An Army National Guard sergeant from Connecticut was among two soldiers killed in an ambush in Afghanistan, the Defense Department reported.
Sgt. Steven J. Deluzio, 25, of South Glastonbury died August 22, 2010, in Paktika after insurgents attacked his unit with small arms and rocket propelled grenade fire, the Pentagon said. Spc. Tristan H. Southworth, 21, of West Danville, Vt., was also killed in the attack. They were members of the Vermont Army National Guard.
Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell ordered state and U.S. flags to be lowered to half staff in Deluzio's honor until he is buried.
"I urge everyone to keep Sergeant Deluzio and his family in your hearts and prayers," Governor Rell said in a statement. "Please honor the memory of this brave soldier, who gave his life for our liberty. We will be forever grateful for his dedication to duty, to our freedom and the American ideals we hold so dear."
A fierce two-hour firefight broke out after the insurgents attacked the unit, the AP reported. Another U.S. soldier and an Afghan soldier were wounded in the battle.
Deluzio and Southworth were assigned to the 172nd Infantry, 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, based out of Jericho, Vt.
Steven's brother Scott DeLuzio is a member of the Connecticut National Guard. He was pulled out of Afghanistan as soon as the family got the news, the Hartford Courant reported.