Funeral services will be held Friday and Saturday for Spc. Miguel A. Villalon, who was killed Jan. 11 in Afghanistan, when the vehicle he was riding in was struck by an IED, or improvised explosive device.
Visitation will be held from 1 to 10 p.m. Friday, at the Brownsville Event Center, 1 Event Center Drive. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, also at the Brownsville Event Center. Burial will follow at Buena Vista Burial Park.
Villalon’s remains arrived last Tuesday night at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, where Vice President Mike Pence and other dignitaries received them.
Villalon, 21, a Brownville native, is survived by his father, who lives in Brownsville, and his mother, a resident of Illinois.
He attended Perez, Victoria Heights and Martin elementary schools in Brownsville. He attended Oliveria Middle School before he moved to Illinois in 2012. He attended East Aurora High School in Aurora, Ill., and was a member of the NJROTC.
Officials said Villalon and Staff Sgt. Ian Paul McLaughlin, of New Port News, Va. were in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, when they were killed.
According to a U.S. Department of Defense press release, the soldiers were conducting operations as part of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission. The incident is under investigation.
Both soldiers were assigned to 307th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Villalon joined the Army in 2018 to be a combat engineer and reported to the 307th as his first assignment. His awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Army Achievement Medal with “V” device (awarded to service members who perform “meritoriously under the most arduous combat conditions”) and the Combat Action Badge.
Officials said both soldiers were on their first combat deployments.