By Ayala Ben-Yehuda
Army Spc. Roger Ling, 20, died near Khalidiyah, Iraq “of injuries sustained from small arms fire and an improvised explosive device attack,” the Defense Department said on its Web site.
Ling, who lived on 245th Street in Douglaston, was assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team based at Fort Riley, Kan.
Ling was an armor crewman who joined the Army in November 2001 and had been stationed at Fort Riley since May 2002, according to the fort's Web site. He was deployed to Iraq in September 2003.
He was killed along with another soldier, 2nd Lt. Jeffrey Graham, 24, of Kentucky.
An Army sergeant leaving Ling's home Monday said Ling would be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Ling's father could not be reached for comment.
“Roger Ling made the ultimate sacrifice while performing his duty in service to his country,” Borough President Helen Marshall said in a statement. “He has paid the price which we can never repay, and so we will always be in his debt.”
“On behalf of all the people of Queens, I extend to his family, friends and colleagues our heartfelt sympathy and our gratitude for his sacrifice,” Marshall said. “May he rest in peace.”
Almost every house on Ling's quiet Douglaston block had an American flag prominently displayed. Neighbor Caroline Warshaw said the show of patriotism was there even before Ling's death.
“The people on this block are very passionate since 9/11,” she said.
Carol Zolondek, Ling's guidance counselor at Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in Bayside, said the soldier had attended MS 67 and then Cardozo.
He left Cardozo in April 2001 and got his general equivalency diploma at Queensborough Community College, she said.
“I was very upset to hear about his death,” Zolondek said. “He was a very nice boy, very polite, a very nice kid.”
The guidance counselor said Ling had moved to Douglaston from Jamaica Hills.
The Daily News reported that Ling had survived a different bomb attack several months ago in which he helped save the life of his superior officer.
Reach reporter Ayala Ben-Yehuda by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.