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Christie orders flags to half-mast in honor of soldier killed during training exercise

DENVER, CO - JULY 22:  An American flag waves in the wind at half mast outside the State Capitol July 22, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. U.S. President Barack Obama requested all American flags across the nation to fly at half mast to honor the victims of the mass shooting at the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colorado last Friday. James Eagan Holmes, 24, is accused of killing 12 people at a screening of the new "Batman" film. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

DENVER, CO - JULY 22: An American flag waves in the wind at half mast outside the State Capitol July 22, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. U.S. President Barack Obama requested all American flags across the nation to fly at half mast to honor the victims of the mass shooting at the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colorado last Friday. James Eagan Holmes, 24, is accused of killing 12 people at a screening of the new "Batman" film. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)  (2012 Getty Images)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ordered that all state flags be flown at half-mast on Wednesday to honor United States Army specialist Kevin Joniel Rodriguez, who was killed during a training exercise two weeks ago.

The 22-year old Rodriguez, a native of Barceloneta, Puerto Rico, was accidently killed while training at Fort Campbell, on the border of Kentucky and Tennessee, on the second anniversary of the day he enlisted in the military.

The shooting is under investigation but authorities have said they do not suspect foul play.

 “Specialist Rodriguez was a loving son and brother, whose memory lives in the hearts of his family, friends and fellow soldiers,” Christie said in a statement, according to The Record of North Jersey. “Specialist Rodriguez’s heroism, dedication, and commitment to service and country make it appropriate and fitting for the state of New Jersey to remember him, to mark his passing and to honor his memory.”

The U.S. flag and state flag of New Jersey will be flown at half-staff at all state offices and agencies.

Rodriguez was a “dedicated and decorated soldier.” He earned more than half a dozen badges, including Army Commendation Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Christie added that the Paterson, N.J.-native was a “brave and loyal American hero.”

Rodriguez enlisted in the Army on Oct. 8, 2013 and served as an infantryman with the 101st Airborne Division, Company A, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

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