Reporting Christie Ileto
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — More reaction from friends and family of the 25-year-old graduate of Johns Hopkins University killed in Afghanistan. Anne Smedinghoff was one of five Americans killed in two terrorist attacks in Afghanistan.
Christie Ileto has more.
Smedinghoff’s body returned to the United States at Dover Air Force Base. Family and friends said she died doing what she loved, something she devoted her studies to while in Baltimore.
Family and friends of Anne Smedinghoff are still trying to digest the horrific news of her death in Afghanistan. The Johns Hopkins graduate was one of five Americans killed in a suicide bombing over the weekend.
“We are so proud of Anne, and what she did,” said Smedinghoff’s father, Tom.
While her parents are at a loss for words, her friends are trying to understand why.
“She was a good friend of mine. I think I’m pretty much in denial about the whole thing. I don’t think it’s hit me yet,” said Chris Louie, a friend and Johns Hopkins graduate.
Chris Louie is a classmate and close friend of Smedinghoff. He says he spoke with her four days ago online, and had no idea that would be their last conversation.
“With someone like that who is obviously doing so much good in the world and so passionate and courageous, you don’t expect something to happen to someone like that,” said Louie.
The attack happened in Qalat. Smedinghoff was part of a convoy taking math and science books to a school for Afghan children when a suicide bomber drove a vehicle full of explosives into their convoy.
Secretary of State John Kerry, who met Smedinghoff during his visit to Afghanistan, calls the news difficult.
“Anne is everything that is right about our Foreign Service. She was bright, capable and committed to our country,” said Kerry.
On her Facebook page, Smedinghoff shared pictures of her journey and told friends she would return to the states in July. Instead, her homecoming is a somber one.
“She was making a positive difference and so while we certainly wish it hadn’t turned out this way, we don’t regret her going in and doing what she did,” said Smedinghoff’s father.
Smedinghoff leaves behind her parents and three siblings.
Smedinghoff is the first American diplomat to die on the job since last year’s attack in Benghazi, Libya.