New York Marine Dies in Afghanistan - New York News

New York Marine Dies in Afghanistan

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A Marine from western New York has been killed in combat in Afghanistan, the Department of Defense said.

Staff Sgt. Javier O. Ortiz Rivera, 26, of Rochester, died Nov. 16 during combat operations in Helmand province.

Gov. David Paterson ordered flags on state government buildings to fly at half-staff on Monday, November 22, in Ortiz Rivera's honor.

"On behalf of all New Yorkers I join the friends, family and fellow Marines of Staff Sergeant Rivera in mourning his death," Paterson said. "Though we mourn his passing, we will honor his service, his dedication and his memory."

He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Ortiz Rivera served in support of the war in Iraq from September 2005 to March 2006, the Marines said.

His awards include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, according to the USMC.

Ortiz Rivera was married with three children, according to a Democrat and Chronicle report.

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