KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Two 10th Mountain Division soldiers were
honored Friday for fulfilling the 22nd Infantry Regiment's motto: "Deeds Not
Staff Sgt. Anthony S. Lagman, 26, and Sgt. Michael J. Esposito, Jr., 22, of
Company A, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, were remembered for their
deeds when they were killed while leading other 2-22 soldiers against
anti-coalition fighters in the village of Miam Do on March 18.
"Despite their young ages, we know they had a huge impact on others' lives
because of their strong characters," said Chaplain (Capt.) Mark Stewart, during
a memorial service at the Kandahar's Freedom Chapel.
"It's not the numbers of years they lived, but the number of lives impacted
by their characters," Stewart said. "Each has lived a lifetime."
The small wooden chapel was filled to capacity. Outside, a few hundred other
soldiers stood in ranks. So many soldiers attended, in fact, officials had to
block an adjacent two-lane dirt road.
Standing alongside their American counterparts were dozens of Romanian
soldiers of the 280th Infantry Battalion.
During the service, company commander Capt. Jorge Cordeiro spoke of his
soldiers as vital members of the unit, telling how Lagman, who served three
years in the Marine Corps, "died much as he lived, validating his role as a
He talked about Esposito's first firefight, when he told fellow soldiers it
was "one of the proudest moments of his life, to fight for his country."
Fellow soldiers told not only about their soldiering, but about their
Staff Sgt. Adam Arabian choked back tears as he told how his and Lagman's
careers had frequently crossed paths. He considered Lagman "an older brother"
because of his leadership and friendship.
"On March 18, we lost a good friend," Arabian said. "I strive every day to be
half the leader he was."
Sgt. Cordell Musselman told of Esposito's love for hockey, love of family and
love of his fiancée, whom he planned to marry in July.
Esposito, he said, was the kind of guy who could give "dissertations on
spaghetti sauce and Pink Floyd."
Lagman, Esposito and an Afghan National Army soldier were killed by enemy
troops during a firefight in Miam Do. Coalition soldiers later found more than
one ton of weapons and ammunition and Taliban literature in the village.
For their actions that day, Lagman and Esposito were awarded the Bronze Star
Medal with "V" device for valor.
Both were natives of New York.
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