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Governor Cuomo Directs Flags To Half-Staff In Honor of 3 Members of the 444th Engineer Company

OSWEGO, NY – Governor Andrew Cuomo has directed that flags on state government buildings be flown at half-staff on Wednesday in honor of three United States Army Reserve Soldiers from New York who died in Paktiya Province, Afghanistan on Saturday November 3.

Specialist Brett E. Gornewicz from Alden, Specialist Ryan P. Jayne from Campbell, and Staff Sgt. Dain T. Venne, from Port Henry, died of wounds suffered when their humvee was struck by an improvised explosive device.

The three men were assigned to the 444th Engineer Company which is headquartered in Oswego.

The unit is an element of the 178th Engineer Battalion of the 412th Theater Engineer Command.

“Along with all New Yorkers, I mourn the deaths of Specialist Gornewicz, Specialist Jayne and Staff Sgt. Venne,” Governor Cuomo said. “These young men were all volunteers who lived and worked in our communities and gave their lives for our great country. We extend our condolences to their friends, their families, and their fellow Soldiers.”

Governor Cuomo has directed that the flags on all state buildings be lowered to half-staff in honor of and in tribute to our state’s service members and those stationed in New York who are killed in action or die in a combat zone.

Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle issued the following statement today (Nov. 5) following news from the U.S. Department of Defense that three Army Reserve soldiers from Upstate New York were killed in Afghanistan:

“It is important that we all take a solemn break from the heated elections to remember the men and women who sacrifice daily for our freedom to vote. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and the entire Oswego, Port Henry, Campbell, and Alden communities,” she said.

Assemblyman Will Barclay issued the following statement today following news that three Army Reserve soldiers from Upstate New York were killed in Afghanistan by an IED.

Flags will be flown half staff at state government buildings.

“My deepest sympathy goes out to the families and friends of the victims of this tragedy. This loss brings into sharper focus our freedoms, which are provided at the greatest sacrifices,” Barclay said. “May we pause to remember these men, their service, bravery, and their families and friends throughout the Oswego, Port Henry, Campbell and Alden communities.”