A 39-year-old Marine from New York has been killed in Afghanistan.
Staff Sgt. Eric D. Christian of Warwick, N.Y. was one of two U.S. Marines killed in the Farah province of Afghanistan on Saturday, May 4, the Department of Defense said.
Christian, who grew up in New Jersey and graduated from Ramsey High School, was shot and killed in a "green on blue" attack, when an Afghani soldier whom he was training turned his weapon on him, his brother Phillip told NBC 4 New York.
Christian was a decorated Marine with numerous medals and was serving his fifth tour with the elite Marine Special Operations Command, his brother said. He left in the beginning of March and had just purchased a home in Wilmington, N.C.
His unit was based at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
Christian joined the Marines around 2003. He felt compelled to serve after Sept. 11 and after his younger brother Mark was called up to Iraq, Phillip Christian said.
The second oldest of four boys, Eric Christian was a star football player while at Ramsey High, according to Phillip Christian.
Christian was not married and did not have children.
Both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Gov. Chris Christie ordered flags on state government buildings to fly at half-staff on Thursday and Friday in Christian's honor, respectively.
The other soldier killed in the May 4 shooting was identified as 23-year-old Cpl. David M. Sonka of Parker, Colo.
Christian's death marks the second green on blue killing of a local soldier in less than a year. In August 2012, Lance Cpl. Greg Buckley Jr., 21, of Long Island was killed when a servant of an Afghani police chief shot him and two other U.S. Marines.