The Department of Defense has named the two soldiers killed during an attack in Afghanistan on Wednesday.
Army Sgt. Jonathon Michael Hunter, 23, and Spc. Christopher Michael Harris, 25, were killed after an improvised explosive device blew up their convoy in Kandahar province. Both soldiers belonged to the 82nd Airborne Division, based in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. Col. Toby Magsig, commander of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, spoke highly of both soldiers in a statement.
"The entire Devil Brigade is deeply saddened by the loss of two beloved team members," said Magsig. "Spc. Christopher Harris was an extraordinary young man and a phenomenal Paratrooper. He regularly displayed the type of courage, discipline, and empathy that the Nation expects from its warriors. Sgt. Jonathon Hunter was the leader we all want to work for - strong, decisive, compassionate, and courageous. He was revered by his Paratroopers and respected throughout his unit. Chris and Jon lived and died as warriors. They will always be a part of the legacy of the Devil Brigade and their memory lives on in the hearts and minds of their fellow Paratroopers. Our thoughts and prayers are centered on the families and loved ones of these two great Americans."
Harris joined the Army in October 2013, while Hunter joined in April 2014. Both were on their first deployment at the time of the attack.
Nine U.S. service members have been killed in Afghanistan this year. There are currently 8,400 troops deployed in the country, though the Trump administration is considering sending another 4,000 in an effort to push back the Taliban, which has made a significant resurgence in recent months.
U.S. forces will have been in Afghanistan for 16 years come September.