HORICON - A U.S. serviceman whose family has deep roots in the Brant Lake area has died in the war in Afghanistan, according relatives and local officials.
Jeremiah Monroe, 33, a North Warren High School graduate and recently a private first class in the U.S. Army, was killed while on duty by a roadside explosive device, they said.
Friday, representatives of the U.S. Dept. of Defense and the state Division of Military Affairs said they could not confirm any such news nor release any information about the situation.
Horicon Supervisor Ralph Bentley said Friday the family members were notified Thursday.
The Warren County Board of Supervisors held a moment of silence Friday morning in honor of Jeremiah Monroe.
Board Chairman Fred Monroe - the two are not related - said the entire county would be grieving for Jeremiah Monroe.
"This is very sad news," he said. "It's hard to bear the loss of U.S. soldiers in these ongoing conflicts, but it's especially difficult to lose someone from Warren County."
"The citizens of Warren County are proud of his service," he continued.
Bentley said Jeremiah Monroe was the son of Delores "Peanut" Monroe and the late Robert Monroe Sr. of Horicon, and the grandson of Albert Monroe, who served for many years as the town Highway Superintendent and then on the town board.
Bentley said the family had endured several deep losses recently. Robert Monroe Sr. died of brain cancer in March at the age of 51, and there were two other deaths recently in the extended Monroe family.
"They are totally devastated," Bentley said of Jeremiah's relatives and friends. "We all are feeling their losses."
Jeremiah Monroe's brother, Robert Jr., served as a U.S. Army soldier in Iraq for at least one tour, and he is now stationed in Italy, Bentley said. Jeremiah Monroe leaves behind one child, Delilah Rose, 9, who is living in the local area, Bentley said, expressing concern and grief.
Relatives said Jeremiah Monroe was last in Brant Lake at the time of his father's death.
Bentley said the town would likely have some kind of response to Jeremiah's passing, but that it was too early to have concrete plans.
School officials and area community leaders, expressing sorrow, also confirmed they heard the news mid-afternoon Friday.
Monroe is the fourth soldier in recent years from the area to die while on duty in the mideast wars.
In June 2008, Army National Guard soldier Mark Palmateer, who spent a decade in Wevertown and North Creek in his adult years, died in an ambush that included an improvised explosive device, small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. He left behind friends and family members, including a daughter Stephanie.
Army Staff Sgt. Kevin Kimmerly of Johnsburg died in September 2003 when a rocket-propelled grenade struck his vehicle in Baghdad, Iraq.
In 2004, Nathan Brown of South Glens Falls, an Army private, was killed by a rocket-propelled grenade after it struck an un-armored truck carrying members of his platoon in Samarra, near Baghdad.
The story of Brown and his half-dozen friends signing up for the Guard and their subsequent military service - resulting in their serious injuries and Brown's death - was portrayed in a nationally-televised NBC special that some consider to have been a pivotal element in realigning public opinion against the war in Iraq.
Monroe's funeral arrangements will likely be handled by Barton-McDermott Funeral Home in Chestertown.
Jim McDermott said Saturday that the Monroe family members were in Dover Delaware, awaiting the return of Jeremiah's remains, and that Robert Jr. had flown back to the U.S. from Italy to be with family members.
"This death has really rocked the entire community," McDermott said, noting that many people were grieving the Monroe family's loss because of their deep local roots.