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Local News

November 6, 2012

Port Henry soldier died clearing route

Staff Sgt. Dain Venne was removing explosive devices when one exploded in Afghanistan

ELIZABETHTOWN — U.S. Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Dain Venne was on combat patrol in Afghanistan on Saturday when he and two other soldiers were killed.

The U.S. Department of Defense released more details Monday about the Port Henry man’s death, saying Dain, 29, and some of his comrades were clearing Improvised Explosive Devices from a convoy route when one exploded near their Humvee in Afghanistan’s Paktia province.

The roadside bomb also killed Spc. Ryan P. Jayne, 22, of Campbell and Spc. Brett E. Gornewicz, 27, of Alden. A fourth soldier, Kale Clifton, 23, Smyrna, was injured in the blast and is being treated, the Pentagon said.

DEPLOYED IN JUNE

The soldiers were part of a combat engineering unit that had deployed to Afghanistan on June 1. They were assigned to the 178th Engineer Battalion, 412th Theater Engineer Command, Oswego.

He was a combat engineer with 10 years and nine months of service.

Venne, the son of Brian and Laura Venne of Port Henry, was a 2001 graduate of Moriah Central School and had attended St. Lawrence University in Canton.

He was employed as a construction worker for Kubricky Construction of Glens Falls.

FLAG TRIBUTE

Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed that flags on state government buildings be flown at half-staff Wednesday in honor of Dain and the other two soldiers who died.

“Along with all New Yorkers, I mourn the deaths of Specialist Gornewicz, Specialist Jayne and Staff Sgt. Venne,” Cuomo said in a statement released Monday.

“These young men were all volunteers who lived and worked in our communities and gave their lives for our great country. We extend our condolences to their friends, their families and their fellow soldiers.”

Essex County Board of Supervisors Chair Randy Douglas (D-Jay) has ordered flags on all county buildings to be at flown at half-staff and has requested that school districts and municipalities in the county do the same.

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