Gov. Roy Cooper has ordered all United States and North Carolina flags at state facilities to be lowered to half-staff through sunset on Sunday, Jan. 19 in honor of two Fort Bragg soldiers killed in Afghanistan.
Army Staff Sgt. Ian Paul McLaughlin of Newport News and and Pfc. Miguel Angel Villalon of Illinois lost their lives while conducting combat operations on Jan. 11 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Staff Sgt. McLaughlin and Pfc. Villalon were both paratroopers assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division based in Fort Bragg.
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.
“Our hearts are heavy with the loss of two brave paratroopers in Afghanistan. To honor their memories, I order the flags to half staff,” Cooper said in a statement.
As a show of respect, individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and other government subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the duration of time indicated.