This post was last updated at 5:45 p.m July 24:
A U.S. Army sergeant from Murrieta was killed in Afghanistan, the U.S. Department of Defense reported today.
Sgt. Eric E. Williams, 27, of Murrieta, Calif. died Monday, July 23, in Pul-E-Alam, Afghanistan, Logar Province, just south of Kabul, a news release stated.
Williams, a paratrooper and special forces operative was deployed with the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division based out of Fort Bragg, N.C.
A flight medic for the Army, Williams kept up a blog that he started in 2008. According to his last blog post dated July 17, he was to be heading home soon.
"This deployment is coming to an end, in a few days we will be on a plane back to the United States to rejoin our family and friends and to try to readjust to a certain semblance of what we think life should be," Williams wrote. "...cannot begin to describe the things we’ve seen, felt, or heard. We have lost brothers and colleagues..."
Williams was a 2002 graduate of Murrieta Valley High School.
A close friend, Rosario Boga, told Patch she knew him for nine years.
"He came home in January and we all hung out," Boga said. "He was a die-hard hero in all our eyes."
According to Boga, Williams was married to his wife, Wendi.
"I found out yesterday when his wife called me," Boga said. "She is being as strong as she can be right now."
This was to be the end of Williams' latest deployment, and Boga said she understood he would be returning to Fort Bragg before coming home to Murrieta in August or September.
"We were planning a huge surprise party for him," she said.
This story is developing. Please stay with Patch for more information.