A New York soldier, 22, died of wounds suffered when his vehicle was attacked by enemy forces using rocket propelled grenades, in the Paktika province in Afghanistan according to the Department of Defense, FOX23News.com reported.
"He loved his country, always wanted to defend his country, it's all he talked about," Rafael Nieves Sr. told the station.
In honor of the fallen soldier, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered state buildings to fly their flags to fly at half-mast this Thursday.
Rafael A. Nieves Jr., 22, was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Reginment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.
Nieves Jr., two weeks shy of his 23rd birthday is survied by his parents, wife and two children.