More than $30,000 has been raised to support the family of Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Goble, a New Jersey soldier killed in combat Monday in Afghanistan.

The Taliban claimed it was behind the fatal roadside bombing in northern Kunduz province that killed Goble, but the Pentagon has not yet confirmed those claims.

"We lost a true American hero yesterday," GoFundMe campaign organizer Lisa Barker wrote. "Anyone that crossed paths with Mike, was truly blessed. I have never met a soldier that was more passionate and patriotic than Mike Goble.

"He loved this country endlessly, and paid the ultimate sacrifice for it, fighting for our freedom. He leaves behind a beautiful daughter, Zoey, and his beautiful partner Jen, who has stood by his side all these years. Times are going to be very hard over the next few months."

The campaign says proceeds will go to Jennifer Albuquerque "to take care of herself and Zoey." New Jersey 101.5 has contacted GoFundMe seeking to verify the campaign's authenticity.

Goble was assigned to 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Goble's unit was engaged in combat operations in Kunduz Province, Afghanistan, when he suffered fatal injuries, the Pentagon has said.

Twenty U.S. deaths have been recorded in Afghanistan this year. There have also been three noncombat deaths in 2019. More than 2,400 Americans have died in the nearly 18-year conflict.

Shortly after the initial U.S. military statement on the latest fatality, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted that the U.S. soldier was killed in the Chardara district in northern Kunduz province where U.S. and Afghan forces were carrying out a joint raid. Mujahid said the insurgents had planted roadside bomb that killed the service member. He even tweeted a purported photo ID of the slain U.S. soldier, without saying how it was obtained.

The U.S. military did not comment on the tweet or the Taliban claim.

 

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“Sergeant 1st Class Michael Goble represented the best values of our Armed Forces and of New Jersey — dedication, fearlessness, and excellence," Gov. Phil Murphy and Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver wrote in a joint statement Tuesday. "His tragic passing reminds us of the tremendous sacrifices our soldiers and our military families make in the name of service so that our nation's values may continue to be a beacon around the world. Our thoughts are with Sergeant 1st Class Goble's family and friends. May we all honor his service by endeavoring through our lives to represent the values for which he gave his life.”

Condolences poured in online from throughout the state country, including from political leaders and candidates, and from service organizations.

In a post on Facebook, Lamar Estridge described Goble as a "true American Hero and my brother."

"He is truly the definition of what a patriot is and paid the ultimate price yesterday right before the holiday," Estridge wrote.

Salvatore Luigi Adamo described Goble on Facebook as his best friend, and encouraged people to donate to the GoFundMe campaign:

(Includes material copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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