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January 16, 2017

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Flags to be flown at half-staff on Thursday, July 14
With deepest condolences on the loss of Rafael Nieves, Jr.

July 12, 2011—The Guilderland Central School District would like to extend its deepest condolences to the family of former Guilderland High School student Rafael Nieves, Jr., who was killed in action this weekend while serving his country in Afghanistan. Army Specialist Nieves, 22, died from injuries he sustained when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with small arms and rocket propelled grenades in Paktika province, according to the Department of Defense. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

He is survived by his wife Sarah and two children, Emma and Rafael III. He is also survived by his father, Rafael Sr. of Schenectady, and his mother, Tina Roman of Bayonne, N.J.

"Rafael was a child who always had a goal to be in the military. He overcame many challenges during his high school career which enabled him to reach that goal," said Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Demian Singleton. "We were very proud to see him persevere and find success in the military. Our thoughts go out to his family during this difficult time." 

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has directed that flags on all state government buildings be flown at half-staff on Thursday, July 14 in Spc. Nieves' honor.

"On behalf of all New Yorkers, I express my sympathies to the family, friends, and fellow soldiers of Specialist Rafael Nieves, Jr.," Governor Cuomo said. "We join them in mourning the death of this New York soldier and we will honor his service to our nation."