Virginia soldier killed by IED in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – The Pentagon says the two soldiers killed Saturday in Afghanistan by a roadside bomb were from Virginia and Illinois.

On Sunday, military officials identified the casualties as 29-year-old Staff Sgt. Ian P. McLaughlin of Newport News, Virginia; and 21-year-old Pfc. Miguel A. Villalon of Joliet, Illinois. Both soldiers were assigned to 307th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Staff Sgt. McLaughlin joined the Army in 2012, and was working his first combat deployment. His awards and decorations include the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star Medal.  He is survived by his wife and four children.

The Pentagon says their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province.

Two other soldiers were injured.