A U.S. Army Ranger from Farmingville was killed in a gunbattle with insurgents in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday night.
Sgt. Jason Anthony Santora, 25, and 21-year-old Sgt. Ronald A. Kubik of Brielle, N.J., were both fatally wounded in a firefight in Logar province while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
Both soldiers were assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, based in Fort Benning, Ga.
NATO said in a statement Friday that five insurgents also were killed in the battle and that the casualties came during a joint military operation with Afghan forces at a compound in the Puli Alam district. The alliance said a Taliban suicide attack commander was among the dead.
Santora, a native of Massapequa Park, was on his fourth deployment in support of the War on Terror with one previous deployment to Afghanistan and two deployments to Iraq. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in Fort Hamilton, N.Y. in March 2006. He served for more than three years as a mortar platoon ammunition bearer and as a rifle team leader.
Santora was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Meritorious Service Medal. His remains arrived at Dover Air Force Base, Del. on Sunday.
He is survived by his father Gary Santora of Medford, his mother Theresa Santora of Massapequa, his sister, Gina Santora of Medford, and his uncle Ralph Fico of Massapequa Park.
With Associated Press