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Army Sgt. Jason A. Santora

Died April 23, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

25, of Farmingville, N.Y.; assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga.; died April 23 in Logar province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained while conducting combat operations. Also killed was Sgt. Ronald A. Kubik.

Was planning to become a recruiter

The Associated Press

When Jason Santora’s parents were unable to throw his little sister, Gina, a Sweet 16 birthday party, he decided to throw her one using money from his pool cleaning job.

“I always said that every girl should have a big brother like him,” Gina Santora said.

Santora, of Massapequa Park, N.Y., was serving his fourth tour of duty — his second in Afghanistan after two in Iraq — when his unit was ambushed April 23 in Logar province. Santora, 25, was shot and killed during the battle.

He had planned to make this his last mission and start recruiting for the Army in July. He was assigned to Fort Benning, Ga.

Santora graduated from Sachem North High School in 2003. He had been involved in the school’s science research and aviation programs and graduated early, said school Superintendent James Nolan.

Current Sachem North students were so moved by Santora’s death that they are creating a tribute to fallen soldiers.

“He was a hero,” said his father, Gary Santora. “He died loving what he was doing.”

Santora also is survived by his mother, Theresa Santora.

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