FORT DRUM Post officials reported that two Fort Drum-based soldiers died Saturday when their unit was attacked by small-arms fire in Wardak Province, Afghanistan.
The two soldiers killed were Sgt. 1st Class Bobby L. Estle, 38, of Lebanon, Ohio, and Pfc. Jose O. Belmontes, 28, of La Verne, Calif. The two were assigned to the 630th Engineer Company, 7th Engineer Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, which deployed in October.
Sgt. Estle, a combat engineer, joined the Army in March 1993. In addition to the units current deployment, he previously had deployed twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan.
His honors included the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, two Army Commendation Medals, seven Army Achievement Medals, the Navy Achievement Medal, five Army Good Conduct Medals and two National Defense Service Medals.
Sgt. 1st Class Estle is survived by his wife, three children, mother and stepfather.
Pfc. Belmontes, a construction engineer, joined the Army in February 2011 and arrived on post in July 2011.
The units deployment to Afghanistan was his first. Among his honors are the Purple Heart, the Army Achievement Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one star, the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.
Pfc. Belmontes is survived by his wife, mother and father.