The Daily Grind Video


The Plymouth, New Hampshire area is all too familiar with the heartache felt when a community loses one of its young people to war. That heartache was felt again this week when Master Sgt. Jared N. Van Aalst, 34, of the U.S. Army Special Operations, was killed Wednesday during a combat operation in the Konduz Province of Afghanistan.

Master Sgt. Jared N. Van Aalst

Van Aalst was born in Laconia and graduated from Plymouth Regional in 1993. He enlisted in the U.S. Army as a signal support systems specialist in 1995.

According to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, he was a highly decorated solider serving his sixth tour of combat, having previously been deployed to Iraq three times and Afghanistan twice.

He was posthumously awarded a second Bronze Star Medal, a third Purple Heart Medal, and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.

‘Like any tiny community, there’s a sense of sadness and shock,’ said Patti Biederman, whose family runs the Main Street eatery Biederman’s Deli. ‘But there’s also a sense of pride that they are from this community.’

Van Aalst lived with his wife, Katie, and two daughters, Kaylie and Ava, in Pinehurst, N.C. His parents, Neville and Nancy Van Aalst, live in Hawthorne, Fla.

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