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FOR RELEASE: Friday, Oct 24, 2008

Dod Announces Death Of New York Army National Guard Soldier

Bronx Soldier is Killed In Action in Afghanistan

LATHAM, NY (10/24/2008;)-- The Department of Defense today announced the death of a New York Army National Guard Soldier serving in Afghanistan. Specialist Deon Taylor, 30, died on October 22 in Bela Beluk, Farah Province, Afghanistan after his armored humvee struck an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations against enemy forces. Specialist Taylor, who joined the New York Army National Guard in 1997, was a member of Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, based in Syracuse. The 27th Brigade Combat Team is serving as the headquarters for Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix, an 8,000- member international force responsible for training the Afghan National Army and police. Specialist Taylor was assigned to Afghan Regional Security Integration Command South. Prior assignment with the 27thBrigade, Taylor was a Fire Control Systems Specialist belonging to the New York Army National Guard's Battery B, 1st Battalion 258th Field Artillery, based in the Bronx. In civilian life he was a member of the New York Police Department. Specialist Taylor , a resident of the Bronx, is survived by his father and mother, who both live in the Bronx. He is also survived by a son who lives in Watervliet, Albany County, with his mother, Taylor's ex-wife. "We in the New York National Guard are saddened by the death of this fine Soldier," said Major General Joseph Taluto, the Adjutant General of New York and Commander of the New York National Guard. "Specialist Taylor died in battle against the enemies of the United States and we respect his service and sacrifice, while we mourn with his family for this loss," Taluto added. Specialist Taylor's awards include the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal, New York State Aid to Civil Authorities Medal, and the Army Achievement Medal. He is being awarded the Bronze Star, posthumously, along with the Purple Heart, Combat Action Badge, and New York State Conspicuous Service Medal., and will be promoted posthumously to sergeant. Specialist Taylor is the eighth New York Army National Guard Soldier serving in Afghanistan to die in that country since the 27th Brigade Combat Team deployed there in April. Sergeant First Class Joseph A. McKay and Specialist Mark C. Palmateer were killed on June 26 when their humvee was struck by an improvised explosive device, small arms fire and rocket propelled grenades, while operating near Forward Operating Base Shank in Logar Province in eastern Afghanistan. They were assigned to B Troop, 2nd Squadron 101st Cavalry. Three New York Army National Guard members were killed on June 21 when their humvee was struck by an improvised explosive device outside Kandahar. Killed in that incident were Sergeant Andrew Seabrooks, Sergeant Nelson Roderiguez-Rameriz, and Specialist Anthony Mangano. They were assigned to A Troop, 2nd Squadron 101st Cavalry. 1st Lt. Daniel Farkas died at Camp Phoenix, Kabul on July 4 in a non-hostile incident still under investigation. He was assigned to the Headquarters Company, 27th Brigade Combat Team. On Oct. 2, Specialist Jason Von Zerneck, of Kew Gardens,Queens, died when his vehicle overturned during a logistics operation. He was assigned to B Troop, 2nd Squadron 101st Cavalry. Specialist Taylor is the fourth Soldier from the 1st Battalion, 258th Field Artillery to die in Afghanistan. 1stLt. Daniel Farkas, Sgt. First Class Joseph McKay and Sgt. Andrew Seabrook were also members of that battalion before being reassigned to deploy to Afghanistan. More than 6,800 members of the New York Army National Guard have served in Iraq and Afghanistan since September 11, 2001. Thirty members of the New York Army National Guard have been killed in action since then; 23 in Iraq and seven in Afghanistan. Currently 1,450 members of the New York Army National Guard are serving in Afghanistan and 550 are serving in Iraq.

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© NYS DMNA Press Release:Dod Announces Death Of New York Army National Guard Soldier
URL: http://dmna.ny.gov/pressroom/?id=1224878462
Page Last Modified: Oct 31, 2008