EDISON - Gov. Chris Christie has ordered flags at all state buildings to be flown at half-staff to honor a northern New Jersey soldier who was killed in action in Afghanistan this month.

The flags will be lowered tomorrow in tribute to Army Spc. Jonathan Batista, a 22-year-old paratrooper from Kinnelon who was killed July 8 when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire. He was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal.

Batista was on his first deployment to Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 321st Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

Batista grew up in Rutherford and moved to Kinnelon three years ago.

Soldier from Rutherford killed overseas laid to rest today Funeral services today for NJ soldier killed in Afghanistan 2 soldiers from northern NJ die in Afghanistan