FORT BRAGG — A North Carolina-based soldier was killed Tuesday when an outpost in the Zharay District of Kandahar Province in Afghanistan came under enemy fire, the Department of Defense announced Friday.
Spc. Krystal M. Fitts, 26, a Houston, Texas, native, was trained in the Pashtu language and assigned to Charlie Company in the 1st Battalion of the 82nd Airborne Division’s 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment.
A member of the 4th Brigade Combat Team’s Female Engagement Team, she was assigned to interact with Afghan women, whose culture does not allow them to converse with male soldiers.
Fitts “filled a critical role on the FET, but also took on an ever-increasing number of duties well beyond the scope of her experience and training,” Capt. Sam Perlik, commander of Charlie Company, said.
“(Women in the FET) have been the literal face of America to a host of Afghan women and children,” said Lt. Col. Timothy Gilhool, who commands the 782nd Brigade Support Battalion, the unit of which the FET was a part. “Krystal was unafraid, (and) her presence made the difference.”
Fitts joined the Army in 2009 and was assigned to the 82nd in May 2010. Fitts has been awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.