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Statement of Ambassador Mark H. Gitenstein on the Death of Second Lieutenant Ion-Lucian Leuştean

May 9, 2012

I was saddened to hear of the death of Second Lieutenant (promoted posthumously) Ion-Lucian Leustean, who has been fighting for his life for eight months since he was injured by an improvised explosive device during a mission in Afghanistan in September, 2011. I would like to extend my personal condolences and those of the United States Government to Second Lieutenant Leustean’s family and friends, as well as to his fellow soldiers.

I would like to thank the team of doctors at the Central Military Hospital for their sustained effort to save the life of Second Lieutenant Leustean during all these months.

Second Lieutenant Leustean’s sacrifice was made in pursuit of a noble cause, opposing extremism in Afghanistan and providing a better future for all its citizens. The valor of Romania’s soldiers in the NATO mission there is admirable and the United States is proud to have Romania as one of its closest allies.