Body of Army general killed in Afghanistan returned to US
By Martin Matishak - 08/07/14 04:10 PM EDT
The body of Army Major General Harold Greene, the highest-ranking American officer to die in the Afghanistan war, was retuned to the U.S. on Thursday.
The two-star general was shot and killed Tuesday by an Afghan soldier at the Afghanistan National Military Academy in Kabul.
An Associated Press video from Thursday showed uniformed soldiers at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware carrying Greene’s body, in a metal casket wrapped with an American flag, from a military aircraft. The casket was loaded onto a vehicle and transferred to a mortuary for an autopsy.
The video also shows Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno, and Army Secretary John McHugh attending the solemn ceremony. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is traveling in India.
President Obama made his first public comments about Greene’s death during a bill signing ceremony at Fort Belvoir in Virginia.
“Our prayers are with the Greene family, as they are with all the gold star families and those who've sacrificed so much for our nation," Obama told an audience of military service members and veterans.
Obama said the U.S. would continue to drawdown its forces.
"Now, four months from now, our combat mission to Afghanistan will be complete," he said.
Up to 15 coalition troops were wounded in the shooting rampage which took Greene’s life. The insider attack renewed debate over the Obama administration’s decision to drawdown troops starting next year and hand over security operations to the Afghan military.