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'If he knew the outcome, he would do it again:' Widow of Bragg soldier killed in Kabul speaks out

ABC11 Eyewitness News
ABC11 Eyewitness News
 2021-08-31

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For Alena Knauss, the last few days have been surreal and unimaginable.

Her husband, Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss was killed in the Kabul airport attack last week. Staff. Sgt. Knauss was assigned to the 8th Psychological Operations Group at Fort Bragg.

Knauss joined the Army in May 2016, the same year the pair got married.

"The last thing I had texted him was, 'Hey, I love you, when you get the chance--I know you are busy--but can you please just text me and let me know you are OK?' He never got to respond to that," Knauss told ABC11.

2 North Carolina service members among fatalities in Afghanistan airport bombing

Knauss was one of 13 service members lost last week as they carried out their mission of getting Americans and Afghan refugees out of Afghanistan.

"I've never lost someone, and God how tragic that it was the person I cared about the very most, but for me, it's hard to be so sad when we were so happy. I might be in denial; I might be going through my grieving process. But at the moment it's more of just a strange clarity about how grateful I am that he chose me and we chose each other, and that it wasn't enough time--and I'll always be robbed of that time--but all of the time we had was so blissful," Knauss said.

Through pain and tears, Alena remembers her late husband as a charismatic personality people were drawn to. He loved and cared for anyone who needed help and was the first to step up and answer the call.

Troops killed in Kabul attack include Marine who cradled baby in viral photo; soon-to-be dad

"He was right in the field of work he wanted to be in, and if he knew the outcome, he would do it again," Knauss said.

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Comments / 22

Guest
2021-08-31

he is gone but will never be forgotten he will always live on in your heart and you will always be in his heart your love for each other will never die

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John Burroughs
2021-08-31

We should not ever forget the incredible sacrifice our soldiers make, along with there family's and freind. God bless, rest in peace

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Val Maria
2021-08-31

He knew as a soldier what was expected of him. Unfortunate that on that day Isis would bomb the area he was in. That’s the price of war. He was given a command and he followed it. Every operation that the US participates in never goes smoothly, people die. He was a warrior and died one. Every soldier knows this. You should be proud of him, like we are. He served his country well. I grieve with you, and my deepest condolences to you and your family. We shall never forget.

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