Mourners gathered at the University of San Francisco Wednesday to pay tribute to a 2010 nursing graduate who was killed Sunday while serving her first military tour in Afghanistan.
Army 1st Lt. Jennifer Moreno, 25, was killed along with three other soldiers in Afghanistan's Zhari district by a roadside suicide bomb attack, Gov. Jerry Brown's office announced Tuesday.
Moreno was a graduate of USF's School of Nursing and Health Professions and school officials and former classmates honored her with flag-lowering ceremony Wednesday afternoon at the school's Lone Mountain flag court, according to university spokeswoman Anne-Marie Devine.
Members of the university's ROTC program conducted the ceremony.
Devine described Moreno as a dedicated and caring nurse, a brave Army lieutenant and a beloved member of the USF community.
USF Associate Professor Dr. Susan Prion was Moreno's faculty advisor. Prion told KTVU Moreno was part of a special Cultural Support Team and had just helped stop one attack in a crowded market in Zhari, Afghanistan when her team was hit by a second suicide bomber.
Prion said many other service members were injured in the attack.
"She was one of those folks who you really want to have your back; if you're sick, if you're in a war zone," said Prion. "She volunteered for something that didn't require a nurse, but she did it and did it well. And, sadly, she made the ultimate sacrifice."
Moreno, who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, was assigned to the Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.
Brown on Tuesday ordered flags at the state Capitol to be flown at half-staff in Moreno's honor.
Meanwhile, a veterans charity is stepping up to make sure the families of fallen soldiers receive military death benefits that have been on hold since the federal government shutdown.
The Fisher House Foundation, based in Maryland, agreed to make the payments until it can be reimbursed by the Defense Department.
The funds could offer help to Moreno's family. Her body will be returned to her family in San Diego.
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.