ALAMEDA (CBS / AP) — Family and friends in Alameda are mourning an Army staff sergeant who was killed earlier this month in a bomb blast in Afghanistan.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports 30-year-old Thomas Fogarty died while commanding a vehicle on May 6, when enemy forces attacked his unit.

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Fogarty deployed to Afghanistan in April and before then had worked as a military recruiter.

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Relatives say Fogarty knew he wanted to serve in the military even as a young child, and decided to enlist following the Sept. 11 attacks.

The Alameda High School graduate was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star Medal, which recognizes heroic service or meritorious achievement. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

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