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NWI Soldier Killed in Afghanistan

Officials say two members of the 713th Engineer Company headquartered in Valparaiso lost their lives in Afghanistan Monday The Indiana National Guard says Specialist Sergio Perez of Crown Point and Specialist Nicholas Taylor of Berne in northeast Indiana were killed during an attack that included rocket propelled grenade fire and small arms fire in the Kandahar Province during a mounted route clearance patrol.

(Photos provided by Indiana National Guard)

Spc. Sergio Eduardo Perez
Specialist Sergio Eduardo Perez, Jr.

Spc. Nicholas Andrew Taylor
Specialist Nicholas Andrew Taylor

The 713th engineer company lost four other soldiers in January when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb in Afghanistan -- Sgt. Brian Leonhardt of Merrillville, Specialist Christopher Patterson, a Valparaiso University student from Aurora, Illinois, Specialist Robert Tauteris, Jr., of Hamlet, and Staff Sgt. Jonathan Metzger of Indianapolis. A fifth soldier, Specialist Doug Rachowicz of Hammond was badly injured.. Specialist Rachowicz was awarded the Purple Heart in a ceremony in Valparaiso in May.


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Here is the news release from the Indiana National Guard:
Indiana warriors killed in action in Afghanistan

INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and Indiana National Guard Adjutant
General, Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, were officially notified of the deaths
of two Indiana National Guard Soldiers in Afghanistan.

The fallen are members of the 713th Engineer Company, headquartered in
Valparaiso, Ind., and were assigned to clear military supply and combat
routes.

Spc. Nicholas Andrew Taylor of Berne, Ind.
Spc. Sergio Eduardo Perez of Crown Pointe, Ind.

The Soldiers were killed during a complex attack that included rocket
propelled grenade fire and small arms fire in the Kandahar Province during a
mounted route clearance patrol, Monday, July 16, 2012.

"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," said Gov. Daniels.

The Indiana National Guard has directed full attention and resources to
support the families and will defer to their wishes concerning media
engagements.

"My heart is heavy today as I consider the Soldiers of the 713th Engineer
Company who, for the second time in their combat tour, have experienced the
multiple loss of their team mates," said Maj. Gen. Umbarger.  "I am so
fiercely proud of the service and sacrifice of these Fallen Heroes and so
very grateful for their families who loved and supported them."

Please contact the Indiana National Guard public affairs office concerning
this and any future releases.

SPECIALIST NICHOLAS ANDREW TAYLOR
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
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, SPC Taylor 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 Taylor 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. SPC Taylor is survived by his parents Timothy and
Stephania Taylor.


SPECIALIST SERGIO EDUARDO PEREZ, JR.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
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.  SPC Perez is survived by his parents Sergio E. Perez Sr.
and Veronica Orozko.

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