the Massachusetts Fallen Heroes organization that supports Gold Star families and veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
He called Emond a warrior and a gentleman, exemplifying the mottoes of the United States Marine Corps, “Semper Fidelis” (Always Faithful) and the U.S. Army Special Forces, “De Opresso Liber” (To Free the Oppressed).
Besides Emond, Capt. Andrew Ross and Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan Elchin were also killed in the explosion.