LAKE GEORGE - A soldier who grew up in the Adirondacks was killed in combat Tuesday in eastern Afghanistan - and his friends and area community leaders expressed grief this week over the news.
Benjamin Osborn, 27, a 2002 graduate of Lake George High School, was recalled as a friendly, giving person - who decided to make a positive difference in the world through volunteering to serve in the U.S. Army.
Friday, while his parents and other family members were in Dover, Md. to escort his remains home, New York State Gov. David Paterson issued an order for flags on state government buildings to be flown at half mast.
Osborn, an Army Specialist, died of wounds he sustained when his unit was attacked by small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades in Konar, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division.
"All New Yorkers grieve today with the friends, family and fellow soldiers of Specialist Osborn," Paterson stated. "On behalf of all New Yorkers I extend our condolences - But while we mourn his loss, we will honor and remember his service to our nation. He will not be forgotten."
Osborn had just married Nicole LaPier of South Glens Falls in February, and the two had been living in Clarksville, Tenn.
Osborn had lived on Ridge Rd. with his parents in the Town of Queensbury, but he attended Lake George schools, and upon graduation held jobs in Lake George Village.
Osborn's family members said Benjamin joined the U.S. Army three years ago and left the states in April to go to Afghanistan.
They said Benjamin was killed by gunfire after his squad came under heavy fire and Benjamin volunteered to be the gunner.
Lake George Town Supervisor Frank McCoy said he knew Osborn after graduation when he worked as a bartender at the Lobster Pot Restaurant and Mario's Restaurant, and McCoy would visit the establishments.