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Sgt. 1st class killed in Afghanistan

Aug. 13, 2014 - 04:00PM   |  
Hairston (Sgt. Jonathan A. Shaw)
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Sgt. 1st Class Samuel C. Hairston was killed Tuesday in Ghazni, Afghanistan, when his unit took small-arms fire from the enemy, the Defense Department announced Wednesday.

Hairston, 35, was a paratrooper and platoon sergeant with A Company, 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division of Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

He was from Houston, Texas.

“We have suffered a great loss in the 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment and express our deepest condolences. Sgt. 1st Class Samuel Hairston was an exceptional noncommissioned officer and a valued member of our team,” said Lt. Col. Chris Hockenberry, Hairston’s battalion commander, in a release from the 82nd Airborne. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time. We will never forget him.”

Hairston joined the Army in 2003 and completed the basic airborne course at Fort Benning, Georgia. He was assigned to 1st BCT in August 2013.

His awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Citation with two oak leaf clusters, Army Good Conduct Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two Campaign Stars, Iraqi Campaign Medal with two Campaign Stars, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Among his qualifications are the Ranger tab, Combat Infantryman Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Military Master Free Fall Parachutist Badge and the Basic Parachutist Badge.

He is survived by his wife, Staff Sgt. Tawana Hairston and his son Hayden.

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