HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A highly-decorated Special Forces soldier from Hawaii died Sunday, five days after an IED exploded near him while he was conducting combat patrols in Afghanistan.
Sgt. 1st class Reymund Rarogal Transfiguracion, 36, of Waikoloa, was gravely injured Aug. 7 after an improvised explosive device went off in Helmand Province, Afghanistan and later died from his wounds.
The explosion is under investigation.
Transfiguracion's family remembered him Monday as a devoted family man who loved his country — and was honored to defend it.
"He was a mentor to all of us," said Transfiguracion's brother, Reynell. "He always had this Special Forces Green Beret poster in his room growing up. That was his dream. He did what he had to do and achieved his dream. I'm beyond words of how proud and how much I appreciate his efforts and success."
In a statement, Transfiguracion's wife, Edelyn, thanked "the people of Hawaii for their prayers and concern."
"Reymund was a great man. We are very proud of him," she said.
Transfiguracion was the second oldest of six brothers. In addition to his wife, he's survived by two young children.
The soldier was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington, the Department of Defense said.
Born in the Philippines, Transfiguracion graduated from Konawaena High School in 2001. That same year, he enlisted in the Hawaii National Guard as a motor transport operator, and deployed to Iraq in 2005 and 2006.
He transferred to the active Army in 2008, and deployed to Iraq a third time before being transferred to Schofield Barracks.
While in Hawaii, he was deployed to the Philippines for six months in 2010-2011.
After undergoing training, Transfiguracion was selected for Special Forces and assigned as an engineer sergeant with the 1st Special Forces Group in Washington. He was deployed to Afghanistan in March to support Operation Freedom's Sentinel, a counter-terrorism mission that also seeks to support NATO allies in helping to bolster Afghan security forces.
Transfiguracion was previously honored with the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He was posthumously promoted to Sgt. 1st Class and awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, and the Meritorious Service Medal, the 1st Special Forces Command said, in a news release.
This story will be updated.