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.
(The following was taken from wcbstv.com of Apr. 26, 2010) MASSAPEQUA PARK, N.Y. (CBS) ― They left as courageous soldiers and returned as heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice. Sgt. Ronald Kubik of Brielle, N.J., who was just 21 years old, and 25-year-old Sgt. Jason Santora of Massapequa Park on Long Island, were both killed in Afghanistan on Friday. They were on a mission to smoke out a Taliban terror nest.
Santora's grieving family told CBS 2 that uniformed military came to their home with words they will never forget: "We regret to inform you."
Army Ranger Jason Santora was attacked by insurgents as he led his team into Logar Province.
"They came and knocked on the door and of course I knew immediately why they were standing here. I'm sorry, somehow it doesn't seem real," said Theresa Santora, Jason's mother.
"I'm so proud of him. He was a hero. He died a hero. He died loving what he was doing. He loved it. He loved being a ranger," said his father, Gary Santora.
His family said the U.S. Army Ranger was so committed to his dangerous mission in Afghanistan, clearing access routes to Kabul, that he refused to leave his troops even when a family member passed away. His grandmother, who helped raise him, had died earlier this month.
"I'm going to miss him so much. He would do anything for anybody. He always went first," his father said.
Military leaders told the Santoras that their son worried about the soldiers who were married with children. So, he bravely took the risk of going first.
Superintendent James Nolan said Sgt. Santora had such an impact on Sachem North High School, where he attended, that students had started to lay a foundation to honor fallen soldiers.
"We're so very proud of Jason. He was a great young man. He actually graduated early. He was involved in our science research program. He was involved in our aviation program," said Nolan.
Sgt. Santora had told his parents he was on his last mission. He told them he was going to start recruiting for the Army in July.
"He was my best friend. I lost my best friend. He was such a good brother. A good person just in general," said Jason's sister, Gina Santora.
Sgt. Santora's body was flown to Dover Air Force Base. The Santora family was there to accept their son's flag-draped coffin.
"In my entire life, I never thought that I would ever have to bury my 25-year-old son like this," his mother said.
Sgt. Santora will be buried in Calverton National Cemetery.