Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Army Staff Sgt. Andrew T. Britton-Mihalo

Remember Our Heroes

Army Staff Sgt. Andrew T. Britton-Mihalo, 25, of Simi Valley, Calif.

SSgt Britton-Mihalo was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.; died April 25, 2012 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of injuries caused by small-arms fire.

EGLIN AFB — A 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) soldier killed in action last Wednesday in Afghanistan was the victim of an Afghan soldier with the coalition force, according to media reports.

Staff Sgt. Andrew T. Britton-Mihalo, 25, had been stationed at Eglin Air Force Base. He was deployed in Company B with the 2nd Battalion when both he and his translator were killed by machine gun fire from a renegade elite soldier with the Afghanistan military. The attacker was killed immediately.

“He was an outstanding human being,” Lt. Col. James Brownlee, public affairs officer for the 7th Special Forces, said of Britton-Mihalo. “A great American has died for the cause.”

A Facebook group entitled “Andrew Mihalo’s Eternal Family” had more than 600 members as of Monday evening. Many remembered him as kind and selfless.

“The first thing anyone says about him is that ‘he is the toughest guy I have ever met’ and ‘he is the nicest guy I have ever met,’ ” wrote his brother, Tj Mathias, on the group page. “Only Andrew could earn both of these compliments at the same time!”

Britton-Mihalo was born in San Jose, Costa Rica, and graduated from high school in Simi Valley, Calif. In high school, he was an Eagle Scout and a champion wrestler, winning the match that won his high school a California state championship. He joined the Army in 2005 and went on to earn a Bronze Star, among numerous other accolades.

Britton-Mihalo married his wife, fellow 7th Special Forces soldier, Sgt. Jesse Britton, in December 2011. Brownlee said he proposed to her at the 7th Special Forces’ last winter formal while the group was still headquartered at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Army Staff Sgt. Andrew T. Britton-Mihalo was killed in action on 4/25/12.

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