A 22-year-old New Fairfield man was killed in the line of duty while serving with New York's Air National Guard in Afghanistan.
Todd James “T.J.” Lobraico died this week. His family was notified this morning, town officials said.
According to the U.S. Department of Defense, Lobraico died from wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire near Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.
Lobraico grew up in Sherman and was a 2008 graduate of New Fairfield High School. He was a four-year member of the Future Business Leaders of America and worked with the Rebel Press, according to the school superintendent.
High school teacher Chris Welter described Lobraico as kind and compassionate.
"It was this compassion and sense of honor and duty that led him to proudly serve his country," Welter said in a statement. "Our community and our country have lost an amazing young man."
His stepmother, Diane Lobraico, was the assistant tax collector in New Fairfield until earlier this summer, according to the office of the First Selectman.
His father, also named Todd, is an officer with the Stamford Police Department.
“I am heartbroken for the family. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family,” said New Fairfield First Selectman, Susan Chapman, in a statement.
Gov. Dannel Malloy ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in Connecticut.
"This loss reminds us of the dangers faced by our men and women stationed overseas. We should all be grateful for their service and sacrifices to our country," Malloy said in a statement.
While in high school, Lobraico participated in several charitable causes, according to FBLA advisor Joe Gargano.
A candlelight vigil for Lobraico will take place in New Fairfield on Saturday at 6:30 p.m., just prior to the town's 9/11 remembrance ceremony, according to town officials.
Community members from both Sherman and New Fairfield are invited to attend.