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Army Staff Sgt. Willie J. Harley Jr.

Died October 1, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

48, of Aiken, S.C.; assigned to the 1221st Engineer Clearance Company, South Carolina National Guard, Graniteville, S.C.; died Oct. 1 in the Orgun district of Paktika province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his military vehicle with an improvised explosive device. Also killed was Spc. Luther W. Rabon Jr.

2 South Carolina Guard soldiers killed in Afghanistan

The Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Two soldiers with the South Carolina Army National Guard were killed in Afghanistan, the state adjutant general’s office announced Monday.

Spec. Luther Rabon, 32, of Lexington and Staff Sgt. Willie Harley, 48, of Aiken died last Friday when an improvised explosive device hit the vehicle they were riding in, Adjutant General Stan Spears said in a statement.

Both soldiers were assigned to the 1221st Engineer Clearance Company of the state Army National Guard with units in Graniteville and Batesburg, Spears said.

The 1221st deployed to Afghanistan in July. Its mission is to clear roadways for military convoys. The unit is set to return to South Carolina next summer.

WLTX-TV showed footage of Rabon taken as the company prepared to leave. Rabon was seen kissing his mother, who said her son was going to miss his wife and four young children.

“He’s really got a lot to leave behind,” Martha Rabon told the television station. “But he’s willing to do that for our freedom and to defend our country, and I’m really proud of him.”

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