Three U.S. Army Reserve soldiers from three small towns in New York were killed in the Paktia province of Afghanistan when a roadside bomb struck their vehicle on Saturday while doing a routine route-clearing patrol. All three were members of the Watertown-based 479th Engineering Battalion of the 411th Engineering Brigade, had been temporarily assigned to the 444th Engineer Company in Oswego and were deployed to the 178th Engineer Battalion, 412th Theater Engineer Command, in Afghanistan in February. All three were combat engineers.
SPECIALIST RYAN P. JAYNE, 22 of Campbell, Steuben County, a member of the Canandaigua Army Reserve, graduated from Corning-Painted Post East High School in 2008 and joined the Army in 2010. He was home on leave just last month and spent his time fixing up his 1987 Monte Carlo. He is survived by his father Paul Jayne, mother Sherry Skeens, his stepfather, four younger brothers and two sisters. “Sherry and I shouldn’t have to bury our oldest son, but there is no more honorable, dignified way to go than serving your country” his father said.
SPECIALIST BRETT E. GORNIEWIC, 27, of Alden, Erie County, was also a member of the Canandaigua Army Reserve and was a 2003 graduate of Alden High School. He graduated from Buffalo State College with a degree in Industrial Technology in 2011. He enlisted in the Army Reserve in 2006 and had served a tour in Iraq before electing to go to Afghanistan. Spc. Gorniewic, a Bronze Star recipient, had just been home on leave in August. He leaves behind his parents, sister and long-time girlfriend Nicole Rumley. She said “he was a wonderful, wonderful man who always put on a happy face.”
STAFF SERGEANT DAIN VENNE, 29, of Port Henry, Essex County, was a member of the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division and was on his fourth deployment. Sgt. Venne was a 2001 graduate of Moriah Central School. He left St. Lawrence University to enlist in the military shortly after the 9/11 attacks. Sgt. Venne was a volunteer firefighter and had just been honored with the Firefighters Commendation Medal for helping stranded campers and residents when Hurricane Irene hit last year. Port Henry Fire Chief James Hughes stated “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.” Sgt. Venne leaves behind his parents Brian, a longtime Moriah Town Justice, and Laura, a teacher at Moriah Central.