Santa Maria soldier Kenneth Clifford Alvarez, 23, died Friday in Afghanistan from wounds suffered during combat.
According to a Department of Defense news release Sunday, insurgent forces attacked Alvarez’s unit in Ghazni Province with “an improvised explosive device,” killing Army Spc. Alvarez and Pvt. Jonathon Michael Dean Hostetter, 20, of Humphreys, Mo.
Alvarez was stationed in Haft Asiab, Afghanistan, with the 2nd Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade from New Mexico.
According to the White Sands Missile Range Public Affairs Office, Alvarez is survived by his wife and child.
Alvarez was a combat engineer and entered the U.S. Army in November 2011.
He is the 11th soldier from Santa Barbara County to die in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, according to a Los Angeles Times data listing of California war dead; he is the fourth from Santa Maria.
Four soldiers from San Luis Obispo County have died in those wars, the most recent being Navy Cmdr. Duane G. Wolfe, of Oceano, who was killed May 25, 2009, in a roadside bombing in Iraq.