Another Northwest Georgia soldier has been killed in action. According to the Department of Defense, 38 year old First Sergeant John D. Blair of Gordon County, was killed in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan on June 20. The Department of Defense reported Blair was killed when a rocket-propelled grenade struck his vehicle. Blair, who was assigned to the Lawrenceville-based 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment, was a former deputy sheriff in Gordon County and was later attached to the local drug task force as part of the Georgia Army National Guard’s counter-drug operations for several years. He served as a full-time deputy sheriff for four years until he left to assume full-time duties with the National Guard. This is the second soldier from the Northwest Georgia area killed this month while fighting in the Middle East. 21 year old Jeffery Jordan was killed in Afghanistan on June 4 by a roadside bomb. He was an officer at the Floyd County Prison, and two other soldiers died in the same attack. According to reports, 80 U.S. servicemen have died in Afghanistan this year, which is already more than half the 151 troops that were killed in that country last year. There are currently about 56,000 U.S. troops fighting in Afghanistan, a record high.