Martin C. Evans

2003 Sachem North Grad Killed in Afghanistan

In Uncategorized on April 25, 2010 at 11:51 pm

Jason A. Santora, of Massapequa Park, killed in a firefight in Afghanistan.

An Army Ranger from Long Island became the latest U.S. fatality in the war in Afghanistan Friday, according to the Department of Defense.

Sgt. Jason A. Santora, 25, of Massapequa Park, was killed April 23 from combat wounds sustained in Afghanistan’s Logar Province, a mountainous tribal region just south of Kabul that the U.S. has hoped to stabilize by building schools, health clinics, roads and other infrastructure.

Also killed in the incident was Sgt. Ronald Alan Kubik, 22, of Brielle, N.J.,

Santora, who served with the Army’s 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment based at Fort Benning, Ga., grew in Farmingville and was a 2003 graduate of Sachem North High School.

His father, Gary Santora, 52, of Medford, told Newsday’s Laura Rivera that he was watching the news on TV early Friday when he saw a ticker item on the deaths of two troops and five militants in Afghanistan. “I didn’t think twice of it,” he said. “As long as I don’t have any knocks at the door, I know he’s OK. And that morning, I got that knock.

“They start off with, ‘We regret to inform you,’ ” he said of the visit by the uniformed military. “Once they said that, I knew that he wasn’t just hurt. They don’t come to the door if your son’s hurt.”

He was on his fourth tour of duty since he joined the Army in March 2006, according to the Columbus, Ga. Ledger-Inquirer. Santora had served as a mortar platoon ammunition bearer and as a rifle team leader during his time in the military.

Santora’s family said he was so committed to his comrades in arms that he declined to return to Long Island this month after his grandmother died.

“He said, ‘If I leave now, it’s going to be difficult for my team, and I can’t leave them,’ ” his mother, Theresa Santora, 49, of Massapequa Park, said. “I knew he made up his mind to be an Army Ranger. I wasn’t happy about it. If I could’ve talked him out of it, I would have, but he loved what he did.”

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