By JOHNNY BRADIGAN, DAVE MINK
NASSAU, N.Y. -- Army Staff Sergeant Derek Farley, a resident of Nassau in Rensselaer County, has become the third local soldier in the last 2 months to be killed while serving in the war in Afghanistan.
Farley, 24, an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Technician, was killed Tuesday morning in Bala Boluk, Farah, Afghanistan when a roadside bomb he was attempting to disarm detonated, according to the Department of Defense.
He was just two weeks away from finishing what would have been his second tour of duty in Afghanistan.
A 2004 graduate of Columbia High School in East Greenbush, Farley was also a veteran of the war in Iraq. He was awarded with a Purple Heart in 2007 for being wounded during his service there.
"(Farley's) death will be a consistent reminder of the sacrifices that our men and women of our military are prepared to make as they fight to preserve freedom for ourselves and people around the globe," said Rensselaer County Executive Kathleen Jimino.
State Senator Roy McDonald said in a statement, "To his family and friends, words cannot express my sincerest condolences as you grieve this loss. May the memory of his selfless acts, concern for his fellow soldiers and love of country help to ease the burden that we shall all carry in the days to come."
Nassau Town Supervisor David Fleming also expressed his sadness over Farley's death, who he referred to as a "local hero".
Flags at all Rensselaer County government buildings were directed by Jimino to be flown at half-staff in honor of Farley. Supervisor Fleming directed all businesses and emergency services in the Town of Nassau to lower their flags as well.
The Department of Defense reports Farley was assigned to the 18th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 16th Sustainment Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment Command out of Grafenwoehr, Germany.
Farley is the third local soldier to die in Afghanistan since June. Private First Class David Taylor Miller, a 19-year old from Saratoga Springs, and Benjamin Osborn, a 27-year old Army Specialist from Queensbury, were killed just days apart in separate incidents.
Derek Farley's father, Kenneth Farley, is a Vietnam Veteran.