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Slain Edgewood soldier remembered for sense of humor, toughness

Staff Sgt. Mark de Alencar, 37, was killed " in Agarhar Province Saturday (Courtesy of US Army)

EDGEWOOD, Md. (WBFF) -- A United States Army sergeant from Edgewood was killed this weekend in Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Mark de Alencar, 37, was killed by "small arms fire" in Agarhar Province Saturday, the Department of Defense released Monday.

"To know with somebody from my town, much less somebody I knew from high school, is just very, very sad," Ryan Sullivan, who went to Joppatowne High School a few years before de Alencar, said Tuesday. "Very nice guy, but very tough--I didn't like going against them on the football field, I'll tell you that."

de Alencar graduated in 1998 from Joppatowne High School.

His former football coach Greg Komondor, now the principal of Bel Air High School, said de Alencar was committed to his friends and his country.

"It's hard when you lose someone who is that good a person," Komondor said.

Other friends and former teachers said de Alencar was a "good kid," but tough, too. Another former coach said he will remember de Alencar for his ear-to-ear grin and sense of humor. He joined the Army immediately after high school.

de Alencar was married and had five children.

"I got three (kids) myself," Sullivan said. "And, that's who I really feel for, is the kids. Because, depending on the age, they may not know why daddy's not coming home until they get older. And that's the heart-crushing part right there."

A Harford County Schools spokesperson released the following statement Tuesday in response to de Alencar's death:

Mark De Alencar was a 1998 graduate of Joppatowne High School. We are deeply saddened by the news of his death and we hope that you will join us sending prayers and our most heartfelt condolences to his family in this time of great loss.

Funeral services are still being planned for de Alencar, according to friends.

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