Governor Offers Condolences to Families of Utah Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan

SALT LAKE CITY – Governor Gary Herbert has received notification regarding the deaths of two Utah soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Lance Corporal Norberto Mendez Hernandez, of Logan, died on July 10, 2011, while conducting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California.
Corporal Raphael R. Arruda, of Ogden, died on July 16, 2011, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his military vehicle in Kunar Province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to the 744th Engineer Company, 416th Theater Engineer Command, U.S. Army Reserve, Ogden, Utah.
State flags will fly at half-staff on the day of funeral or memorial services for Lance Corporal Hernandez and Corporal Arruda.
The Governor has issued the following statement:
“With sincere gratitude for having paid the ultimate price to maintain our freedoms and defend our country, all of Utah mourns for the loss of these two soldiers.  Jeanette and I offer our deepest condolences to Lance Corporal Hernandez and Coroporal Arruda’s families.  On behalf of the people of Utah, we offer thanks for their service to our state and our nation.”