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DOD identifies two Fort Drum soldiers who died in separate attacks in Afghanistan

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The Department of Defense identified a second 10th Mountain Division soldier from Fort Drum who died Monday of combat wounds suffered in Afghanistan.

Pfc. Christian J. Chandler, 20, of Trenton, Texas, died in Baraki Barak District, Logar province, when enemy forces attacked his unit with small-arms fire.

In addition, the DOD confirmed the death of Sgt. Shawn M. Farrell II, 24, of Accord, who died in Germany after an attack on his unit in Nejrab District, Kapisa province. His death was first reported in the Daily Freeman of Kingston.

Fort Drum confirmed Wednesday that the two attacks were separate incidents. They are the third and fourth 10th Mountain Division soldiers to die during a deployment this year; the others were Spc. Kerry M.G. Danyluk and Pfc. Joshua A. Gray.

Pfc. Chandler served as an infantryman in the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team. According to Fort Drum, he joined the Army in October 2012, and arrived on post in February 2013. Among his combat awards were the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge. He completed the Combat Life Savers Course.

He is survived by his mother and stepfather.

Sgt. Farrell served in the brigade’s 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment. Joining the Army in September 2006, he arrived on post in May 2010. His current deployment was his second to Afghanistan.

His career awards include the Army Commendation Medal, two Army Achievement Medals, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, two Afghanistan Campaign Medals, the Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, and the Air Assault Badge.

The Daily Freeman said Sgt. Farrell is survived by his wife of about a year, Allison, his parents, Shawn Farrell and Heather Stokes, and stepfather David Stokes, as well as other relatives.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, in a statement, directed flags be flown at half-staff on Thursday in honor of Sgt. Farrell.

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