Crown Point soldier killed in Afghanistan
Post-Tribune staff report July 17, 2012 11:40AM
A U.S. flag flies at half staff outside the Indiana National Guard armory in Valparaiso in July. | File photo
Updated: August 19, 2012 6:19AM
The governor’s office and Indiana National Guard are reporting that a soldier from Crown Point has died in Afghanistan.
Spc. Sergio E. Perez Jr., 21, died along with another soldier, Spc. Nicholas Andrew Taylor, of Berne, south of Fort Wayne, on Monday from a rocket-propelled-grenade attack and small-arms fire in Kandahar Province during a mounted route clearance patrol.
Perez graduated from Lake Central High School in 2010, and enlisted in the Indiana National Guard later that year.
He is survived by his parents, Sergio E. Perez Sr. and Veronica Orozco of Crown Point.
“The soldiers of the 713th Engineer Company face a dangerous mission every single day. A danger of which they are very aware with firsthand experience of the threat and consequences,” Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger said in a release. “In spite of the danger, these two Sappers soldiered on, and we will now honor their courage and always remember their sacrifice.”
“Every such loss is a heartbreak. We are hit with special severity here because of the casualties this heroic unit has already endured. No Guard unit in my memory has been assigned a more dangerous mission than the 713th, and here again we see the incredible risks these citizen-soldiers volunteer to run for the rest of us,” Gov. Mitch Daniels said in a release.
Perez’s and Taylor’s deaths are the fifth and sixth from Valparaiso’s Indiana National Guard 713th Engineer Company. In January, four soldiers from the unit were killed and another was injured after an encounter with a roadside bomb.
Ninety-five soldiers were deployed with the unit in September.