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Army Staff Sgt. Christian Longsworth

Died May 19, 2006 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

26, of Newark, N.J.; assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died May 19 from wounds sustained when his convoy came under enemy small-arms fire during combat operations in Oshay, Afghanistan.

Newark soldier killed in Afghanistan

TRENTON, N.J. — A Special Forces soldier from Newark was killed last week in combat in Afghanistan, the Defense Department announced Monday.

Staff Sgt. Christian Longsworth, 26, died May 19 after his convoy was attacked by small-arms fire. The soldier was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Longsworth was born in the Bronx, N.Y., and moved to Newark with his parents and older brother, Roy Jr., when he was 2 years old. He attended St. Joseph’s Elementary School in East Orange and Essex Catholic High School in East Orange before spending his senior year at Newark’s West Side High School. He graduated in 1998.

He enlisted in the Army later the same year. He served with the 31st Infantry Regiment at Fort Drum, N.Y., for two years. In 2001, he became a member of the training cadre for the 6th Ranger Training Battalion at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. He volunteered for Special Forces nearly three years later.

The sergeant was deployed to Afghanistan in March, a month after completing Special Forces qualification.

Shortly before he left, he came home to Newark to visit friends and family.

He spent time with his mother, Cecilia, and his girlfriend, Jessica Cruz. He also looked up some of the friends with whom he grew up.

“It was kind of weird. He was getting in touch with all these people who had been an influence on his life,” Devin Carroll, one of his friends, recalled Monday. “It was almost like he had a premonition about what was going to happen to him.”

Longworth’s survivors include his mother and older brother and a daughter, Jaylin Araya, 5.

His brother said he will be buried in Puerto Rico.

— The Associated Press

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