Barton, New York

soldier laid to rest

Sgt. Justin Rogers

killed in Afghanistan

A memorial service for Army Sgt. Justin Rogers of Barton, N.Y., who died June 28, 2013 in Afghanistan, was held Thursday, July 11, 2013 at the Tioga Central Middle School in Tioga Center, N.Y.

According to the United States Army, Sgt. Justin Rogers died at Bagram Airfield in a non-combat-related incident. No other information has been released about the cause of death. He was assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.

Seven American Legion and Valley Color Guard members from Post 8104 were on hand to honor Sgt. Justin Rogers. Approximately 12 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Honor Guard from Owego, N.Y. were also present.

Close to 40 Patriot Guard Riders were also present to honor Sgt. Justin Rogers, with one member arriving from as far away as Buffalo, N.Y.

The Patriot Guard Riders (PGR) is an organization in the United States which attends the funerals of members of the armed forces, firefighters, and police at the invitation of the deceased's family.

Ride Captain Gary C. Allen shared the PGR Mission Statement, "Our main mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family. Each mission we undertake has two basic objectives; 1) Show our sincere respect for our fallen heroes, their families, and their communities; and 2) Shield the mourning family and friends from interruptions created by any protestor or group of protestors."

On July 3, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Governor Andrew M. Cuomo directed that flags on state government buildings be flown at half-staff on July 8, 2013, in honor of Army Sgt. Justin R. Rogers.

In a release, Governor Cuomo stated, "On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my condolences to the friends, family and fellow soldiers of Sergeant Rogers. We mourn his loss, but will remember his service to our nation with pride."

The Rev. Jon Austin of the Lounsberry United Methodist Church officiated Thursday's memorial. Interment, with full military honors, will be held at Arlington National Cemetery.