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Pennsylvania National Guardsman, State Trooper, Killed in Iraq

via PRNewswire

FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa., Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G.Rendell announced today the death of Pennsylvania National Guard Staff Sgt.Daniel R. Lightner Jr., 28, Hollidaysburg, Pa. His death brings the number ofGuard members killed in Iraq to 20.

The Governor said Lightner, who also served as a Pennsylvania StatePoliceman, was conducting combat operations in a 14-vehicle convoy with thePennsylvania National Guard's 2nd Brigade Combat Team in the Ramadi Provincewhen an improvised explosive device struck his up-armored HMMWV Oct. 27.

Two other Pennsylvania National Guard soldiers were injured in the attack:Sgt. Bruce Morrow, 37, Pittsburgh; and Spec. Timothy Collins, Central City.All three soldiers are members of the 28th Division Military Police Company,Johnstown.

"Daniel Lightner represented the true ideals of a citizen soldier," saidGovernor Rendell. "Staff Sergeant Lightner was a model soldier, and TrooperLightner was a dedicated law enforcement officer. He stood out among hispeers in both his military and civilian occupations."

Sgt. Lightner joined the active Army in 1995 and served on active duty forthree years. He joined the Pennsylvania National Guard in 1998.

"Sergeant Lightner was a dedicated soldier who was recognized time andagain for his leadership and athletic achievement," said Maj. Gen. JessicaWright, the state's adjutant general. "He represented the best of ourorganization."

Trooper Lightner joined the Pennsylvania State Police in November 2003 andwas assigned to Troop J, Embreeville, as a trooper in the patrol unit untilhis activation in the Guard last January.

"Every member of the State Police family is stunned and saddened by thedeath of Trooper Lightner," said State Police Commissioner, Col. JeffreyMiller. "He served the citizens of this state only briefly, but he has madethe ultimate sacrifice in the service of his nation. He will not be forgottenby the men and women of the Pennsylvania State Police," added Miller.

There are 14 Pennsylvania State Policemen assigned to the PennsylvaniaNational Guard; four of them are currently deployed.

Lightner will be posthumously awarded a purple heart.

His mother, Judy Ann Lightner, Hollidaysburg, survives the fallen soldier,who had attended Lock Haven University. After attending Lock HavenUniversity, Staff Sgt. Lightner received an associate's degree from KansasCity Kansas Community College.
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