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Ithaca area soldier dies in Afghanistan

www.governor.ny.gov

WASHINGTON (AP & WXXI News)  The Pentagon has announced the identities of two soldiers killed in combat in Afghanistan, including one person from the Ithaca area.

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. 

Riley was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group at Fort Carson, Colorado. He was from Heilbronn, Germany.

Johnston was assigned to 79th Ordnance Battalion, 71st Ordnance Group, at Fort Hood, Texas. He was from Trumansburg, in Tompkins county. 

The Pentagon said Thursday that both men died of wounds sustained from small arms fire while engaged in combat operations. No other details were provided.

Governor Andrew Cuomo  ordered flags on state government buildings to be flown at half-staff starting Friday, June 28, in honor of Johnston

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.