Henry “Mitch” Mayfield Jr., a 23-year old United States Army specialist, was one of the three people killed in a terrorist attack in Kenya. His mother, Carmoneta Horton-Mayfield, is reportedly devastated about her son’s untimely death.
Henry, who is from Hazel Crest, Illinois, joined the military in June 2018 after finishing his degree in business at Northern Illinois University to help pay for his college loan.
On Sunday, he was killed in a raid that happened at Manda Bay Airfield, an installation near Nairobi that is jointly shared by the U.S. and Kenyan military forces. The airbase was reportedly gunned down by militants affiliated with al-Qaida.
According to reports, two other Americans, who were both military contractors, also died and two Department of Defense members were wounded.
Mayfield’s mother shared that the last time they talked through Facetime was on January 1 to tell her he was safe, a few days before the terrorist attack happened. She took to Facebook to thank everyone for their condolences and support.
“Thank you to all that have reached out to my husband and I with your touching words regarding the loss of our son Army specialist Henry Mayfield Jr. We may not be able to respond to them all at this time but we feel the love and we appreciate you all. Please keep our family in prayer,” Horton-Mayfield wrote on a Facebook post.
Many people are also mourning his death, including Hazel Crest Village Clerk Isaac Wiseman. He described Mayfield as an “outstanding young man, always polite, always just very nice.”
“It’s breaking my heart. It really is, it’s breaking my heart,” Wiseman told CBS News. “I just saw him this summer. I don’t have words to say. It’s just breaking my heart.”
His neighbor, Rochelle Crump, who is an Army veteran who leads the National Women Veterans United, expressed her sorrow. She said, “Too often we’re hearing this, but we don’t take it lightly. When we lose one, it affects every last one of us. Knowing that we’ve lost one, we have to come together to support that family.”
Meanwhile, Mayfield’s body was transported to the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware before it was returned to Chicago, where his parents plan to bury their son.