Following a request by Governor Roy Cooper, all US, state and Duke flags have been lowered today to half-staff beginning in honor of US Staff Sgt. Ian Paul McLaughlin of Virginia and Pfc. Miguel Angel Villalon of Illinois, who lost their lives while conducting combat operations on Saturday in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Staff Sgt. McLaughlin and Pfc. Villalon were both paratroopers assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division based in Fort Bragg, NC.
McLaughlin, who joined the Army in 2012 and served as a squad leader, is survived by his wife and four children.
Villalon, who joined the Army in 2018 as a combat engineer and was on his first deployment, is survived by his mother and father.
Flags are to remain at halfstaff through sunset on January 19, 2020.
"Our hearts are heavy with the loss of two brave paratroopers in Afghanistan,” Cooper said. “To honor their memories, I order the flags to half staff."