By Annie Potasznik | CBSDFW.COM |
Staff Sgt. Alex A. Viola (credit: U.S. Army Special Forces Command)

Staff Sgt. Alex A. Viola (credit: U.S. Army Special Forces Command)

KELLER (CBSDFW.COM) – The Keller community has rallied around the family of a fallen soldier who was laid to rest Saturday.

Neighbors, friends, and U.S. flags quietly lined the streets Saturday in honor of Staff Sgt. Alex A. Viola. The 29-year-old Keller High School graduate was killed by an IED blast in Afghanistan. It happened almost two weeks ago, and the Keller community has paid their respects ever since.

Viola joined the Army National Guard in 2009 as an engineer, and he began training for the Special Forces less than a year later. Those who knew him said that he worked hard to earn the privilege of wearing the green beret. His military education included U.S. Army Basic Airborne Course, Combat Lifesaver Course, the Warrior Leader Course, Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Course, the Special Forces Qualification Course, the Advanced Leader Course and the Combat Diver Qualification Course.

In March 2013 Viola was assigned to 3rd Bn., 7th SFG (A), Eglin Air force Base, Fla. He was deployed to Afghanistan with that unit when he was killed. It was his first deployment overseas with the Army special forces.

Viola’s awards and decorations include the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Development Ribbon with Numeral 2, the Army Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal, the Parachutist Badge, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Special Operations Dive Badge and the Special Forces Tab.

He is survived by his parents and sister.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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