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Statesboro Guardsman killed in Afghanistan
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A Statesboro National Guardsman was one of two Georgia soldiers killed earlier this week in Afghanistan when an improvised explosive device detonated near the vehicle.

Sgt. Brock H. Chavers, 25, of Statesboro, and Spc. Issac L. Johnson, 24, of Columbus, were killed in Korduz, Afghanistan, on Monday, according to the Department of Defense. Chavers was assigned to the 2/121 Infantry Battalion, headquartered in Americus, and Johnson was assigned to the 1/108 Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition Squadron, based in Rome.

“This past weekend, as hundreds of millions of Americans celebrated our nation’s independence, our brave sons and daughters were halfway around the world still protecting that freedom,” Gov. Sonny Perdue said. “We learned today of the tragic loss of Georgia Guardsmen Sgt. Brock Chavers Sr. and Spc. Isaac Johnson Jr., yesterday in Afghanistan.

“We also learned over the weekend of the loss of Marine Lance Cpl. Seth Sharp, a Northwest Georgia native serving out of Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

“Celebrating our independence also means remembering the long line of heroes that have laid down their lives so that our country and others around the world can enjoy freedom. Mary and I encourage all Georgians to join us in praying for their families.”

“The deaths of Sgt. Brock Henry Chavers Sr. and Spc. Isaac Lee Johnson Jr. are a devastating loss for the nation, the state, the Georgia Guard and most of all, the families of these fine men,” said Maj. Gen. William T. Nesbitt, Georgia’s adjutant general.

“This heartbreaking news,” he added, “that two of our courageous young soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan reminds us, yet again, that the cost of freedom is high.

“Sgt. Chavers and Spec. Johnson, both members of the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, were special soldiers, not only to their own families, but to our Guard family.  Their courage and exemplary service reflect the professionalism to which every soldier aspires.

“They gave their lives in defense of freedom.  The entire Georgia National Guard family grieves with the Chavers and Johnson families at this tragic news.”

Two soldiers from an Illinois National Guard unit — 2nd Lt. Derwin I. Williams, 41, of Glenwood, Ill., and Spc. Chester W. Hosford, 35, of Hastings, Minn. — were killed the explosion that also killed Chavers and Johnson. Both were assigned to the 2/106 Cavalry Squadron in Dixon, Ill.