Fort Carson soldier killed in base attack in Afghanistan

October 14, 2013 Updated: October 14, 2013 at 10:35 pm
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A Fort Carson Green Beret killed Sunday in Afghanistan was remembered by a friend Monday for his grace under pressure and love for his sons.

Staff Sgt. Patrick H. Quinn, 26, of Quarryville, Pa., died in Paktika province of injuries suffered when his base was attacked with small-arms fire, according to a Monday release from the Department of Defense.

Quinn, who was assigned to the 10th Special Forces Group's 3rd Battalion, joined the Army in July 2006 as an infantryman. He served at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, and Fort Bliss, Texas, and deployed to Iraq before being selected to attend the Special Forces Qualifications Course, said Maj. Aram Donigian, a spokesman for the 10th Special Forces Group.

Quinn graduated from the course this year and joined the 10th Special Forces Group in July as an engineer sergeant, Donigian said.

"He was new to the unit and deployed with his team pretty quickly," Donigian said Monday evening. "This is a tragic loss. We are very proud of what our guys are doing in Afghanistan right now."

Chris Durbin, who served with Quinn at Fort Wainwright, recalled the fallen staff sergeant as a "phenomenal soldier" who showed him the ropes when he arrived at his unit.

"That kid knew his stuff," said Durbin, who serves as a specialist with the Indiana National Guard. "Of all the soldiers I've worked with, he was the most on top of his game and one of the smartest soldiers I've come across."

Quinn enjoyed hunting and camping and "always made us laugh, no matter what he was doing" - until it came time to work. Then, he was all business, Durbin said.

When it came to professionalism, "he really shined," Durbin said.

On April 20, 2009, the two were deployed to Diyala province, Iraq, and were assisting with the escort of foreign dignitaries. During the mission, a suicide bomber detonated his vest about 50 meters away.

In short order, Durbin heard Quinn shooting from behind him.

"He let me know, 'Hey, there's a guy down the street shooting in our direction'" and engaged him, Durbin said. "He took charge of that situation."

Such composure was typical of Quinn, Durbin said.

"He was always very poised, very calm under pressure," he said. "When things would go down, he knew what he needed to do."

Though he had a tough exterior, Quinn had a sensitive side, too, Durbin said.

When Quinn married and became a father, he "really grew up and accepted that role," Durbin said. "That guy was a good dad."

Quinn's awards include four Army Commendation Medals, the Army Achievement Medal, Special Forces Tab, Parachutist Badge and the Combat Infantryman's Badge.

He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal and NATO Medal.

Quinn is survived by his wife and their three sons.

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