LOVELAND, Colo. — The Colorado community is getting ready to say goodbye to an American soldier who died while serving in Afghanistan.
U.S. Army Spc. Gabriel Conde was killed by small arms fire while participating in Operation Freedom’s Sentinel on April 30.
His body made its way back to Colorado on Friday. The town of Berthoud lined its streets with American flags along the route Conde’s body took as it made its way from an airport in Loveland to Longmont. Watch a replay of the procession by clicking here or in the player below.
Conde’s family invited the public to line the streets to show their gratitude for the 22-year-old.
Here's a look at the route for today's procession for U.S. Army Spc. Gabriel Conde, which begins at about 10:30 a.m. pic.twitter.com/36LKm1s8lM
— Denver7 News (@DenverChannel) May 11, 2018
Conde’s parents told Denver7 their son was very athletic and loved serving his country. The family moved to Colorado in 2009 and Gabe Conde graduated from Berthoud High School. During his time in school, he ran for the track team and participated in the school’s band and wrestling team, according to his obituary. He also went on three mission trips to Mexico with his church.
“Gabe especially loves the outdoors, he loved hunting and camping, not fishing necessarily, just being outside, chopping wood. One of those kind of guys,” said his father, Bob Conde.
Conde attended the Colorado School of Mines for a year before dedicating himself to military service in 2015.
“He has a fierce, keen sense of justice. You don't mess with his sisters, and if he's around you don't mess with any kids. We raised him that way, and he definitely became that man,” Bob Conde said.
Conde was awarded several service honors during his time with the military. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the Parachutist Badge and an Army Service Ribbon.
Conde died during his first tour to Afghanistan, where he was serving alongside Afghan security forces in the fight against Al-Qaeda. He was assigned to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska.
He leaves behind his parents, two younger sisters and extended family.
“We knew we raised a young man that would give his life for another. That’s why it was so hard to say goodbye to him. But, I also believe he would do it again and he thinks it was worth it all. I know he thinks that,” his mother, Donna Conde said.
During his time in Afghanistan, he became passionate about speaking out for victims of human trafficking. His family started the Gabe Conde Memorial Fund to raise money for victims of trafficking in Afghanistan. Donations are being accepted at any FirstBank.
Denver7 anchor Anne Trujillo sat down with Conde’s family for a one-on-one interview to talk about his service and his sacrifice. You can watch that interview on Denver7 at 10 p.m. Friday.