Statement of Mayor Mark A. Smith Regarding the Death of U.S. Army Specialist Rafael A. Nieves

On behalf of the City of Bayonne, Mayor Mark A. Smith offered the community’s condolences to the family of U.S. Army Specialist Rafael A. Nieves following his death while on active duty in Afghanistan. Specialist Nieves died of wounds suffered when small arms fire and a rocket-propelled grenade struck his vehicle during a mounted patrol in the Afghan province of Paktika. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment of the 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He was 22 years old. His mother resides in Bayonne.

Smith said, “On behalf of all Bayonne residents, I express my sympathies to the family, friends, and fellow soldiers of Specialist Rafael Nieves. We join them in mourning the death of this brave soldier and we honor his service to our nation.”

Acting Governor Kim Guadagno has issued Executive Order #70 ordering all United States and New Jersey flags lowered to half staff on Monday, July 18, in honor of Specialist Nieves.