AURORA, Ill. — Miguel Villalon, 21, was one of two U.S. service members killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan Saturday. Villalon was from Aurora, Illinois.
The city of Aurora identified Villalon as one of the soldiers who died. They said Villalon was a former student of East Aurora High School and he "was proud to serve in the United States Army and protect his country."
The Taliban immediately took responsibility for Saturday's attack.
Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin, a United States Army Veteran, said the city's prayers and condolences are with the Villalon family.
“Miguel was a young soldier with dreams for the future and a desire to make a difference in the world today. Much like all of us who have left from our hometown of Aurora to serve our country, our goal is to do our job well and return to our family and friends," said Irvin. "Sadly, Miguel made the ultimate sacrifice as he protected our freedom from the front lines. The City of Lights shines much dimmer because of this loss. We’ll stand with his family and provide support. Godspeed, young soldier.”
The Associated Press reports that the U.S. currently has about 13,000 troops in Afghanistan—about 5,000 of whom are doing counterterrorism missions. The rest are training, advising and assisting the Afghan security forces.
More than 2,400 U.S. service members have been killed in Afghanistan. Last year was one of the deadliest for the United States, with 23 American troops killed, even as Washington engaged in peace talks with the Taliban.
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