Two soldiers from Indiana have been killed in Afghanistan following an attack that included rocket-propelled grenade fire and small arms fire in Kandahar, the Indiana National Guard announced Tuesday.
Spc. Nicholas A. Taylor, Jr., 20, of Berne, and Spc. Sergio E. Perez, Jr., 21, of Crown Point, died Monday, the Guard said. They were members of the 713th Engineer Company out of Valparaiso.
"Every such loss is a heartbreak," said Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. "We are hit with special severity here because of the casualties this heroic unit has already endured. No Guard unit in my memory has been assigned to a more dangerous mission than the 713th, and here again we see the incredible risks these citizen-Soldiers volunteer to run for the rest of us."
Taylor is a graduate of South Adams High School in Berne. Perez graduated from Lake Central High School in St. John. Both are survived by their parents.
"My heart is heavy today as I consider the soldiers of the 713th Engineer Company who, for the second time in their combat tour, have experienced the multiple loss of their team mates," said Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger in a release. "I am so fiercely proud of the service and sacrifice of these Fallen Heroes and so very grateful for their families who loved and supported them."