An American fighting along-side Kurdish forces against the Islamic State in Syria has been killed, the State Department confirmed Wednesday.
Keith Broomfield, from central Massachusetts, died in battle June 3 near the Syrian border town of Kobani. He is likely the first U.S. citizen to die while fighting ISIS.
The 36-year-old leaves behind family and friends who say he was motivated by his faith in God and are relying on that faith through this loss.
“He just had this idea in his head to fight against them for the persecution of Christians and that’s what he did,” Westminster Police Chief Salvatore Albert said.
In a text-message exchange posted by his sister on her Facebook page, the late Broomfield wrote, “I’m gonna do what I got to do.”
“Sometimes you got to be a man whether you want to or not,” he said. “I don’t expect anyone to understand, but I don’t need anyone to either.”
Diane Leger is a former neighbor of the Broomfield family.
“I know they’re a real Christian family,” she said. “So I’m sure they’re going to rely heavily on their faith to get through that.”