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Little orders flags to fly at half-staff in honor of U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan

Posted: 2:24 PM, Sep 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-09 16:24:11-04

Governor Brad Little has ordered all U.S. and state flags in Idaho to be flown at half-staff Saturday in honor of an Idaho soldier killed in Afghanistan.

U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Dustin Ard of Idaho Falls died late last month from wounds he sustained during combat operations in Afghanistan.

The Governor said in a statement "Ard leaves a legacy for all Idahoans of strength, service, and loyalty to this great nation. As you see flags at half-staff, take a moment to reflect on the great sacrifice Ard and his family have made in service to the United States."

Idaho Representative Rod Furniss posted a statement from Ard's father on his Facebook page on August 30th, saying Ard, the son of former Ammon Mayor Bruce Ard, died during a combat operation.

“We received news that we lost our son Dustin in Afghanistan," Ard wrote. "My heart has a hole so big, I can hardly stand it. He was the finest young man I have ever known. Not because he was my son, but because if the person he is. A great son, brother, father and husband. He loved his country and was the kind of person we should all be. Son, I love you and know we will see each other again. I will miss you every day I live without you. Love, Dad.”

The current Mayor of Ammon, Sean Coletti, also expressed condolences to the family.

“I am saddened to hear about the sudden loss of former Ammon Mayor Bruce Ard’s son, Dustin Ard, who was serving in Afghanistan,” he wrote. “So tragic to lose one of our American heroes, and especially someone with such close ties. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bruce and his family.”

Ard was a member of the Army Special Forces, and he died in Zabul Province, in the country’s southeast, after disembarking a helicopter at the start of a joint mission with Afghan commandos, one department official said.