Soldier from Sierra Vista killed in Afghanistan

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. -- An Arizona soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom was killed Saturday in Afghanistan.

The Department of Defense announced Sunday that Sgt. 1st Class Ryan J. Savard, 29, of Sierra Vista, died in Khanabad District, Afghanistan, from small arms fire while on patrol during combat operations.

Savard was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N. C.

Savard graduated in 2001 from Buena High School in Sierra Vista.

"Our cause is noble and just, but the grief is no less staggering for the families and friends left behind when one of our own is killed in wartime," Gov. Jan Brewer said in a written statement. "I ask that Arizonans join me in offering our sincere gratitude to Sgt. 1st Class Savard, and a prayer for his loved ones. Let us hold in our hearts the courageous men and women in uniform who remain in harm's way so that we can be safe and free."

Brewer ordered that flags at all state buildings be flown at half-staff until sunset Sunday.