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Soldier from Baldwin dies in Afghanistan

An Army carry team carries the transfer case

An Army carry team carries the transfer case containing the remains of Army Sgt. 1st Class Kevin E. Lipari, 39, of Baldwin, upon arrival at Dover Air Force Base, Del., on Monday. (Dec. 17, 2012) Credit: AP

A soldier from Baldwin died on Friday while serving in Afghanistan, the Department of Defense said Sunday without providing details.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Kevin E. Lipari, 39, of Baldwin, was serving in Logar province as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Lipari was assigned to the HHC 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team out of Bamberg, Germany.

The Defense Department would only immediately say that Lipari's death was under investigation.

Lipari's aunt, Loretta Lipari of Bellmore, said her nephew was the middle of three boys who grew up in Baldwin.

She said he loved sports, and played baseball, football and hockey.

He graduated from Oceanside High School in 1991, then studied English and mass communications at SUNY Oswego, she said.

Another aunt, Marie Lovenheim of Rochester, said Kevin Lipari joined the Army in 1999, and for a while served as a paratrooper.

She said he broke bones in his back during a jump in 2009, then retrained as a satellite communications specialist.

He served at least two combat deployments in Afghanistan, Loretta Lipari said, adding that "he loved the military. He loved being in the service."

Lipari married Jessica Wilson, of Canada, in 2008. The couple moved in 2010 to Germany, where Lipari was stationed in Bamberg with the headquarters company in the 173rd.

"He was an outgoing person, very lovable, full of life," Loretta Lipari said. "He spoke Italian and had been to Italy. His grandfather was born in Palermo."

Lovenheim said the circumstances of his death remain uncertain.

"He was much too young," she said.

Family members will travel to Dover, Del., on Monday to meet his body.

His wife plans to arrive in Oceanside on Wednesday to make funeral arrangements, including a wake at Vanella's Funeral Home in Oceanside.

Lipari's death was the second of a Long Island combatant in Afghanistan in just over four months.

On Aug. 10, Marine Lance Cpl. Greg Buckley Jr., 21, of Oceanside, was killed.

Buckley was just days from a surprise visit home when he and two other Marines were fatally shot by a 15-year-old boy working for an Afghan police chief.

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