A highly decorated Green Beret who was a native of Ashland was killed on Saturday while on patrol in Afghanistan. The Department of Defense said Master Sgt. Shawn E. Simmons, 39, was with two other Green Berets when their vehicle, an RG-31 Mine Protected Vehicle, rolled into a river bed. Simmons, Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey M. Radamorales, 32, of Puerto Rico, and Sgt. James M. Treber, 24, of California, lost their lives.
Simmons is survived by his wife, Tricia, daughter, Erin, and son, Justin, all of North Carolina, and his mother, Alberta Simmons of Florida.
Simmons deployed to Afghanistan in May, his second tour in the country. The 16-year veteran earned the coveted Green Beret in 1999 and was assigned to Special Forces at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In 2005, he left Fort Bragg to become an instructor at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, but returned last December.
Simmons' decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, two Army Commendation Medals, Joint Service Achievement Medal, three Army Achievement Medals, five Army Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Information on his funeral services was not immediately available.
--Alice C. Elwell