A U.S. Army specialist from the Chicago area was among three Americans killed in a weekend attack by al-Qaida-aligned militants in Kenya, according to his family.
Spc. Henry Mayfield Jr., 23, from the Chicago suburb of Hazel Crest, was killed in the Sunday morning attack, his family told Chicago’s NBC affiliate. “He loved his family and spending quality time with his siblings,” Mayfield’s mother, Carmoneta, told NBC 5 Sunday evening.
She said she last spoke with her son on New Year’s Day over FaceTime.
“We discussed him not having to go to Somalia and he told me everything was good and safe at his base,” Carmoneta Mayfield told the network. “He told me everything would be okay. Those were his last words to me.”
She also thanked hundreds of well-wishers on Facebook, asking them to keep her family in their prayers.
Mayfield joined the Army in June 2018, NBC 5 reported. His Facebook page lists him stationed at Fort Rucker, Ala.
U.S. Africa Command on Monday said a quick reaction force based out of Djibouti has arrived at the scene of the attack in Kenya to augment security at the Manda Bay airfield. The unit, known as the East Africa Response Force, arrived on Sunday.