Ashland native killed in Afghanistan

David Riley

An Ashland native and career soldier was killed alongside two fellow members of the Army Special Forces in Afghanistan Saturday when his vehicle rolled into a canal, military officials said.

Master Sgt. Shawn E. Simmons, 39, died near Khosrow-E Sofla in Kandahar Province, the Army said. He had been on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan since May.

Simmons was originally from Ashland, but had lived in North Carolina for the past 16 years, said his wife, Tricia, last night from her home in Hope Mills.

Simmons also is survived by his daughter, Erin, his son, Justin, and his mother, Alberta Simmons, of Tallahassee, Fla., according to an Army statement.

All three soldiers were assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, Airborne, out of Fort Bragg, N.C., the Army said. Simmons was a team sergeant.

They drowned after their vehicle, an RG-31 Mine Protected Vehicle, rolled into a riverbed while they were conducting a patrol, the Army said.

The incident was not combat-related, but it is under investigation, the Army said.

Simmons volunteered for the Army in February 1992, repairing power-generator equipment, according to a biography by the Special Forces.

In 1997, he began the Special Forces qualification course and earned the Green Beret in 1999, before he was assigned to his current unit at Fort Bragg.

He left that unit in 2005 to become an instructor at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, also at Fort Bragg. He returned to his current unit last December, the Army said.

Simmons received numerous awards and decorations, including the Meritorious Service Medal, two Army Commendation Medals and the National Defense Service Medal. He also earned the Military Freefall Parachutist Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge and the Ranger Tab, among other honors, the Army said.

The two Special Forces soldiers killed with Simmons were Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey M. Radamorales, 32, of Naranjito, Puerto Rico, and Sgt. James M. Treber, 24, of San Diego.

David Riley can be reached at 508-626-3919 or

The MetroWest Daily News