A Lancaster County community is mourning the death of a local soldier.
Staff Sgt. Patrick H. Quinn, 26, of Quarryville, died Sunday of injuries he sustained in an enemy attack on his base in Afghanistan, according to the Defense Department.
Quinn graduated from Solanco High School in 2005 and was known to friends and teachers as "PQ."
"He would always have something humorous to tell you or a joke to tell you. He liked to entertain," assistant principal Stephanie Lininger said. "You had to work around that to get to the serious side of Patrick, but there was one."
Quinn was part of the school newspaper, served as junior class vice president, and was a dedicated member of Solanco's track and cross country teams.
"He was kind of the team clown, but also very good at bringing the kids together, motivating them," Lininger said. "He showed up for the first practice as a young runner and showed up in Army boots, so we're thinking that might've been a premonition of the future of Patrick's career."
During his military career, Quinn became a Green Beret and served on a Special Forces team. He was highly decorated and served in Iraq before his tour in Afghanistan.
The high school's spirit flag flew at half-staff in honor of Quinn's courage. The student senate is looking for other ways to honor him.
"We are very proud," Lininger said. "It's a bittersweet moment because, obviously, you hate to hear things like this happening, but here's a Solanco graduate who went off and excelled in his career, and had a passion for it and did so well, so yes, we're proud of him."
Quinn, who is survived by his wife and their three sons, was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star