A child places flags in the ground in honor of...

A child places flags in the ground in honor of Lt. Joseph Theinert on Shelter Island. (June 8, 2010) Credit: Charles Eckert

Flags on New York State government buildings will be flown at half-staff Thursday in honor of Lt. Joseph J. Theinert, the Shelter Island soldier who died in a roadside bombing in Afghanistan on June 4, Gov. David A. Paterson said.

Theinert, 24, was the first Shelter Island native to die in a war in nearly 43 years. He was killed protecting fellow troops in Kandahar when his unit was attacked by a rocket-propelled grenade and an improvised explosive device, according to reports.

"On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend the sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and fellow service members of First Lt. Joseph Theinert," Paterson said in a news release issuing the directive on Wednesday.

Theinert was a member of the 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, part of the 10th Mountain Division based at Fort Drum. He was also a member of the New York Army National Guard.

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