NC National Guard soldier killed in Afghanistan

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North Carolina Army National Guard Sgt. James Allen Slape, 23, of Morehead City, was killed in Helmand Province, Afghanistan on Thursday after an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated, according to a press release.

Slape was promoted to the rank of sergeant posthumously.

Slape was assigned to N.C. Army National Guard’s 60th Troop Command, 430th Explosive Ordnance Company, based in Washington, N.C.

“We are deeply saddened by the news of Sgt. James Slape losing his life while serving our Country,’ said Maj. Gen. Greg Lusk, Adjutant General of the North Carolina National Guard. “We honor his courage, his selfless service and we extend our deepest sympathy to his family, friends, and fellow Soldiers as we hold them firmly in our hearts and prayers during this difficult time.”

Slape’s unit deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and Resolute Support, in April 2018. The unit is scheduled to return to the U.S. in the spring of 2019.

“National Guard members step up and answer the call to service wherever they are needed, whether at home to help during a natural disaster or overseas to protect our national security,” said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. “They leave their homes, their families and their jobs and put their lives on the line for us. On behalf of the people of North Carolina, I honor the service and sacrifice of Sgt. James Slape and offer our deepest sympathy to his loved ones and his fellow soldiers.”

Slape joined the North Carolina National Guard in 2013 and graduated from the Explosive Ordnance School as an Explosive Ordnance Specialist in 2015.

Slape is the 26th North Carolina Army National Guard Soldier to be killed in action, since Sept. 11, 2001.

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