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Ramsey, N.J., Copes With Losing 3 Armed Forces Members In 3 Years

Staff Sgt. Timothy McGill Was Killed In Afghanistan Last Week
Staff Sgt. Timothy Raymond McGill (credit: Facebook)

Staff Sgt. Timothy Raymond McGill (credit: Facebook)

RAMSEY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Many communities coast-to-coast have lost brave men and women in service to the United States, and Ramsey, N.J., has lost three young men in three years.

As 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported Tuesday, most recently, Army Staff Sgt. Timothy Raymond McGill, 30, died from wounds received by small arms fire in eastern Afghanistan.

Police Chief Bryan Gurney knew McGill since he was a little boy, and his own children grew up very close to McGill.

“They’re devastated,” Gurney said. “My son and my daughter were both very friendly with Tim. My son, who also is a soldier, really followed in his footsteps, and he looked up to him as a mentor.”

Gurney said the constant loss has been a very heavy burden on the town.

“The community right now is in true mourning when it comes into question, you know, why us?” he said.

In May, Ramsey native and Marine Special Forces Staff Sgt. Eric D. Christian, 39, was killed in action in Farah Province. Like McGill, Christian was a football player at Ramsey High School.

Another Ramsey native, Cpl. Michael Janikewicz, was killed in 2010.

McGill initially served as a Marine after joining the military in August 2001. He was deployed to Iraq with the Marines in 2005. He joined the Rhode Island National Guard in 2008 and qualified as an elite Special Forces soldier in 2005.

The shooting took place in Gardez, capital of eastern Paktia province, Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi, an Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman, said. The area, near the border with Pakistan, has been a front line in fighting with the Taliban and other militants.

The attack took place inside a base of the Afghan army in the city, according to a security official in Gardez, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to give details while the incident was still under investigation.

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