Two Indiana National Guardsmen killed in Afghanistan - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Two Indiana National Guardsmen killed in Afghanistan

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BERNE, Ind. -

The deaths of two Indiana National Guardsmen in Afghanistan brings to six the number of soldiers from a Valparaiso-based unit to die in the war this year.

Gov. Mitch Daniels and Adjutant General Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger said Tuesday that Spcs. Nick Taylor of Berne and Sergio Eduardo Perez of Crown Point died Monday while clearing bombs when rocket-propelled grenade fire and small arms fire hit their patrol in Kandahar Province.

Taylor and Perez were members of the Valparaiso-based 713th Engineer Company that also lost four other members Jan. 6 in an explosion in Kandahar.

Taylor's brother says he was driving an armored truck when it was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.

Perez graduated from Lake Central High School in 2010 and enlisted later that year.

Gov. Mitch Daniels said the loss was especially heartbreaking "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."

SPC Nicholas A. Taylor Jr. was born to Timothy Ray and Stephania Dawn Taylor in Decatur, IN on October 10, 1991. SPC Taylor graduated from South Adams High School in May 2010. Later that year, he enlisted in the Indiana Army National Guard and set off for basic training and 12B (Combat Engineer) MOS training at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO.  He returned to Ft. Leonard Wood in April 2011 to attend the Route/Reconnaissance Clearance Operations Course in preparation for deployment to Afghanistan with the 713th Engineer Company (Sapper). While deployed he was promoted to the rank of Specialist (E4) in April 2012.

SPC Sergio E. Perez Jr. was born to Sergio E. Perez Sr. and Veronica Orozko in Crown Point, IN on May 10, 1991. SPC Perez graduated from Lake Central High School in May 2010. Later that year, SPC Perez enlisted in the Indiana Army National Guard and set off for basic training and 12B (Combat Engineer) MOS training at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO. SPC Perez returned to Ft. Leonard Wood in April of 2011 to attend the Route/Reconnaissance Clearance Operations Course in preparation for deployment to Afghanistan with the 713th Engineer Company (Sapper). While deployed he was promoted to the rank of Specialist (E4) in April 2012.

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