Northam offers condolences after Virginia soldier killed

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -Gov. Ralph Northam has expressed his condolences to Newport News family who lost a loved one in Afghanistan.

Northam said in statement released Monday that their loss “is a reminder that our men and women in uniform across the globe continue to do dangerous work in pursuit of peace.”

He added: “I know I speak on behalf of all Virginians when I say that we are deeply grateful for their service and indebted to them for their sacrifice.”

Two men died on Saturday, 29-year-old Staff Sgt. Ian P. McLaughlin of Newport News; and 21-year-old Pfc. Miguel A. Villalon of Joliet, Illinois.

Staff Sgt. Ian Paul McLaughlin, left, and Pfc. Miguel Angel Villaon. (Courtesy U.S. Army)

They were killed when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan. Both soldiers were assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

The Taliban took responsibility for Saturday’s attack.

More than 2,400 U.S. service members have been killed in Afghanistan. The U.S. currently has about 13,000 troops in Afghanistan.

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