Chicopee Native Among 2 Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan Wed. - NECN
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Chicopee Native Among 2 Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan Wed.

More than 2,400 U.S. service personnel have died in Afghanistan since the U.S.-led invasion began in 2001

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    Chicopee Native Among 2 Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan Wed.
    U.S. Army

    A Massachusetts native was identified Thursday as one of two U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan this week.

    Luis F. Deleon-Figueroa, 31, of Chicopee, was killed during combat operations in Faryab Province, the U.S. Department of Defense confirmed in a statement. Thirty-five-year-old Jose J. Gonzalez, from California, was also killed.

    The Department of Defense did not release any details of what led to the soldiers' deaths.

    Both men were posthumously promoted to master sergeant. They had been assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

    "They were a part of our Family, and will not be forgotten," said the group's commander, Col. John W. Sannes, in a statement.

    After his death, Deleon-Figueroa was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals.

    Deleon-Figueroa had six deployments in his career, including three tours in Afghanistan, one in Iraq and two in South America.

    More than 2,400 U.S. service personnel have died in Afghanistan since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001 to topple the Taliban, whose government had harbored al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

    Now, the U.S. and Taliban are in negotiations on an end to nearly 18 years of fighting — America's longest war.

    The U.S. formally ended its Afghan combat mission in 2014 but still provides extensive air and other support to local forces battling both the Taliban and an affiliate of the Islamic State group.