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College Football Star Turned Soldier Killed In Afghanistan (Video)

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Army Sgt. 1st Class Samuel C. Hairston

Army Sgt. 1st Class Samuel C. Hairston, 35, was killed in Ghazni, Afghanistan on Aug. 12, when he was hit by small-arms fire during combat, according to the Department of Defense.

KPRC-TV reports Hairston attended the University of Houston, and was a defensive lineman for the school's football team from 1997 to 2000.

He joined the Army in 2003.

Hairston was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

Lt. Col. Chris Hockenberry, Hairston’s battalion commander, said in a statement:

"Sgt. 1st Class Samuel Hairston was an exceptional non-commissioned officer and a valued member of our team. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time. We will never forget him.”

WNCN-TV reports Hairston is survived by his wife, Staff Sgt. Tawana Hairston, and his son, Hayden.

Houston soldier, who played football at U of H, dies in Afghanistan

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