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Brooklyn local killed during combat in Iraq

30-year-old Sergeant Roshain Brooks from Brooklyn was killed during a blast in Northern Iraq yesterday.
(From left to right: Sergeant Brooks and Sergeant Stigler. Photo via Facebook/82nd Airborne Division)
(From left to right: Sergeant Brooks and Sergeant Stigler. Photo via Facebook/82nd Airborne Division)

A Brooklyn local was among two deaths in Iraq yesterday, the Department of Defense reported.

Sergeant Roshain Brooks, 30, died with Sergeant Aleen Stigler Jr., 22, in combat as a result of a blast that occurred in Northern Iraq. Brooks was from Brooklyn, and Stigler was from Texas.

A statement appeared overnight from Colonel Pat Work, Commander of the 2nds Brigade Combat Team, who remembered the sergeants in a Facebook post from the 82nd Airborne Division.

"Sergeants Brooks and Stigler were courageous patriots and Paratroopers who served our coalition and the people of Iraq with extraordinary commitment," said Colonel Work. "Our team extends its most sincere condolences to their families and friends. Their personal commitments to our campaign against ISIS were extraordinary and we are incredibly proud to have served with them."

According to the Facebook post, Brooks had joined the army only five years ago and became part of the 82nd Airborne Division in 2016. This was the first time Brooks had been deployed to Iraq and he had previously been deployed to Afghanistan.

"On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest condolences to Sgt. Brooks' family, friends and fellow soldiers," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement that also directed all flags at state buildings to be flown at half-staff on Wednesday in honor of Sgt. Brooks. "His tragic loss is one deeply felt by the entire New York family and today we honor his bravery and his service to this nation and this great state."