Spc. Eugene Aguon of Chalan Pago, left, and Pfc. Dwayne Flores of Sinajana were killed in Afghanistan. (Pacific Sunday News)
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Two Guam soldiers were killed Thursday in Afghanistan.
Gov. Eddie Calvo declared the island in a state of mourning after learning about the passing of Sgt. Eugene M. Aguon, 23, of Mangilao, and Spc. Dwayne W. Flores, 22, of Sinajana.
The Defense Department announced the deaths late Monday.
On Thursday, the Associated Press reported a suicide bomb killed two NATO service members and four contractors in Kabul, the nation’s capital. The nationalities and identities of those people weren’t released at that time.
According to the Monday night DoD release, Aguon and Flores died in Kabul after their vehicle was attacked by a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device. They were assigned to 1st Battalion, 294th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Fort Juan Muna, Guam.
Maj. General Benny Paulino, adjutant general of the Guam National Guard, said he has committed all resources necessary to take care of the families as they go through this difficult time.
“There are no words to describe the overwhelming grief of our island on this tragic day. May the Lord be with their parents and loved ones to give them strength,” Calvo said.
During a pre-Memorial Day vigil held at the Chamorro Village, Calvo shared how he had to tell the news to the two families.
“Conducting my work today I had the very difficult, very difficult responsibility but also the honor and also with deep sadness, I met with the parents and the families of Eugene Aguon and Dwayne Flores,” Calvo said.
The two men were part of a group of about 600 soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 294th Infantry Regiment who left for deployment in early March. The deployment is in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and lasts about a year.
“When you look those parents straight in the eye there’s sadness, but for them there was also pride. Pride for what their children stood for and the sacrifices they made,” Calvo said.
Aguon and Flores are the 22nd and 23rd military casualties from Guam since 2003, according to Pacific Daily News files. They are also the 43rd and 44th service members to die from this island, the Northern Marianas, Federated States of Micronesia and Palau.
The last Guamanian to be killed in Afghanistan was Spc. Calvin Pereda, 21, who died on Nov. 12, 2011, according to Pacific Daily News files.
Army Times contributed to this report