Two ILARNG Soldiers KIA

Gypsy

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Another couple of Soldiers from our NG deployment have been KIA. One correction is that SGT Smith is not from C Troop, 2-106 Cav based in Aurora, IL. He was with HHC based in Kewanee, but was assigned to our Troop for mob purposes.

May these Warriors Rest in Peace, prayers out for the injured. This is the official press release

ILLINOIS ARMY NATIONAL GUARD SOLDIERS KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN
Two Illinois Soldiers killed in action June 19

SPRINGFIELD – Staff Sgt. Joshua Melton, 26, with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 130th Infantry based in Marion, and Sgt. Paul Smith, 43, with Troop C, 2nd Battalion, 106th Cavalry based in Aurora, were killed in action June 19 in Afghanistan.

Melton, a resident of Germantown, Ill., graduated from Central Community High School, Breese, Ill., in 2001. He enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard November in 2000. This was his second deployment. His first deployment was in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom December 2004 to March 2006.

Smith, a resident of East Peoria, Ill., graduated from East Peoria Community High School in 1984. He enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard in April 1993. This was his third deployment. His first two deployments were in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom April 2003 to March 2004 and February 2005 to January 2006.

“The loss of these two Illinois National Guard Soldiers is devastating,” said Maj. Gen. William Enyart, Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard. “Staff Sgt. Melton and Sgt. Smith were true patriots, answering the call to duty and supporting their fellow Soldiers during multiple deployments. They are remarkable, devoted Soldiers who will always be our heroes. We will remember these Soldiers by their bravery and the sacrifice they made for us all. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families at this difficult time.”
The two Soldiers were killed when their vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Two other Soldiers in the vehicle, also assigned with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2nd Battalion, 106th Cavalry and Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 130th Infantry, were injured in the accident.

Both units deployed to Afghanistan as part of the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) and are providing force protection for Embedded Training Teams, Police Mentor Teams and Forward Operating Bases. The units arrived in theater October 2008.

2/2/2/2/2/CASUALTIES
Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 130 Infantry and Troop C, 2 Battalion, 106th Cavalry are two of the approximate 30 units with the 33rd IBCT and two units from the 404th Chemical Brigade that deployed to Afghanistan.

Melton and Smith are the 13th and 14th casualties from the Illinois Army National Guard’s 33rd IBCT since their deployment to Afghanistan. No information on funeral arrangements has been determined at this time.
These are the 29th and 30th casualties the Illinois National Guard has suffered since operations in Afghanistan and Iraq began.

Out of respect for the families, please contact the Illinois National Guard Public Affairs Office at 217-761-3569 for all media requests, after duty hours please call 217-761-3941.
 
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