2 Vermont Guard members killed in Afghanistan - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

2 Vermont Guard members killed in Afghanistan

Sgt. Tristan Southworth Sgt. Tristan Southworth
Sgt. Steven Deluzio Sgt. Steven Deluzio

Colchester, Vermont - August 24, 2010

Maj. Gen. Michael Dubie was brought to tears announcing the deaths of Sgt. Tristan Southworth, 21, of Walden, Vt., and Sgt. Steven Deluzio, 25, of South Glastonbury, Conn. They were killed early Sunday morning in Afghanistan.

"This is a tough time in Afghanistan for our brigade," Dubie said.

Guard officials say the soldiers were killed when two platoons of Vermont soldiers out of Jericho along with Afghan Border Police convoyed to Paktiya, where they exited their vehicles and went on a foot patrol in an area of known insurgents. While they were there they came under attack from a large number of enemy fighters.

"Without going into more operational detail, generally speaking Paktiya where the incident took place on Sunday," Col. Terry Lambert said.

Insurgents in the mountainous area attacked the platoons with small firearms and rocket-propelled grenades.

"It was an extended amount of time, it sounds like it was a couple hours of a firefight so it was a very prolonged engagement from what we're use to," Dubie said.

Dubie says Sgt. Southworth was extricating another wounded soldier when he was hit.

"From reports from their Sergeant Major, everyone's taking it pretty tough. They were very well liked and made a very positive impact," Dubie said.

Gen. Dubie says he is proud of the work the Vermont National Guard is doing in Afghanistan and the soldiers don't have to live in state to be Green Mountain Boys.

"Sgt. Deluzio maybe from Connecticut but he's as much a member of the Vermont National Guard as I am," Dubie said.

There was also a third member of the national guard who was wounded but who will return to duty along with one Afghan border police killed and two Afghan border police wounded in the attack.

A ceremony was held Monday in Afghanistan as the bodies of Sgts Southworth and Deluzio were loaded on a plane to be transported back home. Over 600 brigade members attended.

Gina Bullard - WCAX News

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