Local News

Two Fort Bragg paratroopers killed in Afghanistan

Posted January 12, 2020 3:30 p.m. EST
Updated January 12, 2020 9:48 p.m. EST

— Two Fort Bragg paratroopers were killed in Afghanistan, officials announced Sunday.

Staff Sgt. Ian Paul McLaughlin of Virginia and Pfc. Miguel Angel Villalon of Illinois were killed while conducting combat operations on Saturday in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The incident is under investigation.

McLaughlin, who joined the Army in 2012 and served as a squad leader, is survived by his wife and four children.

Villalon, who joined the Army in 2018 as a combat engineer and was on his first deployment, is survived by his mother and father.

"These paratroopers represent the very best of our nation and our Army," said Maj. Gen. James Mingus, the 82nd Airborne Division Commander. "Three time volunteers, they went when our nation called and paid the ultimate sacrifice. They will be honored, mourned, but never forgotten and we are committed to taking care of their families for life."

Gov. Roy Cooper said he will order flags to be flown at half-staff to honor McLaughlin and Villalon.

Officials said the two were not among those deployed last week.

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