CHICAGO (CBS) — The Department of Defense on Sunday identified both soldiers who were killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan this weekend – one of whom was a local man.
The City of Aurora on Saturday identified one of the soldiers as Pfc. Miguel Villalon, 21. The Department of Defense put Joliet as Villalon’s city of residence, but the City of Aurora said Villalon was a proud graduate of East Aurora High School.
The other soldier was identified as Staff Sgt. Ian McLaughlin, 29, of Newport News, Virginia.
Both soldiers were killed by an improvised explosive device in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, the Department of Defense said. They were there as part of the NATO Resolute Support Mission.
Both soldiers were assigned to 307th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the Department of Defense said.
“Our prayers and condolences are with the Villalon family during this tragic time,” Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin, an Army veteran, said in a news release on Saturday. “Miguel was a young soldier with dreams for the future and a desire to make a difference in the world today.
“Much like all of us who have left from our hometown of Aurora to serve our country, our goal is to do our job well and return to our family and friends,” Irvin continued in the release. “Sadly, Miguel made the ultimate sacrifice as he protected our freedom from the front lines. The City of Lights shines much dimmer because of this loss. We’ll stand with his family and provide support. Godspeed, young soldier.”
The City of Aurora on Sunday lowered its flag to half-staff for Villalon.
Villalon’s mother and other local family members were too distraught to speak with CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli on Saturday night.
They were set to meet with officials from the U.S. Army on Sunday.