ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Two soldiers stationed at White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico died this weekend after a roadside bomb explosion in Afghanistan.
The Army says it happened south of Kabul.
An Army spokesperson says Specialist Kenneth Alvarez and Private Jonathan Hostetter were killed in an explosion Friday.
Both were combat engineers doing their job clearing routes of IED's for locals and soldiers when they were killed.
They were stationed at White Sands as part of the 40th mobility company.
The Army says Alvarez was 23 and originally from Santa Maria, Calif. Company leaders described him as an energetic and passionate soldier who went to Afghanistan with White Sands-based soldiers immediately after returning from Germany.
Hostetter, 20, was from Humphreys, Mo. Leaders say he was friendly and loved what he did.
This was his first deployment.
Company leaders say the loss of both is devastating.
"There's still some very dedicated young people out there, very patriotic, willing to serve their country and willing to die for their country and give, like you said, give the ultimate sacrifice,” said Sgt. FC Keith Hursman.
The company was working in the eastern Afghanistan mountains.
Over the last year, more than half of White Sands battalion has been deployed in the Middle East.
The two soldiers were among about 100 soldiers making up the 40th mobility company.
The company was deployed in January and is expected to be in Afghanistan until the end of the year.
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