3 U.S. Army Reservists from small towns in three different parts of upstate New
York were killed in the Line of Duty in Afghanistan when a roadside bomb
struck their vehicle.
The Department of Defense identified the soldiers as Staff Sgt. Dain
Venne, 29, of Port Henry; Spc. Ryan Jayne, 22, of Campbell, Spc. Brett
E. Gornewicz, 27, of Alden. They died of wounds suffered Saturday when enemy
forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosion device in Paktia
province. All three were members of the Oswego-based 444th Engineer Co. and
were assigned to the 178th Engineer Battalion of the Vicksburg, Miss.-based
412th Theater Engineer Command. They were combat engineers conducting
“route-clearing” duties when an IED blasted their vehicle.
Staff Sgt. Venne was a volunteer Firefighter in his hometown of Port
Henry, NY, located on the western shore of Lake Champlain in Essex County, 95
miles north of Albany. Earlier this year, he was hailed by his fire department
for his life-saving actions in rescuing several stranded residents during
severe flooding in August 2011. Since his unit had already deployed to
Afghanistan, his father, longtime Moriah Town Justice Brian Venne, accepted the
award on his son’s behalf.
“We are devastated, like everyone else, over these events,” Port Henry
Fire Chief James Hughes told the Press-Republican of Plattsburgh. “He was an
outstanding firefighter, a perfect gentleman. You couldn’t ask for a better
person, better son; he was an overall good and decent human being.”
RIP and please keep all those serving, and their
families in your prayers.