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US, NC flags lowered to half-staff to honor paratroopers killed in Afghanistan

US, NC flags lowered to half-staff to honor paratroopers killed in Afghanistan

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Governor Roy Cooper Monday ordered all United States and North Carolina flags at state facilities to be lowered immediately to half-staff in honor of US Staff Sgt. Ian Paul McLaughlin of Virginia and Pfc. Miguel Angel Villalon of Illinois, who lost their lives while conducting combat operations Saturday in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. McLaughlin and Pfc. Villalon were both paratroopers assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

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.

Flags are to remain at halfstaff through sunset Sunday.

Governor Roy Cooper issued this statement:

"Our hearts are heavy with the loss of two brave paratroopers in Afghanistan. To honor their memories, I order the flags to half-stahalff."

As a show of respect, individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and other government subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the duration of time indicated, the governor’s office said. 

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