The Pentagon has announced the identities of two soldiers killed in combat in Afghanistan.
Killed on Wednesday in Uruzgan province were 32-year-old Army Master Sgt. Michael B. Riley and 24-year-old Army Sgt. James G. Johnston.
Johnston was assigned to 79th Ordnance Battalion, 71st Ordnance Group as an explosive disposal specialist, at Fort Hood, Texas. He was from Trumansburg, near Ithaca. He joined the Army in 2013 and had been in Afghanistan since March.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered flags on state government buildings to be flown at half-staff starting Friday in honor of Johnston.
“On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend our sympathy to the friends, family, and fellow soldiers of Sgt. Johnston,” Gov. Cuomo said. “His death is a reminder of the sacrifices members of the military make to protect the freedoms and the values that this state and this nation were founded upon.”
Riley was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group at Fort Carson, Colorado. He was from Heilbronn, Germany.