Two Men With Hudson Valley Ties Killed in Afghanistan
The U.S. Defense Department identified the six service members killed by a suicide bomber Monday in Afghanistan. Two of the six have strong ties to the Hudson Valley.
Tech Sergeant Joseph Lemm and Staff Sergeant Louis Bonacasa were both members of the 105th Airlift Wing of the New York Air National Guard at Stewart International Airport.
Joseph Lemm was 45. He lived in West Harrison and was a veteran NYPD detective in the Bronx. He is survived by his wife, 17-year-old daughter and five-year-old son. Lemm's children will receive scholarship money from the Silver Shield Foundation, a non-profit group that provides support to children of police and firefighters killed in the line of duty.
Bonacasa is from Coram, Long Island and joined the military in 2002, two days after graduating from high school. The 31-year-old leaves behind a wife and five-year-old daughter. Newsday reports, Bonacasa was serving his fourth and final military tour. He previously served in Iraq, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.
After learning that two of the men worked at Stewart Airport, Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus released the following statement, "Orange County mourns the loss of these two servicemen killed by an IED. These men are true heroes and will be deeply missed. This tragedy serves as another reminder that our brave servicemen and servicewomen continue to make sacrifices for our great country overseas. As County Executive, I will continue to support our troops here at home and abroad who remain in harm’s way.”
U.S. officials say All six were killed when a NATO patrol was attacked by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle near Bagram air base Monday. The attack also wounded two other U.S. service members. The Taliban has claimed responsibility. It's the deadliest attack on foreign troops since last summer.