2 Fort Drum Soldiers Are Killed in Afghanistan - New York News

2 Fort Drum Soldiers Are Killed in Afghanistan

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Two soldiers from Fort Drum, N.Y., were killed in separate incidents in Afghanistan last week, the Pentagon announced.

Spc. Blake D. Whipple, 21, of Williamsville, N.Y., died November 5 in Ghazni province after insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device, the Department of Defense said.

"Along with all New Yorkers, I want to express my sympathy to the friends, fellow soldiers, and family members of Specialist Whipple," Gov. David Paterson said in a statement. "This young soldier served our nation with honor and heroism. We mourn his passing, but we will recall his service to our country with pride."

On the same day, Sgt. Michael F. Paranzino, 22, of Middletown, R.I., died in Kandahar, also from an IED blast, the Pentagon said.

"On behalf of all residents of the Empire State, I extend our sympathy to the friends, family and fellow soldiers of Sergeant Paranzino," Paterson said. "Although he was not a New York native, we consider all those assigned to Fort Drum to be a part of our State. We regret his loss, but we will remember his service and honor him for it."

The governor ordered all flags on state government buildings be flown at half-staff on November 10, in Whipple's honor, Paterson's office said. He ordered the same honor for Paranzino for November 12.

Whipple was assigned to the 7th Engineering Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, at Fort Drum.

Paranzino was part Fort Drum's 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division.

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