Ryan J. Savard, a 2001 graduate of Buena High School, joined the military after graduating.

A soldier from Sierra Vista who was based at Fort Bragg was killed Saturday in Afghanistan, the Defense Department announced Sunday.

Sgt. 1st Class Ryan J. Savard, 29, a 2001 graduate of Buena High School, died during, what the Pentagon said, was small-arms fire in Khanabad district, about 100 miles north of Kabul. He was on patrol in the area.

This was Savard's fifth deployment to Afghanistan. He also served one deployment to Iraq, according to the Army.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Sunday ordered that flags at state buildings be lowered to half-staff until sunset.

"By now, we should need no reminder of the dangers our brave servicemen and women face while carrying out their duties," Brewer said in a statement. "I ask that Arizonans join me in offering our sincere gratitude to Sgt. 1st Class Savard, and a prayer for his loved ones."

Savard, who was born in Salt Lake City, enlisted in the Army in 2001 as a helicopter repairman, and after training was assigned to Bravo Company, 7th Battalion, 159th Aviation in Gieblstadt, Germany, the release says.

While there, Savard was deployed once to Iraq.

In 2004, Savard graduated from the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School to become a Special Forces weapons sergeant. He was assigned to Company A, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces group at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, according to the release.

In 2008, Savard was assigned to Operations Detachment Group Support Battalion, 3rd SFG where he served as a senior Special Forces weapons sergeant. He was deployed three times to Afghanistan.

In May 2010, he was assigned as a special operations team member, Army Special Operations Command, and deployed two more times to Afghanistan, the release says.

Savard, who received numerous awards and decorations during his service, was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Purple Heart.

Savard is survived by his wife, Kayla Savard, and parents Garett and Marie Savard.

No information about services was available Sunday.

On StarNet: Learn more about Southern Arizonans who have been killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan at azstarnet.com/gallery

Contact reporter Carmen Duarte at 573-4104 or cduarte@azstarnet.com