Miguel Villalón, a 21-year-old soldier from Aurora who served in the U.S. Army, died in a bombing in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan on Saturday.
Villalón was one of two known cases of Chicago-born soldiers who died while serving that week, according to ABC. Henry Mayfield Jr., a 23-year-old Army specialist from Hazel Crest, died the prior Sunday in a tragic attack at the military base in Kenya.
The city of Aurora honored Villalón’s memory on social media.
“Much like all of us who have left from our hometown of Aurora to serve our country,” said Richard C. Irvin, a veteran of the United States Army, in a Facebook post, “our goal is to do our job well and return to our family and friends. Sadly, Miguel made the ultimate sacrifice as he protected our freedom from the front lines. The City of Lights shines much dimmer because of this loss.”
The East Aurora High School graduate always planned to serve the country. As a faithful member of the Navy Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (NJROTC) program while in school, he reportedly stood out as a student, beloved in his district as a whole.
“Miguel has an awesome track record as being a great kid in our district,” East Aurora School District Superintendent Jennifer Norrell told the Chicago Tribune. “It is so extremely tragic and unfortunate to lose such a shining star from our community.”